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Newspaper Heiress Jumps to Death from Tappan Zee Bridge


Annie Morell Petrillo—the 38-year-old daughter of Anne Scripps Douglas, whose great-great grandfather was James Scripps, founder of the Detroit News—leapt to her death last Thursday after stopping her BMW in Tarrytown, on the Tappan Zee Bridge, and climbing over the safety rail. Police found a suicide note in her car, and her body was found in the Hudson River on Sunday.

Petrillo’s mother was killed violently by her husband, Scott Douglas, with a hammer in their Bronxville home back in 1994. Douglas then drove to the Tappan Zee Bridge and abandoned his BMW and committed suicide. He, too, was 38 when he died.

The story of Anne Douglas’s tragic murder—which triggered Petrillo’s downward spiral—was made into a Lifetime movie, Our Mother’s Murder. Jeanine Pirro, who handled the 1994 murder on her first day as Westchester County district attorney, has also reflected on Petrillo’s recent suicide.

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