Transcripts of Phil January Interview with PI (Part 1 of many)

Nikki LaDue January’s death, while classified as a suicide, had so many red flags pointing to murder an amateur could spot them. But the Pass Christian Police and the Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove didn’t even bother to look.

Bonnie LaDue wasn’t satisfied with the failure of law enforcement to investigate her daughter’s murder. She hired a private investigator to look into things. Below is part one of several parts of his interview with Phil January, Nikki’s husband. Which took place less than a year after Nikki’s death. The interviews were recorded and then transcribed. Today’s installment, SWAT and investigation flaws.

PI: Tell me about your background.  I understand you were in law enforcement.

Phil: I worked uh Wichita Falls, Texas for 20 years. I got out of that, moved to the coast. Got into security at the casino. Left there for a while went into private security work here and then back to the casino security business.

PI: OK. Uh when you were an officer in Wichita Falls, uh were you a patrol officer?  Did you ever work any uh … uh were you a detective? Did you ever do anything like that?

Phil: No. I don’t want that kind of work.

PI: With uh with the 20 years in Wichita Falls with the other 14 did you what did you do-

Phil: Well I was a patrol Sergeant and I became a lieu – a shift lieutenant and the last four years I was a captain over the special d- um… special d- service division.

PI: Is that like uh is that uh SWAT team?

Phil: Um yeah. All the All the uh outlying divisions that you have other than than basically patrol and traffic.

PI: Ok. Um. And I just want to kind of get your gist of since you were in law enforcement, what was your general opinion of uh what was done here? The investigation done here?

Phil: What investigation? There was none. Um after everything was left, my son, my best friend down here, uh we went back up, and then when I get the police report, I see that it says “fingerprints were taken” there were no fingerprints taken. Um. They come down, tell me that they found a suicide note and there was no note at the scene and then I find out two weeks later that they got it off the computer. And then after that I find out that it was the note that she wrote me three months earlier to tell me about her drug problem. It had nothing to do with anything that day. So they were, they were searching for ways to make things add up. Um then when I addressed some issues with them in in some of uh a letter – they actually changed their opinion of the scene was – saying that one of the marks on the wall wasn’t actually a mark on the wall. They had made a mistake.  The mark on the wall is there. That’s where they said it was the first time. Um. You know they never questioned anybody. They never talked to any– they didn’t even really question me. So I don’t know how they could have done any kind of investigation they were there less than an hour, hour and a half at the most.

PI: It’s amazing.

Phil: Yeah. It was – it was nothing and and then to leave everything there they took nothing as evidence other than the weapon as far as I know. They – they didn’t take the stuff that was on the table. They didn’t take the phone. Um I had addressed an issue with them about how the phone ok was covered in blood on both sides. It wasn’t splattered. It wasn’t dripped. It was covered and it wasn’t – it wasn’t a hand print. And it was laying on her – on her lap. Facing – dial facing towards me. And of course I tried to use it and the phone was dead. And so I put it on the table. And you probably read this in in the stuff from Bonnie, but – you know I addressed that how’d the how’d the phone get covered with blood – and then I tell them that I put it on the table and then their response was “well we wondered how it got on the table”. Um but if you put it on the table you should know how it got covered in blood.

PI: Right, right

Phil: The blood was dry when I picked it up.

PI: The blood was dry when you picked it up?

Phil: And I – my friend Alan and his wife went over and cleaned up the balcony and I talked to him and and and he basically has said the same thing they threw the phone away ’cause it was, they couldn’t , they couldn’t clean it up. And there was no other phones hooked up in the house. She … wait going back after I finally got moved into the apartment that I’m at and finally got my stuff I pulled the phones out and the caller ID’s on all the phones worked up till about 12:15 that night. So sometime while we were talking she was still working on packing ’cause she had unplugged all the other phones. We had like five phones in there.

PI: So all the phones were unplugged.

Phil: Except the one.

PI: Except the one. And that was a cordless phone?

Phil: Yeah.

Up Next: Phil on Nikki’s addictions


Posted on December 7, 2011, in Cold Cases, Crime, Nikki LaDue January and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Interesting read, so Phil did not do anything with all the evidence the police failed to take and with the suspicions Phil had and the questions he allegedly posed to law enforcement, combine that with an alleged a previous position in a SWAT unit, hmmmm wouldn’t you think he as the husband would have gathered that evidence (not touched the phone) in order to push for a murder investigation??? Hired private sources in concert with his wife’s mother Bonnie to get to the bottom of the sad and cruel death Nikki experienced. But yet he allowed the friends who clean the porch up and throw out into the trash all that related her death. Doesn’t the state or county offer a service that does this type of clean up of murder and suicide scenes? Did this PI try to verify Phil’s position in law enforcement? Easily verifiable for a talented PI.

    Just a few thoughts that popped out at me.

    Blessings to you Bonnie.

  2. thanks Tracker…actually, the PI DID verify there was no record of Phil being with the police department in Wichita Falls…and he had done so before this interview. Later, a homicide detective in Houston ran Phil’s SS# and he too informed me there was no record of him serving with any police force in the state of Texas.
    As for Phil (an ex-officer of the law) acting more responsibly than those who were assigned to Nikki’s case…why indeed! did he not demand ultimate care be taken of his wife’s death scene? And why, when it became apparent that the Pass Christian PD were ruling Nikki’s death a suicide and walking away, did he not at least make sure he himself preserved all the evidence the cops had left behind? I cannot imagine that a seasoned former cop’s (a real one) instincts, training and experience would not kick in, even in the event of trauma and shock.

    Assuming at the time that Phil was telling the truth, I asked him to contact his former colleagues in law enforcement for help…he said he didn’t have anyone he could call…!? He also refused to enlist the aid of his own BROTHER who was a private investigator!

    • Miss Bonnie, I am so very sorry about Nikki. I was looking up another case from the Coast and clicked a link that took me to her story. Once I saw her photo I realized I had known her. God bless you and your family and friends. I think I might try to ask some of my friends “in higher places” if they can help. Just the name “Burge” threw up a red flag to me. Your heart must be breaking every single day. I am so, so damn sorry!

  3. Now you’re getting to see the real Phil January. He was getting rid of evidence and covering his tracks. We need to raise funds for an re-enactment!

    Looking forward to more on this and your other case Lacey Gaines. You can sure pick ’em!

  4. I happened upon this information while researching another event on the Coast and realized after seeing the photos that I knew Nikki almost 10 years before… I am just sick! Nikki had moved to MS quite recently when I knew her, as we were both transplants from up North. She moved here with another guy though.. this was like 1993 that I met her. She was a dealer and so was he; they were both young and very sweet. Mike? Was that his name? I was working at a dealership in 1993 and they were friends of a friend and came in and bought a new Nissan from me in Gulfport. They had a maroon Rodeo. Yes- we all partied like crazy people back then. That’s what we did in those days with pockets full of money and lots of friends. Oh Nikki! I am truly sorry, honey! If only I had known… a few years earlier I had settled down and returned to college and lost touch. I do know some people on the Coast who have run afoul of the crooked law (and are lawyers and whatnot). Can’t help but think maybe they could help or at least offer advisement after being rolled under the buss by peers. Y’all know what I mean. Pustay. I consider PC home as it was the first place I lived after moving to the Coast. Ironically, I had a beach condo with a balcony, but was living in Ocean Springs at the time of the murder and was busy with kids and my own education in 2002. That must be how this slipped my radar. I am so unbelievably sad right now. Much love, sweet Nikki.

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

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