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1987 - William "Bill" Rundle marries Shirley Rundle.
1987 - William "Bill" Rundle is named "Father of the Year" in a Las Vegas contest.
- Richie Rundle aged 11 is killed by a drunk driver. He saves the life of another young boy, his best friend, who was in the path of the vehicle by shoving him out of the path of the vehicle.
1996 - Willa Rundle, William Rundle's mother goes missing. "Bill" Rundle is cashing her Social Security checks.
2002 -July 26 - Bill Rundle withdraws $5,000 from his and Shirley's money market account.
2002 - August 1 - Bill Rundle withdraws another $5,000 from their money market account. He also depletes their savings account.
- August 17- Bill Rundle withdraws another $5,000.
MURDER & ON THE LAM
-August - Bill Rundle bludgeons Shirley Rundle to death. He carries her body to his vehicle and dumps her into the trunk. He cleans the baseball bat and then leaves a note stating they've gone to the Phillippines.
He drives to Reno, Nevada and stays at a downtown Holiday Inn. (Shirley's body still in the trunk of the car.) The next day he begins driving towards Portland Oregon. but along side a rural road in California, he dumps Shirley's body.
After spending the night in Portland, Oregon, he drives to Seattle, Washington. He debates driving across the Canadian border. Instead he spends six nights in Seattle and bought season tickets to the Seattle Mariners baseball team. He attends 5 Mariner games.
- August - Both Shirley (63) & Bill Rundle are deemed missing and investigators find a blood-stained chair in their home. Shirley's daughter is distraught.
When the news breaks about he and Shirley's disappearance he leaves Seattle. He rents a car and drives to MIssoula, Montana, spending one night there. Then he drives to Rapid City, South Dakota, spending two nights. Next he drives to Sioux City, Iowa and then across to Washington D.C. Not finding any rooms available due to a convention, he drove to Virginia. After which he drove to Florida and began visiting tourist attractions there.
For 6 weeks Bill Rundle is on the run from law enforcement and the chase goes cross country.
Robert Rundle (son of William "Bill" Rundle) , "I was surprised to see that my grandmother, Willa Rundle, wasn't living with my father and Shirley Rundle when I visited them in the fall of 1997.
"I was a little curious as to where she was when I got there. My father told me that she had gotten kind of ornery in her old age ... but basically that she had taken off with a male nurse that was looking over her care. I wondered how the elderly woman who was taking medicine for igh blood pressure and other ailments was taking care of herself. I asked him "How can she go to Austria? She can hardly walk. And he said "she had a nurse, a live- in nurse who happened to be a young male and that's how it came out."
Robert Rundle testifys that he and his father are not "close."
Police investigators from Las Vegas are hot on Rundle's trail. They find a safe deposit box in Seattle in which they find various documents and id's.
2002 - Oct. 12 - William Rundle is arrested in Orlando, Florida for the bludgeoning death of Shirley Rundle.
Bill Rundle makes comments which lead police to the location, and Shirley Rundle's body is found off a remote rural highway near Susanville, California. When the news is given to Shirley's daughter, she is devastated.
Rundle is described in police affidavits as a "lifelong con man."
BILL RUNDLE'S STATEMENTS TO INVESTIGATORS
Rundle gives a statement to police and tells them he killed Shirley Rundle using his (deceased) son Richie's baseball bat during a domestic dispute. Rundle claims "she attacked me first using a champagne bottle."
He tells investigators that at the time of the murder, he and Shirley had significant financial problems caused by loans to family members and Shirley's spending habits,
Rundle claimed that Shirley was "an extremely jealous woman" and that on the night of her death, she had consumed about a bottle and a half of champagne. "She took the bottle and she continually hit me, and she hit me and hit me and she broke my arm." "(She was) Absolutely nuts" and repeatedly struck me with the bottle. I'm serious. So I went into the closet. ... There's a baseball bat there, and I hit her once and she slumped in the chair, her head bloody" (The baseball bat once belonged to Richie, his deceased son.) "So I said, `Oh my God, look at this. She quit breathing. So I said, `Jesus Christ." "I struggled as I carried her body to my car with a
wounded arm and put her in the trunk."
(Rundle accompanied his tale with tears and emotion.)
"It was a definite, spur of the moment, anger thing. That's the truth. I had no malice or anything to do anything like that."
