Sex predators, abusers and criminals, Craigslist, Safelist


By —— Bio and Archives April 7, 2011

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imageThis week I interviewed Reza Jou, the Father of missing 19-year-old college student Donna Jou.  Donna has been missing since June 23, 2007.  As a college freshman Donna was an honor student with huge dreams.  She wanted to be a neurosurgeon and has the brains and heart to do it.  In June,  2007, Donna made what now appears to be the ‘nightmare’ mistake of advertising her math tutoring services on Craigslist.  John Steven Burgess,  a 35 year old,  3 times convicted sex offender responded.  The fake out pose of ‘Mr. Nice guy’  was no doubt thrown out to Donna to illicit basic trust.  In truth,  he had 3 separate battery convictions,  was arrested for beating up his girlfriend, and arrested for trying to force a teenage girl into prostitution.

Loving Father Reza Jou,  described on my show what happened.  On June 23rd John Steven Burgess picked up Donna on the back of his Yamaha motorcycle outside her Rancho Santa Margarita apartment.  The Jou family was leaving for dinner and saw the motorcycle exit away.  Later,  Burgess told the police they had gone to a party at his house.

The interesting thing about Burgess is that he had many roommates who were all foreign.  He had been advertising on Craigslist for roommates he could rent to saying “we are 420-friendly”  apparently,  according to authorities that has to do with the use of marijuana. 

I asked Reza what he knew from following the case and investigation these last few years.  Witnesses at the party saw Donna go in the bathroom and hide,  then they saw her sitting on a couch in the back yard outside.  She looked spacey.  Her parents last received a text message from their daughter’s cell phone saying “Battery’s dying.  I’m in San Diego.  Be home soon.  I love you Mommy.”

On June 25th, the family reported her missing when she didn’t show up for work or school.  Burgess was considered a person of interest along with one other person.

Though a person of interest, Burgess was moving on with his glowing, criminal career.  He was arrested in Jacksonville FL for possession of crack cocaine and using a fake Social Security Card,  fake drivers License,  fake name:  Logan Anderson.  He was then sent back to Los Angeles and booked.

As the details unfolded there were things that just seemed bizarre and most suspicious about this guy and case.  In the first place Reza told me Burgess was poor and lived off others.  He was also a thief.  How is it that when he was named a suspect regarding the disappearance of Donna,  and his bail was set at $250,000,  it was paid? 

Best selling author,  crime blogger and survivor,  Susan Murphy Milano,  susanmurphymilano.com  also a regular,  Wednesday (2nd hour) guest on my show,  connects the dots in a more sinister and complicated way.  She said her gut tells her that Donna could still be alive and she thinks has been sold into a prostitution ring overseas.

From her professional analysis of hundreds of sex predators, abusers and criminals,  she feels Burgess doesn’t quite fit the profile of a murderer,  but perhaps instead a cog in a syndicate,  sex ring wheel who was assigned to take a fall.

I also find it most suspicious and back Susan’s gut instinct when you look at his chronic exploitation and arrests pressuring younger women into prostitution, his charges with drugs and sex and his ‘foreign’ roommates.  A poor,  loser of a guy,  doesn’t just get $250,000 bail money.  Could he be a cog in a sex ring and Donna be enslaved in another country?  I think yes. 

How many other women have disappeared connected with this guy?  Even more horrifyingly,  how many will disappear because the idiot authorities are letting him out of prison after just serving two of a five-year sentence?  Why the soft treatment on this guy?  Was someone in the system paid off?  Is there a syndicate and sex ring and is it connected from the bottom up?

Burgess’s story to the authorities was that they were taking drugs at the party and she overdosed and died.  He panicked and took her body and threw it into the ocean.  The only problem with that lovely confession is that Donna was a straight A student and never had a history of doing drugs. 

Where is Donna Jou and why is dangerous predator John Steven Burgess being let out of prison after a mere two years?  What……is he going to get a show on the Oprah network next?  There is a $15,000 reward for any information that leads to 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

Also visit the Cue Center for Missing Persons ncmissingpersons.org  to learn more info about this case.

One step in the right direction involves the development of safelist.com.  I talked with Karim Pirani,  Safelist founder.  They are currently testing their system in San Diego and are building it up from there.  They use declared levels of security with people that were buying and selling.  As it is now with Craigslist anyone could be setting someone up or preparing a con…..or worse.


Dr. Laurie Roth -- Bio and Archives | Click to view Comments

Dr. Laurie Roth

Just Who is this Annie Oakley of the airwaves?

Laurie Roth has a Ph.D. in counseling and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, is happily married and currently resides in Washington State. She is a singer/songwriter with five CD albums to her credit.