She was a high school senior who had just turned 18 -- a churchgoing former Girl Scout who hadn't received a single admonition in her four months working at the McDonald's in Mount Washington. But when a man who called himself "Officer Scott" called the store on April 9, 2004, and said an employee had been accused of stealing a purse, Louise Ogborn became the suspect. "He gave me a description of the girl, and Louise was the one who fit it to the T," assistant manager Donna Jean Summers said.
Identifying himself as a police officer, the caller issued an ultimatum: Ogborn could be searched at the store or be arrested, taken to jail and searched there. "I was bawling my eyes out and literally begging them to take me to the police station because I didn't do anything wrong," Ogborn said later in a deposition. She had taken the $6.35-an-hour position after her mother lost her job. "I couldn't steal -- I'm too honest. I stole a pencil one time from a teacher and I gave it back."
Summers, 51, conceded later that she had never known Ogborn to do a thing dishonest. But she nonetheless led Ogborn to the restaurant's small office, locked the door, and -- following the caller's instructions -- ordered her to remove one item of clothing at a time, until she was naked. "She was crying," recalled Kim Dockery, 40, another assistant manager, who stood by watching. "A little young girl standing there naked wasn't a pretty sight."
Summers said later that "Officer Scott," who stayed on the telephone, giving his orders, sounded authentic. He said he had "McDonald's corporate" on the line, as well as the store manager, whom he mentioned by name. And she thought she could hear police radios in the background. Summers shook each garment, placed it in a bag and took the bag away. "I did exactly what he said to do," Summers said of her caller. It was just after 5 p.m., and for Ogborn, hours of degradation and abuse were just beginning. What followed over the next three hours was so bizarre, it's hard to believe that anyone would take it as more than a perverted prank call. But, no. There must have been a stupidity chip embedded in everyone's brain that long night, for more than just Ogborne took part in this almost unbelievable and factual fantasy play for the perpetrator of this crime....the vague voice of the so called officer. He called the shots and those who were on the other end of the phone, listened and did what they were told. Held captive by a phone? Perhaps hard to believe; but, nevertheless, we are reporting the facts just for you. Oh, did we mention we've got pics? And, vid clips? Listening to the 'voice',
Ogborn was told to empty her pockets and surrender her car keys and cell phone, which she did. Then the caller demanded that Summers have Ogborn remove her clothes even her underwear leaving her with just a small, dirty apron to cover her naked body. Summers had to check on the restaurant, since it was a busy Friday evening; so, within fifteen minutes, Summers' fiancι, Walter Nix, entered the office where Ogborn tugged at the small apron that barely covered her top and exposed her legs up to her buttocks. We're guessing Louise's fee-on-say was into fantasy role playing, because he did not question at all. Nix, a 43-year-old exterminator, began following the caller's commands, ordering Ogborn to drop her apron, bend over and stand on a chair. Then as ridiculous as it sounds he told her to do jumping jacks to shake loose anything she might be hiding. Ogborn says that was just the beginning of two more hours of torment. The demands became more and more bizarre. When Ogborn says that when she failed to address Nix as "sir," the caller tells him to hit her violently on the buttocks over and over. At one point on the video, Ogborn was "spanked" for almost 10 full minutes.
'He told me I was asking too many questions, so he was told to hit me,' she said. 'I just said, 'Please don't do this.' By the end, red welts could be seen on the woman's body. This is getting yummier by the sentence, isn't it? We're wondering if Nix banged one out as he spanked his lady. Ogborn says that after more than three hours of dehumanizing treatment, Nix again on the instructions of the caller forced Ogborn to perform a sexual act. The caller then told Nix to hand the phone back to Summers and instructed her to bring in someone else. This time, she had Thomas Simms, a 58-year-old maintenance man who worked at the restaurant, get on the phone with the caller, but Simms refused to comply with the caller's strange demands. "Tom told me, 'This man is asking
for her to drop her apron so I can see her without the apron,' " she recalled. "And I said, 'Do what?!' "Summers frantically called her manager, Lisa Siddons, who the caller claimed had been on the other line all along. But when Siddons answered her phone, she said she'd been sleeping. ONLY THEN did Ms. Summers realise she'd been, ahem, HAD.
And, so the real police were called, who arrived on the scene moments later. You can bet Nix was arrested for his role; but, wait! There's much more to this story. Thanks to an Internet search by his chief of police, the detectives discovered that calls like this have been going on for more than 10 years. Ogborn, it turns out, was only the latest in a long line of victims. After a McDonald's employee used the "*69" feature to get a telephone number for the caller, it was learned the call had been made from a supermarket pay phone in Panama City, Fla. It turned out that the Panama City Police Department had received several calls about investigations in multiple states for similar incidents. By early 2004, there had been more than 70 cases of hoax phone calls to fast food restaurants, dating as far back as 1994. At a McDonald's in Hinesville, Ga., a caller convinced a 55-year-old janitor to do a cavity search of a 19-year-old cashier, while in Fargo, N.D., a manager at a local Burger King strip-searched a 17-year-old female employee. In Phoenix, a caller had a Taco Bell manager pick out a customer and then strip-search her. And police in Massachusetts had been looking for a man who called three Wendy's restaurants near Boston in a single day. The detectives caught a break when they discovered the calling card used in the Kentucky incident was purchased at a different Wal-Mart than the one in the Massachusetts case. When detectives go back to the first surveillance tape to try and match up the face, they find the same man and notice something else he's wearing a uniform. The uniform is that of CCA Corrections Corporation of America a private prison company that runs a jail in Panama City. The warden identified the man in the video as one of his prison guards 38-year-old David Stewart. According to police, a search of Stewart's trailer revealed guns, police paraphernalia and training manuals. Police also discovered that Stewart had attended a local police academy and even volunteered as a deputy with a small police department in western Florida. David Stewart was extradited to Kentucky and charged with solicitation of sodomy and impersonating a police officer and has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to 16 years in prison.
Clinical psychologists say the caller's actions were likely a way to feed a God-like complex by manipulating his victims emotionally, physically and sexually. He calls it "virtual voyeurism." They further theorise it was no accident that caller was targeting fast food restaurants. Because everything goes 'by the book' at fast food restaurants, as long as employees follow the book, they're fine. Take them away from their manual and procedures and these employees are lost. Now we know why employees remind us of robots. They are hired for their ability to follow orders, no matter who issues them: like little mannequins. No real brain power required.
Since Stewart's arrest in the summer of 2004, there have been no more reported incidents of hoax calls to fast food restaurants. In the meantime, Summers, who should have known better, was fired, we hope, with prejudice. Nix has pleaded not guilty; but, if Louise marries him, she needs her head examined, for real. She is, by the way, suing McDonalds and Summers for false imprisonment. We can see suing Summers; but, in what way did McDonalds do any wrong? We do not qualify our credentials as attorneys and we're sure the attorneys will make out like bandits; BUT, how does one sue for stupidity and blind obedience? But, that's not what this story is about. It's got to do with bizarre events, complete with pics and vid clips, downloadable for you to keep on your hard drive forever and ever, amen. Share with your friends. And, know that we'll be back with stories that boggle the mind and the sensibilities.