Wednesday, June 12

Prosecutors: Man Accused of Killing His Wife Years After He Said She Died in a Car Crash

A man once regarded as a widower is now being accused of murdering his wide.

According to the Washington Post, Donnie Rudd, now 76, has been accused of murdering his wife, who he previously said died in a car crash in 1973.

On September 14, 1973, Donnie Rudd and his then-wife Noreen Kumeta Rudd were in a vehicle that had plowed off into a field next to an empty stretch of road in Barrington Hills, Illinois. Rudd told police that they had been forced off the road by a passing vehicle and that Noreen was thrown from their Pinto, smashing her head on a rock. They were only married for 27 days at the time of the crash. But now, prosecutors are saying he used the crash the cover up her coldblooded murder.

The prosecutors say that Rudd didn’t marry Noreen because he loved her. They say he married her as a plot to collect insurance money. The night before his marriage to Noreen he spent the night at another girlfriend’s house, according to the state. He was right back with that woman on the same day that Noreen was buried.

Rudd was also involved in another unsolved 1991 murder that caused investigators to reexamine the 1973 crash. Globally, more than 50% of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44. And while that’s the case for many, prosecutors aren’t so sure in this situation.

Defense attorney Timothy Grace says that Noreen Rudd was killed in a tragic crash and that the cause of her death was a fracture to her cervical spine, according to emergency room reports. According to the Chicago Tribune Grace said there’s no evidence that Rudd knew about his wife’s insurance policy and that it’s not possible that Rudd was leading a double life. He did say, though, that Rudd married Noreen on impulse.

Testimony is set to continue in the coming days. But unlike any other murder defendants in the past, Rudd has been allowed to live freely while awaiting trial. He was put on $400,000 bail and was able to put up the money.

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