‘Black Widow’ Margaret Rudin suing after murder conviction vacated

Posted at 8:58 AM, May 3, 2024

LAS VEGAS (Scripps News Las Vegas) — A woman who spent decades in prison and became known as the “Black Widow of Las Vegas” is now suing the state of Nevada over her murder conviction that has since been vacated.

Margaret Rudin spent two decades behind bars after she was found guilty of murdering her husband, real estate developer Ron Rudin.

woman appears in court

Margaret Rudin appears in court during her murder trial. (Court TV)

In a press release on Thursday, attorneys representing Margaret Rudin in the legal action wrote that “inexperienced homicide detectives focused on Margaret Rudin from the beginning in a biased police investigation.” They also criticized the judicial process in Rudin’s case, writing that “her trial was based on salacious media stories and wild theories unsupported by real evidence.”

Rudin’s case now dates back nearly 30 years to Dec. 18, 1994, when her husband disappeared under suspicious circumstances. His burned remains would be found approximately a month later at Nelson’s Landing, near Searchlight.

Throughout the case, Rudin has maintained her innocence. After she was indicted in 1997, Rudin went on the run, disguising herself and assuming different identities. She was eventually arrested in October 1999 in Massachusetts.

A District Court ruling in May 2022 vacated Rudin’s murder conviction based on a a legal argument that her initial defense counsel was ineffective and plagued by conflicts of interest. At that time, she had already been granted parole and released from prison.

Now, Rudin intends to prove “that she was not involved either directly or indirectly in her husband’s death and did not commit the crime,” her attorneys wrote.

woman cries in court

Margaret Rudin breaks down while listening to testimony in her murder trial. (Court TV)

“There was never any evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, or eyewitnesses connecting Margaret Rudin to Ron Rudin’s murder,” her attorneys argued.

According to the complaint against the State of Nevada, Rudin is seeking the following through this most recent legal action:

  • “A certificate of innocence;
  • All statutory damages, relief and assistance available to her pursuant NRS 41.950;
  • An award of attorney’s fees and costs incurred in bringing this matter; and
  • All other relief that the Court may deem just and proper.”

Rudin, now in her early 80s, now lives in Illinois with her family, according to previous reports.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Las Vegas, an E.W. Scripps Company.