'Real-Life Norman Bates' on Trial for Fraud

He dressed like dead mom, collected big bucks: cops
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 29, 2012 10:37 AM CDT
Where's your mother, Norman? A man who prosecutors say dressed like his dead mom and collected her Social Security benefits may actually believe he is his mother, just like Norman Bates of 'Psycho.'   (NiceMivies)

(Newser) – A real-life Norman Bates has been busted for fraud for dressing up like his dead mother for six years and collecting her benefits, according to authorities. Thomas Prusik Parkin, 51, doesn't believe he's done anything wrong—because he actually believes he is his mother, say officials. “I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath, so I am my mother,” Parkin told detectives, reports the Daily Beast. Parkin appeared as his adoptive mom, Irene, in a wig and dress several times to collect some $115,000 in Social Security and other benefits, and profit from manipulating a mortgage on a $2.2 million Brooklyn brownstone, according to prosecutors. Unike Norman Bates' mom, Parkin's mom was buried, but Parkin gave an incorrect Social Security number for her, so her death wasn't properly recorded.

Parkin was finally undone by a film—not by Alfred Hitchcock, but by detectives who captured him on video in his other personality. Parkin is apparently convinced she lives. "How is your mother's health?" a prosecutor asked him on the stand. "Fair," he responded. "She had a stroke a few years ago. She can't walk properly. She can't speak." The prosecutor added: "You speak with her? You meet with her?" She "doesn't reply directly," Parkin answered, explaining their communication is "one-sided." The trial is expected to continue through next week. (Read more Thomas Prusik Parson stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |