Hell's Grannies

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is a frightened city. Over these houses,
over these streets
hangs a pall of fear.
Fear of a new kind of violence
which is
terrorizing the city. Yes, gangs of old ladies

attacking defenceless fit young men.

-- Monty Python's Flying Circus

Well now I've seen everything. Two elderly women have been charged with running life insurance scams on homeless men and running them down with their cars. That's right. Grannies are rolling bums for money. From Time:

In a shocking, real-life update of Arsenic and Old Lace, two elderly women were arrested last week in Los Angeles for taking out life insurance policies on homeless men and then bumping them off. Literally. The two victims were killed in hit-and-run accidents after Olga Rutterschmidt, 73, and her friend Helen Golay, 75, allegedly took out at least 19 life insurance policies in the men's names. The women had collected more than $2 million before they were arraigned last week on eight counts of federal mail fraud. With the investigation still ongoing, police say they expect the suspects will also be charged with murder or with conspiracy to murder.

According to prosecutors, the women obtained life insurance policies for the homeless men through several companies, including Mutual of Omaha and Monumental Life. After the men had signed the policies, authorities allege the women provided the transients with food and shelter for a little over two years before mowing them down to collect the payments. The waiting period appears to stem from California insurance law that allows companies to contest new policies only within two years of issuing them.