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Friday, December 18, 2009

Shades of "Psycho"

The following AP article appeared yesterday:

NC woman accused of hiding corpse appears in court

Wilmington, NC -- A woman accused of hiding her elderly mother's corpse for seven months in the family's North Carolina home has asked for a court-appointed defense attorney.

Amy Stewart made her first court appearance Thursday before a district court judge in Wilmington.

The 47-year-old did not enter a plea. She was charged Wednesday with concealing a dead body, a felony. Stewart posted bond and was released from jail.

Police responded to the family's home Tuesday after a 911 call and found the body of Stewart's 87-year-old mother, Blanche Matilda Roth, in a bedroom. Police estimate Roth died in May.

If Stewart killed her mother, she probably could have gotten away with it if she had immediately reported her death. After all, the death of an 87-year-old will usually not excite suspicion. But now the coroner's office will be extra careful.

Or was Stewart simply so attached to her mother that she couldn't bear to let her go? Judging from the fact that a 911 call was made, things may be a little dysfunctional at the Stewart household, which generally means less than overly strong attachments. But the need for a court-appointed, i.e., free, attorney would hint at a lack of the kind of resources which might provide at least one kind of motive for murder.

Either way, it would have been more appropriate if Stewart's name had been Norma Bates.

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