The mysterious murder of Dorothy Jane Scott, a 32-year-old mother of one from California, began with threatening phone calls from an unknown man who claimed to be watching her. For months, he tormented her, at one point leaving a wilted rose on her car. The threats came to a head on May 28, 1980, when Scott brought her colleague (along with another co-worker) to the UCI Medical Center in Orange County, California, so that he could be seen for a spider bite. After her colleague had been treated, Scott left to pull her car around. But while the car would eventually emerge, it quickly sped off and vanished, and the glare of the high beams made it impossible for her co-workers to make out who was inside.
After vanishing without a trace, an anonymous man would begin calling Scott’s parents, Jacob and Vera, for four years and make torturously conflicting claims. Sometimes he said he killed their daughter, while other times he offered them a glimmer of hope and said she was still alive. Per Morbidology, the mysterious man would also threaten Jacob and Vera’s lives.
At one point, Pat Riley, managing editor for the Orange County Register, also received a perplexing call from someone who claimed that he killed Scott — whom he said was his “love” — for cheating on him. According to author Marc Hoover in a piece for The Clermont Sun, the killer revealed information that only authorities and the culprit would have been aware of. This intimate knowledge of the case convinced Scott’s mother that the voice on the phone was indeed her daughter’s killer.
The killer is still a mystery
The discovery of Dorothy Jane Scott’s remains on August 6, 1984, was a disturbing progression in the years-long bout of torment for her family members, but unfortunately, it did not offer her loved ones any resolution. Morbidology claimed her parent’s received one last phone call from the mysterious man that posed a cryptic question: “Is Dorothy home?”
Years have since passed and authorities were never able to locate the killer, identify the man on the phone, or determine if the two were one and the same. According to CyberSleuths, Dorothy’s parents maintained that the man was the killer, but with no hard evidence to connect the dots, they were unable to solve the puzzle.
Jacob died in 1994, and Vera died in 2002, as reported by True Crime Diaries. Although neither were able to achieve peace of mind through the capture of their daughter’s killer, Jacob had some final words before he passed. “If he really ever had any compassion for her, it just seems the decent thing to do would be to let us know where her remains are so we can give her a Christian burial,” he said.
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