Phil January Interview with PI (Part 5 of many)
Onto Part 5 of 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. 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. In Part 4, Phil said one person he suspects is their condo co-owner Paul Morrell. Here is part 5 of that interview transcribed by a friend of Nikki’s mother Bonnie. Phil has another person of interest.
Phil: If you look at who has the most to gain now, it’s Mike (Mike Williams is Nikki’s first husband and the father of their son Zack). If you look at somebody that wanted to keep something from somebody finding out, it could be Paul.
PI: You mean Mike you mean financial gains as far as social security.
Phil: He hated Nikki. He flat hated Nikki. He he hated the fact that he couldn’t control her any more. She had finally learned to stand up to him. Somewhat with my guidance. Because when we first started seeing each other, he was absolutely horrible to her. He had physically abused her before. Not in my presence. And he would still call her wanting to borrow money. I mean, I don’t know if anybody’s ever told you about the time he called wanting Nikki or let Zack pee in a bottle for him because he heard they were doing a drug test at work that night. She, she said he gets on the phone and first thing “Don’t tell Phil this” She wanted – he wanted Zack to pee in a bottle for him because he heard they were going to do a drug test. And then she says “No, why don’t you quit smoking that shit all the time?” Well anyway, this is his mentality, she tells him no it’s not going to happen, this and that, he says “Well I think I – you think I might get Zack for a couple of hours this afternoon?” Which he never got Zack. He didn’t keep Zack the times he was supposed to. Let alone any extra. She’s like “Do you think I’m stupid?” So of course the first thing she did was, when she hung up the phone, was come and tell me what he had done and I was just floored.
PI: Are you aware of the notes that were left in her locker? (Threatening notes were reportedly left in Nikki’s locker at the Grand Casino where she worked)
Phil: She told me about those.
PI: And do you know, what was the time period that she received those notes?
Phil: You know what? I don’t, I don’t remember – it, it, you see, Mike didn’t find out until the Wednesday before we left on Friday. And I keep thinking that I was still in the condo when she was telling me about those notes, but there’s no way it could have been. It had to have been after she got back from from me going up there that she got those that she was telling me about them. But she got three of them I think she told me.
PI: The 3 notes did you, did you ever see them?
Phil: No, she just told me. In fact, she told me she had thrown them all away.
PI: Are you aware that she ever reported this to either Alan (head of security at the Grand Casino) or somebody? Security?
Phil: No, I told her to. But I don’t think she ever did.
PI: Did you ever call Alan on this? Say “Hey, look, somebody’s –
Phil: I think I did tell Alan about that. But I’m not sure. I don’t know. I know that there was a time right after she came clean that I called Alan and had concerns for, for Nikki and, especially when she got her new car. And so he and Nikki got together, and they found a good parking place for her in a certain area that’d be covered by camera so that somebody didn’t retaliate. They were afraid she was going to talk. I think her tires got slashed because she got a new car and within three weeks we’re having to buy two new tires. Th – They looked slashed to me.
PI: Was that reported? To anyone at the Grand? Did you report that to anyone at the Grand?
Phil: Well it didn’t happen at the Grand. They went flat at – they went flat at the condo. So I don’t know where they were slashed at, but I know it was a tire slash. And then Nancy (Nikki’s ‘best’ friend) ended up getting one that was the same thing.
PI: And that was the same time period that Cathy (Pierochic. She was Nancy’s girlfriend who was very jealous of Nikki’s and Nancy’s friendship) – Uh –
PI: What were the gist of the ah, of the notes (left in her locker)? Do you know?
Phil: All I know is she told me that how can you- she said the notes called her a bitch and they couldn’t believe that she would be so cold-blooded to take Zack away from his father. And you know, I – I don’t know who could have left those in the female locker room, because most of the people there that I know of will tell you Mike was no kind of father. Still isn’t obviously. The notes basically said that and and uh
PI: That she was being threatened?
PI: And this was up til, um, uh, uh, near the time of her death, that she was – someone was threatening her?
