Barbara Nantais’ Family Has Tried to Keep Her Memory Alive Till Today

Through the episode titled ‘Blood in the Sand’ of CBS’ ’48 Hours,’ the viewers get to dive deep into two decades-old cold murder cases — one of Barbara Nantais in 1978 and the other of Claire Hough in 1984. When the investigators found similar aspects in the two cases, they believed that both murders were the works of a single killer. The episode also features exclusive interviews with the family members of the two victims, generating curiosity in the minds of the viewers to investigate their current whereabouts.

Barbara Nantais’ Murder Shocked the Entire Family

Ralph and Judy Nantais welcomed a little bundle of joy on September 28, 1962, and named her Barbara Jane Nantais. Besides Barbara, the loving couple is also parents to two daughters, Lorraine and Sue Nantais, and a son named Thomas Nantais. As they grew up in a tight and close-knit household, the Nantais family appeared to be the picture-perfect family until the family lost Barbara, who was described as “a popular, defiant, beautiful, pain in the ass, wonderful daughter” by Judy. After her demise, Sue missed the arguments and fights she used to have with her and described her as stubborn and outspoken.

Barbara, Lorraine, Sue, and Thomas Nantais

In the second week of August 1978, Ralph and Judy had plans to visit their friends out of town, so they left a family friend in charge of looking after their children. At the time, Barbara was dating a surfer named Jim Alt, who was told to take care of Barbara by Ralph right before leaving town. But kids being kids, Barbara and Jim Alt left for Torrey Pines State Beach with the latter’s friend, Rick Selga, and his girlfriend. But the following morning, when the news of Barbara’s brutal murder, along with rape and assault, broke out, the Nantais family went into a state of shock and disbelief.

Ralph and Judy Blamed Their Daughter’s Boyfriend For the Tragedy

When Judy first heard the terrible news, she started screaming “No, no, no” repeatedly and hysterically. Ralph, on the other hand, talked about his reaction to the news, “It was like somebody took a sledgehammer and hit me in the head … because we didn’t even know that the kids were down there. We had no idea.” In the following years, Barbara’s family found it hard to move on from the loss. Ralph claimed that he used to “wake up in a cold sweat, crying” in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, Judy said that she felt like “a complete failure as a mother.” When the investigation was going nowhere, and all the leads led to dead ends, it added to their stress and frustration.

Ralph and Judy Nantais

Not only were the parents angry and sad at Barbara for lying to them and not informing them of her plans, but they were more furious at her boyfriend, Jim Alt. Ralph said, “I didn’t want to see him. ….I didn’t want to talk to him. That’s exactly what I felt. You didn’t keep my little girl safe. I was very, very upset.” However, several years later, Ralph apologized to him for being unfair and blaming him for his daughter’s death. He wrote, “I want you to know that I don’t hold you responsible for Barbara’s death. When I was grieving over her death, I needed to blame someone. And since she was with you, I lashed out at you…” Despite the heartfelt letter, Jim Alt, to this day, suffers from survivor’s guilt.

Barbara Nantais’ Parents Reside in Long Beach Today

Ralph and Judy Nantais relocated from Lakewood to the city of Long Beach, where they currently reside. The couple seemingly took a trip to the Bordeaux countryside in France and basked in the picturesque views of the lush green grasslands while enjoying their peace and quiet. Since January 2020, Ralph has been enjoying his retired life. For Ralph’s 21st birthday in October 2020, his children took him and Judy to Phils in Long Beach. The entire Nantais family, including the extended family members, comes together frequently and celebrates special occasions and festivals together.

Barbara Nantais’ Siblings Are Successful in Their Respective Ventures

Sue Nantais maintains a close-knit bond with her parents as well as her siblings. Besides them, she is also quite close to her nephew, Logan, with whom she goes on lunches and dinners every once in a while. She and her siblings, including Lorraine and Thomas, took Judy to Boathouse on the Bay to celebrate Mother’s Day 2022. Sue has been working as a bartender at Lakewood Rocks Sports Bar and promotes the major events taking place there on her social media. Her sister, Lorraine Nantais Thall, works as a freelance graphic designer in San Diego. The Arizona State University graduate is also employed at Temple Adat Shalom as a Clergy and Religious School Assistant. She doesn’t shy away from expressing her disagreements with the Republican notions, mostly through satire, on social media.

Talking of the Western State College of Law graduate Thomas Nantais, he found love in Candice Gaylord and tied the knot with her on January 25, 2015. Living in Long Beach, California, with his wife, he is an attorney at the Long Beach-based law firm — Gaylord & Nantais. Just like his two siblings, he also finds time from his busy schedule to join the family gatherings and catch up with his parents. Throughout the decades, each and every member has kept Barbara’s memories alive in one form or another.

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