Chilling Night of Terror: The Unthinkable Killing of Dorothy 'Dotsie' Blackburn

Chilling Night of Terror: The Unthinkable Killing of Dorothy 'Dotsie' Blackburn

Dorothy ‘Dotsie’ Blackburn was 27 years old. Mother to a six-month-old baby boy, and two older children. She was a prostitute in a desperate struggle to provide for her children. A sad reality often hidden behind closed doors, Dotsie was forced to hand her infant off to a friend while she took to the streets each night.

Working Girl

On a particularly cold evening, Dotsie was low on funds. Her welfare check wouldn’t be credited for a few more days, and she needed money for crack and beer to numb the harsh realities of her life. Her live-in boyfriend, who was also her black pimp, accompanied her that night. They managed to secure three six-packs of beer on credit and began their routine of drinking, followed by Dotsie hitting the streets to earn money.

That evening, Dotsie, in a nondescript blue Dodge, negotiated the grim terms of her trade — $20 for a blowjob, $30 for a ‘half-and-half.’ A customer who wanted something more unusual offered his proposition, “I want to eat you while you give me a BJ.” A sense of foreboding thickened the air.

Sheer Pain

The encounter started as a typical one, with Dotsie on top. However, the man had difficulty getting an erection, perhaps due to the nature of their rendezvous, his first time with a prostitute. What unfolded next was nothing short of a nightmare. According to his confession, Dorothy bit into his penis causing blood to spurt onto the front seat of the car.

In retaliation and to vent his frustration and a surge of inexplicable rage, he bit into Dotsie’s vagina, causing a horrifying injury. Despite her shock, Dotsie managed to maintain her composure, her face adorned with an unnerving grin.

On the cold, snow-dusted ground outside the car, the man clutched his bloody penis, attempting to stem the gush of blood with a snowball. He was outraged, and with his rage, Dotsie’s fate was sealed. In an act of misplaced retaliation, he bound her arms behind her back with her pants and drove to Northampton Park.


Under the dim light of a small bridge, the man took a moment to examine his injury. He then turned his attention back to Dotsie. He pulled her hair, yanked her scalp, whispered menacingly into her ear. Despite her harrowing circumstances, Dotsie laughed defiantly in the face of her tormentor. It was the last act of rebellion she would muster before the man choked her for a good ten minutes, until her defiant laughter was extinguished forever.

Dorothy ‘Dotsie’ Blackburn went missing for nine days before her body was found. On March 24th, labor workers patrolling Salmon Creek in Northampton Park made a gruesome discovery. Instead of the garbage they were tasked to remove, they found what they initially thought was a mannequin. It was Dotsie’s lifeless body, clad in jeans and a sweatshirt, her dark curly hair and full lips frozen in the winter chill.


Her murderer, a serial killer named Arthur Shawcross, later recalled his actions with chilling detail, as he spoke of how he casually left her in the creek and spent half the night in the car with her lifeless body. After disposing of her, he nonchalantly made his way to Mark’s coffee shop on Lake Ave.

Arthur Shawcross. Source.

The death of Dotsie paints a vivid portrait of a cruel, often overlooked world where women like her have to bear the brunt of societal disdain and personal desperation. While the narrative is a brutal testament to one woman’s tragic end, it’s also a grim reminder of the countless other women who suffer a similar fate, their stories untold, their lives unnoticed.