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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Donna Scrivo Murder Case

     In 1999, Ramsay Scrivo graduated from De La Salle Collegiate High School in St. Clair Shores, a suburban community just east of Detroit, Michigan. He earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University four years later. After working briefly as an accountant, Ramsay quit after a supervisor criticized his work.

     After working in the building trade, Scrivo, in the spring of 2013, started a lawn maintenance service. About that time his parents Daniel and Donna Scrivo helped him purchase a condo in St. Clair Shores.

     Notwithstanding the support he received from his parents, Ramsay Scrivo had serious problems. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic who suffered depression and bouts of uncontrolled anger when he was off his medication. When he wasn't on his anti-psychotic meds he believed people were trying to poison him. Moreover, he thought someone had implanted a tiny microphone in one of his teeth. Following a simple assault conviction the judge placed Scrivo on probation.

     Ramsay Scrivo's troubled life took a turn for the worse when his father died of an illness in May 2013. After he threatened to hang himself a judge granted his mother Donna Scrivo guardianship of her son. He agreed to mental health treatment at St. John Hospital in Detroit. After 90 days of treatment Ramsay Scrivo was released from the medical center. As long as he took his medication he wasn't dangerous. But almost all schizophrenics, at one time or another, quit their medication because of the side effects. Donna Scrivo moved into Ramsay's condo in St. Clair Shores. She was a registered nurse.

     On Sunday, January 26, 2014 Donna Scrivo reported her son missing. Late in the afternoon of Thursday, January 30 a motorist in China Township 50 miles northeast of Detroit saw a human head that had rolled out of a garbage bag that someone had dumped along the side of the rural road. Inside three more garbage bags found nearby police officers discovered body parts, items of clothing and charred documents.

     Just before five in the morning of Friday, January 31, 2014, a motorist saw another garbage bag alongside an Interstate 94 ramp in nearby St. Clair Township. Inside the bag officers found more body parts.The FBI, through fingerprints, identified the remains as coming from one person, Ramsay Scrivo.

     A neighbor reported seeing Donna Scrivo carrying several garbage bags out of the condo shortly before she reported Ramsay missing. Crime lab technicians found traces of blood in the dwelling as well as in Donna's SUV. There was also evidence in the house that someone had used bleach in an effort to scrub away bloodstains.

     A gas station surveillance camera recorded Donna in her 1995 Chevy Blazer near one of the dump sites.

     Later on the day of the gruesome discoveries deputies with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office arrested Ramsay's 59-year-old mother on charges of mutilation of a corpse and the removal of a dead body without permission from a medical examiner. If convicted of the corpse mutilation she faced up to ten years in prison. The misdemeanor body removal offense came with a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

     On February 3, 2014 at her arraignment the judge appointed Donna Scrivo an attorney and set her bail at $100,000. If bailed out of the Macomb County Jail she would undergo random drug and alcohol testing and would not be allowed to leave the state. The judge also ordered a mental health evaluation.

     At a press conference following the arraignment, a Macomb County prosecutor said that further charges could be filed in the case depending upon the medical examiner's cause and manner of death findings. Not long after that statement the prosecutor charged Donna Scrivo with first-degree murder.

    Donna Scrivo went on trial in May 2015 for the murder and dismemberment of her son. The defendant, as a witness on her own behalf, told the jury that a masked man had entered the condo, pointed a gun at her head, murdered her son then cut up the victim's body with a saw. The prosecutor, on cross-examination, ripped her story to shreds.

     The jurors, following a short deliberation found Donna Scrivo guilty of first-degree premeditated murder. On June 23, 2015, the Macomb County judge sentenced the 61-year-old to life in prison without parole.


  1. This is a tragic story in so many ways. I have seen the scourge that schizophrenia takes on the mind and the slow progressive deterioration the disease follows. Ramsey is a young man who had earned a degree in accounting. That was a wonderful accomplishment. Schizophrenia is a disease that usually onsets at a young age. What a terrible devastation for any family. I know that it must have been a hard thing to come to terms with for his mother and father. Yet, having a parent who was a nurse should have been the best possible scenario. She should have understood how to utilize the best that medicine had to offer in the situation . It is very difficult to manage a mentally ill relative but as a nurse she would have been well aware and had the ability to join a support group etc. It does not appear to be self-defense because if she killed him accidentally during a struggle all she had to do was call the police after it happened and the evidence would exonerate her. I think that she was overwhelmed with his care and she wanted him gone. As a mother and health care professional Donna Scrivo had a high calling in life: to love, to do no harm and to nurture and comfort those who are ill. I have seen so many others rise to the task of caring for a mentally ill children, they are my heroes!

    1. I agree, caring for a mentally ill person takes a toll on the caregiver, especially when there is emotional ties between the two, but there is something more sinister here. Instead of a quick method, she chose strangulation, which is personal. It calls for rage and hatred for the victim! And I think she planned this for days.

  2. This story cannot be totally true as on the ID tv programme it tells a different story as ramsay had a bad accident head injury that is why he was not so well

    1. must be thinking of a different story.

    2. No, this is the same story. I'm watching it right now. He had a head injury, and it sounds like it was TBI because of how quickly his personality changed. There is also speculation that she killed her husband. If there was no embellishment or leaving out vital information on ID's part for the show, this article is leaving a lot out.

  3. Is there any update on whether the husband's death is suspicious ??????? & Donna is involved?