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Biography: Nora Percy, victim's colleague

Nora Irene Percy was born on December 18, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents, Elaine and Tom Percy, were licensed real estate brokers who owned their own Century 21 franchise and earned a substantial income. The demands of the business took their toll on Nora, though, since both parents had to be away from home and constantly at the beck and call of clients especially on weekends

Nora was left in the care of babysitters and nannies practically from the day she was born. According to her teachers at her elementary school, "Nora was a child who seemed starved for affection and attention -- never getting enough." She worked endless hours on her schoolwork to gain the acceptance and accolades of her teachers -- thus reaching the top of her high school graduating class. In high school, she took as many AP and honors classes as possible, which meant she graduated with a better than 4.5 grade average. Since she had been a peer counselor and tutor during her senior high years, Nora told her instructors she aspired to be a college instructor and maybe even a counselor.

Upon graduation from Berry College near Rome, Georgia, she applied for an instructor position at the School of Business at the University of Mississippi and was coincidentally hired at the same time as Kristi Waterson. Nora often complained that she slaved in a tiny cubbyhole of an office while Kristi lounged in her new corner office with the plush carpeting and all the perks. She blatantly told a colleague, "That lazy bag of bones sits behind her shiny new desk while I have to be careful I don't get splinters, my desk is so old. And I'd give a day's pay to know what she's sipping from that coffee cup she keeps at her desk all day. Coffee, my ***!"

Nora's students describe her as a tough prof. "She really makes us work for a grade, but she's fair and a good teacher. At least we learn from her. If you just want a good grade, you had to be a good-looking male and suck up to Waterson. That doesn't work with Ms. Percy."

Unfortunately, Nora was not a good money manager. She'd always had a "thing" for shoes. Her mother called her Imelda II and was often heard to say, "Nora never met a shoe she didn't like." In Nora's college years, Elaine monitored her credit cards and gave her a shoe allotment. After graduation, when she was earning her own money and had no one to oversee her spending, she bought shoes and more shoes. She could never get enough shoes -- or lipsticks. Every time she went to the Square in Oxford, she would find an excuse to go through Neilson's Department store, visit the shoe department and see what new lipstick lines or new colors were offered by Estee Lauder or Clinique. In her apartment, boxes empty of shoes held hundreds of lipsticks tried once or twice then cast aside. Some had never been used and were in their original boxes.

Between the shoes, the lipsticks, and eating out several times a week, Nora's credit cards were perpetually maxed out. She'd pay enough off so she could go at it again until she maxed them again. She was forever complaining of being broke, saying "I'll bet Kristi Waterson is never broke. Her folks always bail her out. Why do I have to be broke while she lives it up?"

Nora has been a bit overweight most of her life. No matter how much she exercised or worked out, she was always slightly plump. She would suddenly be aware of her extra pounds and increase the exercise -- and of course buy a new pair of expensive athletic shoes for motivation -- but she never seemed to consider eating less or cutting out restaurant or high calorie prepared foods. When she would complain to her friends "Kristi eats anything and never adds a pound to her skinny ass," they would remind Nora that eating like you're a bottomless pit could pack on the pounds regardless of exercise. Nora also vented, "Kristi has it so easy. She's lazy and arrogant and snotty and she still gets everything she wants just ‘cause she's rich and thin. And here I am working my tail off! And what do I get? Fatter and deeper in debt. My God! I've become a Tennessee Ernie Ford song."

The night of Kristi's death, Nora had a date with John Brewer.

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