It might be hard to imagine a 79-year-old man actually murdering his wife of 13 years. What is even more troubling is that same the man, pictured below using oxygen tubes, could actually evade police. However, that is what is currently happening after Howard Allen Rudolph violated the terms of his court mandated release. Now, Rudolph is missing and presumed to be on the “run,” without any clues as to where this alleged Arizona wife killer may be headed. Although authorities are not gravely concerned over the welfare of the community, they do believe Rudolph may be on a mission to harm himself.
After a “hang-up”911 call was made last August, Phoenix police arrived at the home of Howard Allen and Earlene Rudolph, situated in a retirement complex. The 73-year-old Earlene Rudolph was found dead in a bathroom of the home. Apparently, she had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. At the scene, authorities discovered a hand gun and a note written by Howard Allen Rudolph, claiming the killing was merciful and that his wife had been gravely ill. Upon his arrest on August 7, 2013, Rudolph explained to police: “I had to do it.”
Furthermore, officials believe that Rudolph’s initial plan was to commit suicide after murdering his own wife. Evidence of this notion was uncovered after the discovery of another note with instructions, written to Rudolph’s attorney, had been analyzed. Inscribed were requests regarding cremation for “the bodies” and instructions regarding Rudolph’s estate. After his arrest, Rudolph was charged with second degree murder and held on $750,000 bail. However, lawyer for the now-missing 79-year-old Arizona wife killer, argued victoriously that he be allowed to remain under house arrest. Surmising that Rudolph’s age precluded him from risk of escape, the judge presiding over the case allowed for the alleged killer to remain in the care of acquaintances and wear a monitored ankle bracelet. Rudolph did not report for his scheduled court appearance on Monday and was discovered he had removed his ankle bracelet on Sunday prior.
Diane Davis, daughter of the victim Earlene Rudolph, was resistant to the judge’s decision of allowing Rudolph to remain out of jail: “How could they just say, ‘Well, you’re innocent until proven guilty, go out’ and hope you come back?… And here we are. No one knows where he is.” Davis claims to have known all along he would find a way out of the trial, calling the missing man a “coward” who would not own up to his alleged deeds.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for Rudolph’s arrest and is asking for anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact 911. Authorities believe the alleged Arizona wife killer, who went missing only a few days ago, may be driving a 2006 Lincoln Town Car with Arizona license plates that read BER-4316.
Howard Allen Rudolph is being described as a white male, over six feet tall, 180 pounds and wheelchair bound. Infamous local Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio weighed in on the situation: “The fact that a frail 79-year-old man can manage to cut off the device and flee from authorities underscores how easy it is for anyone to escape an electronic monitor.”
Opinion by Josh Taub