LOS ANGELES – Checks and life insurance forms show that two women made millions from the deaths of two transient men they are accused of killing, a prosecutor said in a preliminary hearing Monday.
Helen Golay, 76, and Olga Rutterschmidt, 74, are accused of befriending the men, convincing them to sign the women's names on to their life insurance policies before drugging and running them over in secluded alleys.
Authorities said the women collected some $2.3 million after their deaths.
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Both Rutterschmidt and Golay have pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder for financial gain in the deaths of Paul Vados, 73, and Kenneth McDavid, 51. Vados died in 1999 and McDavid in 2005.
Prosecutors must convince Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley that there is enough evidence for the case to move to trial.
In Monday's hearing, prosecutor Shellie Samuels showed the judge several applications for life insurance in which the women were listed alternately as the victims' cousins, fiancees, business associates and aunts.
Former state Insurance Department investigator Robert Brockway testified that an accidental life insurance policy taken out on Vados would not have been paid if he had died of natural causes.
The federal government has filed a lawsuit seeking the forfeiture of more than $1.8 million seized from the women last year. Meanwhile, a judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by Rutterschmidt seeking additional funds she claims were owed to her as McDavid's beneficiary.
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