Lawrence Rudolph, a wealthy dentist who seemingly had it all, suddenly lost his wife, Bianca, during a hunting trip in October 2016. But as time progressed, the authorities kept finding information that pointed to the possibility of Bianca’s death not being an accident at all. CBS News’ ‘48 Hours: Death on Safari’ and ABC News’ ’20/20: The Last Hunt’ focus on why the FBI believed that Lawrence allegedly murdered Bianca and how the case has progressed since then.
Who is Lawrence Rudolph?
Lawrence founded the Three Rivers Dental in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and operated the successful business. He was married to Bianca for 34 years, and they had been living in Arizona since 2012. Apart from the dental practice, the couple traveled to Africa often for big-game hunting. While on their hunting camp in Zambia, Africa, on October 11, 2016, Bianca was found dead from a shotgun wound to the chest. At the time, Lawrence claimed it might have happened by accident because the gun was probably loaded from the previous day.
According to the consular chief at the US Embassy in Zambia, Lawrence wanted to have the body cremated quickly. However, the consular chief felt something was off about the situation and photographed the dead body. Then, he alleged that Lawrence was livid upon finding out. He further stated that Lawrence suggested the possibility of Bianca killing herself. The authorities later learned that his children found out about Bianca’s death only a week later, and other loved ones found out on the day of the funeral.
The consular officials and the FBI believed that the gunshot didn’t happen at close range. Instead, Bianca might have been shot from about 6.5 to 8 feet away. A medical expert from Colorado stated that it “would be physically impossible to accidentally fire this shotgun in its carrying case and produce the entrance defect noted on the body of Ms. Rudolph.”
Further investigation revealed that Lawrence claimed nine different life insurance policies totaling close to $5 million in the wake of Bianca’s death. Furthermore, there was evidence that he was having an extramarital affair with his former office manager, Lori Milliron, who was later implicated in the case. In the end, the authorities believed that the combination of a financial motive and wanting to live with his girlfriend led to the murder.
Where is Lawrence Rudolph Now?
In January 2022, Lawrence was charged with one count of murder of a U.S. national in a foreign country and one count of mail fraud. The 67-year-old has pled not guilty, and his defense has claimed that the federal authorities were “manufacturing” a case against his client. The defense attorney also pointed out that the local authorities and insurance companies agreed it was an accident.
Regarding a financial motive, Lawrence’s attorney stated that the dental practice was a profitable one. It was also mentioned that since Bianca signed a prenuptial agreement, he wouldn’t have lost money in case of a divorce. Lawrence was indicted in Colorado, where one of the insurance companies is based. Towards the end of January 2022, a judge ruled against letting Lawrence move in with his daughter in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.
In August 2022, the 67-year-old was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of murder of a U.S. national in a foreign country and one count of mail fraud. He will be sentenced in late 2023 and could be handed down a maximum of life in prison for the murder and 20 years for the mail fraud. From what we can tell, Lawrence is being held in Denver, Colorado, until his sentencing, upon which he would be sent to a federal correctional facility.
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