Philip Walsted Memorial Tucson Arizona
Philip Walsted was a 24-year-old gay man in who was robbed and beaten to death in downtown Tucson, Arizona, on June 12, 2002. He worked for American Airlines as a Reservation Agent, and lived with his partner, Jonathan. His supervisor at American Airlines, Linda Kubiak, stated that she and Walsted's co-workers "Were Forever Changed For Knowing And Working With Philip."
Philip Walsted was walking home on June 12, 2002, when he was attacked and beaten with a baseball bat by 22-year-old David A. Higdon in the course of a robbery. Philip Walsted was struck in the head with the bat up to 20 times, and received more than 50 wounds as a result of the attack.
Walsted was found, covered with blood, lying in the street near the home he shared with his partner in the neighborhood near the University of Arizona. He was transported to University Medical Center, where he died later that same day.
The murderer Higdon was arrested one week later. Police found Walsted's eyeglasses, watch, shoes, American Airlines keyring, and driver's license in the murders possession, as well as newspaper articles about the murder, two baseball bats, clothing soaked with Walsted's blood, marijuana and cocaine.
At first, police declined to classify the murder as a Hate Crime. But, months later, as more evidence accumulated, the Tucson Police Department re-classified the case as a Hate Crime and reported it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Hate Crime.
The murderer Higdon, was an avowed neo-Nazi, had two Nazi SS Style lightning bolts tattooed on his chest while he was in jail (meaning he had "Killed For The Cause"), and arrived in court with his head completely shaved. The Prosecutor Teresa Godoy said that Walsted's murder started as a Robbery, but the attack was fueled by Higdon's Neo-Nazi Beliefs, and was part of an attempt to impress a White Supremacist Group that he could kill people.
Higdon "confessed" to the crime in numerous letters, and by boasting he had killed Philip Walsted to other jail inmates.
The representative from the local gay and lesbian center (Wingspan) Anti-Violence Project (Dr. Lori B. Girshick) attended the trial, and reported that "Higdon had written Hundreds Of Pages Of Letters and Documents while he was incarcerated about killing Gay people, leading many to believe that Philip was killed only because he was a Gay man."