Nikki LaDue Tries Anew–Marries Phil January
Disclaimer: These posts are meant to be interactive. You can read and surf away if you want. Or you can participate. Read carefully about what is said or is claimed to be known. And then weigh in. Your words could have the power to solve these mysteries that continue to torment the families and friends of the victims. Feel free to pass this blog along.
Near the end of 1999, Nikki LaDue found her knight in shining armor. Working on the floor of the Grand Casino in Gulfport, Mississippi, she would occasionally have to deal with an unruly gambler. When that happened, she’d call security. That’s how she met security manager Phil January. But at the same time, she also fighting demons no one could fight. Nikki was addicted to pain pills. She hid this well from her friends and family. Drugs were easy to come by at the Grand. In fact more than once, there were internal investigations that tried to break up an Oxy-ring. People lost their jobs but the drugs continued to flow.
But Nikki had apparently found happiness with Phil who was 16 years older than her. Or so people thought. I hope to be speaking to Phil later this week to get his side of things.
They married in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2000. While Phil did make a good first impression with his new in-laws, Nikki’s mother Bonnie was concerned. “I was very surprised she was jumping into this too quickly,” she said. Her divorce from Mike Williams was just about a year old and her relationship with Phil a bit more than 8 months old. “Nikki and I were really tight,” Bonnie said. “I felt there was something ‘off’ with her the day she got married. I felt sure she was doing something she didn’t want to do.”
Thanksgiving, 2001. This was the last time Nikki’s family saw her alive. Bonnie was worried. Nikki always was very conscious about her appearance. But that November day, things were much different. “She looked horrible. She was haggard and thin. Her face looked drawn.” And there was another sign something was wrong. “Zack was a very spoiled boy and Nikki was not much of a disciplinarian. He was prone to fits and tantrums. When they came that Thanksgiving, he wasn’t the same. It was like he just got out of boot camp.”
But it was during this holiday that Bonnie began to suspect Nikki had an addiction. “She and her sister set it up so that Nikki would surprise me by coming a day earlier than expected. When I opened the door she threw herself on me and we both fell to the floor. I broke a couple of ribs and was prescribed pain pills. That week, Nikki complained of a toothache and asked if she could take one of my pills. I said yes. Later she asked a second time. When they left, the bottle of pills was gone. I called her and asked why she took them. She denied it. I let it go.”
In the final year of her life, Nikki was said to be living under the specter of Phil’s jealousy. Several friends said he tried to keep her on a short leash. A couple of people said he had “spies” keeping tabs on her. Once a very exuberant and vibrant woman, Nikki’s personality seemed to be changing. She became a loner and afraid to socialize with people. For some reason, the only person Phil would let her be friends with was Nancy Burge. Later, Nancy will play an integral role in the horrific day of July 29, 2002.
Up next, the “phone call from hell”
Posted on November 15, 2011, in Cold Cases, Crime, Murder, Nikki LaDue January and tagged Cold Cases, Mississippi, Nikki LaDue January, Pass Christian, Phil January. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.