Gareth Pursehouse is a 41-year-old California man who has been charged in the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Amie Harwick, who was killed at her home in Hollywood Hills on Saturday, February 15, 2020, police say. Harwick was a prominent Los Angeles-area marriage and family therapist who appeared on reality shows and was once engaged to comedian Drew Carey.
Pursehouse, of Playa Del Rey, had dated Harwick recently and she filed a restraining order against him when they broke up, TMZ reports. Pursehouse could not be reached for comment by Heavy and it is not clear if he has hired an attorney. He is being held on $2 million bail at the Los Angeles County Jail, online records show. Pursehouse was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and was booked into jail at 2:16 a.m. on Sunday, according to the jail records. UPDATE: On Wednesday, February 19, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office informed Heavy that Pursehouse was re-arrested on a no-bail warrant. They added that Pursehouse “faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged” for one count of murder and one count of first-degree residential burglary “with the special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.”
Harwick, 38-year-old, was the author of The New Sex Bible for Women. She was a former model and Playboy centerfold. She and Carey dated from 2017 until the end of 2018. They were engaged in early 2018 and split up less than a year later, according to TMZ. Fox News reported at the time that the break-up was “very amicable.”
Here’s what you need to know about Gareth Pursehouse and the murder of Amie Harwick:
1. Gareth Pursehouse Was Arrested After Amie Harwick Was Found Dead Underneath a Third Story Balcony With Injuries Consistent With a Fall, Police Say
Gareth Pursehouse was arrested Saturday afternoon, hours after police responded to Amie Harwick’s home in the 2000 block of Mound Street in Hollywood Hills, CBS Los Angeles reports. Police arrived about 1:15 a.m. for a report of a “woman screaming.” Harwick’s roommate told the officers that she was being assaulted inside the home. According to police, Harwick was found dead at the bottom of a third-story balcony with significant injuries “consistent with a fall,” the news station reports.
Harwick was rushed to the hospital and was pronounced dead there. According to police, there was “possible evidence of a struggle,” and evidence of an intruder at the scene. Pursehouse was not arrested at the home but was taken into custody later.
According to TMZ, Harwick had “recently expressed concerns about an ex-boyfriend.” The Los Angeles Times reports that Harwick applied for orders of protection against Pursehouse twice before, in 2011 and again in 2012. A judge granted Harwick’s request for protection following evidence given by Harwick and Pursehouse. The restraining order ended two weeks before Harwick’s death, according to TMZ.
The gossip site reports that Harwick told people she had recently seen Pursehouse and was again afraid he might cause her harm. Further details about their relationship, including when they began dating and when they broke up, were not immediately available; however, Harwick shared advice on Instagram about “reflecting on past relationships” and moving on just days before her death. In a post, she wrote “With Valentine’s Day coming up, many people may be reflecting on past relationships. More often than not, when a relationship ends one or both partners may feel that they have not had what they feel is closure. Moving on, moving forward, and taking care of yourself after the end of a relationship often means accepting that you may not have the ideal closure. Making peace with this takes time.”
2. Police Say Surveillance Footage Places a ‘White Male Dressed in Black’ as the Murder Suspect
According to KTLA, the Los Angeles Police Department revealed in a statement that “The investigation revealed possible evidence of a struggle in the upstairs as well as forced entry to the residence. A canvass of the area located further evidence of an intruder (suspect) entering the property and leaving after the murder.”
TMZ reports that surveillance footage of the neighborhood identified a “white man dressed in black” as the suspects. Booking records indicate that Gareth Pursehouse is 6’4″ tall and weighs 230 pounds.
Harwick’s roommate was home at the time of the alleged attack, Deadline reports, and escaped to call for help by jumping a wall and going to a neighbor residence.
Rudy Torres, a friend of Harwick’s, told KABC that Pursehouse was a “stalker,” adding “When they broke up he didn’t take it well at all. He’d do stupid stuff and say stupid stuff. You’d tell him, ‘Move on dude, leave her alone.’ And he wouldn’t.”
3. Pursehouse, Who Worked as a Photographer & as a Software Engineer, Was Active on Twitter After Harwick’s Death
Gareth Pursehouse worked as a photographer and as a software engineer and developer, according to his Linkedin profile. He was most recently a lead architect at Internet Brands in the Los Angeles area, he said on Linkedin.
Pursehouse was active on his Twitter account, @GarethFromAbove, in the hours after Harwick’s death. His last tweet, sent Saturday afternoon, was in response to a comedian who posted he had received 400,000 views on his latest YouTube special in less than a week. Pursehouse wrote, “I’ve been special since I was five. no views.”
Pursehouse also tweeted on Saturday before his arrest, “You can’t get fit without that new gym clothing. But they won’t give you that gear until you’re fit. Soo … Tough t*tties bucko.”
He also tweeted about politics on Friday, writing, “I can’t figure out why gerrymandering isn’t a federal crime,” and commenting on Attorney General Bill Barr’s ABC interview about President Trump’s tweets interfering with his job by saying, “Then why isn’t Barr prosecuting Trump for impeding justice?” He tweeted anti-Trump comments frequently in the weeks before his arrest, including a February 12 tweet saying, “Reminder… Once Trump is not president, the FBI can prosecute him for all the Mueller report findings…”
4. Dr. Harwick Worked With Victims of Domestic Violence as Part of Her Work as a Family & Sex Therapist
Amie Harwick worked at Los Angeles Sex Therapy and previously at the Pepperdine Community Mental Health Center and Friends of the Family in Van Nuys, California, according to her Linkedin profile. She graduated from Cal Poly-Pomona in 2006 with a degree in psychology and received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University in 2011. Harwick appeared as an expert on the documentary “Addicted to Sexting,” in 2015. She was a former model and Playboy centerfold, according to her author’s bio on Amazon.com
Harwick’s biography on IMDB says, “Amie has worked with a variety of populations of clients in a variety of settings ranging from a private practice to community based mental health facilities. She has worked with a range of clients including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, sexually exploited teenagers, juvenile sex offenders, children with trauma, court mandated adults, divorce, sexual identity issues, chronic pain, sex addiction, Bipolar disorder, displaced adolescents, and domestic violence.”
Her bio on Amazon adds, “Prior to working as a therapist, Ms. Harwick was a Fitness Director for Bally Total Fitness in which she managed and created fitness programs. In addition, she has produced and distributed her own workout video (“Fit to Rock”) and worked as a fitness expert on the Discovery Channel.”
5. Pursehouse Has a Youtube Channel That Hasn’t Been Updated in 4 Years
According to Gareth Pursehouse’s Youtube Channel, he joined the video sharing platform on October 5, 2006. His videos have ammassed a total of over 546,000 views, but Pursehouse uploaded his last video in October 2015. The video is called “Oh deer, oh deer…” and only has a little over 100 views; in the video description, her wrote “I was not at all prepared for how intense the deer were going to be about food. I had a bag of apples ( FOR ME! ), and they were on me like nobodies business. You can’t tell in the video, but a few of them were knocking the others to get at me for the apple bits I was biting off and feeding to them. It was awesome :)”
Pursehouse’s other videos illuminate some of his personal interests; most videos are either about travel, photography equipment, or video game play.
Another video, called “An unbearable flight” shows Pursehouse addressing the camera on a flight back from his trip to Tokyo. The description for the video upload explains “Heading back home from Tokyo, we spent a few hours building this bear thing I bought. It ended up being a pretty good way to pass the time. Even though when a piece fell to the ground, it was usually a nightmare to find it again.”