Chicago

Guilty of killing wife decades later

Convicted assassin Donnie Rudd has died whereas serving his jail sentence — reportedly 49 years to the day after the demise of his wife, whom he was discovered responsible of killing in 2018.

Rudd was an lawyer and faculty board member in suburban Hoffman Estates in 1973 when his wife of lower than a month, 19-year-old Noreen Kumeta, died from what police believed on the time had been accidents from a automobile crash in Barrington Hills, with Rudd behind the wheel.

Despite some of the bizarre circumstances of the case — together with that Rudd had been residing with one other lady and her kids up till his marriage ceremony to Kumeta — Rudd remained a free man for 4 decades.

But authorities had been prompted to take a recent have a look at the case in 2013, after an Arlington Heights detective — whereas reviewing the 1991 unsolved homicide of a neighborhood lady who was Rudd’s shopper — raised new suspicions. Kumeta’s physique was exhumed and a pathologist discovered she’d died of blunt-force accidents to her cranium that had been inconsistent with a automobile crash.

Later that year, Rudd was arrested in Texas and charged in his wife’s homicide. He was convicted in 2018, regardless of his continued assertions of his innocence.

Rudd, who was sentenced to 75-150 years in jail, died Wednesday, in accordance with his former stepdaughter, who stated a member of the family was contacted by a prosecutor within the case Thursday.

Rudd was 80.

Rudd’s former stepdaughter, Cindy Mulligan, stated Friday she was nonetheless processing the information of his demise. Mulligan’s late mom, Dianne Hart, married Rudd in 1974, months after Kumeta’s demise.

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“I’m not sad, but I’m not happy. It’s a chapter closed, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions. I wish there had been more answers. I hope that it provides closure to his victims, that he’s not there anymore,” Mulligan stated. “He had filed for clemency. He filed for mistrials. At least we know he’s never going to get out of jail. He was only there for four years, which really wasn’t a very long time for what he did.”

With her sister, Lori Hart, Mulligan co-wrote “Living with the Devil,” a 2016 memoir about their life with Rudd.

Following the automobile crash on Sept. 14, 1973, Rudd advised police that one other automobile had run their Pinto off the street, that Noreen was ejected and hit her head on a rock and that he carried her again to their automobile. That story caught for 4 decades following the demise of Kumeta, who was from Carpentersville — although the following years weren’t trouble-free for Rudd.

Though he grew to become recognized in his discipline as knowledgeable on legal guidelines associated to condominiums, some purchasers started accusing him of malpractice. Authorities stated one of them, Loretta Tabak-Bodtke (generally spelled Lauretta), had threatened to file a criticism about him earlier than she was shot to demise in her Arlington Heights residence in 1991. Her homicide was by no means solved.

Rudd maintained his innocence in his wife’s demise, together with from the witness stand. Testifying in his personal protection in 2018, he stated his wife “really wasn’t murdered” and that “evidence piled up bit by bit against me, like whiskers growing on your face, and then, suddenly, you have a beard.”

The case has obtained nationwide consideration and was the topic of an “American Monster” documentary on Discovery and an Investigation Discovery particular.

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