Phil January: I Support and Welcome the Re-opening of Nikki’s Case


That statement is likely the last you’ll see from Phil January on this blog anyway. Let me explain. When I first heard of Nikki LaDue January’s case I was in the process of creating this little blog. I wanted to focus on cold cases with the hopes that bringing back discussion would help spark someone’s memory or in some way, provide a tid-bit of information to law enforcement investigators to breathe some life into a case. Technically, Nikki’s case is not a cold case. It was closed within a couple of hours and ruled a suicide. But the more I read about her and the more I read and saw about her death on July 29, 2002, the more I thought she would be a perfect case to spotlight. Why? Because everything about it was so wrong. I could have read blogs and based on that wrote something about her. I choose though to talk to those who were closest to her. I can’t tell you how many emails I sent to people asking not so much about her death, but her life. Surprisingly few responded. But who did respond? Nikki’s mom Bonnie LaDue and Nikki’s husband Phil January. I don’t know either person. I didn’t know Nikki. My goal was simply to provide a forum for people to get to know Nikki and to find out what people thought happened.

That brings me to Phil January. Yes, I have read the theories out there. It’s not hard to read between the lines when there aren’t any lines. Many people think Phil January murdered Nikki in cold blood.

I, not being close to her or her case for very long hadn’t formed that opinion. In my mind there are so many possibilities out there including, yes, suicide. I doubt it but the possibility obviously remains. So Phil responded to me and quite naturally was wary of who I was and what I was trying to do. I don’t blame him. But he did agree to do an interview. Unlike what someone wrote in the comments, I did not send him questions in advance. We set up a time and he called me. And we spoke for an hour. I wasn’t calling him to grill him or try to tear him down. I had no idea if he knew anymore than he had previously said. I simply wanted for him to tell me in his own words about his life with Nikki, his thoughts and emotions the day he found her and who he thought may be responsible. That’s it. We spoke for an hour and it was very cordial and respectful. I was not representing the “Phil did it” side. I was on no one’s side. When we finished the call, he gave me his phone number and said I could contact him anytime if I had anymore questions.

When I published Phil’s interview, commenters were angry at him and at me. Personally, I really don’t care what anyone thinks of me. This isn’t about me. But I get the anger. And I read the comments. Were there other questions I could ask? Of course! But that was not the time. Up to and during that call, my mindset was I was speaking to a grieving husband. Because I don’t know Phil either.

I took Phil up on his offer and contacted him again. This time, due to my time constraints I emailed him a few questions. So yeah, you got me this time. He knew the questions up front. My hope was he would email me back the answers. That didn’t happen. Here are the questions I sent him:

1. Where is the gun now? People question how many bullets were in it when it was recovered. Do you know?

2. Not sure how people know this but many claim you’ve been let go from several jobs for abusive behavior. Why were you let go from the Grand and Boom Town?

3. I know you’ve said before you are former law enforcement, in fact was on a SWAT type team for years. What years were you with the department? Why would they have no record of you being an officer?

4. If an investigator asked, would you take a polygraph?

Today, Phil responded.

“At this point I am sorry, but I respectfully have to decline your request for any more from me regarding information concerning this matter. As you can see, if the facts, truths, and feeling expressed do not conform to their thinking, then they are met with insults, personal attacks, ridicule, and malicious statements. I do not plan on being any part of this moving forward. I fully support and welcome the re-opening of Nikki’s case by law enforcement in an effort to determined what may have happened, however it should be qualified law enforcement, not through the internet. Please remove me from your distribution list on any further posting.”

By the way, if you want to unsubscribe to this blog, you have to do it yourself…click unsubscribe on any email that comes with a post. I can’t do it for you. But there it is and yes, in his words. Am I qualified to analyse his response to me? No. Do I understand why he doesn’t want to answer questions? Absolutely not. Nikki’s case is not about Phil or anyone else for that matter. It’s about her. If someone murdered my wife, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what anybody said about me. I’d fight through that and continue to search for whoever did this. Unless, of course, I did it. Then I wouldn’t. The fact is there are inconsistencies with what Phil said. That could be attributed to a number of things. Events slip your mind. That’s why I asked the pointed questions that have proven to be part of the inconsistencies. Is it important to ask if he was ever a cop? Yes, because he said he was yet there is no record to support that. Why would he do that? I don’t know. That’s why I asked. Is it important to know where the gun is? Probably not as much right now as there is no active investigation but it could prove to be useful information when an investigation begins. He did say he supports re-opening her case. The question about abusive behavior, I can understand would be an inflammatory question. I personally don’t know if he was…but it is out there, so I asked.

