Dentist Who Killed Wife on Safari Is Sentenced

Larry Rudolph gets life behind bars
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2022 1:09 PM CDT
Updated Aug 22, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
His Wife Died on Their Safari. But by Whose Hand?
The son, left, and daughter, back right, of Pittsburgh dentist Lawrence "Larry" Rudolph head into federal court for the afternoon session of the trial, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
UPDATE Aug 22, 2023 12:00 AM CDT

The Pennsylvania dentist convicted of murdering his wife during a 2016 African safari was on Monday sentenced to life behind bars. Lawyers for Larry Rudolph, who was found guilty last year and whose girlfriend was recently sentenced to 17 years for her role in the plot, say they plan to appeal. In addition to the life sentence for his wife's murder, Rudolph was sentenced for mail fraud, which he was also convicted of due to nearly $5 million in insurance policies he'd cashed in on after his wife's death. He received 20 years in prison for that, plus more than $15 million in penalties.

Jul 18, 2022 1:09 PM CDT

The three-week trial of Lawrence "Larry" Rudolph, a wealthy dentist and big game hunter who is accused of killing his wife of 34 years as they packed to fly home from a 2016 hunting trip in Zambia, kicked off last week in Denver. Federal prosecutors allege the now-67-year-old killed Bianca Rudolph with a shotgun after receiving an ultimatum from his girlfriend and former office manager, Lori Milliron. His legal team argues his wife accidentally dropped the weapon as she was packing and it fired a bullet into her heart. Insurers agreed it was accidental; Larry ended up with a $4.8 million insurance payout. The trial got off to a wild start.

Per the AP, Assistant US Attorney Bishop Grewell pronounced, "He killed his wife for HER!" pointing at Milliron, who is also on trial (she's charged with lying to a grand jury and being an accessory after the fact). Matt Sullivan provides an equally wild read for Rolling Stone. His lengthy pre-trial dive into the Rudolphs casts some doubt on Larry's version, citing allegedly conflicting stories (he reportedly told one game scout he was in the shower, and another he was on the toilet), noting he called the US embassy 11 hours after she died asking about cremation procedures, and sharing one official's observation that the gun's size didn't sync with the shot-herself theories. Sullivan digs up another incident at the same Zambia camp a decade prior.

story continues below

In 2006, Larry claimed a crocodile pulled him into a river and bit off the top of his left thumb (he's right-handed); a "dozen of Larry's former close friends and senior colleagues" told Sullivan they now believe he blew his whole fingertip off for the $3.5 million he ended up collecting in insurance and disability, citing nerve damage and numbness. The outcome of Sullivan's four-month investigation? "A portrait of the dentist as a conniving and duplicitous man of our time," who is likened to Breaking Bad's Walter White, a "wannabe Wayne LaPierre," and "Ted Bundy, without the serial killing." (The piece is worth a read in full.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.