By Jessica Schladebeck
New York Daily News
A Pennsylvania dentist and big game enthusiast has been found guilty of using a scenic African safari as a cover to kill his wife and then collecting millions of dollars in life insurance benefits.
A jury in Denver on Monday concluded that Lawrence Rudolph, the founder of of Three Rivers Dental in Pittsburgh, gunned down his wife Bianca Finizio Rudolph during a 2016 getaway to Zambia, where they planned to enjoy safaris and hunting trips together. He was also found guilty of cashing in on $4.8 million in life insurance payments following his wife’s death, which he has long claimed was accidental.
Upon his return from Africa, Rudolph also made claims through seven different insurance companies totaling nearly $5 million in payouts, according to a criminal complaint.
Suspicions surrounding the deadly incident were only further stoked by a friend of Bianca, who told authorities in October 2016 that she suspected foul play and requested that detectives investigate the shooting death. At the time, she claimed that Rudolph was verbally abusive, that he cheated on his wife, and that he was engaged in an affair at the time of Bianca’s death.
The friend also indicated that Bianca would’ve never wanted to have been cremated given her intense religious beliefs, ultimately prompting authorities to open an investigation.
During Rudolph’s three-week trial in Colorado, prosecutors pointed to evidence indicating a self-inflicted wound was impossible given the fatal shot to her heart came from a blast fired from 2 to 3.5 feet away.
Prosecutors also accused Rudolph’s girlfriend, who is the manager of his Pittsburgh-area dental franchise, Lori Milliron, of lying to a federal grand jury about the case and her relationship with Rudolph.
She, too, was found guilty by the same jury of being an accessory after the fact to murder, obstruction of a grand jury and two counts of perjury before a grand jury. She was found not guilty on two other counts of perjury.