Friends Recall Model's Happy Times Eulogy Given By Ex-husband

Posted: March 01, 1999

The horrible death of South Jersey model Julie Scully had almost everything the media could have wanted.

Beauty. Sex. Betrayal. Foreign romance. Murder. In this case, a particularly gruesome murder.

As usual, the media looked for lessons in the murder, lessons it could pass along to its readers and viewers to justify the front-page headlines and the photos of the sexy model in her swimsuit.

And maybe there were in fact lessons in Julie Scully's death. Perhaps in why she followed her abusive, obsessive Greek boyfriend to his homeland to marry him. Or in why any woman would be with such a man.

But if you want to learn something valuable from this story, you don't have to look at the victim, or the killer.

All you have to do is look at the people who cared about Julie Scully.

Like Tracey Allen and Susan White, two close friends whose pit-bull-like persistence helped solve the murder.

And Nancy Lambert, who wants to make sure 3 1/2-year-old Katie never forgets her mother.

And perhaps most important, Tim Nist, the ex-husband, the man she spurned. Throughout it all, Nist has been the primary source of strength for everyone else, and has handled himself with remarkable dignity and honor.

After Scully disappeared in Greece in early January, Allen and White kept calling the Greek police, the American embassy in Athens, and everyone else they could think of.

Eventually, they were able to get the FBI involved. And they contacted newspapers in New Jersey, leading to stories about Scully that were picked up by the wires and run in papers in Greece.

Finally, the Greek police took the case seriously. They brought the boyfriend, George Skiadopolous, in for questioning. And he confessed to killing Scully.

``Something just pushed me, and pushed Tracey,'' White said this weekend. ``You just do it. How could we not?''

Nancy Lambert is showing friendship in another way. She doesn't want Katie to remember her mother only from the press clipplings about the killing.

So Lambert has created a journal, asking people who knew Scully to write down all their happiest memories of her. It will be given to Katie.

``I don't want Katie to ever feel she was abandoned,'' said Lambert.

And then there's Nist.

From the beginning, everyone has looked to him to show the way, to handle the hardest jobs.

Such as going to Greece to bring back Scully's remains. And being the one to give the euology at Saturday's funeral service in South Jersey.

Nist has done it all honorably, and without complaint.

``I'm very proud of him,'' said Craig Chandler, a friend.

``Tim could have walked away,'' said White. `` He didn't have to do any of it.''

Nist says: ``It would be easy for me to say, `She left me for some other guy, I'm out of here.' But I have a daughter, and she's looking at me to do the right thing.

``There is nothing more to life than valor and respect. You don't have to be of great means or great stature. It's something that I got from my father. He was that way, too.''

How people die can teach us about life. But perhaps how people live can teach us even more.

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