Friday, May 19, 2006

Did elderly women kill homeless men?

Two women in their 70s were arrested Thursday after they allegedly befriended two homeless men, took out 19 life insurance policies on them and filed claims worth more than $2.2 million after the men died mysteriously in hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles.

The women were arrested on suspicion of mail fraud. But detectives believe the pair "are involved in the deaths of these men," Lt. Paul Vernon said.Police also believe the women may have committed the accidents and were befriending other men to set up more insurance policies.

“Anyone would think that even though they’re making financial gains for this, that they would leave the actual dirty work to someone else or hire someone,” police Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said. “We’re not so sure about that anymore ... This is pretty evil.”

Paul Vados, 73, (bottom) was hit by a car and killed in an alley in 1999, and Kenneth McDavid, 50, (top), was run down in an alley last June.

Detectives connected the two cases several months ago during a chance meeting between two LAPD investigators. A detective handling McDavid's death was talking about the peculiarity of the case when another detective interrupted him to say he had worked on a similar-sounding, unsolved hit-and-run six years ago.

Comparing notes, they realized that in both cases the bodies had been claimed by Olga Rutterschmidt, 73, and Helen Golay, 75.

Police placed the women under surveillance a few weeks ago but decided to arrest them Thursday after noticing behavior they say alarmed them. Detectives said they saw the pair meet with several older men and had them sign documents.

Read the Los Angeles Times story here.


At 6:57 PM, Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

Wow, that's cold. Why didn't the police look into the life insurance policy in the first case? You'd think they'd want to know why some old lady had a huge insurance policy on some random homeless guy.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger alexzark said...

It wasn't one huge policy. These two were pretty smart. They took out multiple life insurance policies in smaller amounts spread across multiple insurance companies.

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