Woman, 75, guilty of second "black widows" murder

LOS ANGELES Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:38pm EDT

75-year-old Helen Golay (L) and 73-year-old Olga Rutterschmidt are pictured in undated Los Angeles Police Department booking photographs. REUTERS/LAPD/Handout

75-year-old Helen Golay (L) and 73-year-old Olga Rutterschmidt are pictured in undated Los Angeles Police Department booking photographs.

Credit: Reuters/LAPD/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 75-year-old woman, already convicted along with her 77-year-old accomplice of killing a homeless man, was found guilty on Monday of murdering a second man in the so-called "Black Widows" case.

The verdict means that Olga Rutterschmidt, 75, and Helen Golay, 77, have now both been convicted on all of the charges against them -- two counts each of first-degree murder and conspiracy.

Local media nicknamed them the "Black Widows" because prosecutors said they took in the homeless men only to murder them for life insurance money. The case stirred memories of the 1944 film "Arsenic and Old Lace" starring Cary Grant.

Both women face life in prison when they are sentenced later this year for the murders of 73-year-old Paul Vados and 50-year-old Kenneth McDavid.

Vados was run over by a car in a Hollywood alley on November 8, 1999 and McDavid was hit by a car and killed on June 21, 2005.

Golay was convicted in both murders last week and Rutterschmidt was found guilty of killing McDavid. Jurors deliberated until Monday before returning a guilty verdict against her in the death of Vados.

The panel had said last week that it was deadlocked on the Vados charges against Rutterschmidt but was able to agree after a juror was replaced with an alternate.

Prosecutors said that in each case Rutterschmidt and Golay took in the men and housed them for two years, taking out large insurance policies on them, before killing them and collecting the money which totaled $2.8 million.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb. editing by Alan Elsner)

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