Donna Jou’s killer arrested again while using craigslist again

John Steven Burgess

John Steven Burgess

Parolee in Donna Jou’s death arrested in Hollywood:

Convicted Coed Killer, John Steven Burgess, Facing New Charges:

For those of you who may not know John Steven Burgess is considered by most to be the original Craigslist killer. In 2007 he met 19-year-old Donna Jou through her craigslist ad for tutoring. One night she rode off with Burgess on the back of his motorcycle and that was the last time she was seen. Burgess admitted to her death but claims she died of an accidental heroin overdose and that he dumped her body in the Pacific ocean. Her body has never been found. He only served half of a five-year sentence for her death. This week Burgess was arrested on a parole violation.

Police in Hollywood, California say that Burgess placed an ad on craigslist looking for a roommate that could stay at his place free of charge in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Two women responded to his ad and when they went there they found a woman dressed only in her underwear convulsing. Burgess allegedly told the non-convulsing women there that he was an innocent victim of the justice system and that writers were offering him large sums of money to tell his story.

Luckily one of the women didn’t fall for his story and found his real name and discovered who he really was. Not too long afterwards the police showed up at his door and led him out in cuffs. He’s been charged with being a parolee in possession of a .7 mm rifle round. Currently Burgess is being held without bail. No word yet on the convulsing woman but for all we know she could have been yet another victim of Burgess. So far he’s only looking at 3 years in county.

So why do so many people still think craigslist is such a great place to do business? Why does craigslist still insist on not monitoring its own site to weed out scumbags like Burgess? When you combine greed with a lack of common sense it makes for an awfully dangerous mix.

Donna Jou

Donna Jou

Donna Jou’s parents believe that Burgess is lying about their daughter’s fate. To see more from them please visit

New tip in disappearance of Donna Jou

Donna Jou

Donna Jou

New Tip May Lead To SDSU Student’s Body:

Donna Jou’s father, Reza Jou, announced this week that a tip has been received that may lead to the discovery of his daughter’s body.

If you’re a long time reader of this site you’ll know that Donna disappeared after being last seen with registered sex offender John Steven Burgess. Burgess responded to Donna’s craigslist ad where she offered her services as a tutor.

Burgess confessed to her death and claimed that he dumped her body in the Pacific Ocean. He was sentenced to 5 years in 2009 but may be released as early as this Christmas for ‘good behavior’.

However Reza Jou said this week that a tip has been received that Donna’s body may actually be buried somewhere in Los Angeles. He also said that the place where her body may be buried is on private property and they are working on obtaining a search warrant.

Now I’m no legal expert but I believe that if her body is found and she didn’t die in the manner that Burgess claims (heroin overdose) wouldn’t this make Burgess’ plea deal null and void? God, I hope so. Burgess is a grade-A scumbag who should be looking at a death sentence.

I hope this tip pans out not only to see Burgess swing but to also give some semblance of peace to the Jou family.

4 years since Donna Jou disappeared

Donna Jou

Donna Jou

Today is the 4th anniversary of the day that 19-year-old Donna Jou disappeared. You may remember that she disappeared after going out with a man that she met on craigslist that responded to her ad offering her tutor services. That man was registered sex offender John Steven Burgess. He claims that he dumped her body in the Pacific Ocean after she allegedly overdosed on heroin. Donna Jou’s family, especially her father, Reza Jou, don’t believe Burgess’ claim and believed that he actually killed her.

More on Donna and her story can be seen at and this blog post at Time’s Up.

Thanks to Cynthia Caron for the reminder.

Burgess being held for another year

John Steven Burgess

John Steven Burgess


John Steven Burgess, the so-called killer of Donna Jou, has not been released from prison, sort of.

Burgess was scheduled to be released from prison by the state of California after serving two years of a five year sentence for the alleged overdose death of 19-year-old Donna Jou. I say allegedly because Donna Jou’s family believe that Burgess is lying about what happened to her. Burgess was scheduled to be released 3 years early due to ‘good behavior’.

After protests from family and supporters it was announced that Burgess will spend a year in the Los Angeles County jail.

Still this is not even close to justice for Donna Jou. If she was killed, her body was never found, 5 years for her death is a joke considering that Burgess was a registered sex offender with a history of violence.

Donna Jou’s killer to be released early

John Steven Burgess

John Steven Burgess

Killer could get out of prison after 2 years:

I’ve posted about Donna Jou many times before. She was the 19-year-old student at San Diego State who disappeared after placing an ad on craigslist. In my estimation she was the very first victim of a ‘craigslist killer’.

Ms. Jou placed an ad on craigslist offering her services as a math tutor and through that ad she struck up a friendship with registered sex offender John Steven Burgess.

Donna Jou was last seen in the company of Burgess and was never seen again and to this day her body has not been found.

Burgess claims that he gave Donna heroin and that she OD’d and that he panicked and dumped her body in the Pacific Ocean. Burgess pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 5 years back in 2009.

Apparently the California penal system sees 5 years as two as Burgess is getting ready to be released early for ‘good behavior’.

