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Accused 'Black Widows' face life

April 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Defense attorneys will make their closing arguments Friday for two women charged with a murderous plot to collect on life insurance payouts.Seventy-seven-year-old Helen Golay and 75-year-old Olga Rutterschmidt are accused of mowing down two homeless men with a car in order to collect millions in life insurance. Golay claimed to be the fiancé in each of the life insurance policies. Ruttherschmidt acted as their cousin.

If convicted, the two defendants face a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The jury on Thursday heard a detailed three-hour summation of the prosecution's case. Deputy District Attorney Truc Do laid out for the jury evidence of a murder plan that was hatched years before it was carried out. There were 21 life insurance policies taken out on strangers, two homeless men -- $829,500 on Paul Vados and $5,790,000 on Kenneth McDavid.

The victims were worth more dead than alive, the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor reviewed graphic autopsy photos of McDavid after he was struck. Investigators found blood, hair and DNA on the undercarriage of the car found months after the collision.

McDavid's sister Sandra Salman watched the trial every day for the past month.

"My occupation, I'm a registered nurse, I save lives for a living, and I just can't imagine. There's just no connection with me with them at all. I just can't imagine what they're thinking," said Salman said.

The daughter of victim Paul Vados shared photos to show a man who was once very close to his family.

"Hopefully, the jury will come up with a good decision, the right decision, on my father's behalf," Stella Vados said.

Allred aided the Vados family in locating his remains. The defendants had claimed his body and buried him in a marked grave site.

"This is a very difficult case, very painful case for the victims' families," said attorney Gloria Allred.

The family of Kenneth McDavid still does not know where his body was placed.

"We think he was cremated, but we don't know where those remains are," Allred said.

The defense presents its summation Friday, and the jury may not deliberate until next week.

 

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