crimes and consequences

Dorothy Jane Scott

dorothy jane scottThe Phone Calls 

In 1980, Dorothy was a 32-year-old single mother. She lived in her aunt’s home in Stanton, Califonia with her four-year-old son Shawn (Shawnti). Dorothy worked as a secretary for two jointly-owned stores. Both stores were originally owned by her father, Jacob who sold them to a man named John. She worked in the back office of Custom John’s Head Shop and Swinger’s Psych Shop. These stores catered to the hippie-culture in Anaheim California.

In the early part of 1980, Dorothy began receiving strange phone calls from an unknown man at her aunt’s home.
This man professed his love for Dorothy Scott. However, on other occasions, he would spew hating threats. For example, during one phone call, he told Dorothy “When I get you alone, I will cut you up into bits so no one will ever find you.” In addition, he knew the initial details of Dorothy’s daily life and even could describe for her what she was wearing that day. Even more disturbing, during one of the calls, he told Dorothy to go outside and check her car.
When Dorothy Scott did, she found a dead rose on her windshield. Dorothy told friends and family that the caller’s voice was familiar, but she couldn’t figure out how. These phone calls were so disturbing that Dorothy began taking karate classes and considered buying a gun.

Early on the Night Dorothy Disappeared

On May 28, 1980, Dorothy dropped Shawn off at her parents’ house in Anaheim. There was a 9:00 pm work meeting she was required to attend. At the meeting, Dorothy noticed one of her co-workers, Conrad Bostron, wasn’t looking well. In addition, he had a large red mark on his arm. Concerned, Dorothy and another co-worker, Pam Head, offered to drive Conrad to the hospital. On their way to the hospital, they stopped by Dorothy’s parents house so she could let them know she would be later picking up Shawn. While at her parents’ house, she replaced the black scarf she was wearing with a red one. This becomes an important clue later.

Dorothy drove Conrad to the hospital with Pam. While Conrad was being treated, Pam and Dorothy waited in the emergency room lobby. Doctors determined that Conrad suffered from a black widow spider bite and prescribed him medicine. While he and Pam filled the prescription, Dorothy went out to the hospital’s dark parking lot to pull her car up to the front. Conrad was still very ill and she didn’t want him to have to walk.

Dorothy Scott’s Disappearance

Pam and Conrad waited for Dorothy inside the hospital’s front door. After a few minutes, they stepped outside. When they did, they saw Dorothy’s car speeding off with its bright lights on. They waved their arms, but the car just kept going. Pam and Conrad waited at the hospital for two hours, assuming Dorothy had some sort of emergency with Shawn. Later, they called Dorothy’s parents.
When they found out they hadn’t seen Dorothy Scott, Pam and Conrad called the police. Not long after, at 4:30 am, Dorothy’s 1973 Toyota Station wagon was found burning in an alley. It was in the city of Santa Ana, about 10 miles away from the hospital. However, Dorothy wasn’t in it.  

More Phone Calls

A week after Dorothy Scott’s disappearance, her mother Vera, received a strange phone call.  The called asked if Vera was related to Dorothy.  When Vera replied “yes” the called said “I got her,” and then hung up.  Later, in June of 1980, the Santa Ana Register, an Orange County paper, ran a story of Dorothy Scott’s disappearance.  That same day, the newspaper editor, Pat Riley, received an anonymous phone call.  The caller told Pat that Dorothy “was my love.  I caught her cheating with another man.  She denied having someone else. I killed her.”  The caller knew facts that hadn’t been released by the police or media.  For example, the unidentified man knew that Dorothy had changed scarfs and that Conrad suffered from a black widow spider bite.  The called told Pat Riley that Dorothy had called him from the hospital.  However, Pam Head says that Dorothy never left her side while they were there. 

The Discovery of Dorothy Jane Scott’s Body

Dorothy’s mother continued to get phone calls almost every Wednesday afternoon.  The caller would taunt.  Then one Wednesday, the unidentified man called in the evening. Jacob, Dorothy’s father answered.  The caller hung up and the calls ceased.  Then on August 6, 1984, four years after Dorothy’s disappearance, construction workers found her body.  It was located 30 feet off of Santa Ana Canyon Road.  Only her pelvis, skull, two thigh bones, and an arm were found.  Oddly next to her body were the bones of a dead dog.  Both sets of bones were charred.  Police speculate the bones became charred after a brush fire in the area two years earlier.  Also located at the scene was Dorothy Scott’s watch and ring.  The watch had stopped at 12:29 am on May 29th.  Dorothy Scott was identified through dental records.

The Calls Start Up Again

Dorothy Jane ScottThe newspaper ran an article about the discovery of Dorothy’s body.  Afterward, Vera received another strange phone call.  The caller asked “Is Dorothy home?” and then hung up.  Through the years, the police tried to trace the calls, but the caller always managed to hang up before the trace could be completed.

Who Killed Dorothy Scott?  Shawn’s father, Dennis Terry, had an airtight alibi.  At the time of the murder, he was in Missouri.  Dorothy didn’t have any boyfriends and rarely dated.  To this day, her murder remains a mystery.

Read more

Similar Crimes and Consequences True Crime Podcast Episodes: