Crime & Courts

Double-Wide Homicide: Bond Died For Lovers Charged With Quadruple Murder

“Everything was taken from us …”

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The husband-and-wife duo accused of brutally murdering four relatives in a double-wide mobile home — for a suspected six-figure inheritance — were denied bond after Tuesday’s hearing in Anderson County, South Carolina.

On December 15, 2023, Amy Vilardi, 40, and her husband, Rosmore “Ross” Vilardi, 36, were arrested and individually charged with four counts of murder in connection with a “gruesome” quadruple homicide on or around Halloween night 2015, according to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).

The couple — married one week before the massacre — stand accused of murdering Amy’s 60-year-old mother, Cathy Scott, 58-year-old stepfather, Terry Michael Scott, 82-year-old grandmother, Violet Taylor, and 80-year-old step-grandmother Barbara Scott.

According to investigators, Mike, Barbara and Violet were slit at their throats before being shot post-mortem “more than once” in their living room. As for Amy’s mother? Cathy was purportedly shot twice in the head before being stabbed to death in her bedroom.

Come Nov. 2, 2015, Amy — who lived in a single-wide trailer on the same property — called 9-1-1 at 12:30 p.m. EST after allegedly “finding” her family mutilated. The following afternoon, she took to WYFF-TV and thanked the community for their prayers while criticizing law enforcement for insufficient transparency.

More on why that call matters in a moment …

“As family members, we want answers,” Amy said during the first of many interviews with local television. “I don’t understand why any of it has happened and I just keep thinking it’s a dream I’m going to wake up from … whoever did this, I don’t see how you can live with yourself.”

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THE CIVIL SUIT CHRONICLES …

Amy Vilardi.
(Facebook)

Amid ACSOs quadruple homicide investigation, the Vilardis remodeled Cathy’s double-wide — the scene of the quadruple homicide — and promptly established residency. Come March 28, 2016, Amy sued her aunt, Pamela Isbell, for ownership of Terry and Barbara’s vehicles which were in the possession of forensic investigators.

The lawsuit — which alleged that Amy was entitled to her slain relative’s 2010 Toyota Tundra and 2005 Toyota Corolla, collectively valued at $28,699 by Kelley Blue Book — triggered years of litigation by virtue of her aunt’s countersuit. 

Per Isbell, she lost possession of both vehicles when Amy “fraudulently forged” her late relatives’ signatures, thus barring the vehicles from recovery due to “her own unclean hands.” She furthermore alleged Amy had refused to return $30,000 worth of family artifacts including diamond earrings, golden necklaces, antique dishes and assorted gardening tools.

Come May 25, 2016, the Vilardis sued the ACSO in hopes of obtaining both Toyotas on top of several electronic devices, at least one firearm and approximately $60,000 cash reportedly seized from both mobile homes following the massacre.

More on why that cash matters in a moment …

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“[The] property is well in excess of $100,000,” the Vilardis civil suit alleged. “The property is believed to be in immediate danger of destruction or concealment because [ACSO] has wrongfully and willfully retained possession of the property despite the property lacking any evidentiary value.”

Following five years of claims, counterclaims and crossclaims, the civil suits were dismissed following a global settlement across all four estates. The resolution — approved by S.C. circuit court judge J. Cordell Maddox Jr. — distributed $34,890 back to the Vilardis.

As for Isbell? She was awarded virtually every item removed from the double-wide by investigators, including but not limited to $21,412 retrieved from the bathroom, four vehicles — including both Toyotas — and a North American .22 Magnum revolver. 

During litigation, the Vilardis were accused of breaching a real estate contract when Amy agreed to sell her late family’s property in Pendleton. The complaint alleged that she “failed” to transfer property titles despite collecting a $10,000 deposit in 2017.

While litigating that dispute, the Vilardis moved to West Columbia, S.C. and opened a mobile dog grooming business entitled Right Way Mobile Pet Grooming. As recently as September 2, 2022, the couple provided complimentary services for K9’s of the Cayce Police Department (CPD).

