On April 18, 2008, Helen Golay 78, formerly of Santa Monica, California, and Olga Rutterschmidt 75, formerly of Hollywood, California, were convicted of the murders of two homeless men—Paul Vados in 1999 and Kenneth McDavid in 2005.
According to reports, Golay and Rutterschmidt staged Vados and McDavid’s deaths to appear as hit-and-run accidents in order to collect on multi-million dollar life insurance policies they had taken out on the men and became The Black Widow Murders.
Just last year, a Florida man had been found guilty of beating his wife of just four days to death with a tire iron for a one million dollar life insurance policy. Escoto had reportedly taken out a life insurance policy on Trapaga immediately after they were married.
Last month, Conrad Truman was found guilty of murder and obstruction of justice. Conrad Truman said his wife went to take a bath and about 20 minutes later he heard the gunshot. He said he found her naked in the hallway, shot in the head. Conrad also told police that he tried to give his wife CPR before calling 911.
Maryann Castorena plotted the killing of her former boyfriend, Jose Patricio Hernandez, so that she could collect on his $ 1.5 million life insurance proceeds, a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
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This week, a federal grand jury indicted Harold Henthorn, 58, on a charge of first-degree murder, more than two years after Toni Henthorn’s death on Sept. 29, 2012. Prosecutors have not released details of their case, aside from the indictment that says Henthorn, a resident of Highlands Ranch in Denver’s suburbs, killed his 50-year-old wife with premeditation and malice. She had three life insurance policies totaling $4.5 million.
And this list goes on and on.
“People kill family members and business associates for life insurance payouts more often than you’d think,” according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
Nearly every life insurance contract specifies language stipulating that your policy would be considered void if death occurs, as the result of your participation in criminal activity. In the case of murder, an investigation would likely be conducted by the insurance company to determine your level of involvement, if any, in the criminal behavior that ultimately resulted in the insured’s murder.
If the company should believe you were a willing participant, your life insurance benefits would not be paid to your beneficiaries. If you are involved in a criminal investigation that includes law enforcement with a possible indictment, the insurance generally will not pay.
Slayer statutes have been enacted in 42 states but they do vary from state to state.