Sinister seniors murder for money

By James Quiggle
January 12, 2009

Olga Rutterschmidt and Helen Golay

Rutterschmidt_and_GolayHomeless street drifters, Kenneth McDavid and Paul Vados thought they’d found guardian angels in two elderly women who befriended them, put them up in apartments and fed them.

But Olga Rutterschmidt and Helen Golay were the men’s assassins. The seniors had the Los Angeles men run down by cars in alleys in a plot to collect more than $3 million in life-insurance money.

Longtime friends, Rutterschmidt and Golay bought at least 12 life policies in Vados’ name and 23 policies for McDavid, listing themselves as beneficiaries. The women secretly used rubber stamps of the men’s signatures to sign many of the policies.

“Spending their golden years in a jail cell will be a long, hard fall from the lavish lifestyle they thought the life-insurance money would bring. ”Before long, Vados was found dead in an alley in West Hollywood, apparently run over by a car. No witnesses came forward. The case languished for years, just another luckless, transient John Doe.

McDavid also was found dead in an alley, run over by a car as well. His blood alcohol was .08 percent, combined with prescription painkillers and sleeping pills. McDavid was virtually inert when a vehicle ran over his prone body. His chest was crushed, and tire imprints were found on his jeans.

He also seemed like an unfortunate John Doe. His death appeared destined to remain unsolved until officers of the Los Angeles Police Department compared notes. In both cases, Golay and Rutterschmidt had claimed the bodies and sought police reports even though they weren’t related to the men.

That odd coincidence jump-started the investigations. Police had found an abandoned Mercury Sable near Rutterschmidt’s home after McDavid died. Someone identifying herself as Helen Golay had called a towing service to have the Sable taken there an hour before his body was found. McDavid’s blood and hair were discovered on the Sable’s undercarriage.

Police also found rubber stamps bearing various men’s signatures in Rutterschmidt’s home, including McDavid’s. The women also had bought the Sable using the stolen identity of another woman.

After the women were arrested, police secretly recorded the women arguing in an interrogation room. Rutterschmidt accused Golay of attracting suspicion by taking out too many insurance policies.

The pair received life in federal prison for murdering Vados and McDavid. Spending their golden years in a jail cell will be a long, hard fall from the lavish lifestyle they thought the life-insurance money would bring.

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