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Oct 12, 2017

Stalked to Death: The unsolved murder of Dorothy Jane Scott

On May 28, 1980, 32-year-old Dorothy Jane Scott vanished under suspicious circumstances. The timeline leading up to her disappearance -- and continuing after -- painted a truly horrifying tale of obsession and stalking. When the single mother was ultimately found murdered, only one element remained in her case: The phantom caller who knew too much about her. Will we ever learn the identity of the man who stalked Dorothy Scott to death?

For many months leading up to her disappearance, Dorothy Jane Scott was targeted by harassing phone calls by an unknown man. The caller targeted her while she was at work, calling her place of employment frequently. Scott was a secretary for a business that ran two head shops in the Anahaim, California area -- so the caller may have been a customer that had frequented the shops. While she was being targeted by these phone calls, Dorothy reportedly told her mother that she could recognize the voice, but couldn't put a name or face to it.

These weren't harmless phone calls. The anonymous caller often professed his love for Dorothy, expressing his growing romantic obsession for the woman. However, in between calls declaring his romantic devotion, the mystery caller began threatening his target with fantasies of gruesome violence. As the phone calls intensified, and became more frequent, the unidentified man began to describe Dorothy's daily routine to her, letting it be known that he had been stalking her every move. During one of the bizarre phone calls, the man told Scott that he was going to dismember her and make sure that nobody would ever find her.

This anonymous stalker did other things to let Dorothy Scott know that she was being followed. During one of the calls to her place of employment, he told her to look outside for a gift he had left her. When she did (foolishly), she found a single red rose on her car's windshield. Strangely, the rose was dead and dried up.

Loved ones of Dorothy Jane Scott knew that she was terrified, because not long before she vanished she talked about purchasing a handgun for protection. She also began taking self defense classes to learn martial arts. Unfortunately, her attention to self defense didn't help her, because she vanished just weeks into her training.

A strange disappearance
The night Dorothy Jane Scott vanished, she had left work early to take a coworker to seek medical attention for a spider bite. At sometime during the hospital visit, Scott needed to use the restroom. Her coworkers noted that she disappeared at this time, and didn't come back. Several minutes following this, her car came speeding toward them in the parking lot of the hospital. They were blinded by the headlights, as it was after 11:00 p.m. They did not know who was driving Scott's car, and could not see inside of it.

The day after Dorothy was last seen, her 1973 Toyota Station Wagon was found burning in an alleyway, approximately 10 miles from the hospital where she was last seen. No remains or evidence of the missing woman were found in or around the vehicle, but its presence was cause for immediate suspicion. Her family members became distraught, frightened at what may have happened to the woman who had been the victim of stalking.

Not long after she disappeared, the loved ones of Dorothy Jane Scott began receiving anonymous phone calls of a disturbing nature. During the first call to the missing woman's parents, the man only uttered three words: "I've got her."

After the initial bizarre phone call, the unknown man began calling weekly, making disturbing comments about the missing woman while declaring his love for her. The unidentified caller told the woman's mother that he killed her.

Nearly a month after she vanished, an anonymous male called the office of the Orange County Register (a newspaper). The caller said the following:

"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."


According to detectives, the caller also made comments that only a killer would know about the missing woman's case -- such as what she had been wearing the night of her disappearance, and that she had changed scarves at one point in that night.

A game of cat and mouse
Four years after the disappearance of Dorothy Jane Scott, a construction worker discovered human and dog remains in a rural area near Santa Ana Canyon Road. The bones had been charred from a wildfire that swept through the area, leading officials to believe that the remains had been there for at least two years. It didn't take long to positively identify the remains as belonging to Dorothy Scott.

Not long after the discovery of Dorothy's remains was reported in a local paper, the woman's mother received another call from the anonymous man.

"Is Dorothy home?" is all the man said, before hanging up the phone.

After this final call, the man never bothered the family again.

Whoever this unknown man was, he stalked Dorothy Jane Scott to death, and continued getting his rocks off after killing her, by torturing her loved ones. He played a game of cat and mouse with her parents, calling and tormenting them -- but never staying on the phone long enough to be traced. It's been over 30 years since her body was found, and Dorothy's murder still remains unsolved. Will we ever learn the identity of her stalker? 

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