Victim Bianca Finzio Rudolph & convicted co-conspirator Lori Milliron were also trophy hunters
DENVER, Colorado––Former Safari Club International president Larry Rudolph, 68, on August 21, 2023 was sent to prison for life for killing his wife of 34 years, Bianca Finizio Rudolph, 56 at her death, and also a prominent trophy hunter.
Larry Rudolph shot Bianca Rudolph at close range in their rented cabin at a Zambian hunting resort on October 11, 2016, but claimed she shot herself by dropping her rifle, after unsuccessfully hunting a leopard.
Sentenced for insurance fraud too
Larry Rudolph contended he was sitting on the toilet at the time the shot went off.
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.
As well as sentencing Larry Rudolph to serve life in prison, U.S. District Judge William Martinez assessed more than $15 million in financial penalties against him, plus a 20-year prison sentence to be served concurrently with his life sentence.
“Besides being convicted of killing Bianca Rudolph,” detailed Colleen Slevin of Associated Press, “Larry Rudolph was found guilty in federal court last year of mail fraud for cashing in nearly $5 million in insurance policies on his wife.
Fined to take away ability to seek revenge
“Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Fields,” Slevin added, “told Judge Martinez that steep financial penalties for Larry Rudolph were necessary to ensure that he does not have the ability to seek revenge — whether through frivolous lawsuits or hiring hit men — from behind bars.”
The prosecution sentencing recommendation, Sleven wrote, assessed that, “The murder [of Bianca Rudolph] was the culmination of a lifetime spent seeking domination and control over others through wealth and power.”
Larry Rudolph at the time of the killing “was worth at least $5 million,” according to Matt Sullivan of Rolling Stone.
“Created need to do root canals”
Larry Rudolph did not come by that affluence honestly.
“Prosecutors allege Rudolph,” a dentist, built his wealth on fraud,” Slevin summarized.
“They say he shot off his thumb during a previous visit to Zambia to collect millions in disability insurance money; they also allege he cheated his dental patients, creating the need for root canals by not doing fillings or drilling holes in their teeth while they were asleep.”
Rudolph’s Three Rivers Dental Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania advertised that patients were heavily anesthetized so as to feel no pain during procedures.
Convicted in August 2022 of October 2016 killing
Larry Rudolph and his longtime trophy-hunting girlfriend Lori Milliron, 64, who was also a dental hygienist at the Three Rivers Dental Clinic, were on August 1, 2022 convicted by jury in U.S. federal court of multiple charges associated with the October 11, 2016 murder of Bianca Rudolph.
Larry Rudolph was also convicted at that time of defrauding life insurance companies of $4.8 million.
“Prosecutors alleged,” Associated Press summarized after the trial, “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 be fired.”
Milliron got 17 years & a fine of $250,000
Milliron, 65, was on June 23, 2023 sent to prison for 17 years and fined $250,000 as an accessory after the fact to the murder of Bianca Rudolph, obstruction of a grand jury, and two counts of perjury before a grand jury.
Tried together with Larry Rudolph, Milliron escaped conviction on two other counts of perjury.
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 of Rolling Stone wrote. “From 2003 to 2008, Larry flew together with Lori some 60 days each year, from Africa to Paris to New Zealand.
Elected president of Safari Club
“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,” Sullivan continued, 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, Sullivan added. “Bianca defended him.”
Asked U.S. embassy how to cremate victim
The investigation leading to the convictions of both Larry Rudolph and Lori Milliron began, Sullivan narrated, after Larry Rudolph “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.
The clinching evidence, however, may have been testimony from bartender Brian Lovelace that in 2020 he overheard an argument in which he heard Larry Rudolph scream at Lori Milliron, “I killed my fucking wife for you.”
Lovelace immediately told co-workers.
Killing the Female: The Psychology of the Hunt
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 also 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.