February 22, 2024

The evidence that helped convict Amie Harwick’s killer

Gareth Pursehouse was found guilty of the murder of a Hollywood therapist Amie Harwick And sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Here’s a look at the evidence that led to his conviction.

Gareth Pursehouse arrested

Gareth Pursehouse arrest
An LAPD officer’s body camera captures the arrest of Gareth Pursehouse on February 15, 2020.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office


In the afternoon of February 15, 2020Gareth Pursehouse was arrested near his home for murder of his ex-girlfriend, Amie Harwick. The two had not dated in almost ten years.

LAPD investigators have collected a trove of evidence released after Pursehouse’s 2023 trial.

A rush for help

Michael Herman seeks help
A security camera at a neighboring house shows Michael Herman knocking on the neighbor’s door. Nobody answered.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Amie Harwick’s roommate, Michael Herman, said he was awakened by a “blood-curdling scream” in the early morning hours of February 15, 2020. Herman says he could see someone was attacking above Harwick. He rushed to find his phone, but couldn’t. Herman made the difficult decision to leave to seek help. He is seen on a neighbor’s Ring camera banging on the door, but no one responded. Herman found someone on the street and used his phone to call 911.

Harwick’s parents, Penny and Tom Harwick, tell “48 Hours” that Herman “made the right decisions.”

Police body camera video

Bodycam video from Michael Herman
LAPD bodycam video of Michael Heman talking to police outside the home he shared with Amie Harwick on February 15, 2020

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


When police arrived at Harwick’s home, they tried to make sense of the chaotic scene. Michael Herman told police that someone had attacked Harwick. He did not see the intruder, but he said he heard the attack.

First impressions at Amie Harwick’s home

Evidence at Amie Harwick's crime scene
Amie Harwick’s purses on the floor in her bedroom

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


When officers first searched the home that evening, there was no sign of forced entry, but Harwick’s belongings were scattered on the floor, including her purse.

Amie Harwick’s jacket

Amie Harwick's jacket
Amie Harwick’s jacket

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Harwick’s coat was found on the floor of her TV room.

The Broken Necklace by Amie Harwick

Amie Harwick's rosary necklace
According to detectives, the beads from Amie Harwick’s broken rosary necklace led from Harwick’s TV room, through her bedroom and onto her bedroom balcony.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Harwick’s broken necklace was also found on the floor of her TV room.

LAPD officers discover a syringe

Amie Harwick evidence: syringe
A syringe found on Amie Harwick’s third floor balcony.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


As officers continued to search upstairs, they did so found a syringe which contained a mysterious yellow-brown substance on the third floor balcony. Responding officers initially thought the syringe contained heroin, but LAPD Detective Scott Masterson said he knew that was not the case. The syringe was sent for testing by the FBI and months later was found to contain a lethal dose of liquid nicotine.

Point of entry

Amie Harwick Evidence
Michael Herman described to jurors how Amie Harwick worried about the French doors that Gareth Pursehouse would later use to break into her home.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


In the daylight, investigators noticed a broken glass panel on the French doors of Harwick’s home. “As soon as we saw that, okay… This is our starting point,” Masterson said.

Blood on the floor

Evidence at the Harwick crime scene
Blood was found on the floor near the broken French doors in Amie Harwick’s home.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Next to what the investigators had identified as their entry point, they found a blood stain on the floor. A blood sample was sent to the LAPD laboratory and the results revealed a match to Gareth Pursehouse’s DNA.

Amie Harwick’s unmade bed

Amie Harwick Evidence
“I think (Gareth Pursehouse) climbed into her bed… He had been waiting there for her for a while,” said Det. Scott Masterson.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


As he walked through the Harwick house, something caught Masterson’s attention. “Everything was neat, clean, tidy and put away,” he said. Everything except Amie’s bed. The covers were pulled back. “I think [Gareth Pursehouse] climbed into her bed,” Masterson said. He calls it ‘very creepy’.

Caught on security camera

Gareth Pursehouse Evidence
Gareth Pursehouse is seen on Amie Harwick’s neighbor’s security camera.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Detectives found security footage from the neighbor’s security camera, which they say showed Pursehouse walking through Harwick’s neighbor’s yard and jumping over a fence into Harwick’s backyard.

Block the camera

Gareth Pursehouse Evidence
Gareth Pursehouse’s gloved hand covers Amie Harwick’s neighbor’s security camera.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Pursehouse was also seen on security footage attempting to cover a neighbor’s security camera with his gloved hand. Prosecutors told ’48 Hours’: ‘It will stop the movement and turn off the camera.’

The police interrogation of Michael Herman

Michael Herman talks to detectives
Michael Herman is interviewed by detectives on February 15, 2020.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Hours after Harwick was attacked, Herman went to the Hollywood Police Department for an interview. He says Harwick had an ex-boyfriend against whom she had filed a restraining order, but it had expired. He told them he couldn’t remember the ex-boyfriend’s name, but that another friend of Harwick’s would know.

That friend gave the name of police Gareth Pursehouse.

Signs of a struggle

Gareth Pursehouse mugshot, bite on arm
Gareth Pursehouse appeared to have a black eye and a bite mark on his bicep.

Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Pursehouse was arrested. Police say he appeared to have a black eye and what appeared to be a bite mark on his bicep. “To us it was an indication that Amie was fighting for her life,” prosecutor Victor Avila told “48 Hours.” “But she was clearly up against a much bigger, stronger opponent.”

“How hard did Amie fight for her life?” asked 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty.

“I think she fought with everything she had,” Masterson said.

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