Margaret Rudin Was Convicted of Murder and Spent 20 Years in Prison — Where Is She Now?

"The only way you can bear a lot of the things is you have to only think about what's good still, what you have left still."

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 3 2024, Published 3:49 p.m. ET

Women who have killed their husbands are often called Black Widows by the press. This is because female black widow spiders eat their mates during sex. It simply can't be overstated, nature is truly a horror movie and we don't respect it enough. If we did, we would stop going to the deepest depths of the oceans.

Article continues below advertisement

For the most part, Black Widows kill for financial gain, which is a great argument for ratifying the Equal Rights Act. In the case of Margaret Rudin, money was definitely a possible motive. Rudin was convicted of the 1994 murder of her millionaire husband Ron Rudin, and would go on to spend 20 years behind bars. Throughout her time in prison, Rudin staunchly maintained her innocence. Where is Margaret Rudin today? She's a free woman.

Article continues below advertisement

Where is Margaret Rudin today? She's taking legal action against the people who put her in prison.

According to KLAS 8 News Now, Rudin is suing the state of Nevada for wrongful conviction. In May 2022, Rudin's sentence was vacated by U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware who ruled that she "received ineffective legal representation from her late defense attorney, Michael Amado," via The Hill. Two years later, Rudin is trying to make up for the more than 8,000 days she spent in prison.

Judge Boulware cited the lack of evidence presented during Rudin's 10-week trial in 2003 as one reason why he overturned her conviction. Police could find no physical evidence linking Rudin to the death of her husband. On top of that, Judge Boulware felt that Amado didn't do everything in his professional power to defend Rudin.

Article continues below advertisement

On May 2, 2024, Adam Breeden, Rudin's attorney, said in a statement, "Today in her early 80s, Margaret Rudin intends to prove, under a Nevada statute amended in 2019 to address the rights of persons wrongfully convicted, that she was not involved either directly or indirectly in her husband’s death and did not commit the crime." The lawsuit is seeking compensation for the wrongful imprisonment as well as housing and insurance assistance and payment for her attorneys.

Article continues below advertisement

What happened to Ron Rudin?

Ron made his money during a construction boom in Las Vegas in the 1980s and ‘90s. While he wasn't a huge gambler, Ron did appreciate a nice set of cowboy boots and a pretty lady on his arm. When he and Rudin met in 1987, they had both been married four times. In an interview with 20/20, Rudin said she had "never met anybody better and slicker and smarter and suaver than he was."

The two married quickly but things took a rather gruesome turn early on in the marriage. Rudin's third wife Peggy June Lee Rudin died by a gunshot wound to the head. It was ruled a suicide but one night, Rudin said Ron tried to confess to her murder. Rudin said she had no interest in being the bearer of his guilty conscience, so it was never spoken of again.

Article continues below advertisement

Their marriage wasn't perfect and at one point Ron suggested that if anything should happen to him, a thorough investigation should be conducted if his death was met through violent means. Were that to be the case, any beneficiary in his will shouldn't inherit any money. That didn't last as Rudin's share of Ron's fortune steadily increased. Ron's paranoia was attributed to a massive land deal he was involved in.

Article continues below advertisement

Ron was working on an RV resort called The Retreat at Lee Canyon, and many believe he approached the mob to secure funding for the deal. Rudin believes this is why Ron was never without a gun in the days leading up to his disappearance on Dec. 18, 1994. On that day, Rudin was at the grand opening of her antique store but when she got home, Ron was nowhere to be found. She was exhausted and went to bed, but Ron was still missing the following morning.

Rudin was the only suspect Las Vegas police pursued despite the fact that they found Ron's abandoned car four days after he vanished. The normally pristine vehicle was covered in dust and inside police found four sets of muddy footprints. None of them belonged to Rudin, whose prints were nowhere to be found in the Cadillac.

Article continues below advertisement

Nothing came of the investigation until a fisherman stumbled upon Ron's skull on Jan. 21, 1995, 60 miles outside of Las Vegas. There were four bullet holes in it. His burned body was later discovered in a trunk and the murder weapon was found "by scuba divers at a scuba school in Lake Mead," per ABC News, although police didn't know about it for another year. Rudin couldn't be connected to the gun.

Article continues below advertisement

Prosecutors spent two years attempting to indict Rudin who in March 1997, decided to move. Due to the Black Widow moniker bestowed upon her, Rudin wasn't able to find work in Las Vegas so she moved to Mexico. "The way [the investigation] was handled by police and prosecutors, I did not feel comfortable anymore because they can do whatever they want to do with somebody's life. I wasn't going to get a chance to prove myself," she said. Technically, Rudin was on the run.

Eventually she was caught and charged with her husband's murder. While in prison she became an advocate for prison reform and the rights of prisoners. Still, she lost 20 years of her life to a system that treated her unfairly. Now, she's hoping to recoup what she lost. About her time in prison, Rudin said, "The only way you can bear a lot of the things is you have to only think about what's good still, what you have left still." Hopefully she finds more good in the world.

More from Distractify

Latest Human Interest News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.