Rudd's family history complex before wife's death

  • Cindy Mulligan of Barrington, Donnie Rudd's stepdaughter, talks about the charges against Rudd and the different sides of the man she knew before her mother's 1996 death from breast cancer. She was at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows Monday for Rudd's court hearing.

      Cindy Mulligan of Barrington, Donnie Rudd's stepdaughter, talks about the charges against Rudd and the different sides of the man she knew before her mother's 1996 death from breast cancer. She was at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows Monday for Rudd's court hearing. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/21/2015 5:51 PM

Murder suspect Donnie Rudd's weekslong marriage to 19-year-old Noreen Kumeta in the summer of 1973 was neither the beginning nor the end of the disbarred attorney's complicated family history. Rudd's longtime stepdaughter, Cindy Mulligan of Barrington, said her mother Dianne Marks began having an affair with Rudd while both were married and serving on the Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 school board in the early 1970s.

Mulligan said that from her own 14-year-old perspective, Rudd's sudden marriage to Kumeta came out of nowhere. Today, she's unsure how much she or her mother knew about it before Kumeta died.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But Rudd and Marks married eight months after Kumeta's death.

In a further twist, Mulligan said her biological father -- who she described as a decent, hardworking man -- ended up marrying Rudd's first wife, the other victim of the affair.

Apart from a six-month divorce before they remarried, Rudd and Marks were still husband and wife at the time of Marks' death from breast cancer in 1996. But at the time of her mother's death, Rudd was already seeing another girlfriend, said Mulligan, who attended Monday's court hearing for Rudd.

The funeral was the last time Mulligan saw Rudd. After that, he moved back to his native Texas, she said.

Though she never wanted to think the worst about someone she lived with and went on family vacations with, Mulligan said Rudd was diagnosed with manic depressive disorder and had a history of not taking responsibility for his actions.

"Donnie is not about money," Mulligan said. "It's about the power."

She said she became aware that Rudd was under scrutiny for the 1991 murder of Loretta Tabak-Bodtke on the very day it happened, with her mother becoming upset that Rudd was being followed by police.

She credited Tabak-Bodktke's daughter, Stephanie Tabak, with helping get that case to where it is today by pushing police to continue investigating.

"Stephanie is truly a victim," Mulligan said. "My heart aches for her."

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