If there’s one thing nobody can deny, it’s that the homparenicide of Hollywood sex therapist Amie Harwick in the early hours of February 15, 2020, can only be described as utterly heartbreaking. That’s because she was already fearful for her life, as explored in CBS’ ’48 Hours: Justice for Amie Harwick,’ just for these fears to actually become a reality as her ex-turned-stalker slew her. Though little did Gareth Pursehouse realize there was a witness to this ordeal in the form of his victim’s friend and roommate Michael Herman, who then did his best to ensure his conviction.
Who is Michael Herman?
Although it was only in the fall of 2019 when Michael moved in with Amie in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, before spending 50% of his time away for work, they still managed to connect by 2020. In fact, per his own accounts, they’d become so close in the little time they had together they knew all about each other lives, including her personal, extensive issues with ex-boyfriend Gareth. While it’s true one of the key reasons she opened up about the latter was to share her suspicions regarding him often breaking into their place to rummage around her stuff, the bigger part was trust.
Amie clearly trusted Michael to the core, and he proved she was right to do so because he did everything he could to help in the face of extreme trouble and trauma on the fateful 2020 night. According to his statements, he’d woken up to the sound of a plate crashing and what he assumed was his roommate returning home late from a Valentine’s Day dinner with some close friends. He could actually hear the mess being cleaned up upstairs from his ground-floor bedroom, so he then simply ate some food, watched television, and replied to a few e-mails before dozing off again.
Then came the “blood-curdling scream,” Michael vividly remembers, which was immediately followed by the sounds of Amie choking — it was as if she was being manually strangled, and she was. He was hence quick to get into an attentive state; “I realized the screaming wasn’t stopping or slowing down,” he said in the CBS episode. “I yelled up, you know, ‘Amie!’ and I heard choking right after. I knew we were in trouble. This is for real, this is really happening. I’m trying to listen; you don’t know for sure what’s going on. Was [Gareth] acting alone? Was there more than one person?”
Michael thus rushed for his phone to dial 911, only to not be able to find it and then make the split-second decision to run to a neighbor’s place since he knew his roommate needed help quickly. Therefore, when he saw the front gate was locked, he actually climbed over a metal fence to reach his desired spot — cutting himself in the process — and frantically knocked on their front door. They didn’t answer, but someone was fortunately passing by on the street, so he sped toward them, asked to use their phone, and made the call without once thinking of himself — it was around 1 am.
But alas, by the time Michael as well as officials arrived at the scene, Amie was lying on the ground outside their shared home after having essentially been dropped from her third-floor balcony. The former hence didn’t mince his words when he asserted Gareth was behind this brutal assault, which was later backed by a few other neighbors claiming they’d seen someone a lot like him fleeing. The fact his DNA was all over his ex-girlfriend’s place obviously didn’t help either, so he was arrested for first-degree murder at roughly 4:15 pm after the therapist died from her injuries at the hospital.
Michael Herman Struggles with Survivor’s Guilt Today
Michael was actually one of the key witnesses to testify against Gareth during his fall 2023 trial, meaning he then detailed every single thing he could remember to help secure the latter’s conviction. He was successful in doing so, yet the fact remains he has not been able to move on owing to severe survivor’s guilt, even if her parents wholeheartedly want him to because he did indeed make all the right decisions that night. “She’s gone, and I’m still here,” the 50-year-old business consultant who prefers to lead his life well away from the limelight these days candidly stated in ’48 Hours,’ making it clear it’s going to take him some time to really let go of the trauma he carries.