Serial fraudster's son says he won't bury her

NewsBy Richard Sullivan
Julia Holmes (AKA Croein Ruttle) and Thomas Ruttle
Julia Holmes (AKA Croein Ruttle) and Thomas Ruttle

The son abandoned by career fraudster Julia Holmes has said he will refuse to bury her.

The 63-year-old con artist’s remains are set to be repatriated to her native Northern Ireland but look set to remain on a mortician’s slab until someone accepts responsibility for her remains.

The Sunday World understands her only surviving blood relative has said he wants nothing to do with the woman who walked out on him when he was only six-months-old.

Adopted and raised by his grandparents the abandoned child never knew his mother. At four years of age he rejected her when she turned up at his door looking to take him back.

The scene is set for a courtroom battle over the decomposed remains of international fraudster Holmes.

Her 43-year-old son, who wanted nothing to do with her in life, is adamant he wants nothing to with her in death.

Holmes’s remains will be returned to Northern Ireland and stored in a morgue until it is decided who is responsible for laying her to rest.

It is understood authorities south of the border have already made it clear they believe it is her son’s responsibility to oversee her burial but sources close to the man who barely remembers his mother have  told us he is ready to go to court such is his disdain for her.

Should he refuse to take responsibility for her remains she will lie on a morgue’s slab until the courts decide who is responsible.

“As far as he is concerned she can rot,” a well-placed source told the Sunday World.

“His only feelings for her are ones of disappointment and anger, this is a woman he doesn’t know and doesn’t care about, she didn’t care about him so why should he care about her.”

We have been told he has never regarded him as his mother after she walked out on him before he was even able to walk.

Her son was adopted and raised by his grandparents.

“The only time he had contact with her was when she turned up at their door when he was four-years-old,” a source close to the family told us.

“His grandparents asked if he wanted to go with is mother and he said ‘no’ – he rejected her when he was four. He has no memory of her.”

Earlier this week he said he felt “utterly cheated” by her death in that she will never stand trial for a lifetime of fraudulent activity which fleeced dozens of innocent victims of thousands of pounds in life savings. The Sunday World is aware of a number of people who lost everything – savings and their home – at the hands of the Ulsterwoman.

“I feel utterly cheated that she has been allowed the easy route out after a life of crime and chaos,” he said

“I always hoped she would end up in court when life caught up with her. But there’s no chance now that anyone will get anything from her because she’s dead.

“I’m shocked but not surprised that this awful incident has happened.”

Sources close to the investigation say that while a suicide pact remains a firm line of inquiry they are also considering the notion Holmes died some time before her ‘husband’ Tom Ruttle.

The Sunday World understands her body was in an advanced state of decomposition and that she may have been dead up to a couple of weeks before Ruttle died.

Toxicology reports indicate the couple had been poisoned but that they had also suffered physical injuries. Two guns – a shotgun and a rifle – were found at the premises and it has been suggested Ruttle killed her before succumbing to his own guilty conscience.

She had drawn him into her world of deceit and he had become an active partner in her fraudulent activities. In the end he couldn’t live with the knowledge his ‘wife’ had ripped off so many people.

Despite years of scamming people Holmes lived a relatively modest life. The home she shared with Ruttle had belonged to his mother and while it had been recently refurbished there was little outward sign of wealth.

Ruttle has two children by a previous marriage and it is understood they live with their mother in Limerick city. They are under no obligation to look after her remains as the couple were in a bigamist relationship which has no standing in law.

“I never wanted anything to do with the person I know as Celia McKitterick, who is also known as Julia Holmes and by many other false names. She abandoned me at six months and I was brought up by my loving grandparents,” said her son a in interview this week with online publication BelfastLive.


“I feel deep sympathy for all the people she scammed over the years, both emotionally and financially during her lifetime.


“But most importantly I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tom Ruttle who by all accounts was a decent man. Now they have been left behind to deal with another mess created by this awful woman.


“There will be no recourse for anyone she has cheated but people should still report what she did to them to the police if they can and finally bring this horrible chapter to an end.”

Mystery remains over the huge sums of money scammed by Holmes. Sources close to the investigation say it could be some time before the money trail is fully exposed.

Such was the level of deception exercised by Holmes that cops suspected the bodies found in the house may not have been Holmes and Ruttle.

“There was a real possibility that the bodies had been exhumed from recently dug graves and used as macabre decoys,” a source told us.

Police are looking into plans the couple are believe to have had to relocate to France.

In the meantime her only son says should there be an inheritance he wants nothing to do with it. His only emotion is one of frustration that she will never face justice.

“Our nightmare is over,” he said, “as far as I am concerned she can rot.”