Philip James Donovan

Philip on Vacation with his family in Mexico Philip on Vacation with his family in Mexico

May 8th is an important date. Yeah, I know that May 8, 1429 was the day that French troops under Joan of Arc rescued Orleans. But it’s important for more than that. It’s the day that my best friend Phil was murdered.

“The Skankin’ Pickle” by Phil Donovan

Philip was born July 9th, 1984 to Richard and Gerrie Donovan. They were a young couple with another son, Richard II, and not much else. They were a family of limited means, but they were incredibly rich in spirit because of the love that flourished in their home. Richard (Dad) and Gerrie (Mom) raised both of their boys to be good people, but Phil had something special, something that couldn’t be taught, or acquired. Phil was more than just a good person, or fun to be around; Phil was goodness, Phil was fun. He was a compassionate and caring person who tried his damnedest to be there for his friends when they needed him, which entailed an almost full-time job on account of his tremendous number of friends. He wasn’t popular in the traditional sense of the word because that kind of popularity implies that the person is trying to be popular, perhaps trying to be someone they aren’t, or are sycophantic phonies who try to be everyone’s buddy and never rock the boat. That wasn’t Phil. He didn’t try to make people like him,

people were just drawn to him. Between his heart warming smile, his infectious laughter, and his genuine and gregarious personality, people were drawn to him by a magnet-pull that I have never seen before. Much like a magnet, people were stuck to Phil; meeting him was never a one-off event. Anyone who met the man clamored for his friendship, time, and attention. A privileged group of us were lucky enough to occupy the preponderance of Phil’s time, and each of us called him our best friend. Sometimes petty things like girls got in the way of our friendships, but we always made up because Phil was never the one to hold the grudge; it was the other person, and was just a matter of time before the other person came to their senses. We were all young and immortal, and never thought for a second that anything would change. We were all Lost Boys living in Neverland…

In the early hours of May 8th, 2004, Armageddon came to Neverland.

Phil had returned home late one night from the Second Floor, an infamous party spot for the group of us from Wildomar. It was a night like most nights; lots of drinking, pot smoking, music, Circle of Death (like King’s Cup, but with more drinking), and practical jokes. Upon his return he had locked something of his, including his keys, in his RX7. Whatever it was, it was something he needed because he endeavored to retrieve the itemsclad only in his boxers, and his signature “Tenacious D” t-shirt. Some neighbor noticed Phil trying to get into his car and called the police under suspicion that it was not Phil, but a prowler trying to break in. According to the neighbor, a Riverside County Sheriff deputy arrived on scene, alone, and began running toward Phil without announcing himself asan officer, and without any other warning. Phil made it into his house where the officer followed, drew his weapon, and fired three shots into my best friend. He was hit twice in the back, and once under his arm through his ribs. Richard and Gerrie thought that it was us kids playing another fire-cracker related prank on them until after the 3 “pops,” the officer said “Freeze! Police!” Before they could arise from their bed to answer the pained cries of Phil pleading, “Help me, please! It hurts!” two other sheriffs burst into their room, pulled them from their beds, naked, and held them at gunpoint on the floor with knees in their backs.

Phil died gripped in terror and agony, screaming for the help of his two loving parents who were prevented from going to their beloved son just a few feet away. Those murderous pigs deprived a mother from holding her son as he breathed his last. Phil died alone on his kitchen floor under the malevolent eyes of a soulless monster with a badge. I hope in my heart of hearts that the officer who pulled the trigger that night dies in merciless torment. I hope he never sleeps, and if he does, I pray that his dreams are filled with not only the terror that he inflicted upon the innocent and best of us, but I hope that the years of torment that afflict all of us who knew Phil are visited upon that monsters heart, mind, and soul. The devastation that he wrought is immense, and it feels never ending. I hope that that pig gets the same thing, but I hope it lasts for a thousand years. I hope he loses someone that he loves, and cries bitterly knowing that they shall never be returned.

People often wonder why I am so anti-government. This is the reason. The government shielded that swine, that indignant and malevolent ape from receiving justice. It has since been my mission – my goal in life – to avenge Philip and the myriad others who are murdered, abused, neglected, and otherwise hurt by a disgusting class of individuals who see themselves as better than those they were meant to serve, and protect. I know that my heart is filled with hate for that pig. I know that it’s not healthy. But all the love I had for Phil is matched by the rancor I hold for that true waste of life; the man who deprived Phil of his.

Philip drumming, with his usual playfulness Philip drumming, with his usual playfulness

Yesterday was a difficult day. It is difficult to remember the violent and undeserved death of a loved one. I maintain, for the preservation of my sanity, that there is an afterlife; that Phil has been restored, and welcomed into the arms of a merciful, and unconditionally loving God who seats Philip with the highest choir of angels. I hope that his joy is ever  lasting. I hope he can see all of us who love him, and know how much he meant to us. I hope to be worthy of such a glorious station, and to see Phil, through tears of joy like I have never known, waiting for me there. As I pray and hope for reunion with my lost and greatest Love, I pray with equal fervor that I will embrace my dearest friend again.

I love you, Philip, and I miss you more than this feeble mind can say. Rest in peace, my brother.

Richard II (top-left), Philip (top-right), Gerrie (seated left), Richard (seated right)
Philip and his grandmother, Helen, at graduation. Elsinore High School 2002. Philip and his grandmother, Helen, at graduation. Elsinore High School 2002.

Yours in Contemplation,

About facedownphilosophy

Proud recipient of the "Award for Outstanding Excellence in the Field of Unrivaled Superiority"
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2 Responses to Philip James Donovan

  1. Random Internet Person says:

    Dude, wow… the most moving of stories; powerful. Your words bring forward in me what I can only imagine to be the very beginning of the grief/anger/mourning/whatever that you have experienced… I’ve never even heard of a nightmare scenario like this before. Tomorrow I will most likely forget the name Philip James Donovan, as with most of the details; but I have no doubt that an echo of this narrative will never leave me. This is a fine thing that you have done for your friend.

    Kind Regards,

    Random Internet Person

  2. TJ says:

    Phil was a character. I worked with him at Hungry Howie’s PIzza in Lake Elsinore and still remember that last friday night when we said ‘bye,’ after closing. What disturbs me most is the difference between the info I heard from people who spoke to his parents or friends vs. the bullshit story that came out in the newspapers. I know it’s been years, but I still think about him from time to time, even though I didn’t know him as well as many. I guess I am having a nostalgic night as it has brought me here to comment. RIP Phil.

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