And there you have it. This by no means is the last post I will do on Nikki. There’s so much more to tell. And Phil, if you haven’t unsubscribed and you do want to continue our conversation to help find Nikki’s killer, you know how to get a hold of me.

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Posted on November 30, 2011, in Cold Cases, Nikki LaDue January and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Anything to avoid a polygraph and any excuse will do to avoid the hard questions….

  2. While pondering on Phil’s refusal to further clarify his role in Nikki’s story and answer specific questions, it comes to mind how odd it is that he wants the world to know how much he loved Nikki, how wonderful his relationship with her was and how devastating her loss was to him…by his own statement to me only days after her death, it is always the persons closest to a victim who are looked at first. He claimed to me he would do everything possible to clear his own name and thus open doors into finding her killer.

    More than nine years later, we are still waiting. In 2003 he was given the opportunity to sign a release form allowing my PI to probe his background…i.e. his employment records. He initially agreed but when pressed after weeks of failure to do so, he finally responded that he would not be a party to my witch hunt to “destroy Nikki”. (since Nikki was already destroyed, the logic of this statement was lost on me). Phil’s former employer, Wichita Falls, TX city clerk stated his job as safety specialist lasted about two years….she indicated she had much to say about him, but was not willing to risk a law suit by divulging anything further without written permission from Phil himself. However, she was quite incredulous at the suggestion he had been a law enforcement officer and firmly denied it.

    In 2005 after Nikki’s story went up on the realcrimes.com forum and the flurry of accusations began to appear on the message board, Phil was once again challenged to clear his name. In an email I asked him point blank to provide me with proof of his whereabouts on the night Nikki died. He had told me previously he had in his possession travel receipts, (gas and food) during his trip from Shreveport, LA to the Mississippi gulf coast, allegedly between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. July 29th. This seemed to me a reasonable, straightforward request. By giving me copies of these for my files, I could be assured that he was not at the condo in Pass Christian when the gunshot occurred as well as I would have them on record for the day Nikki’s case was an open homicide investigation.

    Instead of following this simple path to clearing his name, he stonewalled again with a lame explanation about his bank records for that time not being available. (what did his bank records have to do with the receipts?) He did send copies of some bills for his cell phone and hotel room in Shreveport with itemized calls listed, as well as a portion of Nikki’s July cell phone bill for the roaming calls she supposedly made as she drove back to Mississippi from Louisiana on July 20th (the last time Phil saw her). I assume they represented a dual purpose in his mind…he thought the dates and times of his calls on these bills were proof that he was no where near Pass Christian at the time of Nikki’s death and they also would clear up the suspicion that he had taken Nikki’s phone from her before she returned to MS on the 20th, contrary to what he had said before….more on this point later.

    Unfortunately, upon close perusal of said phone bills, an interesting fact came to light. Having myself earlier obtained three of Nikki’s phone bills directly from Verizon, it was discovered that the account number on MY originals did not match the one on Phil’s copy. How could this be?
    Again, relying on logic, it seemed Phil must have been tampering with the phone bills to make them appear as he wished because surely it was not Verizon who had any need to misconstrue details to me. It was a colossal mistake on his part to underestimate my intentions to thoroughly study the information he provided. By doing so, he blundered and put an account number on Nikki’s Verizon bill that looked more like the Nextel account number on his OWN bills.

    Shortly after Nikki’s death I questioned Phil closely about her cell phone…where was it, why had he relied on only the condo landline on the 28th when he was searching for her, etc. He told me Nikki had had problems with her Verizon account and since she was shortly moving and would need a new phone and number for the area she was relocating to, she had arbitrarily decided on Monday, July 22nd to cancel her Verizon account and be without a phone for the next couple of weeks.

    Keeping in mind two things, I was immediately suspicious….Nikki, like most of her generation, was never without her phone and relied heavily on it as a means to communicate. According to one of Nikki’s friends, she was heard to say sometime in the last week of her life “that asshole took my phone again”. The possibility that Nikki, while knowing she was going to be traveling to Florida to see us the following week, and would have Zack with her, would just up and decide she wouldn’t need her phone is slightly ridiculous….and out of character. Beyond that, and perhaps more important, a representative at Verizon who looked at the archives told us this: Nikki’s cell account was in active use up until the end of August 2002, one full month after her death. Verizon at that point shut down the account for lack of payment.

