Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Notes From The Prayer Warrior | Mary Cheney: Knocked Up »

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

And The Oscar Goes To…

posted by on December 5 at 18:43 PM

Pete Costello of Vancouver, Washington, for his convincing portrayal of a retarded child, adolescent, and adult. It was the role of a lifetime—literally.

Man Accused of Faking Retardation

For nearly 20 years—ever since Pete Costello was 8—his mother has collected disability benefits on his behalf. In meetings with Social Security officials and psychologists, he appeared mentally retarded and unable to communicate. His mother insisted he couldn’t read or write, shower, take care of himself or drive a car.

But now prosecutors say it was all a huge fraud, and they have video of Costello contesting a traffic ticket to prove it.

”He’s like any other person trying to get out of a traffic ticket,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said Tuesday….

Barbosa filed with the court two videos of Pete Costello taken this year: In one, he allegedly feigns retardation during an interview with Social Security workers; the other is of him contesting the traffic ticket in a courtroom earlier this year.

Costello’s acting netted him—or his mother—over $100,000 worth of benefits over the last twenty years. He has a sister, also retarded, who may have been faking it too. She pulled down more than $200,000 worth of benefits. The authorities haven’t been able to locate Costello’s sister.

RSS icon Comments


um, dan, the guy faking retardedness? from vancouver. not tacoma. charged in federal court in tacoma.

Posted by erostratus | December 5, 2006 6:57 PM

Doh! I'm the retard!

Posted by Dan Savage | December 5, 2006 6:59 PM

A couple months ago I was driving past a bunch of sketchy used car dealerships on South Tacoma Way, and one of them had a sign that read, "We're looking for bad people with good credit."

I love Tacoma.

Posted by Andrew B | December 5, 2006 7:04 PM

Chances are that *they* just assumed he was retarded. Dude IS from Vancouver after all.

Posted by Portlander | December 5, 2006 7:05 PM

Sometimes I see "retarded" people on the bus and I wonder if they're faking it. So darned over-the-top, you know?!

Posted by Dash RipRock | December 5, 2006 7:42 PM

Faking retardation for a measly hundred grand over twenty years is indeed retarded. That's $5k a year. That's lame even by Vancouver standards.

Posted by Fnarf | December 5, 2006 7:53 PM

"Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie."

Posted by Just Shoot Me | December 5, 2006 8:03 PM

I always wonder if the guy who hands out the pen's at lunchtime around pike/pine that says he's deaf and you can buy his pen or a buck or something.... I always think he's faking being deaf.

And I even wear hearing aids and STILL think he's faking it. I know you know who he is. And I KNOW you think the same thing...

Posted by catnextdoor | December 5, 2006 8:31 PM

So this makes one wonder. Did Bush fake being retarded in order to come president. Perhaps it was all a plot, rather than having to actually articulate a position that coud alienate part of your constituency, simply pretend to be developmentally disabled and incabale of understanding the complexity of the situation.
Also if you want to know if somone is rertarded. Have a palm reader look at them. Cheiromancy is a very good predictor of mental retardation. It seems that palmar creases are created in the early stages of development and correlate very well with developmental disability.
Putting these two ideas together. Next time you see Bush on TV see if you can spot the tell-tale simian crease that indicates mental retardation. Most people have two distal radiating lines across the top of the palm and a third radiating from the wrist. A simian crease is a single distal radiating crease that merges with the wrist radiating one to create a singel fold across the hand. It correlates highyl with developmental disability.

Posted by kinaidos | December 5, 2006 9:09 PM

Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot piiiiiiiiiiiiie!

Posted by Going to Hell | December 5, 2006 9:16 PM

Dude, somebody only 3 posts up already made the chicken pot pie joke. That time, it gave me a feeling of agape (uh, love of humankind). But now I'm back to my customary irritation.

Posted by Pokey | December 5, 2006 10:32 PM

Now I'm intrigued. What is the source and meaning of the "chicken pot pie joke"?

If I had to guess, I'd wager it's from South Park (that final row of "i"s reads like Cartman). Or maybe it's from something else completely. Is there a "Sling Blade" brand of pot pies?

Posted by David Schmader | December 5, 2006 10:58 PM


Fries are done.

Posted by mainstream | December 6, 2006 12:02 AM


Posted by jonny645 | December 6, 2006 1:30 AM

"chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie" is from a David Cross character on the show "just shoot me." He was playing a fake retarded guy.

Posted by doink | December 6, 2006 2:23 AM

Takes one to know one.

Posted by RadishMan | December 6, 2006 5:22 AM

#'s 7, 10, 11, 12, 15....

AAAH, DONNIE'S PANTS ARE TIGHT! (*mouthing* my pants... are tight *wink*)

David Cross rules!

Posted by monkey | December 6, 2006 8:56 AM

Is he anyway related to Lou Costello?

Posted by sputnik | December 6, 2006 9:26 AM

Never in a million years would I have guessed that a twice-referenced joke on Slog came from Just Shoot Me.

The world is a large and mysterious place.

Posted by David Schmader | December 6, 2006 11:06 AM

The single palm fold is specifically caused by Down's Syndrome - not other forms of developmental disability.

Posted by Jez Sadler | December 6, 2006 11:54 AM

Insofar as I am aware, the only Cartman reference to pot pie on South Park was, "No, kitty, that's MY chocolate chicken pot pie! No, kitty! MOMMMM! Kitty's being a dildo."

"Then I know a certain kitty-kitty who's sleeping with Mommy tonight."

Sorry, I had to do the whole quote, because I never tire of that line. You're just lucky not to be within earshot, because I do Cartman's mom's voice pretty well, and so naturally, cannot resist doing the line out loud. Every time.

Posted by Geni | December 6, 2006 2:38 PM

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot piiieee!!!!!

Posted by him | December 6, 2006 3:03 PM

"The Simian line is present in approximately 3% of the population. Where other positive features are present in the hands, the owner of this line will have a strong drive to achieve success. If found on a crudely formed hand, with negative traits, it is likely to belong to a misfit or an antisocial person. At the other extreme, a Simian line could belong to a religious fanatic."

Posted by jessiesk | December 6, 2006 11:51 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).