Category Archives: Murder

Dear Mississippi: You Have the Power to Right a Wrong, Find Nikki’s Killer


Nikki and son Zack

Nichole (Nikki) LaDue January was murdered on July 29, 2002 on her balcony in Pass Christian, Mississippi. She was rendered helpless by a electroshock stun gun to the head and then executed. It was not suicide like the police and coroner ruled. I have read countless pages of transcripts, police reports, you name it. I have seen the only crime scene photos taken. The rest of Nikki’s police file was supposedly washed to sea during Hurricane Katrina which devastated Pass Christian in 2005 so there was nothing to look at there. But based on what does exist, based on what some of you have told me and based on the fact that government officials from the Attorney General Jim Hood to the Pass Christian Police Chief John Dubuisson have either refused to talk to Nikki’s grieving parents or outright lied to them about the investigation into her death. In fact, some people have come forward to say they’ve been threatened not to talk to Nikki’s family about this case. So who did it? And why was the investigation either cover-upped or botched? What about Phil January, Nikki’s husband, or her best friend Nancy Burge? In my opinion both know much more than they have said which can only mean they are complicit with the crime or are afraid. Read the rest of this entry

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Shining a Light on Mississippi’s Dark Secret


Lead investigator Thomas Pustay who later was convicted of sexual abuse of a child

Nichole Lynne LaDue was born February 27, 1972 in Hornell, New York. She died July 29, 2002 in Pass Christian, Mississippi. She was 30. Those dates bookend the life of the woman everyone knows as Nikki. Much of what happened between those dates remains a mystery. We know she died of a gunshot wound to her head. We know both the lead investigator Thomas Pustay and the county coroner Gary Hargrove immediately ruled her death a suicide. What else do we know? At the time of Nikki’s death, Detective Pustay admitted he was severely depressed. He was also engaging in child molestation for which he is now serving what amounts to the rest of his life in prison. As  for Gary Hargrove, the person who ruled Nikki’s death a suicide, he too has a questionable history. In July 2007, CNN investigated Hargrove and the Harrison County jail about a series of inmate deaths. Guards beat at least 4 to death. CNN talked to the family of Lee Smith, one of the murdered inmates. You can read the entire transcript here, but there are some key points made that I want to bring your attention to…namely that Gary Hargrove is either incompetent, corrupt or both and should not now nor ever be in a position to affect the outcome of so many lives. He belongs in a cell alongside Pustay. It’s what CNN calls Mississippi’s “little dark secret.” Folks, it’s that dark secret that will be delaying a bit my final thoughts on who killed Nikki LaDue January. Because what happened in tiny Pass Christian, Mississippi is not new. So much gets swept under the rug in that state it’s hard to believe it’s a part of this country. Here is a portion of that CNN investigation. Read the rest of this entry

You’ve Read the Interviews, Saw the Pictures-Who do You Think Killed Nikki LaDue January?


Who killed Nikki LaDue January? Was it suicide like the botched investigation showed? Was it someone she knew? I will sum up all my thoughts on this next week. In the meantime, who do you think?

Time to Put My Thoughts Together: Who Killed Nikki LaDue January?


OK. I think I’ve seen and heard enough. Now I need to go back to the beginning and sort through everything and gather my thoughts. Then I will post my final Nikki LaDue January post. If anyone out there has some additional information you think I should know, now’s the time. I hope to finish writing Nikki’s story this weekend. Until then, remember Nikki for who she was. Until then, here again are some thoughts from Nikki’s good friend Jennifer Hecker Guenter. Read the rest of this entry

Phil January Interview with PI (Part 9 and final)


Nikki and her son Zack

Now to the final part 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  which 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. Phil found Nikki dead on the couple’s balcony after traveling home from Louisiana. He admits they had several phone calls in the early morning up until about 1:30 a.m. and that the phone calls were filled with anger at times. It’s the police and coroner’s assumption that those phone calls caused Nikki to kill herself, disregarding her little boy in the room next to her. Now back to Phil’s interview with the PI. In front of Nikki’s body was a table. We resume the interview there. Read the rest of this entry

Phil January Interview with PI (Part 8 of many)


Nikki and Zack

Now to Part 8 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. Today, Phil talks about finding Nikki’s body on the couple’s balcony. After he and Nancy Burges, Nikki’s closest friend, searched the condo looking for her, Phil said he noticed the balcony door was ajar. Read the rest of this entry

Did Domestic Violence Play a Role in Lacey Gaines’ Murder


Lacey Gaines

Lacey Gaines was murdered on December 7, 2009 in her rundown apartment in Justice, Illinois. While speculation has run rampant about who did it, there are still no suspects. She did have a child with a boyfriend who she later told people physically beat her. Daniel Rogelio Sanchez, Lacey told friends, co-workers, family and social workers beat her frequently leaving her bruised and battered. Would someone already predisposed of violence take it up to the next level–to murder? Prisons are filled with men who’ve done just that. Does that mean Daniel was involved? Not necessarily. Let’s assume he wasn’t. Had there been no violence and they stayed together, it’s possible Lacey could be alive today. But that wasn’t the case. Far from it. As a result, she was constantly on the run, forced to make bad decisions and could have put her in contact with people of questionable character and possibly even her killer. Read the rest of this entry

Phil January Interview with PI (Part 7 of many)


Nikki LaDue January

Onto Part 7 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. Today, the day Nikki died. Read the rest of this entry

Haley Barbour Says “F#@k You” Mississippi


I hate politics and Haley Barbour just gave me 200 more reasons why. The former governor of Mississippi, who frankly reminds me of Boss Hogg in “The Dukes of Hazzard” tried to sneak out of the governor’s mansion after freeing 200 criminals including murderers, rapists, wife beaters and child molesters. My friends in Mississippi, I don’t have to tell you that your state already has a kind of bad reputation…undeservedly I have to add as I know quite a few people there…but a reputation of being uneducated, cross-burning hicks. And Haley Barbour just put an exclamation point on that reputation. This clown of a politician is now working for the Butler Snow Laws Firm.  “Governor Barbour and his former chief of staff Paul Hurst are tremendous assets for our firm, and we are excited to have them as part of our team,” Butler Snow Chairman Donald Clark Jr. said in a news release. “Their leadership during some of the most difficult times in our state’s history is unprecedented. We are fortunate that this legacy of leadership and innovation will continue at our firm, and both our team and our clients will benefit greatly.”  And there you have it. More lawyers shoveling out the bullshit.  You can see the entire list including pardons he’s done since 2004 on the Mississippi Secretary of State website. But in a nutshell, here is the hell he has let loose on victims and likely soon to be victims alike. Just a sampling of names, crimes and release dates. It reads like a Mexican jail break. Read the rest of this entry

Updates coming…


Traveling around the country may sound glamorous but it takes a toll on you! I’m back and finally recovered. Lots of updates coming up this week including more from the interview Phil January, husband of Nikki LaDue January who was murdered in Pass Christian, Mississippi back in 2002, with a private investigator. Poll results show an overwhelming belief that Phil knows more than he’s saying. Also coming up, more on the 2009 murder of Lacey Gaines in Paradise, Ill., including a social worker’s contacts with Lacey shortly before she died. Read the rest of this entry