Donna Scrivo bizarrely claimed a masked man had cut her son up and forced her to help him dispose off his body back in 2014.
Trigger Warning: The story has graphic details of violence that some readers may find disturbing
The gruesome case of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez who was tortured to death by his family made into a Netflix docuseries recently. However, a few years ago, there was also the case of Donna Scrivo, the St Claire's Shores' mother who was found guilty of murdering and dismembering her adult son. Even the shocking case was turned into a documentary. Scrivo was charged with first-degree premeditated murder besides other charges. She continued to stick with her explanation that a masked man killed her son, Ramsay, with a saw and that she was forced to help the man dispose of his body. The murder took place at the St. Clair Shores condo and later his dismembered body was found thrown in the rural part of the county. The jury thought her defense was just made up. Scrivo spoke for three hours in her defense in a 2015 trial according to a USA Today report.
Besides the murder charge, she was found guilty of mutilation of a body and removing a body without the permission of the medical examiner. Investigators have not found out the motive behind the killing. "It's been a long case. It's been a difficult case." Jury selection started almost two weeks ago and the trial had dozens of witnesses and exhibits, including photographs," said Judge Richard Caretti who presided over the case then. All along throughout the verdict, Scrivo had maintained that she had been afraid of this masked man who threatened to kill her and her other family members if she did not follow his instruction.
This was also the reason why she did not tell the over dozen people she met at various locations after the murder, she said. She even spoke to the police during the five days but did not give them a hint of what was going on during the five days. "I trusted the man who was holding the gun to my head," Scrivo told the court. She also claimed she had been kept as a hostage for five days with a scarf in her mouth and handcuffed in her bedroom. She said the man knew her son and family and had threatened to kill her other son and relatives if she did not comply. The man cut her son while she was in her room, she claimed.
Ramsay was found drugged and strangulated to death after which his body was dumped in the bathroom where he was cut up with a power saw. She testified while she heard the sawing, but said she didn't see Ramsay dismembered. Few parts of his remains were also found scattered in the rural part of St Claire County. Ramsay was finally reported missing by Scrivo. She testified the man forced him to text and speak to specific people and she complied. She also said she was told by the man that she would be blamed for the murder and asked her to leave the county. He left after 5 days, she said.
She said in court, "This is horrible. You're right," and added another time, "I'm not mother of the year. I have multiple problems. I think I did everything to protect the rest of my family. I did everything he told me to." Her defense lawyer said there was no sign of her son's blood or DNA of her son on her while also pointing out there was no way she was able to carry her dead son's 235-pound body to the bathroom. According to a report in the Macomb Daily, Scrivo's sister-in-law stated testified back in 2015, that while mother and son had a loving relationship it was a 'difficult' one and that she had a 'bad temper' and was 'controlling.' In 2017, Ramsay's murder was even a subject of a crime show called Snapped according to The Oakland Press.