The Death of Nikki LaDue January: Part VII

Last time, I wrote about the victim's feet and how they add to the litany of details that make this death case unusual.

Today, I want to discuss the 911 call.

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Case Summary

In July of 2002, the body of Nikki LaDue January was found seated on the balcony of her condominium in Pass Christian, Mississippi.  Officers stated that she had a single gun shot wound to her right temple area.

A Sterling .380 caliber pistol was partially under her left thigh on a chair, her right leg was propped up against the table in front of her, and a cordless phone on the table was covered in blood.

There were two different brands of cigarettes and two different lighters on the table in front of her.

A bullet was located in a chair on the next balcony, and a shell casing was later found by a maintenance man in the condo's pool.

Ms. January had apparently been deceased for several hours, and her five-year old son was found in the residence unharmed.

Authorities at the scene quickly classified the death as a suicide. 

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C) The 911 Call--an Introduction (Part One of two on the 911 call)

Regular readers of my missing persons and crime posts know that I tend to bore with my repeated use of the disclaimer: "The public (me included) knows less than 1/2 of the details of an investigation."

As such, it is generally irresponsible for me to make strong judgments about witnesses, authorities, evidence, leads, etc.

Generally that is.

The death of Nikki LaDue January presents an exception to this rule.

Since authorities declared the case "Closed," they have released much more about the investigation.

The family obtained photos from the scene.

They have reports from the responding sergeant, the lead investigator, and the county's coroner.

In contrast to most cases, much is known about the investigation into the death of Nikki LaDue January.

Using these documents, the family learned what actions were taken as well as what was not done.   

Most importantly, the released information allowed the family to understand the rationale of authorities who had declared the death of Nikki LaDue January a suicide.

Not that knowing the basis for a determination has been comforting--as the documents leave many questions about Nikki's death unanswered.

One other case aspect obtained by the family was a recording of the 911 call made that resulted in the Pass Christian Police responding--the initial call reporting that Ms. January's body had been found.

As with many 911 calls, the audio is not the best quality.  The dialogue between Nikki's friend Nancy Burge and the police dispatcher is sometimes difficult to comprehend.

Rather than just post the original hard-to-decipher 911 call, what do the family and representatives working with them do?

They make/obtain a written transcript from the original call, and use it to create an audio recording of that 911 call--one that matches the conversation and the emotional/non-emotional responses of the participants.

The audio was then inserted into a video, and a simulated timeline was added.

The video is below.

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This week, I wanted to let folks listen to the call (again this is a reproduction).

What things catch your attention?

--Nancy's (the caller) relatively calm presence?

--She stating that "he came in tonight"? (3:01)

--Nancy telling someone to "...just take him out to the car"--evidently referring to the dead woman's child? (2:30)

--The dispatcher obtaining the condo's phone number, and then stating that he will call there directly?

--Something else?


Simulated Timeline and 911 Call from Nikki LaDue January on Vimeo.

About this video: now that is innovation.

I'll talk more about the 911 call next week.

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All posts on this topic can be viewed by clicking here: Nikki LaDue January.

12 comments:

Miss Caitlin S. said...

To be honest, listening to that call kind of just freaked me out a little bit. It was chilling. And that's odd that it's a reproduction, I've never heard of that happening. That call was weird on many levels, I didn't really understand all of the points she was making or who she was talking to. And her calm demeanor is very odd as well and if she's outside the apartment.. what is she saying to bring outside? I'm confused! Looking forward to your thoughts on it.

Anonymous said...

The call is very strange. Wasn't Nancy suppose to leave with Nikki and son at 8:30am. Why was she so late?

Why would she say she was concerned for Nikki and not check on her prior to her pickup time. Just show up late?

The call shows Nancy called at 3am and 3:30am.

Why wasn't she concerned about waking Nikki and her son if they were leaving at 8:30am?

Why were the husbands calls all zero's? Did he have an alibi which was checked out?

I too felt Nancy was speaking to someone else besides the 911 operator. Who was it? Her son? Why did Nancy call her BFF "girl"?

Why was all of Nikki's son's belongings packed in Nancy's car?

So many questions. Very disappointed in the lack of investigation on this case.

My prayers are with the family. Thank you SD for featuring. I am glued to it!

Clarissa Draper said...

It's all very sad. It's sad that this case isn't re-opened. I don't know what more to say about it...

WomanHonorThyself said...

o wow great to see ya around WHT again Slam..I will surely visit u as well and hope alls well with you always!!:) God bless!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

awww crud. I can't watch the video on my work PC. I'll have to catch it later because i definitely want to hear it

Adie said...

I couldn't access the 911 call on my phone. I am really fascinated by this case. Can a timeline be drawn from cigarette ? Like by warmth or how old the butt is?

JJ.in.Phila said...

I didn't find the caller's demeanor too strange. She was on the outside and the husband was instructing her to call.

The key comments were, for me:

A. The phrase, "he came in tonight." It was in the morning.

B. The caller called it suicide. I'd assume that this is what the husband said. How did he know?

I was not too impressed with the 911 operator.

Kristin said...

It just breaks my heart that there is a kiddo living life without his mama, whether it was suicide or something else!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That was just sad that she felt the need to kill herself with her 5 year old in the apartment. I'm just surprised he didn't find her. I'm also surprised no one heard in the condo building heard the gun shot.

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Ahhh! Nothing about that call makes sense! Nothing, I say!

Sue said...

I listened/watched twice and I'm still processing it. Something strikes me as odd, but until I find the right words or "something" specifically I can't say for sure.

I'm 1000% convinced of foul play at this point.

Anonymous said...

The 911 call was definitely different. Nancy did sound concerned, and I also got the feeling she was unsure how to act because things weren't completely processed. I believe slam said the child was told by his father that 'mommy is asleep' which would not cause the child to look for her. I could be wrong with who said what, but why would someone say that when there is a gun laying between her legs on the chair?

For some reason I got the impression that Nancy was having an affair with Nikki's husband and Nikki was in the way. Just a thought.

I really hope that her case gets re-opened so it can be solved, because there are too many inconsistencies for this to be a suicide.