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Watch the Dateline episode "Safari Story" now

Andrea Canning reports.

No one could have ever imagined that it would happen here -- halfway around the world -- in the wild, untamed heart of Africa that is Zambia.

It’s the little slice of paradise that Bianca Rudolph and her husband, Larry, a prominent dentist and big game hunter from Pittsburgh, loved.

Learn more about the Kafue National Park in Zambia:

Bianca’s friend Betsy Wandtke told Dateline that the Rudolphs loved Africa so much that they built their own cabin at the hunting camp in the park along the Kafue River.

If you recognize Betsy, it’s because Dateline has previously interviewed her for an entirely unrelated episode:

Lightning Strikes Twice

Nov. 29, 202201:04

It was September 2016 when the Rudolphs returned to Zambia for the last time.

They got a hunting permit, which is only legal in certain sections of Kafue National Park. The rest of the park is set aside for wildlife conservation.

On this safari, only Bianca would be hunting; she wanted to bring home a leopard. Larry was there to assist and observe.

Over the course of two weeks, they scoured the massive park in search of that elusive leopard.

But the hunting wasn't so good. And as the safari stretched into October, Bianca's dream of bagging her prized leopard faded.

Just before dawn on a cool, clear October morning, the Rudolphs were up early -- packing for their long flight home.

Suddenly, the serenity of Kafue National Park was shattered by a single gunshot -- and a frantic scream coming from Larry and Bianca Rudolph's cabin.

And when Spencer Kakoma, a game scout, rushed inside, he saw Bianca laying in a pool of blood.

Next to her was a shotgun that was still in its case, which was partially unzipped.

There was a hole blown open at the end of the case, from a shot that went through it.

Something horrible had happened inside Bianca and Larry's cabin.

Something so tragic -- so inexplicable -- that the investigation would span two continents, three countries and take the next six years to solve...

To find out what happened to Bianca, watch the full episode, “Safari Story” now.

You can also watch on Peacock TV or listen to the podcast.

After you watch the episode, watch the reactions to the verdict from the defense and prosecution.

And listen to a jailhouse phone call: