East Cobb murder suspect: ‘I’m sure I will burn in hell’
by Geoff Folsom
December 26, 2012 07:45 AM | 26306 views | 12 12 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Kristofak
John Kristofak
MARIETTA — Law enforcement officers continued on Tuesday to look for a man accused of killing his ex-wife in east Cobb. But John S. Kristofak has apparently told the Journal that their search will be in vain.

“Let me say by the time you get this (I) will be dead,” the first line of an email believed to be from Kristofak, 58, said.

The email was sent to the Journal at 5:20 a.m. Monday; the day after news broke on the death of Kristofak’s ex-wife, Donna Nations Kristofak, 48.

Responding to a 911 call, Cobb Police and Fire officers found her unresponsive with serious injuries at 11:48 a.m. Saturday at her home in the 3900 block of Tall Pine Drive, near Walton High School. Donna Kristofak died after being transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

Police secured an arrest warrant for John Kristofak on murder and aggravated assault charges in connection to the homicide in one of Cobb’s more desired areas.

In his rambling email full of misspellings and with little punctuation, John Kristofak said he and Donna Kristofak had been through an acrimonious divorce after 20 years of marriage that was hard on everybody, particularly their three children.

“There is no justifying what i did and im sure i will burn in hell for it,” John Kristofak wrote.

He claims that a “set up” led to months of jail time earlier this year, when he violated a temporary protective order. He said the order came after a shoving match with Donna Kristofak, and aggravated stalking charges were issued after he put “ugly signs” in her yard. John Kristofak wrote that after seeing his wife in the parking lot of the YMCA on March 29, “I thought she was staring at me so i figured something must be wrong with the kids.”

John Kristofak wrote that he then started driving toward his ex-wife, then, “Immediately she gets on the phone with the police before i know it 5 cars are on me with weapons drawn.”

Holly Comer, CEO and executive director of the YWCA of Northwest Georgia, said such claims of blaming others are typical for a stalker. Her agency serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“Most stalkers and abusers are very manipulative, and they will try to manipulate any situation to make it seem like it’s not their fault,” Comer said.

John Kristofak pleaded guilty to aggravated stalking and family violence simple battery charges Oct. 12. Judge Adele P. Grubbs sentenced him to four years and five months probation and seven months in jail, with credit for the time he already served. He was also given a permanent restraining order, forever banning him from contacting or going within 500 yards of his ex-wife.

John Kristofak wrote that on Oct. 29, “I walk out a free man.”

John Kristofak wrote that the couple never had any physical altercations before the shoving match, and even denied a neighbor’s claim that he often raised his voice.

“I’m thinking to myself they conspired to have you arrested on top of that you lost everything what am I going to do,” he wrote. “I felt very depressed and angry and should have sought he;p (sic).”

While police haven’t commented on how Donna Kristofak was killed, family friends said that the Kristofak’s teenage son told them that John Kristofak stabbed Donna Kristofak after trapping her in her garage.

Comer said she questions John Kristofak’s apparent suicide threats. She said it is common for abusers facing charges to make such threats as a way to show they are in control of the situation. She also wondered about his claims now that he should have gotten help.

“I do think that many of them should seek help,” Comer said. “But I think, again, he is using that as an excuse for his behavior. You probably should have thought of that before you allegedly went and killed your wife.”

After the Journal provided him with the email, Investigator Anthony Stier with the Cobb Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit said, “It’s probably him,” when asked if the message came from John Kristofak.

While police have said that the U.S. Marshals are assisting them, Stier said he couldn’t comment Tuesday when asked of the status of the investigation, but said they were still looking for John Kristofak.

Police said John Kristofak was last seen driving a brown Chevrolet Equinox with Georgia tag BUV 2635. They said anyone who sees him is asked to call 911, while anyone with information in the case is asked to call (770) 499-3945.

Comer said her agency will be there to serve domestic violence victims.

“Unfortunately, this wonderful woman who had children and sisters is no longer with us,” she said. “I think she did everything she could to try to protect herself. You need to call us if you need help, but you need to do everything you can within the legal system."
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December 27, 2012
After reading the whole story for another article, i will conclude that the system failed her terribly. I do not know her, but this must be hard for those who did. That judge should step down for letting that man go free in Oct.

so so sorry
December 27, 2012
Why run yet another story about yet another spousicide in East Cobb and refer to East Cobb as "one of Cobb’s more desired areas?"

Life in East Cobb sounds itself like burning in hell.. A spouse you hate because you're both incredibly shallow... Kids who disappoint you )with their 4.7 GPA, why not a 4.8!!!)... Schools fraught with (trivial but HUGE to you) problems... Hour long solo car commutes each way (but it's in my 'Cedes!!!!)... Working late again because you can't stand to go home... Idiots who work for you can't do anything right.. Sneaking around with that coworker who is no better than your spouse but whom you just haven't decided yet to hate... Plastic surgery... Credit card bills into the tens and hundreds of thousands... And I won't even go into the various kinds of child abuse.

Who in hevk wants all that? The answer is easy: People who buy whatever they are told repeatedly, such as "East Cobb is one of Cobb's more desired areas."

What prompted that reach around to the East Cobbers, MDJ? You really can't report on something bad happening in East Cobb without a little smoochy smoochy first?

IF this had happened "near a public transit stop" you'd pile it on to CCT or Marta as deep as you possibly could. Are MDJ board members trying to split up former East Cobb farm land to sell it to a cookie cutter developer or what?? OR do you just pile it on to Marta & CCT because you sell cars in your newspapers, but not Breeze cards?

People living in East Cobb kill each other for no bigger reason than "mismatch a pair of socks, fester for 10 years." That place is insane!

Hey MDJ, can you stop putting "MARIETTA" before stories about East Cobb? East Cobb never makes the news in any positive way. They make Marietta sound really really bad.

So on the topic of supposed media blackouts over guns.. Here's one right here! Where were the guns in this situation? Why were no children killed? Is it because he only had a knife?

Come on, MDJ, how about some investigative journalism beyond chasing local politicians and CEOs from bar to bar?

If the teenage son had been a pistol packer, would mom be alive today? Or would dad have taken the gun and shot him? If mom was ruled a stalking victim, why didn't she have a gun? Or did she have one but maybe it's unfavorable in the eyes of the NRA to report that it was of no help to her? Do the neighbors have gun licenses or gun purchases registered to them? If so, did any of it stop this murder? NOPE.
East Cobb Mom
December 27, 2012
VCP42 - you are a complete idiot.
January 09, 2013

You're over here complaining that this story makes the town sound bad while two of my friends are now motherless and fatherless. You say that the town is full of shallow people? I think you're one. Those are my friends, not just some property or statistic. How about you think before you post something so pathetic and superficial? Stop trying to turn this into some political game about guns either. What would you do at 17 years old as you see your mom being stabbed in your garage? I guess someone such as your self would obviously pull your handy dandy pistol from its holster that you keep on you at all times since you are 17 and just lounging around the house and shoot your dad. Obviously a gun would have changed the whole situation... Smh people these days.
anony mous
December 26, 2012
Lee C,

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and can see yourself out of this conversation. You are a bum ass broke man who has absolutely no life. Nobody cares about your situation with your ex-wife. I don't think this is a forum about old men trying to make people feel bad for them. I would suggest you create an E-Harmony account and go purchase some Viagra. Leave the ignorance and nonsense off of this page. You have no business talking about a women that you did not know.
December 26, 2012
Lee, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Your situation has nothing to do with this one. How dare you lay blame on Ms. Kristofak. You do not know her, as you stated, so you have no room to point fingers. I'm sorry your ex-wife did those things to do but that does not mean that every situation is the same, because all PEOPLE AREN'T THE SAME. Leave your untrue and antagonistic comments to yourself and allow the people who knew Donna to remember her as she was, a sweet and good-hearted woman.
Stacey D.
December 26, 2012
Lee C, you seems to have read a different article. From what I read and heard on the news the protection order was granted. A judge would not grant a permanent protection order for a women trying to"play victim". I think Ms Comer is completely correct in her comments. Mrs. Kristofak is no longer with us and the person who she was "playing victim" with allegedly did it. That makes her a real victim. Too many times domestic violence is not taken as seriously as it should.Your comments are an example of this.
Marietta Mom
December 26, 2012
We knew Donna & met John through their children being in the same school as our children. Donna was very sweet and very helpful to everyone. She took on a leadership role for parents in the school. John was very quiet & looked very uncomfortable in social situations to me. We were shocked & so saddened to hear of her death.

No decent father could do what he appears to admit to doing...murdering the mother of his children & committing a crime that would KEEP his children suffering for a lifetime with the pain of murder & the loss of both parents!

As far as "being manipulated" by his wife, this man was damaged & damaging LONG before any marital separation. I pray now for his children, they are his victims as much as his wife.
Kelley Vickers
December 26, 2012
I knew her briefly when she worked for me years ago. She was a very sweet woman. What a tragic situation.
Lee C.
December 26, 2012
I don't know either of the Kristofak's but it sounds like Ms Comer of the YWCA doesn't want Mr. Kristofak to have an opinion or try to explain his actions - using every negative to describe him.

What men need to learn is control their anger and know up front that wifes seeking divorce will almost always manipulate their supposed "victim" status in the court system to try set husbands up with phony physcal confrontations. Let your soon to be ex-wife hit you, push you, call you ugly names, whatever but don't lose your cool and strike a woman because that is exactly what they want and need legally to get you out of the house and in jail. Just step back and call the police on her and let the law work for you instead of against you.

My ex-wife tried the same stunt as Ms. Kristofak. After she filed for divorce she tried to get me out of the marital home by agitating and "inventing" a physical confrontation. She pushed and slapped me then called the police but instead of running and "looking guilty" I stayed and called the police on her. The female officer saw through my ex-wife's charade and arrested her while I stayed in the home with our kids. I was later awarded the marital home as well as custody of our children.

The best way to prevent violence against women is to teach men how to control their anger and see through the ploys their soon to be ex-wives will use against them. If men try being the victim for a change, they will find it much more rewarding in the long run. It worked for me and was definitely in the best interest of my children.
December 26, 2012
Yeah Lee...I'm sure she was baiting him in the garage right before he stabbed her to death. You sound typical of blame the victim...maybe the cops should keep their eye on you as well.
K. Smith
December 26, 2012
I knew Ms. Donna Kristofak and she would not, as you say Mr. Lee C. try to play the victim. Every situation is different and he may have done what Mrs. Donna said. He went to the house he was not suppose to be at and waited for her in the garage. FYI had a permanent restraining order was issued against him in oct. 29th. He put himself in this situation, if its all lies then he should have paired up with a lawyer and let the lawyer fight for him. Since you do not know Mrs. Donna, maybe you should do a little more research before you start saying things.
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