Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Cold Justice

Cold Justice Aids in Arrest of S.C. Couple Suspected of 2015 Halloween Quadruple Murder

Amy and Ross Vilardi were recently charged with the stabbing deaths of Amy's mother, stepfather, and their elderly mothers.

By Jax Miller

In the continuation of a Cold Justice two-part special, Kelly Siegler and the Anderson County Sheriff's Office investigate the quadruple murder of a married couple and their elderly mothers found dead in their rural Anderson County, South Carolina, home. On October 31, 2015, Cathy and Mike Scott, as well as Violet Taylor, 82, and Barbara Scott, 80, were all brutally stabbed and then shot after the victims were dead.

How to Watch

Watch Cold Justice on Oxygen Saturdays at 8/7c. Catch up on the Oxygen App.

New witness statements and serial numbers of cash believed to have been taken from the home begin to place suspicion on Cathy’s daughter, Amy Vilardi, 32, and her then-new husband, Ross Vilardi, 28. At the time, the Vilardis — who lived next door to the Scotts — had a volatile relationship with the victims, one filled with death threats and Amy reportedly using her children against their doting grandparents, as detailed in Cold Justice Season 7, Episode 10.

“After the murders, I’m just not the same,” said Mike Scott’s sister and Barbara Scott’s daughter, Pam Isbell, in the recent episode. “I’ve spent the last eight years waiting for some sort of justice.”

Don't miss the latest in true crime:
Mom of 2 Vanishes After Harrowing Phone Call with Best Friend: "He's Gonna Kill Me"
16-Year-Old Skylar Neese Killed By Friends in Tragic Betrayal: "We Just Didn’t Like Her"

Ace Poker Player Beaten to Death, Dumped in Las Vegas Hotel Stairwell By Gambler with Debts

A Financial Motive

Mike and Cathy Scott featured on Cold Justice Episode 710

Following the shocking quadruple homicide, investigators found about $67,000 in cash inside Amy and Ross Vilardi’s home, which sat less than 50 yards from the Scott residence. The couple, who’d married just one week before the murders, claimed it was their life savings and monies saved from their pet grooming business, Styles for Miles Pet Spa.

Hannah Taylor, Amy’s cousin and former employee at the Pendleton-based business, said the couple had been experiencing financial troubles. It was so bad, Taylor claimed, that her paychecks regularly came up short.

“Every morning I got there, I would check the voicemails, check the phone calls, and there were bill collectors calling and leaving voicemails like you wouldn’t believe,” Taylor said.

Taylor told Kelly Siegler and Staff Sergeant Scotty Hill of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (A.C.S.O.) that she was fired from Styles for Miles just a month or two before the murders after she confronted them about not being paid for her work. She also claimed she saw a large, military-style knife in Amy’s vehicle, which drew suspicion since it was believed that whoever killed the victims used a military knife.

Taylor confirmed Amy and Cathy were “always” fighting over money. As discussed in the first part of the Cold Justice special, Amy and her mother and stepfather had a falling out on the Fourth of July 2015 after the parents took issue with how Amy raised her two young children.

“They were constantly arguing, fighting, screaming at each other,” said the cousin about Amy and her mother.

Another Styles for Miles employee, Rocksy Vorhies, said Amy was the “decision maker” in her relationship with Ross and Amy had a deep-seated hatred for her mother because Cathy took her biological father off life support following a tragic incident when he was crushed by a car.

“If true, then their tense relationship makes a lot more sense,” said Kelly Siegler.

A Forensic Examination Into Finances and Damning Texts

With the help of digital forensic expert Eric Devlin, the Cold Justice team — including A.C.S.O. Detective Tyler Duncan — dug deep into Amy and Ross Vilardi’s financial records. In 2013, about two years before the murders, Ross received a substantial amount of money from a military disability settlement to the tune of about $25,000. The couple also collected about $17,000 from their pet grooming business and received another five grand from a tax refund.

By early 2014, they’d spent $14,000 on a truck, another roughly $5,800 on a Ford Mustang, and about $15,000 on two Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

That same year, they only raked in about $2,700 in income from Styles for Miles.

“It looks like Amy and Ross spent money as fast as they earned it, and a year before the murder, they made less than $3,000 from their business,” said Homicide Investigator Steve Spingola. “That’s not a lot, especially for a family of four, including Amy’s two kids.”

Barbara Scott featured on Cold Justice Episode 710

In 2015, the same year the Scotts and their mothers were viciously killed, the Vilardis made about $27,000, which still couldn’t account for the $67,000 found inside their trailer following the murders. Serial numbers from the bills found in the Vilardis' possession matched the bills that Mike Scott had in his home before he was murdered.

According to Siegler, even without the matching serial numbers, the money just “didn’t add up.”

“They’re broke,” Siegler added.

RELATED: 16-Year-Old Dancer Found Stabbed to Death in Her Own Home: "Hug Your Children"

While investigators believed they found a financial motive, texts from 2015 between Amy and Ross also placed them high on their suspect list. Cell phone data reviewed by Devlin corroborated the Vilardis’ previous statements that they were home at the time of the murders.

On September 4, 2015, Ross sent his wife a text stating, “Hunny please don’t spend any more money, we only have $40 left in the business account.” In an Oct. 15, 2015, text from Amy to Ross, Amy stated that people were “at the shop raising hell about the rent.”

“What would you like me to say to them, babe?” Ross responded. “I mean, at the moment, we don’t have the money.”

On Oct. 22, 2015, just nine days before the murders, both discussed needing to give someone $7,000 by November 1. Investigators couldn’t understand how they expected to come across such a large sum.

“That’s evidence of premeditation and, come to think of it, so is arranging to have your kids out of town,” said Siegler.

On the night of the murders, at 8:36 p.m., Amy texted Ross: “Everyone is up now and talking hahaha take my car and grab a six-pack.”

Detectives wondered if Amy was referring to her next-door relatives.

Days later, on Nov. 5, 2015, Amy texted, “Hey babe, we need to go ahead and run.”

A.C.S.O. detectives and Siegler reviewed surveillance video from a convenience store, showing Ross on a beer run at 9:38 p.m. on Halloween night. But most damning, cameras caught him wearing red ASICS Speedstar sneakers, the same style shoe that left prints in the blood at the crime scene, something Siegler called an “amazing” discovery.

As covered in the first half of the Cold Justice special, the bloody shoe prints at the crime scene could only belong to someone present for the murders.

“The best part is, there were drops of blood visible on top of those shoe prints, so they weren’t from someone walking through the scene afterward,” Siegler maintained. “They belonged to Mike, Cathy, Barbara, and Violet’s killer.”

Ross’s Contradicting Statements to Cold Justice

Violet Taylor featured on Cold Justice Episode 710

Spingola and Duncan visited the Vilardis at their home, hoping to speak with each suspect separately. First, they brought Ross into their vehicle, where Ross explained he had a “good relationship” with Cathy and Mike. He admitted, however, that things became “sideways” following the July 4, 2015, fight between Amy and her parents.

In the interview, Ross claimed his parents watched the kids after the Vilardis married on Oct. 24 and that he and Amy picked them back up on Halloween night.

“Ross’s story doesn’t match what he and Amy told police: that they were home on the night of the murders just a few yards away from the crime scene,” said Inv. Spingola. “And it doesn’t match the cell phone location data either.”

Spingola believed Ross was attempting to “concoct a new alibi" and shift focus to other suspects by telling police that Mike had business dealings with “pretty shady” in the past, and that Mike’s sister, Pam, stood to gain money in the event of her brother’s death.

Ross suggested detectives “follow the money.”

He also denied ever going into the house on Halloween night, and when asked about the money found in his trailer, he said it was “literally” his and Amy’s life savings.

“Nothing out of Ross’s mouth is consistent with the evidence,” said Spingola.

But before confronting Ross about his contradicting statements, Duncan and Spingola wanted to speak with Amy, whom Duncan later said was a little more “standoffish” than her husband.

RELATED: Texas Man Pleads Guilty in Murder Case Investigated on Cold Justice

Amy’s Statements to Investigators

The Victim's Family Members sit at a table on Cold Justice episode 711

Amy refused to get into the car with the investigators but agreed to answer their questions while smoking a cigarette outside her home. In response to questions about her relationship with Cathy and Mike, Amy said her stepfather “wasn’t a nice person at all,” and though Cathy was “not a horrible person,” she was “prickly,” if anything.

“I drove myself quite crazy for about a couple of years later there, and I’ve chosen to step away, and I’ve got to be healthy, and I’ve got kids, and I’ve got a life to live, and it’s somebody else [who’s] dropped the ball,” Amy told investigators. “It’s not on me anymore.”

Spingola and Duncan agreed not to press Amy too hard before they could speak with Ross in private one last time. This time, they confronted him with the surveillance video at the convenience store on the night of the murders. Ross confirmed he wore the ASICS sneakers but had “no idea” what came of them.

The detectives told Ross they believed he was behind the quadruple murders.

Ross talked through the “best case scenarios” if he were to cooperate with authorities, but ultimately decided he wanted a lawyer.

As Spingola and Duncan drove away, Duncan remarked that Ross said it best when suggesting investigators “follow the money” because it led right back to the Vilardis.

Investigators make their first arrests in the case

Poring over the evidence, which included financial and cell phone records, the shoe prints at the crime scene, the conflicting statements, their volatile relationships with the victims, and some of Mike’s cash found in the Vilardi trailer, investigators believed they had enough to present the case to the Attorney General.

Days after detectives and Spingola interviewed the suspects, Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride announced the arrests of Amy and Ross Vilardi for murder.

Eight years after the gruesome crimes, the victims’ loved ones, including Pam Isbell, could feel a sense of relief.

“I’m not sure what I’m feeling right now. Thankful, excited, I just have so many emotions,” Isbell told Cold Justice. “It’s that day that we’ve all hoped for, that we’ve all prayed for, that we’ve all believed one day was coming, but it’s unreal.”

Amy and Ross Vilardi were charged with four counts of murder and are currently awaiting trial. In February 2024, an Anderson County judge denied both suspects bond, according to NBC Greenville affiliate WYFF.

Watch episodes of Cold Justice, airing Saturdays at 8/7c on Oxygen.