Kristina Mason is the only daughter of Margaret Rudin, who became known as the “Black Widow” after she was convicted in the murder of her husband, Ron Rudin.
Mason and her brother, Michael Mason, were born to Rudin’s first husband, Gerald Mason. Rudin went on to marry four other men, but she had only a son and a daughter. Mason has been an advocate for her mother, and testified in her defense at trial.
The story is being told on a new episode of ABC 20/20, “Five Weddings and a Murder,” which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time Friday, February 21, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kristina Mason Has an Adult Daughter & a Grandchild; Rudin Planned to Live With Them After Her Release From Prison
Rudin became a great-grandmother in prison, and her daughter became a grandmother. Rudin was paroled after serving 20 years of her sentence. Rudin told the Associated Press at the time of her release in 2020 she had plans to move to the Chicago area to live with her daughter, granddaughter and grandchildren. After that, she wanted to move to Nashville, Tennessee.
Rudin fought for her innocence even at the start of her trial. She requested a mistrial after her attorney bungled his opening statements. The judge denied Rudin’s request for a mistrial, but appointed two additional defense attorneys to assist.
Several appeals were filed on behalf of Rudin, saying her trial was flawed and she deserved a new trial. A state court judge in 2008 agreed, but the Nevada Supreme Court overruled the decision. In 2015, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new look at Rudin’s conviction. When she was up for parole, the Nevada Department of Corrections did not oppose it. Rudin also filed complaints, saying she suffered mistreatment, misconduct and sexism in prison.
Mason Testified in Her Mother’s Defense at Trial & Said She Was ‘Wonderful’
Mason testified in her mother’s defense at her murder trial, describing her mother as a wonderful person.
“She’s just a wonderful person and I’m proud to say she’s my mother,” she said.
Mason goes by “Tina” and has a daughter, Tara Leigh.
Margaret Rudin had been married to her fifth husband, Ron Rudin, for seven years when he was murdered. Ron Rudin was shot in the back of the head with his own gun. Margaret went on the run when the murder weapon was found in 1996, and she was indicted for murder in 1997. Authorities also said Margaret Rudin tapped her husband’s phone, suspecting he was having an affair.
Ron Rudin was a millionaire who earned his wealth as a prominent real estate developer in Las Vegas. Margaret Rudin was an antique shop owner and a socialite. She was arrested in Revere, Massachusetts after a tip was called in following a “most wanted” TV show. She had been living there for a year with a retired firefighter who she met among a group of retirees in Mexico.
“I want to be exonerated,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She said she wants a passport, to vote and “to be able to do all the things that I was able to do before Ron was murdered.”
“I did not do it,” she added.