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St. Louis woman who wrote about dumping a body in her diary sentenced to prison

Joni Janis explained in her diary how she and others put a woman's body in a car and left it alongside the highway
Credit: SLMPD

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis woman whose diary entry detailed dumping a body along a highway has been sentenced to two years in prison.

A judge on Friday sentenced 39-year-old Joni Janis. She pleaded guilty in September to abandonment of a corpse and a drug charge.

Authorities say 26-year-old Kierstin Whitcher of Waterloo, Illinois, died in 2017 of a diabetes complication. Police found Janis' diary in which she wrote that a male tenant of an apartment in her home left behind the woman, saying she was in a coma.

Janis explained in her diary that when she realized the woman was dead, she put the body in a car, which was left alongside the highway with the woman inside.

Her husband, Timothy Janis, was sentenced previously to two years in prison.

A St. Louis detective found Janis’ diary on June 4 after obtaining a search warrant for her home in the 8000 block of Morganford.

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An entry in the diary details how Janis removed K.W.’s body from her home. Janis wrote she loaded the body in her car and dropped her off on the side of the highway with her lights.

Here’s the complete diary entry from court documents:

(Editor's note: Some may find the details of this note disturbing.)

“Mardi Gras was here. Then… everything came crashing down around me. It all started the night of Mardi Gras. Sat night. C. went to Mardi Gras and brought home some girl. She had her guy friend in the car who had been up for days and they couldn’t wake him, so they left him. 9:45 a.m. I wake to cops – in my house – screaming they were the police. Then my bedroom door swung open and guns were pointed in my face along with flashlights. Pulled from bed by gunpoint. I am less than happy. They ask if anyone else is in the house. I tell them yes, I rent the basement to my friend, C. L. – lol. So they go downstairs but C. locked himself in the bedroom with a girl in a diabetic coma already (soon to find that out) a pound if ice, and stolen guns. The cops have no reason to break down my door. There was just some [expletive] in my driveway. But – now they want in. So they tell me they are sending a building inspector over and that door better be open. So they leave and within 2 hours C. was ghost – a memory. Took most of his crap and burnt out – leaving this poor girl in a coma in my basement. He told me she was ok and would wake up. I texted him many times letting him know she was still here and he needed to come get her. 3:45 a.m. A. wakes us – [expletive] is dead. Cops come in my home for the first time EVER and the same night a girl dies in my basement. T. and A. panic but I quickly assessed the situation and realize my nosy next door neighbor is out of town this night (thank you facebook) its 4 am and there is never gonna be a better time to do this. We cannot call 911. I don’t even know if C. got rid of everything incriminating. So I made the decision. Load her in the car, drop her off on the side of the highway with her lights on so she’s found fast, and we walk home. A. was [expletive] useless, hyperventilating like a moron. T. was less than stoked about moving and handling a dead body, but something had to be done and quick. Before we knew it it would be dawn. No – we had to move fast. So – we lined our hands in latex gloves and began the disturbing task of moving this dead girl. It was hard. Very hard. T. only with one arm. It was a fiasco. We were pushing trying to get this lifeless body into the car. By the grace of God. So, still gloved we loaded her possessions into her car. I drove while T. sat in back. We took her down a few exists on the highway, left her lights on so she would be found quickly and walked home back down the freeway… tossing our gloves along the way.”


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