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dorothy jane scott 1980 murder

For months Dorothy Jane Scott was the recipient of unwanted attention from a mysterious stalker. On May 28, 1980, Dorothy vanished. She remained missing until in 1984 her remains were found. This is the story of the unsolved murder.

The Life Of Dorothy Jane Scott

Thirty-two-year-old Dorothy Jane Scott lived in the city of Stanton, not far from Anaheim, California. Dorothy, who was a devout Christian and a kind-hearted, quiet woman, shared the home with her four-year-old son Shawn and her sister.

Although a single mum after the breakdown of her relationship with Dennis Terry, Dorothy Jane Scott still held down a full-time job. She worked as a secretary to The Swinger’s Psych Shop (which used to be owned by her dad Jacob) and Custom John’s Head Shop located in Anaheim. Both of the businesses were run under the same management.

Taking on a full-time job despite been a single mum meant she needed help with childcare for her son Shawn. Shawn’s dad was now living in Masouri so this fell on her parents, Jacob and Vera, who were only happy to help. Dorothy would drop Shawn with her parents in Anaheim then head to work.

Dorothy’s Stalker

In the early months of 1980, Dorothy Jane Scott became the recipient of an unknown male’s attentions. She had started to receive a number of menacing phonecalls which switched from declaring their love for her to taking her life. Although there was a slight recognition to the voice Dorothy was unable to put a name to the caller’s voice.

As time passed by the calls became more frightening. In one call the man instructed Dorothy to go outside as he had left her a present. Dorothy, somewhat hesitatingly, did as the caller had suggested and found a dead rose on the windscreen of her car.

The caller’s behaviour reached new heights of horrifying behaviour. He chillingly informed Dorothy that he planned to cut her into pieces and that she would never be found.

Dorothy Jane Scott was obviously rattled by the threats of her stalker. She began attending self-defence karate classes after the calls began. It was also believed that she was considering the purchase of a handgun, the thought of keeping a gun in the same house as her young son the main reason she didn’t.

The Work Meeting And Ill Workmate

On May 28, 1980, Dorothy Jane Scott continued to go about life as usual. She got Shawn ready and then made her way to her parents home in Anaheim. She dropped him off before heading onto work.

A team meeting was planned for after work that day and so Dorothy Jane Scott gathered with her fellow employees. During the course of the meeting, Dorothy spotted that one of her colleagues, Conrad Bostron, looked out of sorts and appeared unwell.

Dorothy, as was her caring nature, offered to take Conrad to the hospital to get checked out. Pam Head, a fellow co-worker, offered to accompany them and the trio made their way to UC Irvine Medical Center at around 9 pm.

Before heading to the hospital Dorothy quickly dropped into her parents home to let them know what was happening and that she would be late collecting Shawn. She quickly changed her black scarf for a red scarf and then left to take Conrad to the hospital.

The Hospital

dorothy scott murder

It turned out that Conrad’s ill health was the result of a bite from a Black Widow spider. The doctor’s treated Conrad and gave him a prescription to collect from the pharmacy on his way out.

It was now after 11 pm. Dorothy Jane Scott upon seeing that Conrad was still a little weak on his feet decided that it would be best for her to fetch the car to the entrance to save Conrad having to walk to the car park.

As Pam and Conrad went to the pharmacy to collect the prescription Dorothy first used the restroom before heading off towards the car park.

Conrad Bostron and Pam Head went to meet Dorothy Jane Scott near the entrance after they collected Conrad’s prescription. Eventually fed up of waiting near the entrance the pair decided to head up towards the car park.

As Conrad Bostron and Pam Head approached the hospital car park they saw a vehicle hurtling towards them at speed. The vehicle was Dorothy Jane Scott’s station wagon. Although certain it was her vehicle Conrad and Pam were unable to see if she was behind the wheel due to the blinding headlights.

The Disappearance Of Dorothy Jane Scott

The incident left the pair puzzled but they came to the conclusion that perhaps she had rushed off to deal with something urgent, perhaps involving her son.

