Dorothy Jane Scott was a 32-year-old single mother who worked as a secretary for Swingers Psych and Head Shop in Anaheim, California – just across the street from Disneyland. She was a quiet woman, “dull as a phone book,” a friend once said, who was religious, didn’t date, and hardly ever left the house recreationally. She was a hard worker, kindhearted, and compassionate.
For several months in 1980, Dorothy was being harassed by a stalker. The calls came to her at work, and the voice sounded vaguely familiar to her, but she was never ever to place it. Sometimes the caller was kind and doting; other times he was angry and resentful. The caller promised that he was following Dorothy and provided details about her daily routine to prove it. Unnerved, Dorothy started taking karate and self-defense classes and considered buying a handgun.
On the evening of May 28, 1980, Dorothy dropped her four-year-old son Shawn off at her parents’ house and headed into work for an employee meeting. During the meeting, co-worker Conrad Bostron was looking ill and had a red rash on his arm that was getting worse by the minute. Concerned, Dorothy insisted she take Conrad to the hospital. Another co-worker, Pam Head, accompanied them.
The trio were at the hospital for several hours when it turned out that Conrad had an infected black widow spider bite. He was released, and Pam stayed with Conrad while he filled out some paperwork and got a prescription filled. Dorothy went outside to bring the car around. She was never seen again.
Pam and Conrad began to worry when their friend hadn’t returned by the time they were done with paperwork. Finally, they saw Dorothy’s car coming towards them, but they felt no relief – the car was going very fast, and made a sharp right turn out of the parking lot. Pam and Conrad rushed after Dorothy’s car, waving their hands in case she missed them. The headlights shut off, and the car disappeared into the night. Thinking maybe there was an emergency with her son, Conrad and Pam waited for two hours for Dorothy to come back. They called her parents, who had not seen their daughter since she dropped of Shawn before work. Then they called the police. Several hours later, Dorothy’s car was found abandoned and in flames. There was no sign of Dorothy inside.
Then things got weird.
A week later, Dorothy’s mom Vera answered her home phone. “Are you related to Dorothy Scott?” a male voice asked. Vera replied yes, and the man said, “I’ve got her.” He hung up. The police had asked the Scotts not to talk to the media about the case, but after another week with no answers, her father, Jacob, got antsy and gave the story to the Santa Ana Register, a local newspaper. The day the story ran, editor Pat Riley got a phone call: “I killed her. I killed Dorothy Scott. She was my love. I caught her cheating with another man. She denied having someone else. I killed her.” The caller provided details about what Dorothy was wearing, and why she was at the hospital that night, to prove he was the real deal. The caller claimed that Dorothy called him from the hospital, but Pam insisted that Dorothy was not out of her sight until she went to get the car.
Dorothy’s parents received phone calls almost every Wednesday for four years. The caller would either ask if Dorothy was home, claim he killed her, or simply state, “I’ve got her.” The calls always came during the day, when Vera was home alone. Police tapped the phone and tried to trace the call, but he was never on the line long enough. The calls finally stopped in April 1984, after a nighttime call was answered by Jacob, who assumed the caller thought new residents had moved into the house.
In August 1984, in a rugged area in north Anaheim, a construction worker found a set of bones. The bones turned out to belong to a dog, but under a thin layer of soil, more bones were found, human bones. Vera identified a turquoise ring and a watch found with the remains as belonging to Dorothy. The watch stopped at 12:30am, May 29th, 1980. About a week later, the remains were positively identified as being those of Dorothy Jane Scott.
After the discovery of Dorothy’s body was made public, the Scott family received two more phone calls, both asking, “Is Dorothy home?” The killer was never found.