Monday, August 29, 2011

Burlington | Don't miss: 'Quiet Vermont life elusive for newspaper heiress after sensational murder'

From Mike Donoghue's nicely-written story yesterday in Vermont's Burlington Free Press:

When Victoria Scripps-Carmody was 3 years old, the newspaper family heiress witnessed her father kill her mother with a claw hammer as she slept in their Bronxville, N.Y., mansion on New Year’s Eve 1993.

Her father drove his BMW to the Tappan Zee Bridge and took his own life by jumping off into the icy water of the Hudson River. The case generated enormous headlines in New York City, and inspired a made-for-TV movie. Then, in a bizarre copy-cat suicide years later, her older sister killed herself the very same way, right down to the make of her automobile. She left a note to Scripps-Carmody, bearing a haunting message.

Now, Scripps-Carmody, 21, of Burlington, is accused of having 193 bags of heroin tucked away in her 2006 BMW when it was pulled over in Brattleboro, Vt., on Aug. 10. She told a detective she had a six-bag-a-day heroin habit that she needed to feed.

How Scripps-Carmody went from orphaned heiress of an E.W. Scripps fortune to a young woman with a $120-a-day heroin addiction is a tale of good intentions gone bad, and the ripple effects of a long-ago family tragedy -- all set against the famously peaceful Vermont landscape.

Read Donoghue's full account here.

Related: The Free Press' weekday circulation is 32,089, and 40, 482 Sundays, according to ABC's lookup database.


  1. Wow. And I thought my life was shitty.

  2. A great piece of journalism by the Gannett paper in Vermont. But why wasn't this picked up by the Gannett newspaper in NY, The Journal News, which covered the mother's killing? The case still generates tons of interest in Westchester. Fairly recently, too, when the other sister jumped off the bridge just a couple of years ago. Shouldn't Content One, or whatever we call the old Gannett news service been involved? Couldn't one editor have alerted another so the story could have been picked up? Oh, that's right -- anyone who should have done that kind of coordination has been laid off. Another sign of how Gannett has fallen apart. Too bad.

  3. Nice piece, but only part of the whole puzzle. Another scion of the Howard side of the family had a very bad cocaine habit which resulted in him running down the highway in Denver with a Samari sword. There is a Colorado legislature report of an investigation into police wrongdoing involving this case, but it all resolved. Both the Scripps and Howards have quietly dealt with drug issues, and the Scripps founder probably drank himself to death on bourbon. Now watch Scripps on the comeback, if only a few more confessions of big mistakes.

  4. Hmmm, 11:03 here again. You can't write a story like that without cooperation of someone who knows the complete history. So who might it have been (not me) who fed this to the Vermont newspaper, then posted the results of his or her efforts on this blog which supposedly just about Gannett?. Inquiring minds would like to know.

  5. 11:05 I stumbled across this story myself, while looking fror hurricane-related news.

  6. This is great journalism? Are all the editors laid off in Vermont? Just wondering how the heiress could "witness" a crime when she was "sleeping"


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