CBS this weekend will air an investigation into the death of Bianca Finizio Rudolph, the wife of former Greensburg-area dentist Lawrence Rudolph.
“Death on Safari” will broadcast on “48 Hours” at 10 p.m. Saturday. It also can be streamed on Paramount+.
Bianca Rudolph died of a gunshot wound during an African safari in 2016. Federal authorities in December arrested Lawrence Rudolph, who operated Hempfield-based Three Rivers Dental Group, in connection with his wife’s death.
The couple, both of whom were big-game hunters, traveled to Kafue National Park in Zambia.
While he was in the bathroom of their cabin, Rudolph said, he heard a gunshot and then found his wife dead in the next room.
The dentist initially told a local hunting scout that she died by suicide. He later told investigators that his wife accidentally shot herself, according to CBS.
After a brief investigation, local police ruled the death an accident. Bianca Rudolph’s body was cremated in Zambia within three days of her death. Friends later said she did not want to be cremated because of her Catholic beliefs.
The CBS episode will explore how Bianca Rudolph could possibly shoot herself accidentally in the chest with a long-barreled rifle. The
episode also will examine the couple’s relationship.
“It boggles the mind that two experienced hunters, for this to have been an accident,” retired FBI agent James Gagliano said in a preview of the episode.
Rudolph has maintained his innocence. He faces charges of foreign murder and mail fraud in connection with the nearly $5 million in life insurance payouts he collected after his wife’s death.
Police arrested the 67-year-old Dec. 22 in Mexico. He is in custody in Denver.
Rudolph and his girlfriend, Lori Milliron, are scheduled to stand trial in July.
The dentist founded Three Rivers Dental Group, which continues
to operate offices in Greensburg, Cranberry, Greentree, Jennerstown and Washington.
From 2009 to 2011, Rudolph served as president of Safari Club International, a global sport hunting and wildlife conservation organization that boasts more than 50,000 members and 200 chapters.
In 2012, Rudolph was ousted from the organization’s leadership and stripped of his hunting awards after he allegedly used the prestige of his title to seduce a woman and commit adultery. He filed a defamation claim against club officers after his removal.