Charges filed in the Donna Jou case, at last

John Steven Burgess has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the presumed death of Donna Jou, who’s been missing from the Los Angeles, California area since 2007. He’s been the prime suspect from the beginning and I’d been wondering why they hadn’t charged him before now.

My assumption—and everyone’s, I think—was that Burgess killed Donna during a rape or rape attempt. The guy is a convicted sex offender, after all, and he approached her with deceit. They met online and he used a false name. But now the police are saying Burgess supplied with Donna heroin and/or cocaine and she accidentally overdosed and died. Hence, involuntary manslaughter.

That surprises me a lot. Donna was, by all I’ve heard, a very straight-edge girl. A very good pre-med student in college, did tutoring, held a job, taking summer classes, no mention of any drug or alcohol abuse. But smart people do stupid things all the time. (I’m living testimony to that.) Perhaps it was just a one-time thing—the fact that she accidentally ODed would seem to indicate inexperience. Or perhaps there was a side to Donna most people didn’t see. I know it’s possible to be a druggie and a good student; I’ve known some people like that. Or perhaps Burgess tricked Donna into taking the drugs. I guess it will all come out at trial.