Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Abused Heiress - Anne Scripps Douglas

An Unwise Marriage

Anne's two daughters, Alexandra and Anne (AP)
Anne's two daughters, Alexandra
and Anne (AP)
The only people excited about the marriage of Anne Scripps and Scott Douglas were the newlyweds themselves. Her family begged her not to marry him for a variety of reasons. There were those who looked down on the house painter as beneath her, others thought the difference in their ages she was nine years older too much to overcome. Annes two daughters disliked Scott from the outset. They saw their mother was vulnerable and were afraid Scott was going to take advantage of her. He was too unpolished for their tastes.

He was not very bright and very inarticulate, her daughter Alexandra said later. I had nothing in common with him.

It wasnt about the money, they say, and thats very likely the case. The Scripps family fortune, like so many other old money estates, is well-protected in trusts and there was no way Scott Douglas was going to marry Anne and run through the familys $900 million nest-egg. Anne herself saw to that. She might have been sheltered, but she wasnt naive and she wasnt stupid. Even after the wedding, Scott was kept on a tight budget and continued to work at his painting business.

The two met in Rye in January 1988. The New York Times said they met on New Years Day. Newsday claims it was Super Bowl Sunday. Regardless, everyone agrees that they met at a party at a local watering hole, where the recently divorced Anne was beginning to spread her wings in a town that wasnt very open to single women in their late 30s.

After that introduction, Anne hired Scott to paint her house and romance blossomed, friends said.

I think she didnt have a great deal of confidence after her first marriage, and he was very charming, very charming, Sharon Boles told reporters later. And he presented himself as being very concerned about her. He was very handsome and when we met him he seemed very solicitous of her.

It was a whirlwind romance and Anne shocked her family and friends by announcing she was getting remarried.

Anne Scripps Douglas (AP)
Anne Scripps Douglas
"We tried to talk her into waiting," a friend told People magazine. "But she was vulnerable, a bit scared after her divorce. How do you put restraints on a grown woman?"

Some of their efforts might have ultimately added fuel to the fire that consumed the couple. Anne's friends let it be known that they knew people who used drugs with Scott. They questioned his fidelity and accused him of having a chameleon-like personality. But nothing could stop the romance, and in October 1988 Anne Scripps and Scott Douglas were married.

He had proposed only five days earlier and said they had to be married "right now," friends recalled later. She agreed and dismissed friends' requests that the couple at least sign a prenuptial agreement.

The ceremony was small and took place in the living room of the Bronxville home Anne had kept from her first marriage. His mother did not attend the ceremony and Scott had told Anne that she was dead. This was just one of the lies in which she would catch him later.

Anne's mother, brother and sister did not attend the ceremony either. They were not invited because Anne knew they would not approve. Even those who did attend were not happy about the union.

"He was classless," one of the 20 wedding guests told Newsday. "A name dropper. You could see that immediately. He was shifty, he had a slimy, weak handshake, didn't look you straight in the eye, had no conversation, had nothing to say. What could he talk about, house painting? He didn't speak our language."

With all the hopes and dreams of newlyweds, Scott and Anne moved in together and started to build a life. He doted on her in public and she joyfully introduced him around to her friends. They began planning to have a child, something both eagerly wanted. Friends and family said there was no indication of the tragedy that would destroy them both.



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