A man accused of dressing up as his dead mother to collect her Social Security and rent subsidies is blaming the crime on an impersonator.
Thomas Prusik-Parkin told the New York Post in a jailhouse interview that the person captured on security cameras dressed in a wig and his mom's clothing wasn't him.
The paper says that during the 40-minute interview at Riker's Island, the 49-year-old also claimed his mother was once a B-movie star who dated Gene Kelly, and offered a rambling discourse on the psyche of Norman Bates, the cross-dressing killer in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho.''
"Whenever [Bates] looked through the hole [at actress Janet Leigh undressing in her motel room], he would get excited," the jailbird told the Post. "He'd kill her, then in his head think it was his mother."
Prusik-Parkin isn't accused of committing murder, but he is accused of assuming the identity of his dead mother to engage in massive fraud. Sporting a wig, sunglasses, nail polish and old-fashioned garb, cops say Prusik-Parkin managed to collect more than $100,000 in Social Security benefits and rent subsidies over six years. Police arrested him earlier this week.
But he didn't act alone. The makeup-laden schemer crafted a detailed façade, using a cane, fake ID and even inventing a fake nephew, played by alleged accomplice Mhilton Rimolo, to help convince government agencies to shell out the dough.
Prusik-Parkin and his alleged accomplice are awaiting trial on larceny and fraud charges. They each could spend up to 25 years in jail if convicted.
Brooklyn detectives discovered the plot while they were investigating the brownstone building where Parkin lives, which is at the middle of a large mortgage fraud.
Prusik-Parkin was devastated when his mother died because he had "mostly been raised in a household full of women," he told the Post. He also babbled about having a coffin in his home but wouldn't say who was in it. Authorities weren't sure why it was in the house.