American Horror Story Wiki
American Horror Story Wiki

Barbara Read is the ex-wife of detective Patrick Read who was concerned about the man's secrets. She is a character in NYC portrayed by Leslie Grossman. Barbara worked at Bloomingdale's, selling formal shoes.


Barbara married Patrick Read who wept to see her dressed as a bride at their wedding.[2] Barbara was completely oblivious of her husband's homosexuality – or the fact he cheated on her with men – and reacted negatively to his coming out leading to their divorce. In a conversation between Barbara and Gino, she admits to having gone too far in stalking her ex-husband or trying to get in the way of Patrick's relationship with Gino.[3]


Barbara agrees to meet in a diner with her ex-husband, Patrick, to discuss the final divorce papers. She is worried about Patrick and has significant regrets about their past relationship. In particular, Patrick's dishonesty about his homosexuality. Nevertheless, they meet again and Barbara informs him that she is working at Bloomingdale's and Patrick does not have to worry about supporting her financially. [4]

Concerned about the news she reads in The Downtown Native, Barbara ambushes Gino Barelli, Patrick's new partner, to show him a box containing sex gear (handkerchiefs, poppers, etc.) belonging to Patrick. [5] Despite Gino's initial attempts to dissuade her, Barbara shows up at their house. She is convinced that Patrick is involved in the murders, showing Gino a mask like the harness worn by the Mai Tai Killer. Gino does not believe her but instead thinks she wants to draw a wedge between Gino and Patrick. Both are emotionally shaken and heated during the blackout that interrupts their conversation. Barbara reassures him that she only wants to prevent him from making the same mistakes she did. [3]

On the day Barbara and Patrick have to finalise the divorce paperwork in the presence of attorneys she falls ill and is hospitalised. While she's in hospital, Patrick looks after Barb's papillon dog at her apartment and is attacked by a man in a hood and harness. However, Barbara is not willing to be frightened in her own home and decides to stay. While having erotic fantasies about her ex-husband in the shower, Barbara is strangled by Big Daddy who seemingly materialised behind her. [6]

The ghost – or more likely, an hallucination – of Barbara dressed in white appears for a few moments to Patrick across the street. [7] She appears to him again while vacationing on Fire Island, where her face is disfigured by decomposition and accuses him of being responsible for her death as she tries to kiss him. [8]

Barbara appeared to an ill Patrick in her wedding dress. She acts as a psychopomp guiding Patrick through moments of his life scarred by shame and violence. Their first stop is in 1980 when Patrick meets Gino for the first time at a crime scene. Next when in 1977 Patrick shared a kiss with partner Steve after he killed a robber although Patrick had the situation under control; this put blood on Patrick's hands as he rejected Steve's affection in front of Mulcahey. Barbara then leads Patrick to the slaughterhouse where Patrick dissects a corpse under Whitely's guidance. The corpse is Patrick's which Barbara describes as a mess of shame and lies. Barbara thus guides him to where the trauma began―Patrick's father teaching him to target shoot. Patrick's failure to hit the target ends in his father shooting a revolver next to his ear, perforating his ear drum. She later watches as Patrick pass away. [2]

Personality and Appearance[]


  • To Gino: "Oh, well, I'm sorry if I got a little mad sometimes."
  • To Gino: "I guess living with someone who lies to you with every breath can make a woman a little unstable."



Promotional Images


  1. Depicted on screen as Big Daddy strangling her.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode: Requiem 1981 & 1987
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode: Black Out
  4. Episode: Something's Coming
  5. Episode: Thank You For Your Service
  6. Episode: Bad Fortune
  7. Episode: The Sentinel
  8. Episode: Fire Island