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Evicted Millionaire Leaves House in One Piece

April 24, 1996

WILMETTE, Ill. (AP) _ When Dean Olds carried eight gallons of torch fuel into the posh house a judge took away from him, his children feared the worst. If he couldn’t have it _ perhaps no one else would, either.

But on Wednesday afternoon, a day after a judge evicted him from the $950,000 home he once shared with his wife, Olds left not in a blaze of fire, but in a 1989 Ford Taurus he had quietly packed with a duffel bag and some loose clothing.

Asked where he was going, Olds responded, ``Far away. Bye-bye.″ His only other comment was, ``Just a big hello to my children.″

Olds’ departure from this wealthy lakeside suburb north of Chicago marked the end of a long fall from grace: In 1993, his 56-year-old wife, Suzanne Olds, was bludgeoned to death. His former male lover, Helmut Carsten Hofer, was charged with the slaying, then acquitted last year.

Also in 1993, Olds, 67, was fired from his law firm after the Securities and Exchange Commission said he used client information for insider trading. He was not convicted of any insider-trading charges.

His three grown children had rejected him, a judge in December told him he could not have any of his wife’s property, and on Monday Circuit Judge Calvin Hall denied Olds any share of what was once a multimillion-dollar estate and gave him 14 days to clear out of the house.

Still, Olds said he never planned to destroy the home.

``I certainly had no intention of burning down my house. It’s my house, and I’m not going to give it up,″ he was quoted in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune. Instead, Olds said he planned to appeal Hall’s ruling.

Olds had bought eight one-gallon cans of torch fuel from a local hardware store on Tuesday, telling a clerk he was buying the fuel, commonly used in deck torches, to clean a basement floor.

That prompted attorneys for his children to ask for his immediate eviction, which Hall granted. The judge also ordered Olds to surrender any weapons he had.

Police confiscated four rifles and five boxes of ammunition from Olds during a morning meeting Wednesday, but he ignored their orders to leave the house at once.

Wednesday afternoon, after spending the day under the scrutiny of police and hordes of reporters, Olds left the house and drove to the police station, where he claimed he was poor and asked for money for temporary housing.

``We do not believe he is actually indigent,″ said Police Chief George Carpenter, adding that Olds’ request was denied.

Carpenter did not know where Olds went after that.

In Monday’s order, Hall said the once-prominent patent attorney had squandered more than his share of the couple’s estate on a male prostitute and had no right to the family’s posh home or its possessions.

Kimball Anderson, a lawyer representing Olds’ children, claimed during the court hearing to have evidence that Olds was sending up to $1,200 a week to the prostitute.

Hall also noted that a judge in an earlier probate proceeding had determined that Olds was one of two people responsible for his wife’s death. Olds was never charged in her death.

``He used to be one of the best patent attorneys in the U.S.,″ said neighbor Cathy Nolan. ``It all came down to some man losing his mind. He really just lost it all.″