Amie Harwick’s Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her?

Image Credit: Dream Weaver/Find a Grave

The episode of ’48 Hours’ titled ‘Justice for Amie Harwick’ covers the horrifying murder of a popular LA-based author and therapist, Amie Harwick, something that caught everyone by surprise, especially her family and friends, and spread a feeling of horror and worry across the community. Thanks to her roommate, the investigators’ job was made easier as they were able to catch the perpetrator/s responsible. The episode also includes interviews with the victim’s loved ones and officials who were directly or indirectly involved in the case.

Amie Harwick Was Attacked At Her Residence

On May 20, 1981, in the town of Sellersville, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Tom and Penny (née Kaufman) Harwick became parents to an adorable daughter, whom they named Amie Nicole Harwick. Alongside her brother, Chris, she spent her early days in Landsale but relocated to the South Californian city of Los Angeles for further studies in her 20s. After graduating in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, Amie pursued a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology — Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. The brilliant young woman didn’t stop there; she enrolled in the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, from where she obtained her Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality.

Image Credit: Marti Drumheller/Find a Grave

Amie was a free-spirited individual and lived life on her own terms. A metalhead at heart, she not only enjoyed mosh pits but also liked to groove to the tune of other artists, such as The Beach Boys. She was also a fan of all things horror and taxidermy. Amie wore several hats in her professional career. Her beautiful smile and cheerful personality led her to become a model and also ignited in her a passion for photography. It has also been reported that she posed for Playboy magazine at one time. She was primarily a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and implemented her expertise to help various clients deal with issues related to bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, the trauma endured from sexual exploitation, sexual identity, sex addiction, etc.

A renowned name in West Hollywood, Amie used several mediums to impart her knowledge to the audience, ranging from magazines to podcasts. She also penned a book titled ‘The New Sex Bible for Women: The Complete Guide to Sexual Self-Awareness and Intimacy’ in 2014. She shared a close-knit bond with her family and made sure she spent quality time with them every year, wherein they would bake cookies and have a feast that included cheesesteaks, pork roll, and Lebanon bologna! In matters of love, Amie Harwick fell in love with ‘Price is Right’ host Drew Carey in 2017 when she was working as a bartender at an event. One thing led to another, and they got engaged soon. However, their bond didn’t survive the test of time, and they amicably separated in late 2018.

The Phillips Graduate Institute stipend award recipient tragically lost her life at the age of 38. On the early morning of Valentine’s Day in February 2020, Amie and her pal Cleopatra Slough embarked upon a hike, basking in the beautiful sunshine in the neighborhood of Hollywood. They also had a hearty breakfast at the Beachwood Café, where they talked about their lives in general. She went about her day as usual and arrived at the Global Theater with her friends around 7 pm to attend burlesque star Miss Tosh’s show. Amie returned to her residence around 1 am on February 15. A few moments later, her roommate woke up to hear Amie screaming out her lungs for help.

Realizing an intruder was hurting Amie, the roommate ran out the door and knocked at the doors of their neighbors to save Amie’s life. At 1:11 am, the roommate finally managed to call 911 from the phone of a person on the street. The police arrived to find Amie lying wounded on the ground, around 20 feet below her third-floor balcony. Though she was rushed to Cedar Sinai Medical Center Hospital, Amie succumbed to the injuries on her head and torso, which the medical examiner described as a result of blunt-force trauma. An investigation into the murder of 38-year-old Amie Harwick was launched.

Amie Harwick Was Haunted By a Person From Her Past

After collecting all the evidence from the scene of the crime, the detectives held interviews with family and friends in order to get a better idea of Amie Harwick’s life and the events that might have led to the gruesome murder. With the investigators finding it hard to crack the case, one of Amie’s friends, Robert Coshland, decided to reach out to them and tell them about her ex-boyfriend, Gareth Pursehouse, whom she had been in a relationship with a few years ago. At the beginning of Amie’s relationship with Gareth, who was a software engineer, there didn’t seem to be any trouble in paradise.

Image Credit: Active Gareth/Instagram

However, as time passed, Amie was no longer able to hide the abuse that he inflicted on her, so she began documenting her injuries. In April 2011, she accounted for one of the abusive episodes that only got worse in the following month when Gareth choked, suffocated, kicked, slammed, punched, and restrained her, according to her. Finally, in 2012, she split up with him and broke free of his abusive ways. Just when Amie had moved on from Gareth, someone reportedly broke into her residence, four years after the breakup. Still, Gareth allegedly kept bothering her online by sending her insulting and derogatory comments for several years.

When the police looked into Gareth, they came across two restraining orders that were obtained against him by the renowned therapist. For the first time in eight years, on January 16, 2020, the former couple met each other at the annual XBIZ awards. Amie tried to keep her calm, but Gareth couldn’t contain his emotions when he saw her. As per reports, they even spent some good 45 minutes talking in private, away from everyone else. Then, just a day before Valentine’s Day 2020, she reached out to her former fiancé, Drew Carey. When Valentine’s Day arrived, Amie visited a burlesque show late in the evening.

While she was enjoying her time at the show, her roommate, Michael Herman, allegedly heard the sound of a dish breaking from Amie’s room while he was asleep on the first floor. In hindsight, the investigators suspect that it could have been the sound of the intruder, Gareth, breaking the glass of Amie’s room. Around 1 am on the same night, Amie returned to her home, and as soon as she climbed up to her bedroom, she was attacked by Gareth. Her scream for help awakened Michael, who was not able to find his phone, so he yelled at the assailant in hopes of scaring him away. When it didn’t work, he went over to the neighbor and knocked on the door to ask for help, but nobody opened up.

Image Credit: Gareth Pursehouse/YouTube

Frantic and desperate for help, Michael then ran across the street and found someone walking up the street. He went up to them and called the police using their phone. When the police rushed to the scene, they found her lying on the floor, right below her balcony, struggling to breathe. She had several injuries across her body and marks on her neck that hinted towards the fact that she was strangled before the fall from the balcony. Amie was immediately taken to Cedar Sinai Medical Center, but unfortunately, she died around 3:30 am the same night. The DNA that the detectives retrieved from the crime scene was a match for Gareth.

Just a few days after Amie’s untimely demise, the police tracked down Gareth Pursehouse and arrested him on the charge of her murder. Then, after more than three years of his arrest, on September 28, 2023, the 45-year-old suspect was convicted of first-degree murder that involved throwing Amie Harwick down from the third-floor balcony in the early hours of February 15, 2020. For his crime, the convict received a life imprisonment sentence without the possibility of parole on December 6, 2023,

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