Image default
Crime & Courts

Anderson County Massacre: Arrests Finally Announced

“We were praying this day would come …”

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

After eight long years, the families of Terry Michael “Mike” Scott, 58, his wife, Cathy Scott, 60, and their mothers – 85-year-old Violet Taylor and 80-year-old Barbara Scott – are one step closer to seeing justice done following the arrest of two suspects on murder charges in Anderson County, South Carolina.

Their sheer savagery of their deaths in this graphic quadruple homicide – uncovered on November 2, 2015 – rocked the small community of Pendleton, S.C.

On Friday, December 15, 2023, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) announced that Michael and Cathy Scott’s daughter, 40-year-old Amy Vilardi, and her husband – 36-year-old Rosmore “Ross” Vilardi – had both been arrested and charged with four counts of murder in connection with the brutal slayings.

“I think we knew this day was coming, we were praying this day would come,” Anderson sheriff Chad McBride said. “So far, a lot of prayers have been answered.”

The Vilardis had previously been named as persons of interest in the case after it was featured on the Unsolved Mysteries podcast this spring.

Support FITSNews … SUBSCRIBE!

***

“They all died from stab or slash wounds,” Anderson County investigator Scotty Hill told the podcast. “Mike, Barbara and Violet were all killed by their throats being slashed, and Cathy was killed by a stab wound to the chest. Mike, Barbara, and Violet were all shot post-mortem. Cathy was shot while still alive, but that wasn’t what killed her. It was the knife wound to the chest that killed her.”

“It seemed very, very aggressive and personal, and somebody full of rage and hate,” Hill added.

Amy Vilardi reported finding the bodies of her family members at her parents’ doublewide mobile home off of Refuge Road on November 2, 2015. There was no sign of forced entry. A bowl of Halloween candy sat untouched by the front door, leading investigators to conclude the murders may have taken place as early as October 31, 2015. 

Amy and Ross Vilardi lived in a separate single-wide residence on the same Refuge Road property. After the murders, the Vilardis remodeled the Scotts’ double-wide and lived there until 2017 when they entered into a real estate contract for the purchase of the property. That transaction ended up in court – the subject of a breach of contract suit after the Vilardis allegedly collected a deposit of $10,000 but failed to transfer the property as agreed.

According to court records, the case was dismissed in 2019 when the parties reached an agreement after mediation.

(Click to View)

(Facebook)

After selling the Anderson County property, the Vilardis moved to Richland County and opened a mobile dog grooming business. As recently as September 2, 2022, Right Way Mobile Pet Grooming provided complimentary services for the K9s of the Cayce, S.C. police department.

Business filings on record with the S.C. Secretary of State’s office showed Ross Vilardi as the registered agent for two Palmetto State corporations headquartered at the couple’s home address in West Columbia, S.C. – the grooming business and another entity called Bikers Only Customs.

(Facebook)

Emboldened by the lack of arrests in the quadruple homicide case, the Vilardis filed a lawsuit (.pdf) in Anderson County against the sheriff’s office after the murders seeking the recovery of items seized in the execution of search warrants. Those items included two vehicles, various electronic devices, firearms and $60,000 in cash. The total value of the property seized was estimated at more than $100,000

The search warrants executed in connection with the murder investigation encompassed the two mobile homes on Refuge Road as well as a storage unit. A total of four vehicles were seized. 

Pursuing ownership of two of those vehicles, Any Vilardi filed a separate lawsuit against her aunt – Pam Isbell of Spartanburg, S.C. Isbell lost her brother and mother in the 2015 slaying.  According to Isbell, Amy Vilardi forged signatures on the car titles in order to transfer ownership. Isbell countersued the Vilardis for the recovery of jewelry and collectibles belonging to her late mother and brother.

(Click to View)

Amy Vilardi (Facebook)

The civil suits filed by the Vilardis against the sheriff’s office and Pam Isbell were dismissed after a global settlement was reached by the parties – and approved by S.C. circuit court judge J. Cordell Maddox Jr. – in December 2021. That settlement released a total of $65,890 to family members. Of that sum, $34,890 was distributed to the Vilardis. A firearm and the four vehicles went to Isbell – along with $21,412.

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the sheriff’s office retained possession of currency and personal property with the understanding that if and when the sheriff’s office was prepared to release those items, property removed from the single-wide mobile home would go to the Vilardis and property removed from the double-wide would go to Isbell. 

Life then went back to normal … at least until the launch of the podcast this spring.

With renewed national attention focused on the case, McBride released a statement naming the Vilardis as “persons of interest” in connection with the murder investigation.

“Since the infancy of this investigation, Amy and Ross Vilardi have and continue to remain persons of interest,” he said. “This was a highly personal and violent crime … as sheriff, this case is extremely close to my heart and I’m grateful the brutality of what these four innocent people endured is being highlighted. I look forward to the day when justice is served.”

That day is now closer than ever, it would appear. Last friday, both Vilardis were arrested and charged with four counts of murder. Bond was denied, so the two remain incarcerated at the Anderson County detention center.

As with anyone accused of committing any crime, the Vilardis are considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as they may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges that may be filed against them.

The Vilardis case will be prosecuted by the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson, with senior deputy attorney general Heather Weiss and assistant attorney general Kinli Abee leading its efforts.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Callie Lyons (provided)

Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher and author. Her 2007 book ‘Stain-Resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal’ was the first to cover forever chemicals and their impact on communities – a story later told in the movie ‘Dark Waters’. Her investigative work has been featured in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world. Lyons also appears in ‘Citizen Sleuth’ – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.

***

WANNA SOUND OFF?

Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to address proactively? We have an open microphone policy! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.

***

Get our newsletter by clicking here …

*****

Related posts

Crime & Courts

‘Prison Empire’ Update: Guilty Verdict, Plea Deal

Jenn Wood
Crime & Courts

Former SCDMV Clerk Charged With Computer Crimes

Erin Parrott
Crime & Courts

Oconee Inmate Charged In Detention Center Death

Jenn Wood

3 comments

Katie Top fan December 21, 2023 at 9:53 am

From the beginning, I thought they did it or were involved some how, but now after being arrested their interviews with Fox Carolina and WSPA is even more disgusting to watch. Can’t believe they even gave interviews.

Reply
Anonymous December 21, 2023 at 12:14 pm

shut up

Reply
Teresa Whetzel Top fan December 21, 2023 at 2:07 pm

This is a horrible and extremely violent case. To think that these two have been living normal lives while possibly being murderers.

Reply

Leave a Comment