Scott Carroll, known as the ‘South Shore Rapist’ in the 1980s, dies in prison
The “South Shore Rapist” – the serial predator who terrorized affluent neighborhoods in Babylon, Islip and other Long Island communities during the 1980s in a series of sexual assaults and robberies of four -year-old died in Coxsackie Correctional Facility on Friday, records show.
Scott Carroll’s death has been confirmed by officials and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services website.
Carroll, 60, was the first accused in New York state whose conviction was largely based on a voice composition. He was sentenced to 650 years in prison in 1988, although he likely would not have served more than 50 years due to a state-imposed cap on consecutive sentences.
The DOCCS website did not list a cause of death. John Martin, a funeral director who works with the Greene County coroner’s office, said Carroll died of natural causes but he was prohibited by law from developing.
“I would classify Scott Carroll as the most dangerous criminal in Suffolk County history,” said the retired Suffolk Police Detective. Bob Doyle, who led the task force that apprehended Carroll and, during his career, was involved in 200 homicide investigations.
Doyle said Carroll was also suspected of burglaries and sexual assaults in Florida in the 1980s, and investigators believed he was the “East End rapist” responsible for a spate of sexual assaults in east Suffolk in the 1970s as a teenager.
The attacks he has been accused of began in January 1984 and ended in February 1987 when Carroll, then 27, was arrested. The youngest victim was 11, Doyle said, and the oldest was 60.
Prosecutors said Carroll stalked his victims for days, then broke into homes and confronted them in their beds, holding a screwdriver under their throats. He would put a pillowcase over their head, lead them outside and rape them before taking them back to their rooms.
“I have represented terrible people,” said retired criminal defense attorney Eric Naiburg, Carroll’s attorney at his trial in 1988. “He was the worst.
Most burglars avoid occupied homes – and potential confrontations with residents – but Carroll appeared to be delighted, according to Doyle.
“If he hadn’t been arrested he would have taken it to the next level,” said the retired cop, “and the next level was murder.”
Carroll, a factory worker from Staten Island, was convicted in May 1988 of 31 counts in an indictment of 54 counts, including four rapes and one attempted rape. The jury, which deliberated for 10 days, was deadlocked on 21 other charges. Carroll was acquitted of two counts of burglary.
One victim, who was 16 when Carroll broke into her home and raped her, said she had built a fulfilling life in the decades since the attack but the trauma continues to haunt her. One consolation, she said, is that she no longer has to write letters every two years asking a parole board to keep Carroll in jail.
“He doesn’t deserve to walk the same earth as me,” the woman said. Newsday does not identify victims of sexual assault.
She’s become an advocate for victims of crime and wants offenders like Carroll to be eligible for parole every four years, rather than every two. Victims, she said, should not have to review traumatic crimes every two years.
“The fact that he’s dead doesn’t change the fact that she has to live with victimization,” said Laura Ahearn, executive director of the Crime Victims Center.
Doyle led a task force of 40 detectives from the Nassau and Suffolk Police Department who scoured reports of similar crimes in Long Island and New York City. The investigation took place long before the widespread use of computers and the Internet, Doyle said, and the work was difficult.
Investigators ultimately identified Carroll as a suspect after his arrest for similar crimes in Florida.
Carroll wore a ski mask during the attacks, making it difficult for victims to identify him. Doyle said investigators surreptitiously taped Carroll, who had served time in jail for car theft, speaking to his parole officer. They presented this recording and tapes of four other men saying the same thing. Six victims were able to identify Carroll through his voice.
The victim praised Doyle and other cops who brought Carroll to justice. “The police were amazing,” she said. “They were my lawyers.