Edward Rulloff was described as “a monster imbued by the spirit of the devil”. In 1844, he murdered his wife, likely killing his daughter at the same time, though he never admitted it.
He spent the next three decades either incarcerated or on the run, becoming a career criminal. After killing a man during a robbery in 1870, he was sentenced to death.
But Rulloff was thought of at the time as no ‘ordinary killer’. A trained doctor, a lawyer and philosopher, he spoke twelve languages. As Don hears from Kate Winkler Dawson, in America’s Gilded Age, academics and journalists speculated on his criminal mind, which some claimed was too intelligent to be killed.
Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Aidan Lonergan. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.