Scoutmaster Arthur Anderson, W9WPH, Stabbed to Death on Hiking Trip
Arthur Anderson, W9WPH, of Kokomo, Indiana, 76, bled to death after being stabbed in what authorities are calling “a senseless act.” On Sunday, August 21, Anderson -- together with another man -- was leading two Boy Scouts, ages 11 and 12, on a required five mile nature hike on the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill, 60 miles north of Indianapolis. According to Indiana State Police Sergeant Tony Slocum, the group had stopped on the trail to discuss a tree when Anderson was attacked from behind. Anderson, a scouting volunteer for 50 years, was an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 506, based at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kokomo.
According to Indiana State Police Detective Tony Frawley, 22 year old Shane Golitko approached Anderson from behind, stabbing him with a 12 inch knife without provocation. Golitko then returned to his home where he had earlier assaulted his mother, breaking her arm, and stabbed his two dogs, killing one of them. He fled in his mother’s Jeep, leading police on an eight mile chase before he was arrested.
The other man in the group, Chee Lee, shielded the boys from the attack, then called the police. Slocum told reporters that another witness, a neighbor living near the trail, brought out a shirt and applied pressure to Anderson’s neck wound, but the scoutmaster died at the scene. “He was doing probably the most innocent thing he could do, leading a group of Boy Scouts, and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Slocum said.
Jason Nielander -- father of one the scouts who was with Anderson on the trail -- told a local television station that Anderson his scoutmaster when he was a Boy Scout: “I’ve known him since I was 12 years old. And to see someone who was my mentor and my friend and see him lying under a sheet and then to stand there and watch my son doing the same thing, it’s just horrendous.”
Paco Solis -- who succeeded Anderson as Scoutmaster of their troop -- described his friend as “a great man” who was a mentor in the community and volunteered with a robotics team at Kokomo High School, in addition to his work with the scouts. “His life revolved around youth and being a servant,” Solis said, adding that Anderson worked closely with new scouts and with younger scouts in particular. “Our chats, our fellowship -- one of the highlights of our camping was when the boys had gone to sleep, we would talk, and he was just an amazing man. He was just an amazing mentor, and he understood the reason for scouting, the reason why it exists and why it’s so important that we are mentors to the young men.”
Nick Losekamp, a District Executive for the Boy Scouts’ Sagamore Council in Kokomo, described Anderson as a great leader, training the boys to lead by example and motivate others.
“He was a nice guy, he was,” Losekamp said. “He had lots of stories to tell.”
A memorial service for Anderson was held in Indianapolis on Wednesday, August 24.
Golitko has been charged him with murder and two felony counts of battery. He is being held without bond in the Miami County Jail in Peru pending a Thursday court appearance in Miami Circuit Court. -- Thanks to The Associated Press and Indianapolis television station WISH for the information