Condo law co-author arrested for 1973 murder
21-Dec-15 – He helped craft laws on which hundreds of condominium associations in Illinois are based but he is also a suspect in two murders. On Monday afternoon, Dr. Donnie Rudd, age 73, will be in a courtroom in Rolling Meadows, northwest of the Loop, for his first hearing since being extradited from Texas.
Rudd is accused of killing his wife of 28 days on September 14, 1973. It was originally thought Noreen Rudd died in a single-vehicle accident in Barrington Hills, Illinois, near Arlington Heights, just 12 days short of her 20th birthday. Her body was exhumed two years ago, an autopsy was performed, and police now suspect Rudd beat her to death and faked the accident to collect on a $100,000 life insurance policy.
He was arrested last Thursday morning by Arlington Heights police who traveled to Rudd’s home in Sugar Land, Texas, southwest of Houston. His bond was set at $1 million but Rudd remains in custody.
Rudd is also a suspect in an unsolved murder in Arlington Heights in 1991. The victim, Lauretta Tabak-Bodtke, an interior designer, was a client of Rudd’s, an attorney at the time, hired to file a lawsuit on her behalf against a business partner. Rudd says he was at her home on the day of the murder, dropping off papers, but he denies killing her.
In a 2013 interview with Loop North News, Rudd said he has evidence showing he was not even in Arlington Heights at the time Tabak-Bodtke was killed.
While confirming in 2013 that Rudd was a suspect, Miguel Hernandez, commander of the Criminal Investigation Bureau at Arlington Heights Police Department, told Loop North News, “We do not have anything to go on right now, anything further than we had awhile back. We’re just looking at all angles.”
Rudd has degrees in law, bioscience, bioengineering, and chemical engineering. He has more than 40 patents, mostly related to cell regeneration, repair of human tissue, and curing diseases to vital organs. He has written 15 books and more than 160 professional publications. In 1983, with state representative Ellis Levin, he co-wrote amendments to the Illinois Condominium Property Act.
At one time, Rudd had a law firm in Schaumburg with more than 2,000 clients, mostly homeowner associations, but in 1994 he voluntarily changed the status of his Illinois law license to “inactive” after four complaints were filed against him with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.