Thursday, April 17, 2008


Two elderly women have been convicted over the murder of two homeless men in an attempt to collect $2.8m (£1.4m) in life assurance.
Helen Golay, 77, and Olga Rutterschmidt, 75, befriended the men from around Los Angeles, put them up in flats and took out insurance policies.
The two men were then drugged and killed in staged road accidents.
Golay was convicted of murder and Rutterschmidt of conspiracy to murder. Both face life in prison.
Kenneth McDavid, 50, was found dead in the Westwood area of Los Angeles in June 2005. Paul Vados, 73, died in Hollywood in 1999.
The women, who had been friends for 20 years, were arrested in May 2006.
The judge ordered lawyers for the defence and prosecution to restate their arguments on Thursday on murder charges pending against Rutterschmidt.

During the four-week trial, deputy district attorney Truc Do had told the jury: "The victim would always be run over - crushed to death - in an alley with no witnesses... it always looked like it was a hit-and-run accident."
They made a profit on the lives of men who were homeless and destitute
Deputy district attorney Truc Do
He said the women had found the men in a homeless shelter at a Hollywood church, provided them with apartments and supported them for two years - while taking out multiple life insurance policies on them.
Mr Do said the two-year timescale was important, as it was the length of time it would take to make the insurance policies incontestable.
Mr Do said the men were "forgotten" people, so no relatives were likely to come forward to contest the insurance policies taken out by Golay and Rutterschmidt.
"They made a profit on the lives of men who were homeless and destitute," he said
Prosecutors played jurors excerpts from a secretly recorded conversation between the two women shortly after their arrest.
Rutterschmidt is heard telling Golay: "You were greedy. That's the problem."
Golay replies: "Be quiet. Don't say anything."



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