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Tucson Gay Museum«©   Philip Arthur Walsted Collectionę

Philip Arthur Walsted

LR - Jonathan Hartman,
Philip Arthur Walsted

Philip Arthur Walsted
Gravesite Memorial
Philip Arthur Walsted, a native of Tucson was a 24-year-old Gay Man who was murdered only because he was Gay according to the legal records of the crime and robbed by force in the University/4th Avenue Arts District Area of Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday June 12, 2002. Mr. Walsted was employed by American Airlines as a Reservation Agent, and lived with his partner Jonathan Hartman at 910 N. 4th Avenue. His supervisor at American Airlines, Linda Kubiak, stated that she and all of Walsted's co-workers "Were Forever Changed By Knowing And Working With Philip Walsted."

Mr. Walsted was walking home on Wednesday June 12, 2002, when during the course of that he was attacked and then chased down and beaten to death with a metal baseball bat by 20-year-old David A. Higdon a twice convicted burglar who had recently been let out on parole from the Arizona State Prison System. The victim Philip Arthur Walsted was struck in the head with the metal bat up to 20 times, and received more than 50 wounds to his body as a result of the attack which he did not survive. Walsted's body was found, covered with blood, with his pockets picked clean in the middle of the street just a few blocks away from the home he had shared with his partner Jonathan in the 4th Avenue area neighborhood near the University of Arizona.


Philip Arthur Walsted Memorial
Part 1

Philip Arthur Walsted Memorial
Part 2
Walsted was transported to the Tucson University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Two police detectives interrogated and took a DNA sample from Philip's Life Partner, the couples home and automobiles were searched and processed with both their vehicles seized and taken to the Main Police Station. The unemployed murderer Higdon was arrested one week later after law enforcement authorities broke open the front door during the course of serving a Seach Warrant at Higdon's fathers house when the three (3) men inside failed to answer the door in the 2500 block of E. Florence Drive after police received tips indicating Higdon as the murderer in the capital crime. There on the Higdon property police quickly found the victim Philip Walsted's eyeglasses, watch, shoes, American Airlines key ring, the murdered victims driver's license in the convicted felon Higdon's possession, cut out local newspaper articles about the murder of the victim, two baseball bats, clothing soaked with the victim Walsted's blood, marijuana, and cocaine. The murderer Higdon openly bragged about his murder of a Gay Man according to witnesses while showing off to his friends. Higdon used the murder victims drivers license to cut his cocaine at his father's house as he boasted to friends of murdering Philip Walsted.

Philip Arthur Walsted
Philip Arthur Walsted
Philip Arthur Walsted & Family
Philip Arthur Walsted,
Mother And Sister
Philip Arthur Walsted
Philip Arthur Walsted,
Jonathan Hartman
Philip Arthur Walsted
Philip Arthur Walsted
Gravesite Memorial
Philip Arthur Walsted Tucson Gay Museum
Philip Arthur Walsted
Obituary
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Exhibit Tucson Gay Museum
Philip Arthur Walsted
Murder Article
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Exhibit Tucson Gay Museum
Philip Arthur Walsted
Murder Article
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Exhibit Tucson Gay Museum
Philip Arthur Walsted
Vigil Article

Initially, the local police declined to classify the murder as a Hate Crime. However, months later, as the evidence accumulated, the Tucson Police Department re-classified the case as a Hate Crime and reported it to the FBI as required. Higdon, a self avowed Neo-Nazi, had two lightning bolts tattooed on his chest while in jail (meaning he had "murdered for the Nazi cause"), and arrived in court for his trial with his head shaved. Pima County Prosecutor Teresa Godoy stated that Walsted's murder was fueled by Higdon's Neo-Nazi beliefs, and that the crimes of First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery were also part of an attempt to impress a white supremacist group. Higdon "confessed" to the crime in the many numerous letters he wrote, and by openly boasting of the murder to other inmates at the Pima County Jail a.k.a Adult Detention Center while he was awaiting his criminal trial.


Philip Arthur Walsted
1978-2002

A representative from a local Anti-Violence Project (Dr. Lori B. Girshick) attended the trial. She reported that, "Higdon had written hundreds of pages of letters and documents while he was incarcerated, leading people to believe that Philip was killed only because he was Gay."

While Arizona had no specific law against Hate Crimes, if the victims were targeted at least in part because of their race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, or sex, judges could take those facts into account during the trial and in the sentencing of the accused. On Monday January 24, 2005, Higdon went on trial for First Degree Murder and was convicted after he had turned down a Plea Bargain Offer to serve only 22 years for the murder. After an outpouring of letters to the judge in March 2005 Higdon was sentenced to Life Without Parole in the Arizona State Prison System.

Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Philip Arthur Walsted
Memorial In View
Of His Former Home
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Walsted Family Member
Speaks At Memorial
Dedication
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Philip Arthur Family
Members Reveal Memorial
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Philip Arthur Walsted
Memorial At Catalina Park
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Crime Description
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Philip Arthur Walsted
Murder Article
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Philip Arthur Walsted
Murder Article
Philip Arthur Walsted Murder Collection - Tucson Gay Museum Exhibit
Philip Arthur Walsted
Murder Article

Wingspan LGBT Center employees asked about the idea of a memorial for Walsted to Tucson City Officials (see video exhibit) with the City Of Tucson's response being, "You Can Do What You Want Within Reason, As Long As We Don't Have To Pay For It," "I was flabbergasted, thrilled, and I gladly paid for all of it," noted Philip Walsted's Life Partner Jonathan Hartman in an interview at the time with the Tucson Gay Museum. The Memorial was paid for by Philip's Life Partner and created then dedicated in the City of Tucson's Catalina Park on 4th Avenue, directly across the street from Philip and Jonathan's former home.


Philip Arthur Walsted Memorial
Tucson, Arizona
United States Of America

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