ABC’s ’20/20: Five Weddings and a Murder’ is a tale like no other. Following the story of Margaret Rudin from when her whole world turned upside down to today, this episode examines all the details of the murder of millionaire Ronald Rudin along with its confounding aftermath. As per official records, Margaret killed her fifth husband, Ronald, to benefit from the finances he had accumulated over the years by being a real estate tycoon in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. However, things didn’t pan out for her as she was ultimately convicted and sentenced for the offense.
What Was the Worth of Ronald Rudin’s Estate?
When Ronald Rudin tied the knot with Margaret in September of 1987, he was already a successful Las Vegas residential real estate developer. He cared about the community and many a time, he let his tenants get behind in rent without evicting them. However, due to the industry’s harsh reality, Ronald also made many enemies. So it was normal for him to maintain an arsenal of legally issued firearms at his home. Along with that, he had a pack of hunting dogs at his beck and call, and concrete walls, cameras, and barbed wire fences surrounded his two-bedroom house.
Ronald’s real estate office was in a strip mall, which was located right behind his home near Charleston and Decatur boulevards. Thus, instead of wasting time and money, the millionaire merely walked to work every day. Having moved from Chicago in the 1960s, Ronald was determined to cash in on Sin City in one of the most profitable ways possible, all the while being well away from the infamous Las Vegas Strip. As per reports, Ronald not only liked to wear flashy jewelry, but he also cheated on his wife whenever possible. Apparently, Ronald liked to keep a low profile and stay away from the public eye but he wasn’t a recluse. He had close friends that he would go out regularly with.
The strangest thing about the entire matter, though, was that Ronald, who was obsessed with security, didn’t even trust his wife when it came to his finances. There were suspicion and jealousy that broke all logical bounds in his marriage. After all, Ronald had once found a piece of paper wherein Margaret had outlined precisely how she would split up his money with her friends and family. Therefore, to ensure safety, he drafted a secret will where he directed the trustees of his approximately $12 million estate that they take “extraordinary steps” to investigate the cause of his death if he died by “violent means.”
Even though the document stated that 60% of his fortune would go to his widow if something happened to him, he clarified that if any beneficiary was suspected of his death, they would be denied whatever was left to them. Still, in the 1995 civil trial that was held to contest the majority of Ronald’s estate, Margaret, who had not yet been convicted of his murder, was awarded $600,000. Ronald didn’t have any kids who could inherit his legacy. According to reports, Ronald’s empire included land in Lee Canyon worth a few million dollars, and his gun collection was estimated to be worth $3 million.
Read More: Where is Margaret Rudin Now?