Donna Jou’s father, Reza Jou, doesn’t believe a word that is coming out of Burgess’ mouth. He doesn’t believe that his daughter would ever engage in heroin use with a scumbag like Burgess. My words.

This Friday the 15th Donna Jou’s family and supporters will be assembling in front of the Los Angeles Criminal Justice Court building to express their warranted outrage. More details can be found at

If I could be there I would. What Reza Jou has gone through is every parent’s worse nightmare no matter what your child’s age is then to have not only this scumbag Burgess tell lies about his daughter but to have him be released early from jail on top of it.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Donna Jou.

Burgess sentenced in the death of Donna Jou

Man gets 5 years in missing Calif. student case:

Yesterday John Steven Burgess was sentenced to 5 years in the death of Donna Jou. Burgess, a registered sex offender, met Jou over craigslist. She allegedly overdosed from the drugs that Burgess gave her and he dumped his body in the ocean. Burgess had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Burgess was already in jail on other charges.

Gloria Allred comments on craigslist

Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred

“But for Craigslist, Donna Might Be Alive Today”:

Hell has officially frozen over. I actually agree with something that shrill feminist attorney Gloria Allred said. Ms. Allred is representing the family of Donna Jou who died after overdosing while in the company of registered sex offender John Steven Burgess.

“But for Craigslist, Donna might be alive today,” Allred says. “She most likely never would have met Mr. Burgess without it.”

Allred thinks that Craigslist should implement measures to detect sex offenders who use the site and either block their postings or warn others about whom they’re dealing with. The Weekly’s calls to Craig Newmark and other Craigslist spokespeople were not returned.

Like I said in my previous post, MySpace is doing all it can to keep sex offenders off of its site, why can’t craigslist? Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to put all my money down on the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl.

Sex offender pleads guilty in death of Donna Jou

Sex offender pleads guilty in death of Orange County woman:

Registered sex offender John Steven Burgess pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Donna Jou. Burgess was the last person seen with Jou alive. The pair met through a personal ad on craigslist. Burgess claims that he gave Jou coke and heroin which she allegedly OD’d on then dumped her body in the Pacific Ocean.

Under the plea agreement Burgess is only looking at five years. He’s already serving 3 years for failing to register as a sex offender.

You know, MySpace is doing all it can to keep sex offenders off its site. why can’t craigslist?

Sex offender finally charged in the death of Donna Jou

Sex Offender Charged in Death of Donna Jou:

Sex offender accused of drugging, dumping woman:

In case you’re not familiar with the story of Donna Jou she was a 19-year-old honor student at San Diego State who was last seen on June 23, 2007 riding off on the back of the motorcycle of one John Steven Burgess, a known sex offender. The pair had met on craigslist.

In the past two years police always believed that Burgess was their main suspect in Donna’s disappearance. This past week. they were finally able to charge him.

Burgess was already in jail serving time on an unrelated charge. Recently LAPD detectives confronted Burgess with what evidence they had so far which wasn’t much. However Burgess admitted to police that he provided Donna with heroin which she OD’d on. He then took her body far out into the Pacific Ocean and dumped her body there. Burgess has pleaded not guilty to the charges of involuntary manslaughter. Burgess is only looking at 8 years for his involvement in Donna Jou’s death.

My prayers and condolences go out to the Jou family.

I guess now we can finally say that Donna Jou was the first craigslist related death.

Katherine Ann Olson and Donna Jou

Craigslist users wary after killing of baby-sitter:

Susan MacTavish Best of craigslist had the following to say about the murder of Katherine Ann Olson

“We were shocked and saddened to hear of this terrible tragedy, and our deepest sympathies are with the victim’s family and friends,” said Susan MacTavish Best, a spokeswoman for craigslist, an international network of online communities that features free classified advertising.

Best said there’s never been a homicide linked to craigslist since it was founded 12 years ago.

“Assuming the craigslist link is confirmed, this would be the first time,” Best said, referring to Olson’s death.

Best said craigslist officials work with law enforcement whenever they receive a request, but she wouldn’t comment specifically about their involvement in the Olson investigation.

I bet you think I’m going to rip her again but I’m not. Unlike when defending the erotic services section Ms. MacTavish-Best did not use this as an opportunity to tout how great craigslist is. However this may not be the first craigslist murder. In a sort of twisted backwards way but with no disrespect meant towards anyone involved there is still the matter of Donna Jou.

Donna Jou went missing in July and was last seen leaving on a date with a guy by the name of John Burgess that she met on craigslist. Unfortunately as of yet she has not been found and even less unfortunately police are unable to charge Burgess with anything due to lack of evidence. However it’s entirely possible that Donna Jou may be the first craigslist murder.

Now you may thing that there’s a difference between answering a personal ad and a job ad on craigslist. There is but only slightly. Predators don’t usually use job ads to attract victims but it’s not unheard of.

This past July I posted a story about a woman who was approached sexually by a man she thought was a prospective employer.

I guess what I’m saying is that since criminal elements lurk in the rest of craigslist it was only a matter of time before they seeped into the employment ads as well. So no matter what kind of ad you’re placing or responding to on craigslist it doesn’t hut to be overly cautious. The old saying holds true here, just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Be careful out there.