A real-life Norman Bates has appeared in court on fraud charges for dressing up like his dead mother for six years and collecting her benefits.
51-year-old Thomas Prusik Parkin 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 reportedly told detectives.
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 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.