Lordy Nervous Nelly Charged after Diary Says She Moved Woman’s Body; Who Does That?

A diary entry helped prosecutors issue abandonment of a corpse charges against Joni Janis, a 37-year-old woman who got caught up in some bizarre Mardi Gras drama at her South Side crib.
On Feb. 27, 2017 officers found Kierstin Whitcher’s body inside a car on Blow Street near Carondelet Park. The body had been in the car for about 12 hours and an autopsy determined the cause of death was diabetic ketoacidosis, officials said.
Multiple witnesses told investigators they saw Whitcher, 26, hanging out at Janis’ home the day before her body was found. Three of the witnesses told officials that Janis admitted to them that Whitcher died at her home and she had moved the body.
When a search warrant was obtained for Janis’ home in the 8000 block of Morganford, investigators found a diary in her bedroom closet. Court records contain an excerpt from the diary that talks about Mardi Gras, which was Feb. 25, and how “everything came crashing down” around Janis that night.
In the diary, Janis writes about how there were cops in her house after a man, who had been up for days and couldn’t be woken up, was left in a car in her driveway. Janis said she was then “pulled from bed by gunpoint” by officers. She wrote that the officers asked if anyone else was in the house and when she said ‘yes,’ the officers went downstairs to find her friend, referenced as C.L. in the diary, but he had “locked himself in the bedroom with a girl in a diabetic coma, a pound if ice and stolen guns.” The officers told Janis they would be sending a building inspector over to open the door.
C.L. then “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.”
Around 3:45 a.m., Janis was woken up and told of Whitcher’s death. In the diary, she wrote that she “quickly assessed the situation” and, after realizing that her “nosy next door neighbor” was out of town for the night, placed the body in the car to “drop her off on the side of the highway with her lights on so she’s found fast.”
“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,” read the diary entry.
When investigators showed Janis the search warrant she reportedly blurted: “I barely knew the girl, I barely knew the girl.”
Janis has been charged with one count of abandonment of a corpse.


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