Friday, April 1, 2011

Donna Jou Case: The Lessor of Two Evils Results in Slap on Wrist

In two weeks John Steven Burgess, a three time convicted sexual predator will be released from a California prison. Earlier today Reza Jou father of Donna Jou was on my show "Time's Up" (listen here) to discuss his daughter's case." She is also still missing.

Burgess confessed to the murder of Donna Jou saying he injected her, she overdosed, he freaked out, claims he rented a boat, and threw her in the Pacific ocean. His attorney struck a plea deal and John Steven Burgess was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 5 years, but will be released on April 15, 2011, after serving only 2 years.

In my opinion, there are a lot of holes and red flags in this case. Let's go back a bit to his history.

Important details and dangerous patterns of conduct as it relates to Burgess did not seem to hold much importance when he was arrested.

  • In 2002, he has 3 separate battery convictions.
  • In 2005, he was arrested after beating up his girlfriend.
  • Burgess was also charged with trying to force a teenage girl into prostitution.

The entire case wreaks of manufactured inconsistencies as it relates to college student Donna Jou.

First, he rents a house and takes in foreign roommates to assist with expenses. Did anyone check the background of these roommates?

Burgess posted ads for roommates on Craigslist. His online ad says "we are 420-friendly" -- a number that
according to authorities refers to marijuana. But does it apply to Burgess?

The State of California has two different 420 codes the first -California Penal Code 420 is a misdemeanor obstructing entry of public lands, and California Family Code 420 distinguishes a wedding ceremony.

Burgess is running ads in Craig's List or a code maybe, that he labels 420 for foreign students. Could he instead have been capable of running a prostitution ring with the aid of these foreign students with a connection somehow to their homeland? Is he part of a human trafficking ring? Was it a disguise? Burgess is smart enough when he is suspected in the Donna Jou case to send an email to investigators. Burgess admits in the email that it was an accident, confessing she overdosed? The lessor of two evils when one is facing the possibility of a life sentence for a person's abduction and possible murder. W,hy Burgess does not do the required registration because he is a registered sex offender, but he sends authorities an email confessing to the death of Donna Jou?

Is John Steven Burgess part of something involving criminal activity on a grander scale? Another fact is Burgess has no money to hire an attorney. How does he suddenly have one of the foremost high profile criminal attorney's defending him in this case? Why didn't the the 3 strikes and you are out sentence apply to Burgess?

If John Steven Burgess went undetected before, he can easily do it again. Please return, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, for continuing coverage on the case of missing college student Donna Jou and the impending release of John Steven Burgess.

$15,000 Reward for any information in finding Donna Jou.
If you have any information regarding Donna please
contact your local police department or call:
Los Angeles Police Department at 213-486-6900

And visit the Cue Center for Missing Persons HERE for more information about the case

Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit She is also in partnership with Pamela Chapman and iAscend Programs.

Susan is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, and wherever books are sold. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr Laurie Roth. Susan is a survivor- the daughter of a police officer family intimate partner homicide by her father who murdered her mother before committing suicide


neverever said...

Unbelievable! This is an utter, complete failure of our justice system. This evil bastard should never be set free!

drue said...

My sympathy goes out to her family and friend. Our justice system is failing to protect innocent people like Donna and it's failing to keep the perpetrators in jail so they don't strike again.

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