Arraignment in Killings Postponed

Times Staff Writer

Two women accused of befriending, insuring and killing transients for millions of dollars in death benefits appeared Tuesday in court, where their lawyers disagreed over how their trials should proceed.

Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt have been in jail since May -- leading to one point of contention. Golay’s lawyer, Roger Jon Diamond, said his client was being held in “horrible, deplorable” conditions in a women’s jail in Lynwood. He said Golay is kept in a cell for 23 hours a day, and he complained he had difficulty getting to see her.

But Rutterschmidt’s lawyer, public defender Michael H. Sklar, asked for more time to prepare for trial.

The women’s arraignment was put off to Sept. 13 in the deaths of Paul Vados, 73, who was covered by more than a dozen life insurance policies when he was hit by a car on La Brea Avenue in 1999, and Kenneth McDavid, 50, who was covered by 23 policies when he was killed by a car last year.


In a related matter, police said Tuesday that they had so far failed to locate three men for whom Golay and Rutterschmidt tried but failed to buy life insurance. Last week, police issued a public appeal for information about Nicolas Koos, 67; Jimmy Allen Covington, 47; and Scott B. Gones.

Both women were charged in May with insurance fraud. They allegedly befriended and provided financial support for the men, “fattening them up like Christmas turkeys,” said Los Angeles Police Det. Dennis P. Kilcoyne, the chief investigator.