Dentist Accused of Killing Wife During African Hunting Trip
More than five years after Bianca Finizio Rudolph was shot during a big game hunting trip, police have zeroed in on her dentist husband.
Lawrence Randolph might have gotten away with his life insurance scam if not for a friend who contacted the FBI after the death of his wife, Bianca.
Bianca was shot dead at the end of a two-week big-game hunting trip to Zambia in October 2016. Lawrence told authorities he was in the shower on October 11, 2016, when he claimed he heard a gunshot from the other room of their hunting cabin and found his wife bleeding out on the floor from a single wound to the heart.
According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent investigating the case, Lawrence told Zambian police that he believed the shotgun had accidentally discharged while Bianca was packing their weapons for the trip home. Zambian police seemed satisfied with that explanation, ruling the incident an accident, but Lawrence began acting suspiciously.
The same day as Bianca’s death, Lawrence contacted the U.S. Embassy in Zambia to ask about having his wife cremated quickly so he could take her remains home. He also asked repeatedly about who could access the records surrounding his wife’s death and suggested to an embassy representative that his wife could have committed suicide.
The suicide theory didn’t pass muster to Zambian police though; while Bianca was returning empty-handed from her hunting trip, the couple had reportedly been planning to attend a wedding.
Two weeks after Bianca’s death, one of her friends reached out to an FBI office in South Africa and asked them to investigate her death. The friend told the FBI that Lawrence had been involved in a years-long extra-marital affair with the manager at his dental office and that Lawrence hadn’t told his and Bianca’s children about their mother’s death until a week had passed. The unnamed friend was also suspicious of the cremation, citing Bianca’s devout Catholic faith.
Further investigation revealed that Lawrence was living with his girlfriend by January of 2017 and the pair had regularly traveled to Mexico both before and immediately after Bianca’s death. Lawrence had also filed claims to collect on Bianca’s multiple life insurance policies—a sum totaling more than $4 million.
According to the FBI affidavit, a stateside medical examiner reviewed Zambian records as well as Bianca’s autopsy photos and concluded that the weapon was likely at least two feet from Bianca when it fired, making it impossible for it to have accidentally discharged while she was placing it into its case.
After five years of building a case against the dentist, the FBI arrested Lawrence in December during a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and charged him with one count of murder of a U.S. national in a foreign country and one count of mail fraud. The mail fraud charge comes from mailing documents related to claiming life insurance money.
A trial is tentatively set for February 28.