Larry Rudolph & mistress Lori Milliron are now trophies of federal justice
DENVER, Colorado––Former Safari Club International president Larry Rudolph, 67, and his longtime trophy-hunting girlfriend Lori Milliron, 64, were on August 1, 2022 convicted by jury in U.S. federal court of multiple charges associated with the October 11, 2016 murder of Rudolph’s wife, Bianca Finizio Rudolph, then 56 and also a trophy hunter.
Larry Rudolph was convicted of murder and of defrauding life insurance companies of $4.8 million.
Sentencing for Rudolph is set for February 1, 2023.
Sentencing in six months
Milliron, reported Associated Press, “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.
“Prosecutors alleged,” Associated Press summarized, “that Rudolph decided to kill his wife to regain control over his life after Bianca Rudolph asked for more say in the couple’s finances and demanded that Milliron,” employed by Rudolph’s dental firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “be fired.”
The three-week trial was held in Denver, explained Rebecca Rosenberg and Paul Best of Fox News, “because the insurance companies that Rudolph ripped off are located in Colorado.”
Psychology & literature
The Rudolph/Milliron case brought to the fore many of the same points of psychology detailed by ANIMALS 24-7 in Killing the Female: The Psychology of the Hunt, including the relationship between trophy hunting and compulsive womanizing.
The Rudolph/Milliron case was, further, reminiscent of the 1936 Ernest Hemingway story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, with a reverse twist.
In The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, a woman cuckolded her trophy hunting husband with their hunting guide, then fatally shot the husband while ostensibly trying to save him from a charging buffalo.
“Put his head down”
In the Rudolph/Milliron case, Larry Rudolph two-timed his wife for years with Milliron, then allegedly shot his wife, but claimed she shot herself by dropping her rifle, after unsuccessfully hunting a leopard.
The prosecution demonstrated that the shot that killed Bianca Rudolph had to have been fired from two to three and a half feet farther away than Larry Rudolph said it was.
Larry Rudolph, who had hung countless animal heads on walls, “put his head down as the verdict was read Monday in federal court,” described Carol McKinley for the Pittsburgh Gazette.
“Waved to his mistress”
“Producers from Dateline, 2020 and 48 Hours watched every day of the proceedings from the front row,” McKinley recounted.
“Larry Rudolph’s two adult children, who did not miss a day of trial, were not in the courtroom for the verdict,” McKinley added. “Bianca Rudolph’s brothers, who were also in the gallery for every minute of the trial, were not there to see Rudolph hear his fate.
“Larry Rudolph waved to his mistress, Lori Milliron, as he left the courtroom,” McKinley finished.
“Worth at least $5 million”
Rudolph at the time of the killing “was a dentist worth at least $5 million,” according to Matt Sullivan of Rolling Stone.
Sullivan conducted a four-month investigation of the charges against Rudolph and Milliron, including “more than 75 interviews, plus a review of thousands of pages of court documents, internal finances, and police files,” Sullivan recounted on July 2, 2022, in “Did this Trump-loving leopard-hunting dentist kill his wife?”
$4.8 million in life insurance
Rudolph amassed his wealth, Sullivan found, through a combination of owning the high-profile multi-dentist Three Rivers Dental clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, known for heavily anesthetizing patients; collecting as much as $30,000 a month for an alleged disability; and the $4.8 million in life insurance policies he collected after the shooting death of his wife of 34 years.
Rudolph married the former Bianca Finizio in 1982. He hired Lori Milliron as a part-time dental hygienist in 2002.
“They soon traveled the world,” Sullivan wrote. “From 2003 to 2008, Larry flew together with Lori some 60 days each year, from Africa to Paris to New Zealand.
Safari Club International
“In July 2009, Larry was elected president of Safari Club International, an organization he and his wife had helped to lead locally for more than two decades,” Sullivan said.
But after many indiscretions, Sullivan recounted, “Larry was blindsided by a public inquiry into his women, his travel, and his expenses” at a May 2011 Safari Club executive meeting. “His awards were to be taken away, his name erased from the record books. Larry resigned that August,” but “took Safari Club to court for defamation and breach of contract.
“Larry managed to retain his beloved Weatherby Award,” the highest Safari Club honor for killing huge numbers of animals in multiple places, “and, before scoring a win and a settlement, Bianca defended him.”
“You have one year to get rid of her”
Push eventually came to shove between Bianca Rudolph and Lori Milliron. In 2015, former Three Rivers Dental clinic manager Anna Grimley told Sullivan, Milliron gave Larry Rudolph an ultimatum: “You have one year to get rid of her.”
Time may have been running out when Rudolph took his wife to Zambia to shoot a leopard. The Rudolphs did manage to kill quite a lot, including animals used as leopard bait, but the leopard eluded Bianca. They were packing to leave the hunting camp when, claimed Larry Rudolph, Bianca accidentally shot herself while stowing her rifle in a leather case.
Larry Rudolph purportedly was on the toilet at the time. He said at first that he was in the shower, a game scout recalled to Sullivan, but his body was dry and his shoes were on.
A second game scout told Sullivan that Larry Rudolph initially shouted that his wife had committed suicide.
Whatever happened, local police soon cleared Larry Rudolph to leave.
Embassy official photographed corpse
“Eleven hours after Bianca’s death, “ Sullivan narrated, “Larry called the U.S. embassy in Lusaka, according to a summary from the authorities, and asked how to cremate his wife.”
The diplomat who took Larry Rudolph’s call, former U.S. Marine Otto Westhassel, “began to feel uncomfortable that police work and postmortems were moving so quickly,” Sullivan wrote, “so two days later he traveled to a funeral home and photographed the cadaver himself.”
The Westhassel photographs formed the basis for the successful conviction.
Larry Rudolph had not yet notified their children. He testified that this was because he wanted to tell them of their mother’s death in person, but prosecutor Bryan Fields pointed out to the court that Rudolph returned to the U.S. by way of Phoenix, where he filed his insurance claims, then traveled to Las Vegas with a woman other than Milliron the day after Bianca Rudolph’s funeral.
By the spring of 2017, Larry Rudolph had collected on nine life insurance policies and accidental-death claims, said Sullivan.
“I killed my wife for you!”
The clinching evidence may have been that bartender Brian Lovelace in 2020 overheard an argument in which he testified that he heard Larry Rudolph scream at Lori Milliron, “I killed my fucking wife for you.”
Lovelace immediately told co-workers.
Defense attorney David Marcus contended that Larry Rudolph actually said, “They’re saying I fucking killed my wife for you.”