Suspicions of affair leads to deadly end

MONGOMERY COUNTY. An elderly man carted into a Norristown courtroom yesterday in a wheelchair pleaded guilty to killing his wife of 60 years in a jealous rage over other potential suitors.

Rudi Koos, 80, strangled his wife Trudi, 75, inside the only apartment they had lived in since immigrating to the United States from Germany in 1957. A prosecutor said Koos accused his wife of sleeping with others at the time of the murder in January.

“He suspected that there were other widowers in the neighborhood … that she was seeking companionship with other widowers,” prosecutor Bradford Richman said after the hearing. “He did feel she was having an extramarital affair. She laughed off that idea and he reacted to that.”

Koos’ attorney Frank Genovese said his fears were likely misplaced but when Trudi’s daily strolls became longer and longer last winter, his suspicions got stronger.

The couple met after Koos spent about a year as a prisoner of war following his surrender to American forces as a German tank operator. He was forced into Hitler’s army as a 15-year-old, Genovese said.

Koos told Genovese that once he died the elderly couple would disappear forever because they had no relatives.

“In all my years as a prosecutor and defense attorney, this is the saddest case I’ve been a part of,” Genovese said. “Usually in a homicide case, there is family for both the victim and the accused. But this time, there was nobody. It was empty.”

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