Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Abused Heiress - Anne Scripps Douglas


Scott Stuart Douglas (AP)
Scott Stuart Douglas
The man who killed Anne Douglas remains an enigma. Scott Douglas appears to have been a chameleon because everyone police talked to in the days and weeks after Anne's murder described his personality differently. Their characterizations range from "Scott Douglas was one of the nicest guys you ever met," to "He had no respect for women, said women are nothing but a bunch of whores" and everything in between.

It's unfair to characterize him as a boy from the other side of the tracks, because just about everyone is on the other side compared to where Anne Scripps Douglas grew up. Scott grew up in Rye, New York, the son of a single mother trying to raise a young family after the death of her husband. When his mother remarried, Scott fought with his stepfather, but friends recalled the fights were not out of the ordinary between men and boys in similar situations.

Living in Rye, Scott saw how the other half lived and yearned to join the well-heeled. He didn't have the educational drive to get there through college, however, and one former acquaintance told the press that he had talked about marrying a wealthy woman.

The friend the same man who said Scott had no respect for women said Anne was not the first well-to-do older woman Scott was involved with.

"Anne Scripps was small potatoes compared to some of the gals. There were Mercedes, Cadillacs ... all pulling up to see him," said Wallace Rouse. "The gals he went around with were very substantial, very beautiful. He was an earthshaker, had a personality to make movie stars look like a bunch of bums."

Others agreed.

"He was a good-looking guy," said Eleanore Hannon, who lived below him in Greenwich. "He had a great body, was very good looking, charming, affable, a Boy Scout of a guy. With a light and dark side."

There was nothing in Scott's background to indicate he was capable of fatal violence, but he did partake of illegal drugs and fathered two children out of wedlock a secret he kept from Anne. It would turn out later that he kept many secrets from Anne and told her many lies.

Rouse, who lived near Douglas, recalls that there were fights occasionally, but attributes them more to Scott's tendency to date more than one woman at a time than to a personality disorder.

Scott was handsome and tall, and there was nothing in his demeanor that would have indicated he would turn into a murderer. He had an unusual hobby, taxidermy, so it wasn't odd to find a dead raccoon or other varmint in his freezer awaiting preparation, but they weren't trophies of the sort many violent killers like to have.

One thing that most people can agree on Scott Douglas was tight-lipped and private. He could keep a secret, and even people who saw him on a regular basis knew little about his private life. He tended to compartmentalize his life. After he married Anne he shrugged off his old friends' inquiries about life with the rich and famous. He continued to maintain an apartment in town after the marriage to Anne, but it was basically a storage facility for his painting business. Scott rarely spent the night there, only doing so after the marriage became rocky. To Anne's wealthy friends, he was standoffish, which they believed came from feelings of inferiority. They made efforts to be friendly, but Scott didn't seem interested. This became a vicious cycle. He tried to peel her away from her friends, they resented him, he felt unwanted and tried even more to build a wall between Anne and her circle.



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