Conrad Bostron and Pam Head stayed at the hospital for a further two hours (I found this decision strange) before deciding to call Jacob and Vera’s home to see if her daughter was with them. She wasn’t, they hadn’t seen Dorothy since she called in on the way to the hospital.

Pam Head decided it was time to get the police involved and she reported Dorothy Jane Scott missing.

At roughly 4:30 am approximately ten miles from the UC Irvine Medical Center where she was last seen Dorothy Jane Scott’s station wagon was discovered. The vehicle had been dumped down an alley and set on fire. There was no sign of Dorothy, nor any evidence to hint at where she may be.

Early Person Of Interest

Police had no luck in their search for Dorothy Jane Scott and no leads as to whom her abductor maybe. Dorothy’s ex-partner and Shawn’s father Dennis Terry was an initial person of interest.

Although he was now a resident of Missouri the police were able to show he was in California in the days prior. However, phone records were able to prove he was back in Missouri when Dorothy went missing. He was quickly eliminated as a suspect.

“I’ve Got Her”

On June 4, a week after Dorothy went missing her parents received a taunting call from a male caller who simply said:

“I’ve got her”.

It would be the first call of many. Almost every Wednesday afternoon for four years the twisted caller would taunt the family

The story would change from one call to the next. Sometimes the caller would say he had killed Dorothy Jane Scott. Other times he would say she was alive and he was holding her captive.

Despite the efforts of the police to trace the calls, including the installation of a voice recorder, they were unable to do so. The caller would always keep his conversations with Vera brief before hanging up.

Call To The Press

The Scott family weren’t the only ones to get a call. After printing an article about Dorothy Jane Scott’s story on June 12 a local newspaper named the Orange County Register received a call of there own.

In the eyes of the police, the caller was almost certainly responsible for Dorothy Jane Scott’s disappearance. He revealed details in the call that were not known to the public.

Perhaps most chilling was in the minor details he knew. One such detail was knowing that Dorothy had changed her scarf. This was something that would only be known if she was being followed.

The caller told the editor he had killed Dorothy Jane Scott and gave his reasoning:

“I killed Dorothy Scott. She was my love. I caught her cheating with another man. She denied having someone else… I killed her.”

Her parents Jacob and Vera disputed the claims of the caller. They were pretty certain their daughter wasn’t dating anyone and spent her time either working or with her son.

The calls continued until April 1984. On this occasion, for the first time, Jacob answered the phone. The caller hung up and didn’t phone again for another four months.

One theory is that the caller got spooked when Jacob answered the phone because he recognized Jacob’s voice. Did the killer also believe Jacob could have recognized his voice too?

The Discovery Of Dorothy Jane Scott

On August 6, 1984, a construction worker came across a set of bones just off Santa Canyon Road in northeast Anaheim. Laying beside the skeletal remains of a dog lay a set of partially scorched human bones.

Investigators believed the scorch marks weren’t from an attempt to burn the body. Police believed they were actually the result of a brush fire in October 1982 which had destroyed 125 homes in the area. This gave police an idea of how long the body had been there.

At the scene, a ring and a ladies’ watch were found along with the partially buried remains. Both items could be linked to Dorothy Jane Scott.

The watch was broken but left a chilling clue. It had stopped working at 12:30 am on May 29, 1980, not long after Dorothy’s vehicle was seen speeding out of the hospital car park. The cause of death was unable to be determined.

After dental record checks, the body was confirmed to be that of Dorothy Jane Scott.

The Caller Returns

Just two days after the body was confirmed to be that of Dorothy Jane Scott the twisted caller returned. He sickeningly asked:

“Is Dorothy there?”

Sadly both Jacob and Vera passed away without ever getting the answers they sought about their daughter’s death. Her son Shawn continues to look for answers. Nearly four decades later the person responsible for the murder of Dorothy Jane Scott remains unknown.

Further Reading And Sources






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