Two Elderly Women Arrested in Deadly Scam

Booking photos for Helen Golay, left, and Olga Rutterschmidt

Booking photos for Helen Golay, left, and Olga Rutterschmidt Los Angeles Police Department hide caption

itoggle caption Los Angeles Police Department
Paul Vados, left, and Kenneth McDavid were both found dead after mysterious hit-and-run accidents

Paul Vados, left, and Kenneth McDavid were both found dead after mysterious hit-and-run accidents six years apart. Los Angeles Police Department hide caption

itoggle caption Los Angeles Police Department

Los Angeles police have arrested two elderly women on mail fraud charges for allegedly luring two homeless men into a life-insurance scam. The men turned up dead in still- unresolved hit and run cases; the women were $2.2 million richer after collecting on their life insurance policies.

Olga Rutterschmidt, 73, is a Hungarian immigrant from Hollywood; Helen Golay, 75, is a grandmother who owns a triplex in Santa Monica. Neither have criminal records, but now police suspect the women may have been directly involved with the mens' deaths.

LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon says Rutterschmidt and Golay befriended the two homeless men, set them up in apartments and persuaded them to sign life insurance policies, with the two women as sole beneficiaries. "Once they had that signature," Vernon says, "they would go to a stationery store and have a rubber stamp madeto complete 19 different life insurance policies."

FBI Special Agent Herb Brown says the policies on 50-year-old Kenneth McDavid and 73-year-old Paul Vados were worth more than two million dollars.P>

In 1999, Vados was found dead in an alley in Hollywood. Then, last June, Mc David died under similar circumstances, and police got suspicious. The women remain in federal custody, charged only with mail fraud. But Los Angeles police are busy trying to build a murder case.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.