Blog Archives

On 30th anniversary of missing Alexander “Edwin” Shaw IV, sister promotes unclaimed 1983 North Carolina Governor’s reward money


North Carolina ( March 7, 2012)-  On March 16, thirty years will have passed since Alexander Edwin Shaw IV’s wrecked car was found slammed into  a pine tree near his home in Wagram , NC.   His disappearance generated an extensive land and Lumber River search by sixteen rescue units, and a National Guard and Ft. Brag army helicopter.  Search efforts continued for several days but no trace was found that week and none has been found in the thirty years that have passed.

His sister, Grace Shaw Abrams of Greenville, SC and mother Jane Blake Shaw of Chadbourn, NC are giving notice of unclaimed 1983 reward money.  The state of North Carolina still has $5000.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the disappearance of Alexander Edwin Shaw IV, of Wagram, NC formerly of Chadbourn, NC.  According to Janie Pinkston Sutton, Special Agent in Charge, N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Southeastern District, this reward will remain in effect until such time as information is received that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Mrs. Abrams said, “Our family is offering an additional $5000.00 making a total of $10,000.00 in reward money.”  Anyone having information concerning the case should contact Investigator Jonathan Edwards of Scotland County Sheriff’s Department or the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Southeastern District. Edwin Shaw’s missing person profile is located at www.namus.gov  or https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/2420/1/­­­­­­­­­. NamUs provides a national centralized publicly accessible database for missing persons and the unidentified.  The database is available to law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners and the public.

Namus staff and advocates were recently in Elizabethtown, North Carolina conducting NamUs training for sixty law enforcement agencies from several North Carolina counties : Robeson, Cumberland, Moore , and Bladen to name a few on how to utilize the database to assist with missing persons cases.  In addition they gave missing person’s families an opportunity to establish a profile and provide family DNA samples to be compared against the unidentified bodies’ database.

“We hope the reminder of the unclaimed reward money on this anniversary will lead someone to contact the authorities.  Thanks to NamUs forgotten missing persons cases can be remembered.  Cold missing persons cases like my brother’s do matter to families- after all we are the ones left behind without resolution and every missing person has family somewhere.” says Mrs. Abrams.

In an effort to bring awareness to the NamUs web tool and her brother’s mystery missing story, Grace began a blog on his 53rd birthday January 23.     http://hopeforedwin.wordpress.com/

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I Am Back!


It’s been a while…I know. I’d like to blame it on jet lag but, I’ve been back for a few weeks now.  Anyway, there’s more to come on Joe Helt and next up, let’s take a look at what happened to Gail Palmgren shall we?

Support the Help Find the Missing Act (Billy’s Law)


From the Surviving Parents Coalition Facebook Page

As parents & families of children who were abducted, sexually assaulted, murdered, recovered or are still missing, the Surviving Parent Coalition is calling upon the United States Congress to pass H.R. 1300 S. 702 The Help Find The Missing Act (Billy’s Law).

We are passionate about funding for the National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUS). Many of the members of the Surviving Parent Coalition still have a missing child. NamUS gives hope to a searching family to bring their missing loved one home. We know that we represent thousands of families suffering for the loss of their child, brother, sister, mother or father and every single one of our loved ones matters. Read the rest of this entry

What’s Coming Up…Cold Cases and/or Botched Cases


First let me put this out there. If there’s anyone out there with writing skills and a desire to help give exposure to cases that have gone cold, contact me (Norm.Holliston@gmail.com). Every day I get letters from people asking to look into their loved ones’ cases. I only wish I had the time to do them all. But I’d be happy to take on new writers who are willing to do this unpaid but very fulfilling job. Send me a writing sample about why you want to do this and I’ll get back to you. Now on to the current cases to be covered in the coming days and weeks.

Read the rest of this entry

Piecing the Puzzle Together: Why Was Nikki LaDue January Murdered?


Nikki and son Zack

For the past couple of months, we’ve all been taken on a journey of Nikki LaDue January’s life and her murder on July 29, 2002. A very unscientific poll here says many of you believe Phil January, her husband was involved. A distant second is someone who was supposed to be her closest friend Nancy Burge.

I don’t think there is any evidence that can put the gun in Phil’s hands. After talking to him and reading all the reports, it is my opinion, and my opinion only that law enforcement needs to open this case and look long and hard at Phil January. An equally hard look needs to be taken at Nancy Burge whose statements after Nikki’s death are not one of a friend at all but of someone who is either covering her tracks or the tracks of an accomplice. There’s no doubt in my mind Nikki was murdered and these two need to step up and tell the truth. Read the rest of this entry

Nikki LaDue January Deserved Better


Some have responded to the previous post about how high the cover-up of Nikki LaDue January’s July 29, 2002 murder went. I said, basically, to the top. Here’s why. We’ll start at the bottom. In fact, we’ll start with the 911 call Nancy Burge, Nikki’s supposed friend made on orders from Phil January, Nikki’s husband. Here is the transcript from that call made at 9:54 a.m. July 29. Read the rest of this entry

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

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

The Things People Search For…


 I get a report of the top “search terms” used to find this blog. Some make sense, others, well you decide. In no particular order here are words people typed into search engines to come here:

1. Nikki LaDue January

2. Darlie Routier

3. Imagine you woke up and saw a dinosaur in your backyard .Write a story telling what you see and do. Read the rest of this entry

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