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Biography: Dani Bonner, Victim's Friend
 

Danielle Rose Brady was born in Oxford on November 7, 1965 to Edna-May and John David Brady. As an only child, she was given to friendships with "imaginary playmates" and spinning amazing tales of her encounters with spiders, cats, and talking automobiles. This creative urge was quickly squelched in her by her strict and religious mother, Edna-May, who felt that "lying was a slap in God's face." Her mother had no intentions of raising a "foolish child" or encouraging her daughter's "frivolous approach to real life."

The confines that her mother's philosophy enforced on Dani only served to egg her on all the more. By the second grade, she was infamous for outrageous and sometimes cruel jokes on her classmates, forcing her mother to often and rigorously discipline her and, ultimately, place her in private school in order to teach her some manners.

The one small light in her life was her relationship with her father, John David, who adored his daughter and thought she was brighter than sunshine. They often conspired against Edna-May and defied her "iron hand" by playing hooky from school and work, even though nine times out of ten they were found out and had hell to pay. At the age of twelve, Dani suddenly lost her father to an unexpected heart attack, leaving her with no true allies and to deal with her mother on her own. To this day, Dani spends as little time as possible with her mother, who resides in Batesville.

Happily for Dani, another bright light entered her life in her freshman year at the University of Mississippi in the form of Zoe Chase (then Nancy Neidelmen). The two girls became fast friends and looked upon each other as the sisters they never had.

Though this friendship delighted Dani and Nancy, it caused only distress for their parents. The two girls, constantly in trouble for playing pranks, caused many sleepless nights for their parents. The Neidelmens blamed Dani for her bad influence on Nancy, and Edna-May blamed Nancy for her ungodly influence on Dani. It was so bad, that the parents couldn't even be in the same room without an argument breaking out. Both Dani and Nancy regarded this an a hilarious circumstance and did nothing to smooth over relationships between the parents.

After graduation, Nancy (Zoe) returned to her native New York, leaving a grief-stricken Dani to fend for herself. Though they spent a lot of time on the phone and exchanged letters regularly, it simply wasn't the same. Dani longed for their late-night chats of school days and their mutual mischief making. This longing is what prompted her to begin taping their conversations. It started with their phone conversations. Dani wanted to be able to relive them and would listen to them often when she felt blue or lonely. Eventually, it simply became a habit, one she never really outgrew, even after Zoe moved to Oxford.

In 1989, Dani met and fell in love with Ed Bonner, a carpenter with his own small business. Though not remarkably handsome or overly intelligent, he was a good, reliable man who worshiped Dani and treated her like a princess. When he asked her to marry him she was thrilled and felt she had found her soul mate. She naturally had Zoe stand up as her maid of honor at her wedding. Over the years, Dani's passion for her husband has cooled somewhat, but her loyalty and love for him hasn't. Despite the fact that her best friend, Zoe, insisted she could have done better, she felt she couldn't have. When the Bonner twins, Patsy and Cynthia, were born in 1992, Dani felt life couldn't be any better, until the day that her best friend, Zoe, decided to move to Oxford. Then, for Dani, life was perfect.

Dani is an excellent cook and has a good eye for design and color. One day she will get around to taking those painting lessons she is always talking about.

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