Phil January Interview with PI (Part 4 of many)

Back to the interview Phil January gave to a Private Investigator back in April 2003. His wife Nikki had been dead for 10 months, ruled a suicide by the Pass Christian, Mississippi police and Harrison County coroner. Keep in mind there was no investigation, no autopsy and all the circumstances surrounding her death, a single gunshot wound to the head, were suspect at best. In the minds of everyone except the authorities this was a murder. Her husband was in the process of driving back from Louisiana where he had just started a new job. Nikki was supposed to have been packing up in preparation for their move. However, several people have said Nikki had no intention of moving. Her plan was to let Phil think she was moving, take a planned trip to visit her family in Florida with her 5-year old son Zack and the person she thought was her best friend Nancy Burge. When Phil arrived to their condo on July 29, 2002 he found Nancy in the there telling him she couldn’t find Nikki. Phil found her dead on the couple’s balcony. For more details, refer to this posting that chronicles everything from Nikki’s early life to her death. Nikki’s mom hired a private investigator to look into Nikki’s case. As part of that investigation, he interviewed Phil. Here is part 4 of that interview transcribed by a friend of Nikki’s mother Bonnie.

Nikki LaDue January

PI:  To your knowledge when you were in Shreveport was Nikki staying exclusively with Nancy? Or was she staying off and on in the condo? Uhh..

Phil: It was my understanding that she was staying exclusively her and Zack were staying at Nancy’s.

PI:  She was staying at Nancy’s.

Phil:  And the only night I know of that she wasn’t at Nancy’s was the last night.  In fact I asked her that night specifically on the phone call, one of the phone calls toward the end, when things had settled down, “Are you and Zack going back over to Nancy’s tonight?” Her response to me was “No, Zack and I want to be here when you get here in the morning.”

PI:  OK. And when you were – and how long were you in Shreveport without Nikki?

Phil:  Well, we went up on the 12th (July), Nikki and I. She drove me up there that was a Friday. We stopped uh at the casino for a couple of hours then we went on to Dallas. Uh, Fort Worth. Actually North Richland Hills to to my brother’s house where my mother, my daughter, my son, my two brothers, all we all met up over there we went to dinner. We stayed there that night and then we drove another car back so we brought back separate cars on the 13th which was Saturday. Then Nikki and Zack – Nikki had to come back to work on – Then Nikki had to go to work Sunday night, so her and Zack left Sunday morning, got home, she went to work, she worked Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, and then Wednesday she picked Zack up and they came back up t– up to Shreveport. And they were there Wednesday. They got there I want to say it was about 5, 6 o’clock. I can’t remember. Her driving in, it was… Anyway, um.

PI:  So for- so it was basically about just two weeks?

Phil:  Yeah it was exactly two weeks.   That was the whole thing is she gave them (Grand Casino where she worked) two weeks notice so that’s why there was the two weeks in there.  She gave two weeks notice at the Grand. And she wanted to work it out. But she came up there on that Wednesday which would be the 17th and she was supposed to go back on Friday. And Friday morning I woke woke up and I asked her I said well why don’t you call in and stay another day? And so she – I had – I had to go get a post office box, umm, so that I could give them an address umm there where where pay check and so I went and got a post office box and when I came back she was sitting on the bed with a grin on her face and I said “You called in, didn’t you?” and she said “yeah”. So, then they got up and left about 9 o’clock Saturday morning.

PI:  OK. In that two-week span, was – were you finding that she was – uhh, not where she was supposed to be?

Phil:  I – No.

PI:  Were you keeping tabs on her at all?

Phil:  (gasp) No. (indistinguishable)

PI:  Were you , like allowing anybody else – No?

Phil:  No. No. No. No. I had talked to Alan (head of security at the Grand Casino) early on when all this happened I wanted to make sure that Nikki wasn’t still hanging out with the same people and and Alan assured me that that after after that, they had pretty much ostracized her too. Umm I know that there were quite a few of them that that basically told her “Don’t rat the rest of us out.” So Alan said most of the time she would sit by herself on breaks. She didn’t sit with anybody after that.

PI:  So you would check with Alan from time to time, or he would call you up and let you know?

Phil:  We would just talk I mean Alan and I talked all the time because she would usually call me, she always called me on her breaks, and she would say “Alan just came by and he said he’s going to call you later.”

PI:  And – did you ever have uh – with her – with suspicions of – of and I you know had written a letter – she alludes to uh I’m not a whore-

Phil:  With that? That was because when she came clean with me that morning, she told me (ring) at home that she had taken Danny some place over in Biloxi, and he paid her $50 for it. And I said, “Well the guy will pay you $50 to drive him over there” Well then later on after all the drug thing comes out that’s why she alludes to that in the letter. Because I said “What do you mean? He pays you $50 for what?” I said , and then I, I basically said the same thing I, I said earlier about my old fashion thinking is: married women don’t go to bars.  If they’re going to bars, they’re going for one reason. Now, if if that’s what you – I and I – we had had this discussion previously. Now look, if you don’t want to be married, that’s fine. But you can’t be married and act single with the other girls.  So that’s what she’s alluding to in there.

PI:  Did you ever have her followed, anybod- when you were at Day Detective services (after working at the Grand Casino in security, Phil worked for a private detective service in the area.)

Phil: No.

PI:  No? Never any inclination to have her checked up on?

Phil:  I had no reason to. There was some times after she came clean, that she would stop by, and she would say that she was going to her AA meeting, and I would go by and check and her car would be there. I – if anybody checked up on her, I did personally a couple of times. But you know what? She gained my trust back. When she told me where she was going to be I never had any reason to doubt her after that.

PI:  She worked – she worked with you at Day Detective uh Service for a while?

Phil:  She she did s- a little work because Amy (Amy Weaver was a Day Detective agency office worker) was there and Amy went out on pregnancy leave, so she would come in and and helped out, because there was just two of us.

PI:  What do you think happened to her? Do you do you do you think she committed suicide?

Phil:  Nikki would never have done that because of Zack if for no other reason.

PI:  And do you – who in your mind – and you’ve had a lot of time to mull this over – who in your mind would do something like this?

Phil:  Well eh eh..

Paul Morrell-said to have been infatuated with Nikki.

PI:  Paul Morrell? Do you think Paul Morrell? (Paul Morrell was the owner of the couple’s condo. It’s said he was heavy into the drug scene and had exhibited an infatuation with Nikki)

Phil:  I think Paul Morrell may have had som- and I found out more reasons why he would have after the fact, but I know that –

PI:  What reasons would he have?

Phil:  Money, drugs.

PI:  Not Nikki’s money.

Phil:  No, but he was going to have to give us our deposit back. Um, and I think – and one of the things that she was supposed to be doing was to check with him about getting our deposit before she went to Florida.

PI:  You don’t think he murdered her for her deposit though, do you? Seeing that his his I guess his folks take care about everything –

Phil:  Well yeah but Paul was always I mean talking about being broke and not having any money and this and that. I I I don’t know why Paul would do it or anything like that, uh, I just know he had the opportunity because he’s put himself in the condo that night.

PI:  Now – in talking about that. You talked to Zack.

Phil:  I asked him I said uh “ Was, was there anybody here with Mommy that last night?” see, at first he said “no”. I said “Mommy didn’t have any friends here?” He said “Well, yeah.” And I said “Who?” I said “Did you know them?” And he said “Yeah.” And then he told me wha- he said “It was Paul.”  He went on to tell me that Mommy was drinking a beer, and Paul was drinking a coke. So I find it hard to believe that he made that up. I mean he was pretty specific about that part of it.  I remember seeing I remember seeing a 7-Up can on the counter.  We neither one drink 7-up.

PI:  So and Zack told you told you this this pretty much immediately after –

Phil:  No. I I didn’t get to see , after that morning, I didn’t see Zack again until after I came down and met Bonnie and them. So it was Septem- in later in September.  Nobody had asked Zack anything.  He told – he went on to tell me that the music was really loud and that it went off.

PI:  Did he remember and – of course, considering the child’s age – did he remember a time, approximate time – did you ask him an approximate time?

Phil:  No. He didn’t have any idea. I did ask him if if Paul was there when I was talking to mommy on the phone. And he said yes. I said how do you know? He said “Because Mommy was standing in my room talking on the phone to you one time.” (Phone records indicate Nikki died shortly after talking with Phil. Sometime between 1:30a-2:30a).

PI:  And he was awake.

Phil:  Yeah.  He was – she was in his room.

PI:  Alright and uh so that that is what uh Zack stated. OK. Uh… why do you feel Paul uh.. do you know anything that would lead you to believe, other than the deposit, that Paul would have any reason to…

Phil:  The counselor that I saw when I first got up there uh – she works with the Shreveport police department, uh, not Shreveport but Bossier City. I, I, I, well maybe Shreveport too. I don’t know. What I was telling her about all this, her first inclination was that Nikki had had possibly been killed because of information that she had about the drug situation down there. And people were afraid that once she got up there and away from down here that she would tell me information that I would probably take action on.  Not me per se but to make phone calls.

PI:  Do you think Paul was in the loop?

Phil:  Oh Paul was a druggie. I knew that all along. I – I didn’t like Paul from the start and I told Nikki that.  I never saw Paul when I thought he wasn’t high.

PI:   Do you have knowledge that uh you or Nikki uh had seen Paul within that year more than three times? Have you see- have you-I mean when you come and go, would you would you know knowledge of either Nikki seeing Paul, or you guys both seeing Paul, or…

Phil:  Well I know that he came over to Zack’s birthday party which was in February, and then I know they was they were trying to show the condo. I know there were phone calls because of that but usually it was Karen (Paul’s mother and also owner of the condo) making the phone calls. Um I don’t know if Paul ever came over there that that I didn’t know about. Um And then Nikki would see them sometimes I think when she would drop off the the the rent check. Um and then I know of a couple of times where she said that she – you know – talked to Paul for a few minutes when she dropped off the check.  But later, since then I have found out and of course this is from the OTHER Amy, that was – damn. I don’t even know – Waring (Nikki’s friend) supposedly Paul had supplied her and Nikki lots of drugs in the past.  So I don’t know that first hand, because she never told – Nikki never told me that. Um, but that’s what Amy says.

Up Next….Who else does Phil think could have killed Nikki?


Posted on December 12, 2011, in Cold Cases, Crime, Nikki LaDue January and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. What if Phil reads all this and becomes ‘difficult’?

  2. Tan what does difficult mean? You mean like he did at his last job? Oh, yeah and the one at the Grand? Well how long will he get away with acting like a bully?

    Tan what do you think he’ll do? Do you know him?

  3. I’m not sure I understand your concern. You mean more difficult than he’s already been? By refusing to address the pointed questions about his background and alibi the night Nikki was killed, Phil has possibly been the biggest stonewaller of all. Why? He continues to give lip service to how much he loved Nikki and how much he wants her murderer brought to justice, but for more than nine years he has not allowed us to move past critical issues concerning himself.
    If publicizing his own words causes him to become ‘difficult’, what’s new?

  4. a concerned friend

    Phil and Nancy did it

  5. Paul did not harm Nikki. Phil has been trying to make him an easy target since the beginning, as evidenced in this interview. If he’s talking, he’s lying. I didn’t say anything about Paul giving Nikki and me drugs. He loves to turn friendships into mere drug dealings. Nikki, Paul, and I had what I consider to be one of the greatest friendships ever. The three of us were like peas and carrots for a while and I enjoyed every second of my time with Paul and Nikki together. We had a blast. Phil is a jealous SOB and has to downsize the meaning of Nikki’s relationship with Paul. I have known of one person who actually thinks Paul is capable of hurting someone. Everyone else, myself included, agree if he’s not too soft, he’s too out of it. Bless his heart – he is a sweet man.

  6. lisa Peel Watkins

    I still remember that morning I got the call it still hunts me. The phone ring early it was unusual for my phone to ring that early because I worked swing shift at the grand and I went to the party after work and had not been long in bed when I heard the voice on other end of the phone saying Nikki is dead and my first words was Phil killed her and what a bout zach is he alive. My friend stated no she killed her self I said no f**king way. I have knew Nikki for years but really got to more of what she was going throw in her last months of her life. We talked about her life with Phil I was also with an older man 20 years to my self and she ask questions about my passed relationship with Pauli . She made the impression that it was not working out with her and Phil and that she was going through mental and physical abuse, and that Phil uses zach against her, I asked how and she stated treating to hurt him. I called the Pass Christian police department to find out who was handling her case spoke to a man and told him that Nikki did not shot her self and I think Phil did it and told them about the talks me and Nikki had . I also call a few days after her memorial service and told them that I was watching Phil during the memorial service and that his behavior was odd just sat there with dark shades on not speaking to any one and his hands had looked like he had a fist fight, that she had a locker at work with the lock still on and that they should check it out. A day or so later lock was off and it was empty . A few people spoke at her service even her ex husband, but Phil said nothing at all just sat there looking at the floor with dark shades on. The picture on table was that of her and him together not just Nikki I even made a comment its about Nikki today not Phil and the picture should have been of just her.

    And for Phil to say her loved her then why would he not read her suicide note and have his son to erase her last words to him or deprive her parents to read it and her ex husband. A normal person that had noting to hide would read it to see what drove some one to take there own life. If it was the person I loved so much. I would had held her or tried to help Phil never touched her only the phone why not her he did won’t to mess up the way he posed her body. A person coming up on some one hurt there first impression is to see if medical attention is need not grab the phone. He said he never touch her why?

    We all have loss over self now and then Nikki had but she had found her inter straight and she was taking control of her life back and Phil did not like not it. For his comment about Mike killing her and they did not get alone is bull shit he was not ready to be a full time dad that’s why there marriage ended. When Nikki was murdered yes murdered Phil, Mike had to quit his job and move back home to take care of zach. Phil they will get you for the murder of Nikki . I will be sitting on the front steps of the court house waiting to see the face of the bastard that took my friends life if it takes 9 more years I will be there, count on it and as Nancy your the biggest laugh of the coast your hair cut and have your breast enlarged to look like Nikki . For you to let this family go throw these 9 years like this you to will rot in hell.

    Andrew McGee knew nothing about Nikki and when I read that he did all the talking for Nancy it sounds like him. Let me give you my opinion of him ( I have never learn to eat shit politely with a spoon nor the person to blow smoke up some one ass) at the grand he was nothing but an ass kisser If he thought you were a drugs user he would dislike you and go even as far to try get you fired and was not well like by anyone at the grand for him to sit there and tell Nikki’s mom she killed her self I wait for the day to spit in his face he knew nothing about her nor of what Nikki was going through and if he was so convince it was not a murder way did he have Nancy stay at his place in Bay Saint Louis. I would like to thank Nikki mom for not falling for the load of bull shit Andrew told her. Nancy she also lost some one closed to her (son) and she knew how it felt for a mother to lose a child and to sit there and lie to Bonnie . Let’s speak of Nancy charter she lie to her husband and son about being invade with another woman and would wait till her husband went out of town to be with another women and lie to them and she would like us to believe there was nothing wrong with Nikki and Phil relationship wake up Nancy she trusted you to help her why lie to every one it has gone on to long and when the truth comes out and it will I hope you are standing next to Phil and Andrew burning in hell .

    I think if we would talk to the women in Phil past I think there will be a pattern of abuse and we would learn a lot more about him.

    Lisa Peel

    • Thank you Lisa. You really tell it like it is and Nikki loved you to pieces. I did not know of your calls to the PD, but this further supports my thoughts that the PD was in on the cover up. The fact that Chief Investigator Tom Pustay is a convicted child molester sitting in jail as I type should be reason enough to open this and other cases he oversaw.

      You, like so many others including myself, had the same IMMEDIATE response that Phil killed her. You actually did something about it right away, yet you were shut down. Everyone I spoke with after the memorial service agreed he was acting shady. Did you notice he removed pictures that showed her with friends???

      That was an awful call we all received that day from various people. I remember the conversation I had with Billy down to every sentence and the tone in his voice. Very few people actually believed it was a suicide and it wasn’t a matter of natural denial as part of the grieving process; instead it was knowing the situation she was in, her plans to get out of it, and his compulsion for controlling her every move…and the fact that she was out with hotass you know who the day before….knowing her the way we did, she was one day away and it was time to celebrate! Bless her beautiful soul!!!

      On a lighter note, despite our deep elephant on our chests type of grief, we managed to send her soul off in true Nikki fashion – that was a hell of a party!…you were there right??? jk 🙂

  7. Lisa- you couldn’t be more dead on in your comment! This interview is full of complete bullshit from Phil, absolute lies! She told everyone, it was common knowledge, that Phil had her followed-in good times and bad, because he was ALWAYS a controlling bully-ALWAYS!! I will never forget the morning I got that call and my reaction was the same as all of yours along with my husband’s, who considered Nikki a sister for many years. I was in that condo shortly after to gather Zack’s things and Phil was all business (with scratches on him like he’d been in a fight). Then at Nancy’s house right after to get Zack’s stuff out of her SUV that was packed for their trip to Bonnie’s, the first thing this woman does is hug me so tight and tells me “Nikki loved you so much Erika, she told me all the time, i just want you to know that” I remember how weird this is that she is so calm and feels like she needs to tell me how much Nikki loved me, No Sh*t she loved me lady, she was never shy about telling me or anyone when she loved you and when she hated you. Nancy will get her day, I just know it. She better! She was one of the only people that Phil allowed into that messed up situation they are romantacizing as a loving marriage, what a joke! And to show up to speak to your best friends mother with a mouthpiece like Andrew??? Who does that, why was he needed? Bonnie is about the sweetest lady alive and at that point Nancy had absolutely no reason to fear or suspect that she would be under any scrutiny, she just wanted to know the things any mother would want to know, regardless of the circumstances. Her time will come.

    Amy- you are right about the send off my love, we definitely did her proud! I will never forget sitting on the counter in Mark’s bathroom having the first real conversation of our friendship:)

    I LOVE that Phil’s words are being put out there for all to read and comment on! It’s all complete bullshit and so many people that knew either of them know that it’s all lies! The day will come when we will see him and Nancy go down for this, I know it in my heart. And if not, they will have each other in hell!

    • Let's do something!

      That is MY girl – tell it LOVE and share this BS interview with all!!!

      I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. We both said she didn’t do it right from the start! But even before that conversation I saw your beautiful face at the memorial and knew right away you were the Erika she spoke so highly of.

      I love you!!!

  8. The line of corruption and massive cover up is horrible in GulfPort. This coroner has ruled way to many homicides as suicide and gotten away with it. Please Google Ronald Wayne Anderson and the Dixie Mafia. Then Google Lt. Dan Anderson and the Dixie Mafia. My father was active bailiff for Judge Vincent Sherry on September 14, 1967. The night he and Margaret were murdered, It tool me until 2013 to here the word I knew were true. They were murdered by member of the Dixie Mafia and ruled as suicide by corrupt coroner.

  1. Pingback: Phil January Interview with PI (Part 5 of many) « Cold No More

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