Philip Stillwater was born to Blake and Eugenia Stillwater in Chicago, Illinois, on August 3, 1999. His father's early financial success in criminal law was augmented by the sales of a legal thriller, Courtroom Conspiracy, which was a bestseller in several countries. In 2006, the elder Stillwater decided to move the family to Oxford, Mississippi, so he could devote more time to his literary career.
Although tiny compared to Chicago, Oxford allowed Philip a world of new opportunities. Having grown up in high-rise luxury apartments, the young Philip now had a yard for the first time. He could run through the woods, play in the trees, and comb the grass in search of interesting creatures. Philip was fascinated with insects and spiders, in particular, and spent countless hours in the Stillwaters' large yard, searching for new specimens.
Blake's frequent absences for business and other pursuits caused Eugenia to draw Philip in closer. She strove to shield him from his father's indiscretions and tried to make up for his father being away so much. In short, anything Philip wanted, his mother made sure he had.
Eugenia even set up a laboratory for her budding scientist in the back of their house. She didn't understand all the tools and was somewhat squeamish of his specimens, but they meant so much to Philip that Eugenia encouraged his new hobby.
Philip graduated from Yoknapatawpha High and enrolled at the University of Mississippi. Many people wondered why the wealthy and intelligent young man didn't go away to school just to experience something different, but those familiar with the family knew the reason. Eugenia had tried her best to steer Philip away from leaving for some far-off campus.
And in all honesty, Philip didn't want to be away from his beloved mother either because as he got older, he became aware of his father's affairs. He tried to help his mother through the difficult times while trying to contain his increasing anger at his father.
At Ole Miss, Philip had many friends who enjoyed hanging out with the attractive guy who freely shared the benefits of his wealth with those around him. He was often seen speeding up and down University Avenue in his Porsche, usually with a young woman in the passenger seat.
Philip dated frequently but never had any serious relationships. Many girls were attracted to the good-looking boy with the exotic car, but when they went to his home and saw his eyes light up as he played some hairy tarantula from South America, they often became frightened or at least disconcerted.
In many ways, that sums up the opinion of Philip around Oxford. People were always attracted to him initially, but once they got to know him better, his relationship with his mother and his fascination with spiders tended to chill their affections.
Philip graduated from Ole Miss but continues to live at home, now in the guest house behind the main house. He still takes some classes at the university and continues his research. He remains the primary source of comfort for his mother, and his patience with his father is reaching an all-time low. He has begun confronting the women in an effort to save his mother some heartache.
Last year, he spent several evenings outside an interior design firm in Tupelo, waiting for his father's latest indiscretion to come out. He yelled at her when he saw her in the parking lot, startling the young blonde as she tried to get her keys out of her purse. The woman reported that Philip was so angry he was shaking. After bellowing at the woman for several minutes, he screeched off in his Porsche.
The young lady reported the incident to the police but didn't pursue it because she wanted to put the whole Stillwater family behind her as quickly as possible.