Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Abused Heiress - Anne Scripps Douglas


Things continued to deteriorate after Christmas and in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, Anne returned to White Plains in an attempt to have Scott evicted from the home. "Because of the holidays, she was bounced between courts in White Plains and New Rochelle without seeing a judge," The New York Times later reported. The situation was desperate. Police were called to the home several times during December, but based on threats alone, their hands were tied.

In the days between the holidays both Anne and Scott were reported by friends to be depressed. Complaining to a friend, Scott talked about many of the problems in his life and his feelings.

"He said she gives him a hard time, nothing makes her happy. He was gripping onto things. His eyes were bugging out, like he was having a mini-breakdown. He told me about his dad, said he was a professor at Columbia, a bad alcoholic who died in his forties."

Tappan Zee Bridge
Tappan Zee Bridge
Scott spoke of death and release and said he had a plan to jump off the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. His friend shook off the threat as deep, but not severe, depression. Scott had never been suicidal before or even hinted at ending his life, so the friend did not take the threat seriously. Besides, Scott was not fond of water and jumping off the bridge did not strike the friend as the way Scott would choose to kill himself.

Jeanine Pirro
Jeanine Pirro
New Year's Day would mark the beginning of a new district attorney's term and domestic violence was a high priority in Jeanine Pirro's incoming administration. Pirro was a former judge and before that the assistant district attorney who headed Westchester County's domestic violence bureau, one of the first in the country devoted to this, the most common form of violence in America.

Pirro didnt even have a chance to sit down in her new office before she was called to the scene of the county's first domestic violence assault. The call to police came in the early morning hours of the new year. A young woman was worried because she was unable to contact her mother and stepfather. She had already been to their house and no one had answered the door at the family home.

The caller was Anne Douglas' daughter. It was 3:30 a.m.

Anne Morell had been worried since early New Year's Eve after her mother and stepfather had engaged in another of their bitter, high-volume shouting matches. Anne had offered to stay with her mother but Anne Douglas declined, saying Scott was "just in another of his moods."

When the police arrived, they also tried the door and found it locked. They broke in and searched the house.

In Anne's bedroom they found her unconscious on the bed, the sheets covered with blood. She had been bludgeoned with the claw hammer she kept for protection. The couple's terrier puppy lay beside her, providing what little comfort it could. Scott Douglas was nowhere to be found. His BMW was missing.

Three-year-old Victoria was asleep in another room. Authorities would come to learn later that Tory had witnessed the brutal assault that left her mother's skull too badly broken for surgeons to repair.

"Daddy was giving Mommy so many bad boo-boos," the official police report quotes the toddler as saying. "Daddy gave Mommy many boo-boos. Why is Mommy wearing warpaint?"

Later she asked her grandparents, "Is Mommy an angel in heaven? Does Mommy still have boo-boos on her face?"



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