The big-game hunting, multimillionaire dentist who was accused of killing his wife of three decades to line his pockets with insurance money was found guilty of murder and mail fraud on Monday in Denver.
The trial of Larry Rudolph, who had proclaimed his innocence ever since his wife Bianca was shot in the chest by a shotgun in 2016, spanned three weeks. It included testimony from Bianca’s brothers, who contended that Rudolph slayed their sister in cold blood, as well as blood splatter experts and Rudolph himself.
Ultimately, a jury ruled in favor of the brothers, failing to buy Rudolph’s claims of what happened early in the morning on Oct. 11, 2016.
Rudolph said he and his wife were rushing to leave their latest big-game hunting trip in Zambia to make it home to Pittsburgh for a family wedding. But he claimed that, as he got ready in the bathroom, he heard his wife say “come here and help me.” Moments later, he heard a gunshot and found Bianca lying on the floor in a pool of blood, he testified during his trial.
Rudolph said it appeared to him that Bianca, whom he married in 1984 and shared two kids with, had accidentally fired a shotgun as she was packing it. Bullets penetrated the case and went into her chest, he said.
“I did not murder my wife. I could not murder my wife. I would not murder my wife,” he declared on the stand.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Rudolph’s testimony was deemed valid by investigators in the Zambian government and insurance investigators. Rudolph collected $4.8 million in life insurance payouts and appeared to be home-free.
But family members of Bianca were troubled with how Rudolph went about his life after losing his wife. He didn’t spend his days grieving, her brothers said. Instead, he booked a trip to Las Vegas right after his wife’s funeral, and was constantly going out with Lori Milliron, 64, who he dated even when Bianca was alive.
This concern, paired with experts claiming the shotgun had a barrel too long for Bianca to have set it off herself, led the FBI to open a probe into the incident. Rudolph was indicted on murder and mail fraud charges.
When the FBI investigation began, another key detail emerged. While dining in Phoenix, a witness claimed to overhear Rudolph say, “I fucking killed my wife for you” to Milliron in an argument over money.
Rudolph attributed the quote to a misunderstanding in a busy restaurant, insisting he actually said, “The FBI think I fucking killed my wife for you.”
In his testimony, Rudolph described the ups and downs of his marriage, which he said was likely saved around 2000 when they agreed to have sex with other people.
Because of this arrangement, which he claimed the couple were “relatively happy” with, Rudolph insisted that Bianca knew about his relationship with Milliron. The trial revealed that Milliron was receiving cash payments from Rudolph while Bianca was still alive, and was given a credit card linked to his account after she died.
While Rudolph’s trial is over, the fate of Milliron, accused of lying to a grand jury about her relationship with Rudolph, is still up in the air. She faces charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and accessory after the fact.