Pinsky book featuring Caroline Scoutt available next year

By: 
Alexis Barker

Submitted photos

True crime author and former journalist Mark Pinsky’s newest book highlights the crimes tied to former Weston County resident Caroline Scoutt. The book, “Drifting into Darkness,” is scheduled to be released early next year.

 

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor

 

True crime author Mark Pinsky’s book “Drifting into Darkness,” featuring former Weston County resident, and reportedly deceased, Caroline Scoutt is now available through pre-order. The official publication date falls in January 2022. 

In the works for several years, Pinsky’s newest book covers crimes associated with Scoutt. The main focus of the book, Pinsky said, are the murders of the affluent Springford couple in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Charged with his parents’ murder, Brent Springford Jr. had lived with Scoutt before the incident. The young man later died in prison of an apparent suicide. 

While chasing the Springford murder story, Pinsky made his way west to Colorado where Brent and Scoutt had lived. 

“When I went out West, I thought I was pretty much done. That was before Campbell’s body was found,” Pinsky said. “Then (Richard) Campbell’s body was found, and all of the sudden the book wasn’t over.”

The author was struck by the number of similarities between both Springford and Campbell and their relationship with Scoutt. 

According to Pinsky, over several years Springford’s parents had given about $1 million in cash, vehicles and a home to Scoutt and their son after Scoutt had presented herself as a caregiver who could help him work through issues that had plagued him for years. Pinsky said that the items were essentially given to Scoutt, but the family eventually
 began to question the relationship and the vast resources they were providing to their son and his companion. 

“At some point, they decided Caroline wasn’t just his caretaker, and that she was basically squeezing them for money and using Brent as the vehicle,” Pinsky said in a 2016 interview with the News Letter Journal

The Springfords eventually cut the couple off, a choice that would have a tragic result for the couple and their son. 

“Approximately eight weeks later, Brent got on a bus in Boulder (Colo.), went to Montgomery (Ala.) and bludgeoned his two parents to death. He then went back to Boulder, where he was ultimately arrested after committing himself to a psychiatric institution. They extradited him and brought him back to Alabama, where he was accused of capital murder,” Pinsky said. The author indicated that a plea had been negotiated for life in prison with no chance of parole. 

According to Pinsky, sometime after Brent’s arrest, Scoutt separated from him and then divorced him after the guilty plea. Following the divorce, Brent committed suicide in prison. 

Suspicion surrounding the murder, according to Pinsky, began to increase after Brent’s death. It is believed, by Pinsky and several law enforcement officials, that Brent had not acted on his own initiative when he killed his parents and that Scoutt manipulated him in some way into doing so. 

Inspired by the story, Pinsky began his own investigation, hoping to turn the story into the book that will be released in January. 

“I thought that was my story – Brent, Caroline, his parents, their murder and his suicide,” Pinsky previously said. 

Then, Pinsky learned of the 2015 death
of Richard Campbell. At the time of his
death, Campbell was living on Scoutt’s property near Newcastle and his apparent cause of death was suicide. 

After a coroner’s inquest into the death, Campbell’s death was ruled to be suspicious and the cause of death was changed to homicide. 

Leading up to the inquest, Pinsky worked with former Sheriff’s Sergeant Pat Watsabaugh, former Weston County Deputy Coroners Laura Sundstrom and Steve Rozier, and Weston County Coroner Cynthia Crabtree.

Through their investigation, the group discovered that Scoutt had purchased a life insurance policy on Campbell worth $100,000. In addition to the life insurance policy, they found that money from Campbell’s father’s estate had ended up in Scoutt’s bank account. 

Suspicion surrounding Campbell’s death continued to peak as Scoutt continually requested a death certificate from the coroners so she would be allowed to collect the payout on the life insurance policy. 

The number of parallels between the two men associated with Scoutt, specifically the manner in which Scoutt cut off communication between the men and their families, helped in leading the group to believe Scoutt had a larger role in both of the crimes. 

“There is a surreal pattern of exploitation, both mental and financial,” Pinsky said. 

With Scoutt’s reported death in 2019, the truth in the matter of both incidents may never be known. While Pinsky said her death will never let justice be seen in several potential crimes linked to Scoutt, her death did provide reprieve when it comes to the book and potential libel associated with the story. 

The full story, as known by Pinsky, surrounding the deaths and crimes linked to Scoutt will soon be available for the public, thanks to NewSouth Books, the publishing company working with the author. 

Pinsky said he hopes to visit Newcastle to promote his book in the future but that preorders are currently available through Amazon.

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