Phil January Interview with PI (Part 2 of many)
Sorry it’s been awhile. Been going through my hate mail. Continuing now with the interview Nikki LaDue January’s husband Phil gave to a private investigator back in April 2003.
PI: Let’s talk about Nikki. Nikki was uh, uh, a vivacious woman by all accounts. Very social. But also had a uh by all accounts, uh had a drug problem. Can you tell me – uh – about her – about what you know about what she was using, who she was using with, and the extent of her drug problem?
Phil: Uh – I didn’t know about her drug problem until she came clean three months earlier.
PI: And that was the note that was left?
Phil: That was on April 28th. I had no idea. She tells me in the note which you have probably read that it started out as recreational, she was doing (indistinguishable) and she said that she had gotten up to about 7 or 8 a day and that she also did some cocaine. Um
PI: How was she doing this without you knowing it?
Phil: She did it at work. She – she knew I wouldn’t stand for it for one thing because one of the reasons that I had left my last relationship was because that woman was chemically dependent on p- on pain pills.
PI: Who was she?
Phil: Her name was (redacted)
PI: And she uh – she was – you weren’t married to her you was
PI: Just girlfriend?
PI: And she worked at the Grand also?
Phil: No. no, no.
PI: Local? Local girl around here?
Phil: Um no actually I met her in Wichita Falls and she’s the reason I moved down here.
Phil: Her husband had been a was a doctor so he kept her drugged up. And she had some medical problems and then she went back to the drugs. And I told her I wouldn’t stand for it and Nikki knew all that because Nikki and I spoke for – in lengths before we ever got w- got involved in any kind of romantically and so she knew that I wouldn’t stand for it. There was a lot of things that looking back now I see because there were a lot of money that would come up missing and stuff like that that she was using and to to support her habit but as far as who she was with that was part of the deal that when she came clean she was supposed to tell me her friends that were users and I stayed on her for that for almost a month and she never really gave me a list of anybody other than the people I already knew. Uh -
PI: Now you know you say that she was actually on-shift taking the drugs and being intoxicated on-shift?
Phil: I don’t know what – no, I I I don’t think she was doing them while she was working. I think she did them after work. I don’t know that though. I don’t know when she took them. But I know that she would get them there from whoever she could. One of the girls that she got her most of her supply from was Jackie Wheeler. Um She did tell me that. And she even told me about some girl that worked in one of the restaurants that had some that she bought. And they were selling them for like five dollars a pill.
PI: And so as far – ok, as far as you know, she was just using? Not selling?
Phil: Oh, no. She wasn’t selling.-She wasn’t selling because she wouldn’t have been going through our money like that. I mean she would even go to the extent of going buying new clothes on her credit cards and then turn around and selling them to the people so she would have cash.
PI: Or like taking the clothes back or exchanging them for cash? Would you S- You sell-
Phil: No, they wouldn’t do that on a credit card. She had a couple of girlfriends that you know she would sell the clothes to for nearly nothing just to get some money.
PI: She told you this?
Phil: Yeah. She told me all this after she came clean. She told me- oh a lot of things added up then. Her her her ex- you know , buying stuff all the time, and taking cash out, and child support checks supposedly not showing up and short hours at at at work and, all kinds of things added up then.
PI: Now when she was now when she was for instance um coming off shift, you probably well know and if and you were living at the condo. 15 minutes maybe. Tops. to get back home. And she was going out after shift. Is that was she doing that? After shift –
Phil: No what she was doing because because she couldn’t have you know she couldn’t have done that without me knowing um because she always came in and kissed me and woke me up when she got home um but what she was doing and part of what I was talking about with the with the hours at work was she would leave early and then she would go do it and then come home at a regular time. There was only a few times when she didn’t come home where she would go out with the girls or whatever. And one of them was this instance where she didn’t come home that night at all, so-
PI: There was an instance that she didn’t come home at all?
Phil: Well it was that April the 28th. Um And I had called her on her cell phone and she answered bout I got her about 5:30 I had woke up and she wasn’t there. She told me she was at uh Rascals or whatever. Best Western. They were having a party. And I told her uh I think it’s time that you came home. She said OK she’d be on her way. 6:30 she still ain’t there I call her again she says “I’m leaving right now.” So finally I call a couple of more times and uh it’s about 8:30 I actually go down there because she told me she was le- had left and was at the store. Another half hour goes by. And then I call her I get in the car and I go to the store. She’s not there. Her car’s not there. She says she’s at the store. So I know where she’s at. She’s still there. So I pulled in it’s about 8:30 by this time. So I pull in and as I come to turn around her and Nancy and a couple of other people had just walked out. I just walked up and told her because we had had discussions. I’m old fashioned. Married women don’t go to bars. Its’ just , And you know she wanted to go with the girls that was fine. Which she did go out with her girlfriends occasionally and and would go out to dinner with one now and then. But I just don’t believe in married – I don’t do it.
PI: So you actually you walked into Rascals?
Phil: No no She was They were coming out. I had to get out of my car.
PI: And this was uh Nancy (Burge) was the only one with Nikki? (Note: Nancy Burge was Nikki’s best friend)
Phil: No there was two other people there I don’t remember. I know Danny Mercer was one of the people there and I don’t remember who the other one was.
PI: And what happened?
Phil: I just – she walked over to the car I rolled the window down and I said she needed to come home. And she had a weird look on her face. A look I had never seen before. Uh but anyway Nancy ended up driving her home. And then when we got home I told her I was leaving. Because we had this discussion before. And I just wasn’t going to stand for it. And I wasn’t leaving. It was just trying to get her blood thinned.
Phil: But I did leave. And I drove around for about 15 minutes and then I came back and when I came back she tried to hand me this note. And I said I don’t want to read it.
PI: And she – uh – this was once she got home?
Phil: That Sunday morning.
PI: That Sunday morning. You took off? And she typed a note-
Phil: I was probably gone about 30 minutes. She basically … and and you probably read the note … she basically says that she had to tell me because she didn’t feel like she had anything to lose.
Phil: But (laughs) it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no earthly idea. And so there was a pretty decent argument. And then at one time she tried to leave and I had gotten her keys and she couldn’t get her keys … so she kept trying to get her keys I had them in my my shorts, in my pocket, and so finally I just reached down and grabbed her, and pulled her tight, and just held on to her, told her I loved her and that we would get through this and .. cause I could feel the tension finally leave her (indistinguishable). It was quite a while she was really struggling. She was … I can imagine what – what she was probably going through at that time, too, having to tell me that. And then admitting to the fact that she had been abusing m-my trust and and her son’s money that was coming in from child support and all that, but anyway, after that -
PI: Would she keep, like, for instance, your bills, I mean she would – going one- to one pot- like for instance?
Phil: I did them all.
PI: You did them all?
Phil: Yes. She had – she had a bank card and she could do whatever she wanted to with it all I told her was she had to bring me the receipts. And it got to where – she started los-
PI: Did you notice that these things missing did you notice
Phil: Well she just started losing receipts. No, I-
PI: I mean like the bank, like the child support –
Phil: Oh yeah the child support thing yeah that was an ongoing thing, the hours missing was an ongoing thing, um there was a couple of other things that happened where she got checks from people for something that supposedly she lost, and, but but she was started losing receipts because what she was doing is she’d go buy stuff at the store or whatever but then she’d get cash and she didn’t want me to see that she was getting the cash.
Phil: So she would tell me the amount and she always had it right, and I told her that well that’s al- you know that was alright because all I needed was the amount so that I could keep the balance. And so anyway after after that morning I made her call her parents, call my parents, um then then I called Alan that morning and told him that they had a major problem there. And then actually she talked to Alan probably longer than I did ’cause she wanted to talk to Alan. He still worked there I wasn’t w-with the casino any more. And … she didn’t go to work that night. We decided it was best if she just stayed home and we worked on this stuff , um , but one of the, the s- you know, came up with the stipulations was – you have to account for all your money, she wanted – she didn’t want to even have the the cash card any more but I said no, I’m not going to do that because I don’t want you out some place that you actually need something and can’t get it.
Phil: Um, so she had the cash card but I said so you – i- if you lose receipts, or um if you – she had to call me when sh- from a from a grand phone when she was leaving to come home, her and she couldn’t be short on her hours. And, you know, other uh – other than that my- she talked to my father too who is a recovering alcoholic, who sent her a lot of stuff and and told her to go to AA told her not to go to the narcotics one because it wasn’t as good, but-So the next m- next mor- next day, Monday she went to her first her first AA meeting and um sometime during that first week I went to one with her I’m not even sure when. But in the whole three months, sh- she never, she never faltered on our deal.
Up Next: More about the night out at Rascals and Phil talks about Nancy and the jilted lover letter her girlfriend wrote.
Posted on December 8, 2011, in Cold Cases, Crime, Nikki LaDue January and tagged Cold Cases, Grand Casino, Mississippi, Murder, Nancy Burge, Nikki LaDue January, Pass Christian, Phil January, Suicide. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.