Why Would Nikki’s Best Friend Leave Her When She’s Need Most?
Nancy Burge, Nikki LaDue January’s best friend, wanted nothing to do with anything to do with her death. This was a woman who Nikki stayed with overnight in the days leading up to her death. This was a woman who Nikki shared everything with. This was a woman who was about to make a trip to Florida with Nikki and Zack to meet Nikki’s parents. According to many, she distanced herself from what happened on July 29, 2002 and didn’t even go to Nikki’s funeral. According to Angelia Hursell, one of the last people to see Nikki alive, Nancy divorced her husband after Nikki’s death and now has exclusively female relationships. Angelia said Nancy also changed her appearance to look more like Nikki.
In fact during the time of Nikki and Nancy’s friendship, Nancy was involved with a woman who was terribly jealous of that fact. Catherine Pierochic wrote this letter to Nikki during that time.
You say give her space, she says it’s already over, no going back, no trying to get better. She says you agree with her and can’t believe the things I’ve done. I can’t either, but I’m desperate and scared. I don’t want to lose her and you know why. She is the best thing to ever happen to my life. Every joy that ya’ll are now sharing daily was mine. All the kindnesses and gifts and going beyond your wildest dreams were mine. She loved me so deeply and I was a fool to want or expect more. I cannot accept this loss. I hate that you’re in the middle, but you are, not because it’s your fault but because she’s chosen you and chosen to throw me away. I have had keys to the cars and to the house and freedom to share with them all. They are my family, and her mother and sister and brother, too, and she is family to mine. Our mothers call each of us their daughter. This just doesn’t end. I have not made her that totally unhappy on my own. I once made her as happy as you are now making her. She cannot see beyond the joy ya’ll share every day. I may be a bit crazy, but she is a bit confused herself to believe that all of this is okay, to dump me and to pick up so intensely and so completely with you. She says she wants friends, but her only friend and every desire is to be with you. Is that okay? Well, it’s not so bad if she didn’t have to get rid of me in order to have you. It’s all a bit too much and too soon for me. She never spent as much effort to make me recover from my obsessions and compulsion, if that’s what our problem is. She has now devoted her every moment to you, because it makes her happy. The hell with the rest of us, or me, anyway. She used to not be able to stay with me (on one occasion) because she didn’t want to leave Pepper alone. First chance, she’s with you when Scott leaves. Those weekends used to be our private time. She says she’s not playing me, but it appears so much that she is. If she had needed to leave me, it would not have hurt so badly nor been so confusing if she had not jumped head first into your relationship, friendship or otherwise. This is all absurd to me. My responses and reactions are extreme, but I can’t say altogether unwarranted. Something is not right with this picture. That’s what I see. Help you, yes. Devote her life to you at my expense, NO. I’m sorry I seem so mean and crazy. This situation is crazy. You’ve fallen for her and her devotion just like I did. And, I thought it meant something and meant it forever. She could forgive me if she wanted to. She wants you instead. Can’t say I blame her.
One week after Nikki’s death, her mother, Bonnie LaDue called Nancy. “That call was straight out of the Twilight Zone. She was cold as ice. She totally blindsided me with her attitude. I didn’t know what to say so I told her I was really sorry for what you’ve been through. I said the reason I’m calling you is because I really don’t believe Nikki committed suicide. And there was dead silence. And then Nancy said to me quietly, ‘then maybe I should be afraid.’ I asked her what she meant by that. She said, ‘nothing, I’m just saying…if you think it’s not a suicide then what could it be?’ I asked her what her take on the story was. She told me she and Nikki had been out of touch for 24 hours. She said she got a phone call from Phil that night wanting to know where Nikki was. And, I guess while she was talking to Phil, supposedly Nikki called Phil on his cell. This would have been around 11:00 p.m. She said she early-outed from her shift at the Grand Casino that night and went home but was thinking about Nikki and how she was supposed to help Nikki move early the next morning. So she decided she was going to go and check on her. She said she got a block away from her house and decided to turn back home because it was so late and because the following day we were going to go on our trip. So she turned around and went home. This would have been between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. because phone records show Nancy tried calling Nikki at those times. She never tried again. It seems odd to me because she hadn’t seen Nikki all day. Nikki hadn’t come to Nancy’s house that night like she always did that week. She didn’t even try to call her that morning when she was on her way over to help pack.”
Bonnie went to Mississippi the following year to try to get some answers. Nancy was very reluctant to talk with her. She finally agreed to meet with Bonnie and brought along a friend. Throughout the conversation, the friend, Andrew McGill, spoke for Nancy. Nancy, according to Bonnie was visibly shaken. She offered nothing more than her belief that Nikki killed herself with Andrew agreeing. Nancy maintained that Nikki and Phil’s relationship was perfect and they were very much in love.
Posted on November 26, 2011, in Cold Cases, Crime, Murder, Nikki LaDue January and tagged Bonnie LaDue, Cold Cases, Mississippi, Murder, Nancy Burge, Nikki LaDue January, Pass Christian, Phil January, Suicide. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.