Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Abused Heiress - Anne Scripps Douglas

Final Gift

Immediately the search was on for Scott Douglas. There was no reason to suspect anyone else and when police contacted Scott's brother, their suspicions were confirmed. Douglas called his brother, Todd, to tell him something had happened at the house. Friends of Anne's said that he told Todd: "I've done something really bad this time."

In a matter of hours, Scott's 1982 BMW, the bloody hammer inside, was found idling on the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was empty, so authorities started dragging the icy water to find him. The family and friends of Anne Scripps Douglas told authorities that Scott purchased camping equipment shortly before Christmas and that the car on the Tappan Zee was just a ruse. Authorities began operating on the assumption that Scott was still alive and hiding.

For five days they searched the Hudson River without success and began combing the areas around Bronxville looking for their suspect. His family, however, told the press they believed he had jumped.

The Scripps family offered a $100,000 reward for anyone with information leading to "the arrest and prosecution" of Scott Douglas. It was unlikely, Pirro said, for the body to have surfaced if he did jump off that bridge. "The temperature of the water precludes the gases from expanding. He would not drift to the surface until spring," she said.

Many people hoped Scott would turn up, hoping for justice.

"We'd all like to have a swing with the claw hammer," said Sue Boles, one of Anne's neighbors. "This man has got to pay for what he did."

As Anne lay in a hospital in upstate New York, her first husband was in the terminal stages of cirrhosis of the liver and had been hospitalized near Philadelphia. Hearing about Anne's attack, he left his hospital bed to be by her side.

It was obvious to the medical personnel and the Scripps family that nothing could be done for Anne. Her injuries were too severe. A week after the attack two days after authorities stopped dragging the Hudson for Scott's body they disconnected her from life support and she died without regaining consciousness. She was 47 years old.

In death, Anne Scripps Douglas was still able to give. Her liver was transplanted into her ex-husband's body, saving his life.

"The daughters acted on what they knew would be their mother's wishes," said the family's attorney. "Anne Douglas left this world the way she lived in it loving, giving."

 

 

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