Dentist accused of killing spouse throughout Africa looking journey

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A Pennsylvania dentist is accused of killing his spouse of 34 years whereas on an African big-game looking journey — in a scheme to gather hundreds of thousands in life insurance coverage funds.

A Pennsylvania dentist and big-game hunter is accused of killing his spouse of 34 years whereas on a looking journey in Zambia in 2016 in a scheme to gather hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in life insurance coverage cash.

Big-game hunter Lawrence Rudolph, 67, allegedly shot and killed his spouse Bianca Finizio Rudolph on a visit to Zambia in 2016, then claimed practically $5 million in insurance coverage advantages, based on a federal felony grievance obtained by CBS 2.

Rudolph, who based and operates the Three Rivers Dental in Pittsburgh, allegedly rushed to have his spouse’s stays cremated in Africa simply days after her dying, officers stated.

Lawrence RudolphLawrence Rudolph allegedly shot and killed his spouse Bianca Finizio Rudolph on a visit to Zambia in 2016, then claimed practically $5 million in insurance coverage advantages.

He has now been charged with overseas homicide and mail fraud, officers stated.

According to federal investigators, Rudolph made life insurance coverage claims via seven completely different life insurance coverage corporations for a $4.8 million payout for his spouse’s dying, which was dominated as unintentional by Zambian regulation enforcement officers.

On Oct. 11, 2016 at 5:30 a.m. native time, Bianca was shot within the chest with a shotgun.

Rudolph instructed Zambian police that he was within the lavatory of their cabin and Bianca within the bed room space when he heard a gunshot. The dentist claimed he got here out of the lavatory and located his spouse mendacity on the bottom and bleeding from her chest. He instructed police he believed that the shotgun had been left loaded from a hunt the day prior and it had discharged as she tried to pack it in its case.

Knowledgeable looking information on scene allegedly “recalled seeing the shotgun and an expanded shotshell on the ground. The shotgun was inside a partially zipped gun case.”

Rudolph and his spouse – each apparently completed big-game hunters – had ceaselessly traveled to Africa for looking excursions. On this explicit journey, Bianca’s objective was to kill a leopard. She by no means acquired her leopard, however killed “numerous other animals.” Rudolph was on the journey, however didn’t hunt. 

Officials stated later that afternoon at round 4:30 p.m., Rudolph phoned the US Embassy to debate his spouse’s funeral choices, and his need to have her physique cremated whereas her physique was held in a neighborhood funeral dwelling. He spoke with the consular chief, who after their chat “told the FBI he had a bad feeling about the situation, which he thought was moving too quickly.” The chief traveled with two others from the embassy to the funeral to take pictures of Bianca’s physique to protect proof.

The consular chief, a 20 yr veteran in US Marines,  described the wound as “straight on the heart” and stated the wound was not brought on by a “tight group of pellets.” He discovered no fuel burns typical to a contact wound, and estimated that Bianca had been shot from 6.5 to eight ft away.

Lawrence RudolphFriends of Bianca don’t consider she would have wished to be cremated as a “strict Catholic”. Larry Rudolph/Facebook

Rudolph known as the consular chief and was “livid” that he had photographed his spouse’s useless physique. They met on the funeral dwelling and mentioned notifying relations, officers stated. Rudolph allegedly instructed him that wished to personally inform his household in regards to the dying, saying the youngsters have been from a special marriage and weren’t Bianca’s. At one level, Rudolph steered that Bianca could have dedicated suicide, based on the allegations in opposition to him.

Bianca had filed her first life insurance coverage coverage in 1987, based on investigators, and up to date the coverage in 2016, when she died.

Four of the seven corporations employed a personal investigation agency to look into Bianca’s dying. All of the insurance coverage insurance policies decided that Rudolph ought to obtain his cost from the coverage.

After her dying, a  “friend” contacted the FBI in Pretoria, South Africa and stated she wished the FBI to analyze additional. The buddy stated that she “suspected foul play” as a result of Rudolph “had been involved in prior extramarital affairs and had been having an affair at the time of Bianca’s death.” She allegedly stated Rudolph was “verbally abusive” and the 2 had fought over cash.

The buddy stated that Rudolph’s children didn’t discover out about Bianca’s dying till per week after she died, and different family and friends didn’t know till the funeral. She allegedly stated she believed Bianca, a “strict Catholic”, wouldn’t have wished to be cremated, regardless of Rudolph’s claims that’s what she had all the time deliberate.

The acquaintance instructed federal investigators: “Larry is never going to divorce her because he doesn’t want to lose his money, and she’s never going to divorce him because of her Catholicism.” Other acquaintances corroborated suspicions of an affair.

Another buddy, the ex-wife of a pro-hunting information who was current on the time of Bianca’s dying and who’d recognized Bianca since 2010, stated the gun could have been custom-made and repeatedly jammed. She additionally raised considerations over the selection of cremation and Bianca’s non secular beliefs, the report stated.

Three Rivers DentalLawrence Rudolph based and operates the Three Rivers Dental workplace in Pittsburgh.Google Maps

Investigators interviewed a former worker at Three Rivers Dental who’d labored there from February 2015 to February 2016, when she stated Rudolph’s “girlfriend” was the supervisor. The ex-employee stated the alleged girlfriend had instructed her she had been in a relationship with Rudolph for 15-20 years. The mistress allegedly instructed the worker that she had given him “an ultimatum of one year to sell his dental offices and leave Bianca.”

Investigators stated that by January 2017, Rudolph was residing with the girlfriend. Records confirmed the couple traveled collectively to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico in 2010, twice in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, July 2016, and in 2017 proper after Bianca’s dying.

Financial data confirmed that on Oct. 23, 2016 — the day of Bianca’s funeral — Rudolph bought a aircraft ticket for the girlfriend to journey to his dwelling in Arizona, based on the affidavit. The buy was canceled later that day. However, three days later he bought one other ticket to fly a special lady to Las Vegas on Oct. 26, investigators claimed.

During the FBI’s investigation, the Zambia consular chief’s pictures of the physique have been reviewed by the Colorado Medical Examiner, who stated in an announcement: “In my opinion, it could be bodily unimaginable to by chance fireplace this shotgun in its carrying case and produce the doorway defect famous on the physique of Ms. Rudolph. 

Rudolph’s legal professional filed motions on Tuesday to get him out of a Colorado detention middle to Arizona, the place he owns a house. His attorneys have allegedly argued that he and Bianca signed a prenuptial settlement, and he wouldn’t have misplaced a lot in a divorce. They’ve additional stated that he has no monetary motive to kill her, together with his dental practices valued at $8 million, based on studies.

“This is an outrageous prosecution against Dr. Larry Rudolph, a man who loved his wife of 34 years and did not kill her,” Lawrence’s legal professional, David Oscar Markus, stated in an announcement obtained by People. “Back in 2016, his wife had a terrible accident during a hunting trip in Zambia. The investigators on the scene concluded it was an accident. Several insurance companies also investigated and agreed.”

“Now, more than five years later, the government is seeking to manufacture a case against this well-respected and law-abiding dentist. Dr. Rudolph looks forward to his trial, where he will demonstrate his innocence.”

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