LEXINGTON – Gary Thompson roams the city of Lexington, Kentucky in a wheelchair. He speaks slowly indicating he is mentally handicapped. He wrings his hands together and pulls at the heart strings of any passerby, who ‘feel’ for the challenged man and eagerly open their wallets to help him out.
NDJ World | Published: Mar 01 2013 Horror File
And that’s where the story about Thompson takes a bizarre turn. Garry Thompson had a motorcycle accident in 1993 that left him with limited mobility but did not make him physically handicapped. He is also completely sound of mind and has full use of his hands.
Garry received a$US2.56 million dollar settlement from the motorcycle accident; money he and his family spent quickly.
The beggar figured out however that a good act combined with a tear jerking story makes good money quickly and easily.
And when Thompson’s scam got uncovered by Kentucky’s regional TV-station LEX 18, he had no problem speaking in a normal voice and even thanked the journalist for uncovering his act.
“I am really good at it. I am actually a normal person but it helps when you’re mentally disabled,” Garry tells the journalist and laughs.
Garry Thompson has a degree in language and speech pathology. He says he uses that skill to speak like a mentally disabled person.
Moments after the broadcast, Garry Thompson was back on a sidewalk in Lexington, doing what he does best, being a bogus beggar who scams good-hearted kind people out of their hard earned money.
Garry Thompson, who is originally from Austin Texas, earns $US100,000 per year with his fake act. The average annual salary in Kentucky is just $US42,000 per year for a family.
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