Netflix’s Don’t Pick up the Phone looks at the caller who duped multiple food and grocery outlets into performing inhumane searches on employees and patrons. The caller – who authorities never found – pretended to be a police officer investigating a person in the establishment.
The most famous victim of the hoax caller was Louise Ogborn, an 18-year-old aspiring med student working at McDonald’s to support her family. The caller described Louise to the assistant manager Donna Jean Summers and instructed her to strip search the young girl.
In the next four hours, Ogborn was humiliated, beaten, and sexually assaulted.
Louise Ogborn lives with her husband, Josh Bolin, and two children in Kentucky
Louise Ogborn pleaded with Donna Jean Summers not to search her, but her request fell on deaf ears. Ogborn needed the job as her mother had recently lost employment – she was working an extra shift when the hoax caller phoned in. Furthermore, Louise claimed she’d never stolen anything.
Ogborn said in a deposition: “I was bawling my eyes out and literally begging them to take me to the police station because I didn’t do anything wrong. I couldn’t steal — I’m too honest. I stole a pencil one time from a teacher, and I gave it back.”
Summers called Ogborn into the restaurant’s office – which would serve as Ogborn’s interrogation and torture chamber – and ordered her to remove all her clothes, underwear included. “She was crying,” Kim Dockery, another assistant manager, said. “A little young girl standing there naked wasn’t a pretty sight.”
Donna had to return to the counter, so she called her fiance, Walter Wes Nix Jr., to take over. Nix assaulted Ogborn and forced her to perform a sexual act on him, per the caller’s instructions.
Ogborn’s ordeal ended when Summers chose Thomas Simms to replace Nix Jr. Simms refused to carry out the caller’s orders, demonstrating to Summers that the ‘police officer’ was a fraudster.
Louise sued McDonald’s Corp. for $200 million for neglecting to protect her. The jury found that McDonald’s was partially responsible for the incident, awarding Ogborn $5 million in punitive damages and $1.1 million in compensatory damages.
“Louise has stood up for what happened to her and what McDonald’s failed to do for three and a half years, and this jury just vindicated her completely,” Ogborn’s attorney, Ann Oldfather, told CTV News.
McDonald’s appealed but withdrew the suit in favor of an out-of-court settlement. The outlet paid Ogborn $1.1 million after she agreed to forfeit the punitive damages.
Ogborn currently lives with her husband, Jason Bolin, and two daughters in Taylorsville, Kentucky. She adopted a secretive life after the settlement of her suit. It’s unclear if she contributed to the Netflix docuseries.
Ogborn suffered from severe mental health issues after the ordeal
Thomas Simms, a 58-year-old worker at the restaurant, refused to remove Louise’s apron, which was the only garment she had on. Summers testified: “Tom told me, ‘This man is asking … for her to drop her apron so I can see her without the apron.’ And I said, ‘Do what?’”
The caller had convinced Summers that he was on the line with the store’s manager, Lisa Siddons. When Summers finally reached out to Siddons, the manager revealed she’d been sleeping for hours. The hoax caller hung up after realizing the game was up.
“I begged Louise for forgiveness. I was almost hysterical,” Summers testified. Ogborn was so stunned that, as Dockery wrapped her in a blanket, she asked whether to report to work the following day. Dockery told her to take as much time off as she wanted.
Ogborn never returned – how could she? Louise started suffering from severe insomnia, nightmares, and panic attacks. She began a regimen of antidepressants to deal with her anxiety and depression.
“I can’t trust anyone,” Ogborn testified. “I push people out of my life because I don’t want them to know what happened.” Louise graduated from high school but abandoned her plan to study pre-med at the University of Louisville.
“She was dealing with a lot of issues of shame, feeling contaminated, feeling dirty, questioning herself,” Ogborn’s therapist, Jean Campbell, testified. “When anything like this happens, it destroys our illusions.”