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Dr. Adam Claiborne is the main antagonist of the novel Psycho II, which acts as a sequel to the original 1959 book, Psycho as well as a parody of off Hollywood splatter films. He also appears as a minor character in the Psycho II prequel novel Psycho Sanitarium, which foreshadows his future involvement with Norman Bates. He was Norman Bates' psychiatrist but went insane and took on Norman's personality after the latter's death.
In 1960, a child Adam Claiborne convinced his father to allow him to stay up late at night to watch a horror film. By the end of the novel, his father agreed, and Adam became fascinated in a movie about a doctor who was brainwashing his patient to commit horrible deeds, which paralleled the events of the novel's plot in which Dr. Felix Reed was manipulating Norman Bates to carry out his plans to kill other people that he wanted rid of. This movies inspires a young Adam to study as a doctor so he can work with the sick.
Dr. Adam Claiborne is a psychiatrist who has been working to help cure Norman Bates of his dissociative identity disorder (DID). Norman was put in the asylum after he had been killing people under his Mother personality. Norman eventually escapes and kills two nuns and steals the last nun's car. He attacks a hitchhiker but the hitchhiker kills him and sets the car on fire to get rid of any evidence. At some point, Adam found the body and felt guilty for Norman's death, which in turn causes him to develop Norman's homicidal personality.
After Claiborne kills Sam and Lila Loomis (who have married since first book) in his Norman personality, Claiborne of course has no memory of doing so and suspects that Norman faked his death and killed them once he finds out about their deaths. When he tells the police of his theory, they are skeptical and see the news of a movie being made about Norman's life. Fearing that Norman will kill those involved in the project, Adam gets a job as a technical consultant on the film to keep people safe. However, this only results in him decapitating the producer with a meat cleaver as Norman.
Eventually, Claiborne suspects the director, Vizzini is suspected of being the murder once he finds out about his plans to to rape and kill the actress playing Mary Crane. There's also the fact that he physically resembles Norman. There's also the fact that the remains at Norman's death are indeed revealed to be his. Claiborne arrives to stop the Vizzini, whose being fought off by the actress. However, Claiborne's Norman personality takes over and he stabs the actress. After he tries to kill her, the cops show up and shoot him, thus exposing Claiborne as the killer. Claiborne survives and is taken to the same asylum Norman was taken to.
- The producers for Universal Studios hated Bloch's idea for the sequel and tried to convince him to abandon it. They hated it so much they went with their own idea for the Psycho sequel.