Donnie Rudd, the former Chicago lawyer accused of killing his wife 42 years ago, will make his first appearance in a Cook County courtroom on Monday. Rudd was arrested in Texas last Thursday. He had re-married and worked as a stem cell researcher.
Fox 32’s Larry Yellen spoke to one of Rudd’s ex-wives about the man who’s accused of killing one woman and suspected of killing another.
Emma Leising was Donnie Rudd's fifth wife until their divorce five years ago. She says she met him on Match.com and found him to be charming and smart. Until police showed up at her home outside Houston she says she had no reason to believe he would be accused of killing his second wife, Noreen Kumeta, back in 1973.
“I said that all I knew was that she had died in a car crash and that he was spared for some reason,” said Leising.
Over their ten year marriage Leising had become increasingly suspicious of Rudd's self-proclaimed status as a millionaire and prominent stem cell researcher. She finally demanded that he back up his stories by showing her a check for a million dollars. Rudd produced a check, and when she suggested they go to a bank and cash it, he acted like he was having a heart attack and ended up in the hospital.
While her husband was in the hospital Leising went through his car and other belongings. She says she found evidence that he'd previously lost his law license and been married five times, not three times, as he had told her.
When Rudd married Noreen Kumeta, he was 31 and she was 19, both worked at Quaker Oats. Investigators believe that a few weeks into their marriage he took out a $100,000 life insurance policy on his new bride and then killed her.
Rudd is also a suspect in the 1991 unsolved murder of Terri Tabak of Arlington Heights. Tabak was one of Rudd's clients. She was unhappy with his legal work and had threatened to file a complaint against him. She was found shot in the face in her home.
“Why,” said Leising. “Why did he hurt so many people by not telling the truth and pretending to be something he wasn't?”