Lawrence Rudolph, a wealthy former Greensburg dentist and big-game hunter who killed his wife in Africa and tried to make it look like an accident, will spend the rest of his life in federal prison.

A federal judge in Denver on Monday imposed the term and also ordered Rudolph to pay some $15 million in penalties, including restitution, a fine and forfeiture of his considerable assets, including one of his houses in Western Pennsylvania.

A jury had convicted Rudolph of shooting his wife, Bianca Rudolph, on a 2016 hunting trip in Zambia and then collecting on multiple life insurance policies worth nearly $5 million.

The motive was an ultimatum from his girlfriend, Lori Milliron, the former manager of his Greensburg dental office, Three Rivers Dental Group, to leave his wife or else.

Milliron is serving 17 years for her role. Their plan was for him to kill Bianca, make it look like she shot herself by mistake, rake in the insurance payments from nine policies and take up together at Rudolph’s fancy mansion in Arizona.

Just before the sentencing, Bianca’s brother, Vincent Finizio, predicted that Rudolph, 68, would “die alone and un-mourned” and that his future grandchildren would never know he existed, according to the Associated Press.

“Evan Judas would be afraid to be in your company,” Finizio said, a reference to the traitor of Jesus, the wire service reported.

A jury last summer convicted Rudolph of foreign murder and mail fraud. Since some of the seven insurance companies he ripped off were based in Colorado, the case was brought there by the U.S. attorney’s office in Denver.

The evidence at trial showed Rudolph shot Bianca, also a big-game hunter, in the heart with a shotgun on Oct. 11, 2016, on the last day of their leopard-hunting trip in a Zambian preserve.

He then told local authorities she’d accidentally shot herself while packing away her shotgun. They believed him, but the FBI later determined that there was no way she could have shot herself based on the trajectory of the blast and the distance at which she was shot.

Agents eventually uncovered the truth — that Milliron had given Rudolph an ultimatum to get rid of Bianca once and for all so they could be together.

“This result shows that no matter how much money, prestige or power you have, you will be held accountable for your crimes,” Denver U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said in a statement after the sentencing.

FBI Agent Mark Michalek, who runs the Denver FBI office, said Rudolph thought he could get away with killing his wife overseas.

“He was wrong and will be held accountable for his actions thanks to the relentless pursuit of justice” by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the family of Bianca Rudolph, he said.

Rudolph and Milliron, 65, had been having an affair for two decades. Prosecutors said she was the instigator. She told her boyfriend to divorce Bianca. When he said no because he couldn’t afford it, she insisted and helped him procure propofol, a lethal anesthetic, in an aborted plot to poison her in Africa.

Ultimately Rudolph shot her instead.

He thought the remote area would make it easier to kill her and not be questioned by the Zambian authorities. He was right.

But he didn’t count on Otto Westhassel, a former consular chief at the U.S. embassy in Lusaka and a former U.S. Marine. Suspicious of the circumstances of the shooting and Rudolph’s rush to have Bianca cremated, he visited the African funeral home were Bianca’s body was kept and noted that her wound was consistent with a shotgun blast at 10 meters.

That eventually set in motion the FBI investigation.

Monday’s life sentence was a foregone conclusion. Most of the sentencing hearing focused on how much Rudolph would have to pay. Testimony indicated that he used some of the insurance money to build his homes in Pennsylvania and Arizona, as well as pay for an Aston Martin and a Bentley.

In the end, Judge William Martinez ordered Rudolph to pay $4.9 million in restitution to the insurance companies and a $2 million fine. The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the homes and cars.

When he was arrested in 2021, Rudolph estimated his assets at $27 million.

Torsten covers the courts for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at

Torsten Ove

Torsten covers the courts for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at