The Mythology of Angela

In the summer of 1975 John Baker and his two children Peter and Angela, four year old twins, were struck by an oncoming speed boat on Summit Lake in Argyle, New York. John and Angela died leaving Peter alive but with a head injury.

No mother is present during the accident. The identity and whereabouts of the twins’ mother is unknown. We don’t know why the mother isn’t in the picture. Peter had a father, who had a male companion. Peter had an aunt. Where is Peter’s mother? Is she dead? Did she leave the family? Was she a sexual fling for John and offered John custody of the children? So many possibilities. Only one relative is spoken of during the entire Sleepaway Camp series, “Doctor Thomas”, otherwise known as Aunt Martha.

Martha and John, pre-1975

It is unlikely that Martha was the blood sister of John Baker, given the way he addresses the woman when speaking about her to the children, “Doctor Thomas is on her way up”, he says. Usually when a sibling references another sibling they address them as the children would, referring to them as Aunt or Uncle.

Perhaps Martha was a dear friend John knew during his childhood, or perhaps a high school sweetheart who stuck around to support him after he came out as being homosexual. It is also possible that her husband is a blood relation to the Bakers. Maybe the husband “left” because he could no longer handle the eccentricities of the Baker family. Then again, if the husband was a blood relation, why wasn’t Martha’s last name Baker? Maybe she changed it back to her maiden name after he left or never took his last name because she was a doctor. There are all sorts of possibilities.

Whatever the relation was, John Baker had left Martha Thomas guardianship over the children. So Martha was someone special in his life. John obviously put his trust in Martha to take care of his children. She was given custody of Peter but instead of helping him heal from the accident and helping him cope with the trauma of losing his family, she started raising him as his dead sister. Such a betrayal of trust.

What do we know about Peter Baker. In the Sleepaway Camp script, it is stated that “ANGELA and PETER, 4-year old twins” are playing on the boat. Given the available information, that is factual according to writer Robert Hiltzik, Peter and Angela Baker were born in 1971. In the script, the twins are four years old. Eight years later in 1983, they were twelve years old. These documented ages and years support their birth year.

So regarding Peter’s history, prior to Sleepaway Camp, we only know that he was born in 1971. We know that he was a twin, possibly identical. Although it is not written that Angela and Peter were identical twins, it can be conluded so based upon Aunt Martha being able to successfully pass Peter off as Angela. This is a main staple in being able to trick people that the boy child was in fact the girl child. It is obvious that with long hair, Peter looked like Angela.

Angela and Peter.

Nothing is known about the eight year gap in Peters life. We can only speculate.

  • Did Peter attend public school, private school, or was he homeschooled? Remember, Ricky tells Paul that being at Camp Arawak was Angela’s “first time away from home”. Are we to take that literally or just meaning, sleeping away from home?
  • Clearly Martha being a “doctor” helped her keep Peters true identity a secret. People hide children away from the world all the time undetected. I have no question as to the validity of this situation, had Peter truly been kept a secret from everyone.
  • Why didn’t Peter ever speak? Was it to mask his true voice, fear of not being able to mask it, or just plain general anxiety? Remember, in the script Peter was a sullen and moody child. That certainly carried over into his pre-teen years. Combine that with his situation and one can’t blame him for not speaking. Children experience depression just as much as adults. Perhaps this was the cause of his “shyness”.
  • Did Peter have any friends? Was Ricky the only friend Peter had known prior to Camp Arawak? Even children that are homeschooled have friends but judging from Peter’s behavior at Camp Arawak I would guess he didn’t have any, that Ricky was his only playmate. If Peter displayed the same behaviors at home around neighborhood/school children as he did at Camp Arawak, then chances are he was an outcast. Chances are Ricky had to defend Peter more than once just as he had to do at Camp Arawak.
  • Did Ricky know about Peter? I never believed for one second that he did but many people do believe Ricky knew, that this theory backs up their belief that Ricky helped “Angela” kill. It would have been far too easy for Peter to hide his true identity. It is most likely Ricky and Peter would never have seen each other naked. Why would they have? And remember, Angela and Peter were twins. Ricky was easily fooled. He was just a child himself! Martha could have explained to Ricky that “Angela” hurt her head during the accident and that all her hair had to be cut off. Martha had already bought “Angela” all the clothes she would need to live her life as a girl. Ricky would have no cause to think otherwise.
  • Was Peter lucid at the time of his abuse or did he suffer brain damage? Was he aware that Martha was raising him as a girl or did he go through his pre-teen years actually belieing he was in fact a female? This is a very important question. It would certainly debunk my theory that Peter had dissociative identity disorder.

In 1983 Peter Baker attended Camp Arawak with his cousin Ricky. While there he was ridiculed for not speaking. He was responsible for ten deaths. He was discovered by Ronnie and Susie on the waterfront, naked, holding the head of a camper in his lap.


In Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers we learn that upon discovery Peter was arrested by Barney Whitmore and taken into custody. Sean Whitmore says “a couple of years ago” Peter went into a “psycho ward” where he received a “sex change”. If we go by Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers which took place in 1988, “a couple of years ago” would have been 1986. More unanswered questions arise:

  • Where was Peter between 1983 and 1986? Prison? Psychiatric hospital?
  • Whose idea was it to get a sex change? Was it given to Peter against his will as some form of mad therapy? Did he request it? Was he brainwashed to the point of no return? Did he completely lose his mind at Camp Arawak, coming into the “Angela” persona 100%, forgetting his true identity once and for all? In his madness, did he become Angela in mind. Is that why he became her in body?
  • What happened to him in the prison/psychiactric hospital? Was he abused, brainwashed, hypnotized into believing he was in fact and had always been female?
  • What sort of “therapy” did Peter receive? Again, brainwashing, false memory syndrome as a result of hypnosis? Drugs? Basic counseling? What?
  • Did he befriend anyone? Did anyone attempt to befriend him? Was he a loner? Did he continue to be silent?
  • What shifted his personality? How did he blossom from the silent wallflower from Sleepaway Camp to the social butterfly of the sequels?
  • Was it really Peter Baker who left that hospital and returned to camp or was it someone assuming his identity?
  • Where did “Angela” go between Camp Rolling Hills and Camp New Horizons?
  • How did she come to meet Maria Nicastro?

Peter, now officially Angela, is employed at Camp Rolling Hills. Angela Baker has reached urban legend status, whose tale is told around camp fires giving her even more power and embedding herself into the minds of young and impressionable campers. During her employ she kills nineteen people. She collects her victims bodies and stores them in an abandoned cabin which is discovered by Molly who ironically is the only camper who accepts and tries to befriend Angela. But Angela has lost her sense of empathy and in the end Molly also falls prey to Angelas vicious attacks and although she does not die on screen, she is killed in the original script. At the end of Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers Angela does not get caught and is able to continue a reign of terror in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland.

Angela Baker returns to sleepaway camp, where she poses as a camper she stalks and kills. She is responsible for sixteen deaths at Camp New Horizons, where her patience has ceased to become a virtue. There she is reunited with Barney Whitmore, the officer who arrested her on the banks of Camp Arawak some six years prior. In the end “The Angel of Death” is shot and presumed dead. However, she rises victorious in the back of an ambulance leaving her fate unknown to the viewer.

Angela Baker; Patron Saint of ?


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