Dorothy Jane Scott was a single mother, living in Stanton, California, with her aunt and 4-year-old son. She was a secretary for two jointly-owned Anaheim, California, stores one that sold psychedelic items and the other a head shop. Co-workers and friends said she was a devoted Christian, did not do drugs or drink. Her parents, who lived nearby babysat their grandson Shawn while she worked. Her father Jacob said his daughter may have dated on occasion but had no steady boyfriend that the family knew of.
When a stranger calls
It all started in the early months of 1980 when Dorothy started receiving anonymous phone calls on a regular basis for months at her place of employment and her residence she shared with her aunt. The anonymous caller who often proclaims his love for her, other times he would unleash his malice by threatening to cut her into pieces so that no one can find her. He had openly admitted that he was stalking her and confirmed it by providing various details regarding the clothing she had on and day-to-day activities at certain times throughout the day.
One phone call in particular haunted Dorothy. The caller told her that he would get her alone all to himself and dismember her into bits and pieces. She alerted her parents and even mentioned she recognized the voice but couldn’t recall a name. These alarming telephone calls and violent innuendos continued so in May 1980, she signed up for karate classes and was considering purchasing a firearm.
May 28th, 1980
One week later on Wednesday, May 28th, 1980, Dorothy, though feeling relatively safer after taking the courses, still she felt a little discouraged as she headed to work early to attend an employee meeting. During the meeting she noticed he co-worker, Conrad Bostron, was looking unwell with a concerning red rash on his forearm. Out of concern for his health, Dorothy and another colleague, Pam Head, took him to UC Irvine Medical Center, but on the way, she made a quick stop at her parents to change her apparel and let her family know what was happening. Unknowingly to Dorothy and Pam, the emergency room visit would take up the entire day and night as they remained in the waiting room for their co-worker’s discharge. Around 11:00 pm Conrad was released from the hospital with his prescription script, concluding he was suffering from a black widow spider bite.
Before leaving the hospital, Dorothy went to the restroom while Pam waited with Conrad – the only time the women were separated from one another. A little later on, Dorothy insisted that they should go to the pharmacy store mere feet away to get his prescription filled while she retrieved her car- a white 1973 Toyota Station Wagon- from the parking lot to pick them up because she didn’t want Conrad walking in his condition. The business in the pharmacy only took five minutes. They quickly assumed that Dorothy would be waiting for them outside but she wasn’t there. They proceed to go where she had originally parked her car, and suddenly they were confronted by her vehicle driving at an unprecedented speed in their direction with the headlights on full beam, partially blinding them as they waved their arms in the air to get her attention. The driver never stopped as the vehicle swerved past them erratically and made a sharp right turn out of the parking lot. Confused by the situation, Pam and Conrad thought an emergency came up regarding Dorothy’s four-year-old son and decided to remain at the hospital for two hours, believing she would return, but she never did. Pam decided to call Dorothy’s parents and ask if they had any contact with their daughter but they hadn’t. That’s when they notified the police and reported Dorothy missing.
The Search for Dorothy
By 5:00 am Dorothy’s station wagon was discovered up in flames in a back alleyway ten miles away from the hospital, but Dorothy was nowhere in sight. Several search parties were made in the following days to find her but the efforts were fruitless. Her parents feared the worst and those feelings only grew more harrowing when her mother received a phone call from a male saying he had murdered her daughter. The caller called her parents every Wednesday. For years to come her parents were harassed by the caller, sometimes he would state that he killed her sometimes he would say that she was alive. The police installed a call recorder but were never able to trace the caller since the calls were never brief. Hence they could not pinpoint a location.
The police were immediately called regarding this disturbing phone call. They told the Scott family to not release any details about their daughter’s disappearance or the phone call to the media in order to have an upper hand with pivotal information and to steer clear of false confessions. A week after this phone call her parents made it public that their daughter had gone missing. Later Pat Riley- the editorial manager for Santa Ana Register- received a nameless phone call on June 12, 1980. The caller said to him, “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”.
He went on to relay intimate details specifically about the night of her vanishing that wasn’t released publicly; acknowledging Conrad’s spider bite and the red scarf Dorothy had worn. What was even more confusing and chilling at the same time was that he stated that Dorothy called him from the hospital hours before she disappeared. Though the anonymous caller had pertinent the details about what happened, the police were under the impression Dorothy never placed a phone call to the individual; primarily due to Pam being by her side the entire time other than going to the restroom and parking lot to get her vehicle.
In August 1984- four years after Dorothy disappeared- a construction worker discover the remains of a dog at Santa Canyon Road approximately thirteen miles away from UC Irvine Medical Hospital. Upon digging more he found another set of remains that sadly belonged to Dorothy Scott. The remains were found along with a turquoise ring and a wristwatch that had stopped at 12:30 am on May 29, 1980, one hour after her initial disappearance. An autopsy was conducted but the medical examiner was unable to provide a cause of death due to the state of the remains, though foul play is undoubtedly involved.
Though the calls stopped in April 1984, there was one last final call after her body was found in August and the man asked: “Is Dorothy home?”
Over the years, there has been no breakout to this case, but there is circumstantial evidence that points to Mike Butler- the brother of a female associate working alongside Dorothy. According to acquaintances, Butler had an unhealthy obsession with Dorothy. It is said that Mike Butler was working at a mechanical store nearby from which he would keep tabs on Dorothy. But all this is circumstantial and we cannot prove him guilty. Unfortunately, there is hardly any evidence to consider him a suspect and the family, in general, has tried separating themselves from the entire ordeal.
The Scott family never received any answers as to who, why, and how their daughter died. Dorothy’s son, Shawn, has gone on to live a meaningful life but still pursues justice for his mother. It’s now been close to thirty-eight years and Dorothy Jane Scott’s abduction and murder remain unsolved.