Margaret Rudin on the run after becoming prime suspect in husband’s murder: Part 1

Ron Rudin was a successful real estate mogul in the 1990s. His colleagues suspected his wife was responsible for his killing. She swears she’s innocent to this day.
9:49 | 02/20/21

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Transcript for Margaret Rudin on the run after becoming prime suspect in husband’s murder: Part 1
I think it's a story of greed personified. Ron and is shot and killed, we know that. Then the question is, who's behind it? Black widow. That's the persona from the media coverage and the fact that she was charged and convicted of murder. Reporter: She served 20 years in prison, convicted of murdering her fifth husband. I did not kill Ron. They zeroed in on me. Even though it's circumstantial, all the evidence pointed to Margaret Rudin. I'm 100% convinced that Margaret was responsible for Ron's death. Reporter: Now released, Margaret Rudin is sitting down with ABC news to tell her story. Margaret Rudin, dubbed the black widow of Las Vegas. Black widow. Black widow. They stuck the name on me, the black widow, black widow, black widow, like I had killed somebody before, or like that I was in the habit. Margaret Rudin is a chameleon. She's been a blond, brunette, a redhead -- Even when I sit in front of your cameras I may look different, but you're going to know it's me. They never checked on anyone but I want the truth to come out. I have waited a long time. Reporter: Ronald Rudin was a wealthy real estate developer. A larger-than-life figure in las Vegas. He had a twinkle. He was very handsome. Not just your average handsome, he really stood out. When it came to his marriages, Ron went through wives like a casino dealer goes through packs of cards. Reporter: Ron had been married four times already when he met Margaret in church a few months after splitting with his first wife. I think I've fallen in love too easily. I don't regret them. Gee I really love you and we're gonna get married Margaret would never have a problem finding a husband. It's like Liz Taylor. Reporter: Margaret grew up in a conservative Christian household. She married out of high school and had two children. But the marriage didn't last. My husband had an affair. I went to real estate school, got my license, and found I could make it on my own. So I did. Reporter: She got married and divorced three more times. I think I'm easy to be married to because I'm a people pleaser. That's why none of the men in my life ever asked me for a divorce. Not one. I always had to bring it up first. Reporter: To get a fresh start, Margaret moved to Vegas where she fell hard for Ron. The thing that I liked the most about Ron was he had a very dry wit. And he was fun to be around. Did you want to hear he was the best lover I ever had? From a distance they look like the perfect couple. But behind the scenes it was very volatile. Firearms. Disputes about money. Affairs. Reporter: Margaret discovered that Ron was having an affair with an irs agent. But she was suspected of having one too, with a man named yehud Ariel Sharon, who claimed to be a former mossad agent. Margaret denied it. We weren't having an affair, because I was married. If I hadn't have been married -- he wasn't my type. Reporter: One night mutual suspicion and jealousy led to an argument, and Margaret claims he slapped her and she pulled out a gun. He wrestled it out of my hand. And I knew that was the closest to death I was ever going to get. By the look on his face. And I said, okay, that's it, I'm out of here. And he said, no, no, no, you don't have to go, I promise you, nothing like that will ever happen again. Reporter: While things settled down, Ron's friends said he still had suspicions. He said, Margaret's diagramming out how she's going to split up all my money. He said, I'm really getting nervous. I told him, you better watch your back. Reporter: Ron was developing a massive real estate deal for an rv resort, Lee canyon. Ron at one point apparently approached people affiliated with organized crime, seeking money to help develop this place. Reporter: The couple patched up their relationship. Margaret even opened up an antique shop with Ron's help. Ron came because he kind of played host, you know, like this is my shop, this is my wife. I was excited about it because Ron was happy. And being supportive. I thought it was all going to work out and be perfect. Reporter: On Sunday night of their opening weekend, she says she closed the store very late, getting home at 2:00 A.M. Ron's car wasn't there. The burglar alarm wasn't on. And I thought, well, that's strange. I thought, I'm so tired, I'm just going to go to bed. Next morning, Ron's employees get to the real estate office and there's no sign of Ron Rudin. Reporter: Margaret immediately became the prime suspect. Ron wrote in his will that if any of his beneficiaries were involved in his death, either directly or indirectly, that they should receive nothing. The police think this was about money. And that Margaret was greedy and she wanted his fortune. Reporter: Ron had been missing for four days when authorities found his car. There were four sets of muddy footprints and clothing in the back. But no Ron. Despite all of these clues, weeks would then go by. And no more leads. Reporter: Ron had been missing for 36 days when some fishermen found a skull 60 miles southeast of Las Vegas. When they found the skull, it had four bullet holes in it. Three in the back, then one from the front. Reporter: Authorities used dental records to confirm it was Ron. When the cops came to tell me about Ron, your mind can't take so much at one time. They had said that Ron's skull had been found, that he was dead, he'd been shot. I was in shock. Reporter: In a burn pit found at the location, investigators also found metal belts from a What we believe is the body in the trunk had been placed there on the hill and it had been burned. Reporter: They suspected the trunk came from Margaret's antique shop. The trunk did become crucial, because the hardware was said to be from a humpback trunk. We believed there was a receipt that came back to the humpback trunk in her inventory, but there was no humpback trunk at the store. Reporter: Margaret was a small woman, Ron a big guy. How could she have moved his body if she had killed him? Investigators are starting to believe Margaret had to have had They come up with her supposed boyfriend, yehud Ariel Sharon. What they do is put both of them under surveillance. The theory was Margaret shot him while he slept and called yehuda and asked him to help. Reporter: He had an alibi. His girlfriend at the time claimed she was with him, and the story checked out. There's no proof of yehuda's involvement in this. He portrayed this as a witch hunt that they were out to get Margaret and he got sucked into There's no forensics that ever puts Margaret involved with Ron's death. It's one year after Ron's death, and Margaret is fighting two big battles. One, the trustees of her husband's estate, his $12 million estate, are keeping her from getting any money. Secondly, she's under suspicion for murder. Ron trusted me. He wanted me to have a part of the inheritance. Because each time that he redid his trust, he increased my percentage by 20%. Reporter: Margaret settled the fight over Ron's estate, getting less than $200,000. Far cry from the millions that she was set to inherit if, indeed, he had died of natural causes or she wasn't under any suspicion. The police struggled for a long time to discern exactly how Ron was murdered. Reporter: Then, in July of 1996, scuba divers in lake Meade find a .22-caliber gun with a silencer. It sat in storage almost a year before police announce it was Ron's gun and they believe it's the murder weapon. The problem is they can't connect the murder weapon to Margaret, they can't put the gun in Margaret's hand. Ron had thousands of guns and had reported one missing earlier. Investigators believe this was the missing piece. And then three years after the disappearance of Mr. Rudin, Margaret is indicted. Here comes the interesting part now. They called Margaret's attorney. They said, hey, guess what? We got a murder warrant for Margaret, we need her to turn herself in. The attorney promptly said, I don't know where she is. She's disappeared. Reporter: When we come back, an international hunt for the woman now called the black widow. If I told you what happened

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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