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Episode 95 Rudolph Disse and the Richmond Rivalry Murders

On a sweltering day in the summer of 1925, Rudolph Disse went on a shooting spree in Richmond Virginia killing the woman he loved, his rival and a cop

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Vivian Tomlin was born in Charlottesville Virginia in 1906. By the age of 16 she was working as a model at fashion exhibits and in department stores around Virginia. Vivian loved drama and was drawn to the stage, often appearing in plays in Richmond theaters as “Virginia Venus”. 

The model and actor was known as one of the most beautiful young women in Richmond. She never shied away from the attention of men who were drawn to her beauty and vivacious personality. 

In late 1922, Vivian was hired as a model in a Richmond department store. While on the job she met two store employees, Marvin Peers and Rudolph Disse. Both men immediately fell for Vivian and pursued her attention and affection. She began dating both of them but confided to a friend that she felt drawn to Rudolph. She described him as a beautiful man with dark hair and dark eyes and slim well groomed figure. Plus the model loved the salesman’s style because he was always elegantly dressed in silk suits. 

The two had even talked about marriage which is why Rudolph was shocked when Vivian chose to marry Marvin Peers. She wanted excitement and adventure and felt Rudolph was a little too quiet and dull for her. She chose Marvin because he was confident and promised her the exciting life she craved.

Months later, Vivian would call on Rudolph and tell him she made a horrible mistake. The two began an affair which would set off a series of events that would lead Rudolph to murder three people in the summer of 1925

Hear the whole story of the Richmond Rivalry Murders in the new episode

Image Source: The Richmond Times Dispatch July 29, 1925

Episode Sources

Boy Slayer Cool, Little of Criminal About Him. The Richmond Times Dispatch. July 29, 1925

Marvin W. Peers Had Won Divorce. The Richmond Times Dispatch. July 30, 1925

Trial of Disse Underway. El Paso Herald. August 14, 1925

Disse Case Again Postponed. The Danville Bee. August 15, 1925

State Rests in Trial of Disse. The State News and Observer. August 18, 1925 

Disse Sentenced to Electric Chair. The Danville Virginia Bee. August 20, 1925 

Rudolph Disse Must Die in Chair. The Newport Daily Press. August 21, 1925

Beauty Fatal to Two. Casper Star-Tribune. September 27, 1925

Has Condemned Man Lost Calm at Trial? The Richmond Times Dispatch. November 18, 1925 

Drug Addict Slew Girl He Loved and Other Man. The New York Daily News. July 24, 1927

Episode Music

Tranquility Base and Drone in D by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com

Gloomy Night by Marwan Nimra Licensed under Creative Commons 

Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.