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THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL …

Amy Vilardi and Rossmore “Ross” Vilardi between April and June 2016.
(Facebook)

This Tuesday (February 13, 2024), the Vilardis appeared before S.C. circuit court judge Heath Taylor seeking bond modifications ahead of their quadruple murder trials. Amy appeared in shackles alongside her attorney, Lori S. Murray — well known to our audience as “Lawyer Lori.”

According to senior deputy assistant attorney general Heather Weiss, a “multitude of witnesses” alleged that Amy forbade the slain victims from interacting with her children following an incident on or around July 4, 2015. The state furthermore alleged both lovers were experiencing “severe financial problems” ahead of the massacre.

“They had, for example, given a post-dated check for $8,000,” said Weiss during Amy’s bond hearing. “[They] told that person to hold it until November 2, and on the morning of November 2, Ross Vilardi showed up with $8,000 in cash to pay it off.”

While attempting to pay “several” outstanding debts after calling law enforcement, a whopping $87,000 was seized by investigators from Amy’s home. The cash was purportedly “wrapped and separated” by denomination and year — parallel to wrappers and techniques utilized by Terry.

(FITSNews/ YouTube)

“Even a couple of the serial numbers that were on the money that were found in the home of Amy Vilardi were serial numbers that had actually been photographed by victim Terry Michael Scott not long prior to the murders,” continued Weiss. “The one person who truly stood to benefit from their death was Amy Vilardi.”

While Weiss maintained Amy was the “mastermind” behind her family’s massacre, Murray declined to be drawn into a discussion of the “facts” of her client’s case seeing as the state had yet to provide discovery or “any configuration” of new evidence. Instead, she punctuated that neither Vilardi’s absconded when labeled as suspects last spring.

According to Murray, ACSO investigators went so far as to “illicit” a murder confession from Ross … four days prior to issuing eight probable cause affidavits. The confession was purportedly sought after officers separated the couple for one-on-one conversations outside of their West Columbia home.

“The confession they were trying to elicit that day would have been their probable cause,” Murray said. “There does not appear to be any new evidence. They have a new way of looking at old evidence. So everything that they have got was available to them eight years ago. Everything that they’ve got was known to Ms. Vilardi eight years ago.”

Victims of the ‘Double-Wide Homicide.’
(Anderson County Sheriff’s Office)

Ross’ legal representative, Shaun Kent, echoed Murray’s sentiments while assailing Weiss for implying that his client’s prior service with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) prepared him for a quadruple murder. He furthermore requested an “appropriate” bond considering an absence of probable cause in the Vilardi’s arrest warrants.

“What the State of South Carolina has done after eight years is come up with a theory,” said Kent on Tuesday. “You can’t simply come to the jury and say, ‘[the Vilardi’s] have money, so since they have money they must have killed them.’ The State of South Carolina is using a ‘samesies’ theory with the Alex Murdaugh case. ‘Samesies! It was over money! This is over money! You have to convict!’ But that’s not what [the state] has.”

Come Friday (Feb. 16), Taylor denied the Vilardi’s bond motion after three days under advisement. This, after the State, Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride and three victims expressed “substantial” flight risk concerns.

“Our family has been in fear for the past eight years,” said Tammy White, Violet’s granddaughter, during Tuesday’s proceeding. “Eight years is a long time to get to live free after committing such a gruesome act. My last plea is that the victims — Cathy, Mike, Barbara and Violet — be honored by denying the bond.”

As with anyone accused of committing a crime, Amy and Rosmore “Ross” Vilardi are considered innocent until proven guilty — or until such time as one or the other may enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors.

UPDATE |  This report was updated to reflect the bond status of Amy Vilardi and Rosmore “Ross” Vilardi.

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BOND ORDERS …

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ARREST ARRANTS …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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3 comments

Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan February 15, 2024 at 1:10 pm

So Amy chose Lawyer Lori – why isn’t that a surprise?

Reply
JustSomeGuy Top fan February 15, 2024 at 1:35 pm

“Await Sentencing”? I missed the part where they were convicted.

Reply
AC Top fan February 18, 2024 at 10:58 am

I’m all for finding justice however those warrants lack even the tiniest bit of probable cause. I sure hope they have something more than that. I wonder if it’s just electioneering by McBride so he can say look what I’ve done in an election year knowing the case won’t be settled until well after the election.

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