CBS 48 Hours: What Happened to Prominent Hollywood Therapist Amie Harwick?

Amie Harwick
Amie Harwick attends the Rock To Recovery at The Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles (Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta | Getty Images)
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Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of abuse and murder. Reader discretion is advised.

CBS 48 Hours upcoming episode titled “Justice for Amie Harwick” will look into her ex-boyfriend and killer Gareth Pursehouse’s conviction. The episode will premiere on the network this Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 10 p.m. ET.

Police found Amie Harwick, a prominent Hollywood therapist, unresponsive but alive at her house on February 15, 2020. She succumbed to her wounds at a hospital not long after. An autopsy revealed that the 38-year-old died from blunt-force injuries of the head and torso, reported CNN. Harwick was a former Playboy model and an advocate for sex workers.

Detectives learned that Harwick had recently expressed fear about her ex-boyfriend, Gareth Pursehouse. Moreover, she had previously filed for a restraining order against him, but the order had expired at the time of her death. Pursehouse had reportedly been abusive towards the victim in the past, per the New York Post. Authorities eventually arrested him in connection with the murder.

In December 2023, the case against Pursehouse concluded with a murder conviction, after which he received a life sentence without parole.

Who was the suspect in Amie Harwick’s murder case?

Amie Harwick’s ex-boyfriend, Gareth Pursehouse, is the only suspect in her February 2020 murder. The Guardian reported that prosecutors had alleged Pursehouse planned to murder Harwick after becoming “obsessed” a decade after their breakup. Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila told People Magazine, “The evidence showed [Pursehouse] was obsessed with Harwick. He felt entitled to her.”

Reports suggest that Pursehouse and Harwick had previously dated for 18 months. But she then filed a restraining order against him in 2012. The therapist took out a second protective order against Pursehouse, which expired in 2015. New York Post stated that in one of the orders, she wrote, “He [Pursehouse] has suffocated me, punched me, slammed my head on the ground, kicked me.”

Harwick had reportedly bumped into Pursehouse at a work event about a month before the murder. However, she rejected the ex’s attempts to stay in touch with her and also told friends that she was scared of him after their encounter.

Prosecutors said that Gareth Pursehouse broke into Amie Harwick’s home, waited several hours for her to return, and then strangled and punched her, as per The Guardian. During the struggle, Harwick attempted to fight him off, but he then threw her over a balcony. New York Post stated that Pursehouse’s attorneys argued that Harwick accidentally fell off the balcony and maintained his innocence.

Police officers were responding to reports of a “woman screaming” when they found Harwick beneath a third-story balcony. CNN stated that the LAPD officers said she had suffered grave injuries and was unresponsive. There were signs of forced entry into the house and a struggle upstairs. Moreover, before arriving at the house, they first met her roommate, who told them that someone was assaulting the 38-year-old inside their home.

According to CNN, a jury convicted 45-year-old Pursehouse last December of murder and first-degree residential burglary with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. NBC News reported that he later received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

CBS 48 Hours episode “Justice for Amie Harwick” on Gareth Pursehouse’s conviction will air on February 10, 2024.

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