Phil: Because that had to have been the time frame that Mike found out, and and her death, and that’s only a period of of 17 or 18 days. Because like I said, he found out on a Wednesday because he threatened, not to give Zack back in fact I went over there and we got Zack and I actually stopped and talked to to one of the policemen I know over in Gulfport and got advice to go request him, and Mike and I went and sat down and had a talk, and he seemed fine. I told him we’re not trying to keep Zack from you, we’re not trying to take Zack from you. He was planning on coming down once a month, but he had to see Zack, he’s like “I can’t drive to Louisiana” because he never took care of a DUI he got a couple of years ago. I said “fine let me see what I can do as far as getting that taken care of”. Because a guy that I worked with is a ex-trooper over there. But I never got his information. We’ll see if we can meet in Jackson, which is about half way, and he was fine with it. I said, “Look, you would not do this either, if it was to better your life and your family. You would not not do this.”
PI: Well do you think he was intimidated by you do you think?
Phil: I’m sure he probably was. But I don’t know. I mean I never did anything to him to intimidate him. But Nikki says I intimidate a lot of people. But I don’t do it on purpose. I – I didn’t s- I didn’t raise my voice. I very seldom ever do. I just told him I said “Mike, this is not about – that I have two kids of my own. Zack is like my own son.” I said “This is not about trying to take him from his father because I wouldn’t do that.” Because Zack does love his Dad. I don’t know – I haven’t seen him in so long, I don’t know now. But you know I said this is not about that this is about making a better life for ourselves and Zack is part of our family, too. And and looking back he did calm down because at first he didn’t want to go talk. And I said “Mike we don’t have a lot of choice here. You know, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way. But the easy way is going to be better for you, me, Nikki, Zack, everybody.”
PI: And so everything, as far as you were concerned, was ironed out.
PI: Did Nikki ever say that she did not want to go to Shreveport? Did she ever tell you any time that “I don’t want to move there.”
Phil: No, no. Never. She tells me that – she tells me in the notes and we talked openly about it, she had hesitations about the area, even if she didn’t know anything about it, but the vice president, when she went to the vice president of Table Games, over s- it was a guy named [redacted]. [Redacted] is gay. He’s got a black boyfriend. His black boyfriend’s lived in Shreveport for a long time. I don’t know if he worked in one of the boats or not, I don’t know. But she went and asked him because all this came about very quickly to go on and go up there. And so she went and asked him if she could have that Friday and Saturday off so that she could go. And she was telling him what it was. Um And after that, she was like [redacted] told her a lot of good things about it it’s very – it had a lot of artsy things and all that so her outlook had changed totally. She was just worried about there I guess some people had told her that it’s a bad area but you know what? It’s a big – it’s a – it’s a mid-sized city. It’s going to have crime just like everybody else. Um but then she came up there and when she saw the place she loved the the little casino that that we had and we had talked about going up there and one of the reasons that – when she got back from Florida was – to leave Zack down there with Mike for – I think she was going to drop him off on on Monday, which normally Mike had him on Monday and Tuesdays. And then she was going to come back and pick him up on Thursday, and in that time frame I had already made arrangements to go look at some places to live. In fact I had a map with me so I could point, because on her visit up there one of her Nikki’s big concerns was where she was going to get her hair done. And we were up there eating and there was a lady that had a problem with a big party next to us with one of the servers and so she came over and was telling me well she didn’t know who I was. And so anyway Nikki had gone to the bathroom. Well Nikki came back and the lady came back over and was talking about how much she loved Nikki ever come to find out she’s a hair dresser. So she already had all that taken care of.
PI: And was there ever any plans for her working in Boomtown?
Phil: She had got offered a job when she came to visit by by one of the directors from Table Games. But no, we – we were going to try to keep her out of that work. Nikki’s dream was that she would be at home in the evenings with Zack and I. That’s all she ever used to talk about. She hated having to go to work with Zack and I being at home. So the plan was that she would have to work, there was no doubt, but, part-time, something.
PI: Out – out of the casino business?
Phil: Yeah. We really didn’t want to get into the casino business. Not the casino per se. Now she could have done something in the property, that w- and like a day time job, but the big thing was Zack was going to be going to school, uh we wanted to find a place, we were going to get Zack a puppy, we wanted a house with a yard.
Up Next…Phil talks about the gun that killed Nikki
Posted on December 16, 2011, in Cold Cases, Crime, Murder, Nikki LaDue January and tagged Bonnie LaDue, Cold Cases, Grand Casino, Mississippi, Murder, Nikki LaDue January, Pass Christian, Phil January, Suicide. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.