Crime

Was the Houston Man Caught Having Sex in a Ferris Wheel Killed Over Payment He Got for Doing an Interview?



Philip Panzica, the Houston man who made international headlines last month after he was arrested for having sex on a Las Vegas Ferris wheel, was shot to death this past weekend near a Houston strip club. And it appears there's a chance the two events may be linked.

Mistie Bozant, his fiancée — and not the same woman he was caught having sex with in Vegas — told police that she thinks Panzica mentioned to the men now charged with capital murder that Inside Edition had just paid him $4,000 for doing an interview about the Ferris wheel bonanza.

According to the Houston police report, Bozant was in the car when a man with whom they were headed to an after-hours party, Bryant Watts, pulled out a gun and told Panzica, “You need to come clean,” then shot him five times. Watts and his friend, Aaron Jones, who was also in the car, then tossed Panzica into a ditch and told Bozant to get out, speeding away with the $1,000 she had earned dancing that night and, allegedly, the $4,000 from Inside Edition that was all in her purse.

Inside Edition would not confirm to the Houston Press whether it actually paid Panzica or Bozant $4,000 to talk to reporters — a spokeswoman said the program doesn't comment on its newsgathering. The Harris County District Attorney's Office also said it doesn't know for a fact if that $4,000 was in Bozant's purse at the time police arrested Watts and Jones, who were caught speeding hundreds of miles away near San Angelo before confessing to the slaying.


Dozens of news outlets ran the story about Panzica, who was charged with committing a sex act in public. Panzica went to Las Vegas in February with Bozant to get married, as the couple told multiple news outlets at the time. But after a fight erupted when Panzica allegedly thought she was pregnant with another man's baby, Panzica stormed out and headed to the casinos, where he met another woman, celebrating her 21st birthday, Chloe Scordianos. He and Scordianos went to the High Roller Ferris wheel and got caught having sex on camera. His most widely circulated quote: “'It wasn't planned, it was just, I felt it,'” he told KTNV.  

Bozant, however, told KHOU that she hopes that's not what he's remembered for. She said that although their relationship ended after the Las Vegas stunt, she had forgiven him.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn