Dorothy Jane Scott: Killed by Mystery Stalker who Taunted her Family for Years Afterward

(I got this picture from this article from Crimeblogger1983. He also interviewed Dorothy’s son Shawn, and Shawn named a possible suspect. Click here to read that blog post.)

In 1980, Dorothy Jane Scott, a 32-year-old single mother kept receiving threatening phone calls at her job in Anaheim, California. The stalker recounted every event in Dorothy’s day, letting her know he had a close watch on her. He said he was going to cut her into pieces so no one would ever find her.

Dorothy was terrified. She didn’t know who was calling her, though she thought the voice was familiar. She started practicing karate so she could protect herself. She couldn’t.

On May 28, 1980, Dorothy was at work after dropping off her son at her parent’s house. While at work, her coworker became ill due to a spider bite. Dorothy and another coworker kindly took him to the hospital. On the way out of the hospital, Dorothy told her coworkers to wait while she went to the parking lot alone to get her car. 

Dorothy headed through the parking lot alone. At this point it was quite late at night. It was twenty minutes before the coworkers saw Dorothy’s car pull around the front of the hospital to pick them up. But Dorothy didn’t stop. The car sped by the hospital and out onto the road. Her coworkers were stumped; why would Dorothy leave them stranded like that. After waiting two hours for Dorothy to return, their confusion led to worry when they still hadn’t heard from Dorothy and even called her parents’ house. No one had seen Dorothy. The police were notified, but they weren’t worried. Surely Dorothy had merely gone off on an errand?

Hours later, Dorothy’s car was found ten miles from the hospital, in flames. Dorothy wasn’t in it.

A week after Dorothy disappeared, her mother’s phone rang. “Are you related to Dorothy Scott?”, a man inquired. The mother responded in the affirmative. “I’ve got her,” the voice stated before hanging up. In subsequent phone calls, the caller taunted that he had killed Dorothy. He knew details that were kept from the media, such as the colour of Dorothy’s scarf, and the fact that her coworker had a spider bite. The stalker would taunt the family with phone calls every single Wednesday for the next four years.

Dorothy’s remains were found in 1984, four years after she went missing. Her watch was with the remains. It had stopped at 12:30am, May 29th, 1980, the night she disappeared.

My thoughts: I’m wondering if Dorothy’s stalker was actually one of her coworkers. He knew everything about her day, every day. Dorothy worked in the back of a shop as a secretary with limited interaction with the public, so police doubted the harasser was a customer. But what about a colleague? It would explain why she recognized the voice. I’d guess the caller disguised his voice in some way on the telephone, but maybe she could still feel the familiarity. Dorothy has been described as leading a ‘boring’ life, and didn’t go out much. Her parents could not fathom where she could have caught the eye of a stalker. It seems she spent all her time at work (12 hours a day) or at home. Apparently on one of the phone calls, the killer stated that he was angry that Dorothy had flirted with another man. I might speculate this is what triggered the abduction. He could have seen this interaction at the workplace they shared. When Dorothy’s car rushed by her coworkers, I’d guess the stalker was driving, or forcing Dorothy to drive. The police have never identified who was behind the calls. I haven’t read anything about cause of death either, perhaps it couldn’t be determined due to the state of Dorothy’s remains.

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