Defendants' backgrounds* Helen Golay, 77, was born Helen Salisbury in Eastland County, Texas, and grew up between relatives' homes and foster care. According to public records, she is the mother of three daughters, including Kecia Golay, who is listed as a prosecution witness. Golay, a former real estate agent, was known for wearing pantsuits and a tall, bouffant hairdo. During the preliminary hearings, Golay's attorney asked the judge if his client could pluck her eyebrows and wear makeup at trial, but the request was denied. In Santa Monica, where Golay owns several properties, tenants said she was an aggressive landlord who often called police over minor parking and noise complaints. She once sued a woman for allegedly stealing leather skirts from her, and a health club after she got hurt on an exercise machine. In the alleged murder scheme, prosecutors say, she always claimed to be the fiancee of the deceased.
* Olga Rutterschmidt, 75, emigrated from Hungary in 1957 and at one time operated a coffee shop in downtown Los Angeles with her husband, Endre. The couple had no children and eventually were divorced. Rutterschmidt, who has a thick accent, has lived in the same Hollywood apartment building since the 1970s. Her neighbors say she holed up in her apartment listening to jazz and classical music and took hikes in Runyon Canyon. She has an expired electrolysis license, but it is unclear if she ever worked in hair removal. Rutterschmidt once sued Ralphs supermarket, saying stacked boxes fell on her, and often threatened to sue others. In the alleged murder scheme, prosecutors say, she played the part of the cousin of the homeless men.
Source: Times staff reports