Detectives asked Rundle "why he didn't call police during the domestic dispute he described.
Rundle "If I had done that, she would tell the police and everybody else that I had given her the idea about my mother. And it was kind of blackmail, you know."
Rundle said "I placed a note in the family home saying we had traveled to the Phillippines. I rinsed off the bat, threw the champagne bottle into the trash and left."
He drove to Reno, Nevada and stayed at a downtown Holiday Inn. (Shirley's body was still in the trunk of the car.) The next day he began driving towards Portland Oregon. but along side a rural road in California, he dumped Shirley's body.
Bill Rundle "I put it right at the side of the road, where she'd be found, uh, in a blanket,"
"I spent the night in Portland, and the next day drove to Seattle, contemplating a run for Canada. I spent six nights in Seattle." "I placed online sports bets at a Kinko's and bought season tickets to the Seattle Mariners baseball team.
"I went to five Mariners games. I was just so lost for what to do."
"I monitored the Review-Journal's news coverage, and when the newspaper broke the story that Shirley and I were missing, I left Seattle. At that point I was going to work my way back to Las Vegas and call Gary Waddell up," (News anchor for KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas Valley's CBS affiliate.)
"I knew I wanted to see Mount Rushmore, so I headed north across the top of the country,"
"I spent one night in Missoula, Montana and two nights in Rapid City, S.D, then Sioux City, Iowa.
So then I got to Washington, D.C., and there was a convention there. ... They didn't have any rooms, so that kind of ticked me off. So I drove down to Virginia."
Afterwards he traveled to Fllorida, where he visited tourist attractions.
Rundle "Shirley, his wife, and his mother Willa never got along. "We'd play simple board games at the table, Clue or Scrabble, and they'd be yelling back and forth that they were cheating and that I was helping her,"
"Shirley "was no angel" and that she had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and that she was fired from a casino for stealing."
"Shirley told me she had toyed with Willa's morphine tablets. Shirley started upping my mother's medication. She admitted this to me after it happened," "That she was taking the capsules and putting ..a lot more in each capsule, then putting them back into her, uh, thing,"
Rundle claims that on May 4, 1997, he found Willa deceased in her bed in their home. "I confronted her (Shirley) about it, and she was as cold and callous as could possibly be. And I said, `We've got to call the police." Shirley told me "she could take care of everything."
I left for work, then when I got back from work, the body was gone, Shirley hired two Filipinos to dispose of the body and I don't know where my mother's body is."
Rundle tells law enforcement that "both he and Shirley were spending Willa Rundle's Social Security checks." "We were completely at fault for using her Social Security money, naturally."
Rundle "I regret killing Shirley. have terrible remorse of everything that h"I have terrible remorse of everything that happened. I feel very bad what I did to the family."
2003 - Feb. 10, trial to start - The Prosecution filed seeking the death penalty. "We voted to file a notice of death. The death penalty is justified in the case, at least in part, because authorities believe the slaying of Shirley Rundle was motivated by money. It was committed for financial gain and/or to prevent a lawful arrest for financial gain, It may be one of our theories that his wife was killed to avoid her notifying the authorities that he was taking money that did not belong to him."
The Defense - Clark County Deputy Public Defender Curtis Brown "I'm not entirely surprised, but I am disappointed. When you have great power, you have great responsibility, and the decision to seek the death penalty in this case shows a lack of responsibility and a lack of discretion."
The facts of the case don't warrant capital punishment. When you look at this case, you realize you have a 57-year-old man with no criminal history, without an ounce of violence in his past,
and you conclude that it doesn't meet the level of cases where death is routinely sought by the state. Rundle's description of his wife's killing shows there was no premeditation. That is significant because it would not be a first-degree murder without premeditation and deliberation, This was more of a heat of passion, reactionary type of situation."
Rundle (age 57) pleads Not Guilty to murder and robbery with a deadly weapon in the murder of his wife Shirley Rundle.
CHANGE OF PLEA
2003 - May- Rundle pled guilty to two murder counts.
Guilty - for the killing of Shirley Rundle and an Alford Plea in the case of his mother, Willa Rundle. (Alford Plea - the defendant does not formally admit guilt but acknowledges a case could be proven. An Alford Plea is viewed by the courts as a guilty plea.)
SENTENCING: Rundle is sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole,
BOOK ABOUT THE CASE: Father of the Year, author Glenn Puit