The Murder Mystery of Orange County

Over 40 years ago, Dorothy Scott was abducted from outside a hospital, and her case has never been solved.

Josie Klakström
5 min readSep 15, 2021


Photo by Gustavo Zambelli on Unsplash

Pam Head and Conrad Bostron tried to wave down the car careering towards them at UC Irvine Medical Center. Blinded by the headlights, they assumed Dorothy was driving, but they couldn’t be certain. All they knew was that their friend and colleague was not slowing down, and soon the station wagon was speeding out of the car park. Dorothy never returned and was never seen alive again.

Described as a ‘quiet woman’, 32-year-old Dorothy was a single mother to her son, and the pair lived in Stanton, California. She worked as a secretary for two stores, though as a Christian, she didn’t partake in the products on offer, which included psychedelics and drug paraphernalia.

In the months leading up to Dorothy’s disappearance, she’d started receiving crank calls from an anonymous man. He’d call her at work, somehow knowing her routine, flitting the conversation between confessing his love for Dorothy and telling her how he was going to kill her.

One night, recalled Dorothy’s mother, he rang work and told Dorothy that he’d “cut [her] up into bits so no one will ever find [her]”. Soon after, Dorothy began taking self-defence classes and was considering buying a handgun for her purse, but both would prove fruitless as a week later, Dorothy would be gone.

The disappearance

On the 28th of May 1980, Dorothy and her colleagues sat down in one of the stores for a meeting. Her co-worker, Conrad Bostron, looked unwell, and the trip to the medical centre later that night would diagnose the strange red mark on his arm, causing him pain, was a black widow spider bite.

Dorothy had offered to drive Conrad and another colleague Pam to the centre to diagnose the mark. First, however, the convoy needed to stop at her parents’ home on the way to the hospital to check on Dorothy’s son and tell her parents where she was going. While she was there, she changed her scarf from the black one she was wearing to a red alternative.

Around 11 pm that night, two hours after noticing the bite mark, Conrad was discharged and prescribed…



Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about writing, true crime, culture and marketing.