    So here is what we know: Phil and Nikki had a loving, close relationship; Phil lost everything the day she died; Nikki was addicted to cocaine and Phil was her knight in shining armor, supporting and encouraging her on the road to recovery; everyone who made observations about the negativity of Nikki’s relationship with Phil is lying…and now we know that Phil will cooperate only with an official investigation by law enforcement into the circumstances of Nikki’s death…and his own role in it all….he will continue to avoid the questions about his career as a police officer, the location of the gun, the reasons he lied about the phone, and will not even address the idea of taking a polygraph.

    In my mind there remains one question….WHY?

    While others are quite vocal about who killed Nikki, I am not one of them…if you have read anywhere that I accused Phil January of murdering my daughter, it is a misquote….I need proof and will never say that I know precisely who pulled the trigger that night until I have it.
    The one thing I WILL say is….someone killed Nikki and I’m convinced it wasn’t her….So, if you know more than what you’ve told please come forward and allow this family to find the truth.
    Phil, if you are still reading, I have one thing to say to you: if you are innocent of any involvement in my daughter’s death, I find your refusal to cooperate beyond cruel….our family has gone through nine years of agony that may have been avoided had you not lied and hindered progress. I hope you rethink your current stance and ultimately decide to end the misery you have heaped on Nikki’s loved ones, both family and friends….please provide the answers that will allow us to move forward.

    • Bonnie, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I pray you get the answers you need. Having lost a brother, under almost the same circumstances, my heart bleeds for you. You lost a child, I cannot imagine the horror. My brother’s case was also closed as a suicide. Even though he spoke to my mother hours before saying he wanted to come back home. No one would listen to us either. I think about and pray for Nikki everyday.

      If there is ever ANYTHING I can do for you, I give permission for you to have my email address. I’m not sure I can just post it here. I can write emails, make calls, whatever you need.

      I’ll pray for answers for you. God Bless you and your loved ones

    • The creep is laughing at us all right now. He’s pulled the old bait and switch routine pretending to be cooperative but then when the real request for action and answers come, he’s a fucking coward. Bonnie has NEVER said that piece of shit killed her, however, I have and numerous times.

      Hey asshole, I know you killed my girl. You know I know you killed my girl and your day will come. Keep telling yourself Nikki loved you. I can promise you she loved the man she thought you were and when she started to figure you out, it was too late. She feared you, Phil. Is fear the same as love in your sick twisted mind???

      Bless your wife. I fear for her life and she should too. I hope her family is aware of your past for the simple reason that if she winds up dead, they will be more swift in stepping in and demanding investigation. Unfortunately in Nikki’s case, family was many miles away. You made damn sure with the help of your good ole boy network that Nikki was bagged and tagged and on her way to New York before anyone even knew the true CAUSE of death.

      As for me, I stepped aside for a while, in fear for my own life and the lives of my loved ones. I’m in a safe place now and I’m not scared of you or your boys. I’m rattling cages and shaking trees and doing everything I can to support and encourage a REAL investigation into Nikki’s death. This is bullshit!

    • Have you ever asked your grandson what he remembered about that night?

  3. Since he is doing his Scott Peterson impersonation why don’t you post his past comments, letters and interviews? I think they speak for him even if he doesn’t. He gave them of his own free will.
    I’d love to read his notebook to Nikki on what she was to do everyday. Or his interviews with the PI. Or even the strange cards he sent to his dead wife.
    In fact I think those would give us a clearer and better understanding of who he really is.

  4. He (phil) won’t unscribe to site he got to see how close they are getting to him

  5. Sounds like something scott peterson would have said. “”Y’all think I’m guilty so I’m not speaking to you anymore.” Good lord man, she was your wife. How can you not be doing everything possible to find her murderer? If you love her as you claim to you would know she would never kill herself. How can you stand by and watch and not do a thing to clear your name? And we’re supposed to believe that you had nothing to do with it? Anyone who knnew Nikki knows of her love of life and Zack. That is everyone but you Phil. Something wrong with that picture!

  6. Why would he not want his wife’s murder solved, if indeed it was murder? Is he content that she committed suicide? If there were ANY question, I’d be the first to want to know, if it were MY wife, and I had nothing to do with it.

  7. The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Part XIV

    http://theslamdunktrove.blogspot.com/2011/12/death-of-nikki-ladue-january-part-xiv.html

    Please go to above link and read, share and comment.[

  1. Pingback: A Catch-Up Post For the Nikki LaDue January Case « Cold No More

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