Amie Harwick, a prominent Hollywood therapist, was found dead under her bedroom balcony two years ago. Her ex-boyfriend has been charged with her murder. Drew Carey, CBS’ “The Price Is Right”, and Harwick’s former fiance, gives “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty an honest, raw account of unanticipated love and unbearable loss.
Police found Amie Hartwick, a prominent family therapist, hiding under her balcony in the early hours of February 15, 2020.
Amie was quickly taken to the hospital and investigators immediately interviewed her roommate, who had called 911. They began to interview her neighbors and search for surveillance camera footage – any clues to what happened.
Amie’s Valentine’s Day began peacefully hours earlier with a sunrise hike along with Cleopatra Slough, her best friend.
Cleopatra Slough : I arrived at her house. She had not yet got ready so she invited me in. … I went to her bedroom and it was beautiful. The bedroom had a balcony with natural light and all the natural light. She was busy getting ready, and she finally grabbed her little red cardigan sweater.
Amie was a tour guide for the locals as they climbed the Hollywood Hills streets.
Cleopatra Slough : She pointed out all the landmarks she loved, and told me about the history of the area.
They stopped at the Beachwood Cafe for breakfast.
Cleopatra Slough – She spoke a lot about her happiness. She felt fulfilled and happy in her life.
Erin Moriarty – Did she seem concerned about anything that day, or was it just her?
Cleopatra Slough : No.
Erin Moriarty – Did she discuss her plans that night?
Cleopatra Slough : Yes. … They were all going on a burlesque performance. She was so excited to dress up and attend the show.
Erin Moriarty – What did she wear that night?
Miss Tosh – She was wearing her rosary, her leather jacket and purse, as well as her boots and a red velvet dress.
Later, the necklace would become a crucial piece of evidence.
Amie’s friend Miss Tosh says that the burlesque show began at 7 p.m.
Miss Tosh : They had a Kodak camera, and they were taking all these film photographs together… I could even see them from the stage, just cheering and standing. It was the best time.
Amie was taking photos at the show with her friends when Michael Herman, Amie’s roommate, fell asleep on the first floor. He later told authorities that he heard a plate smashing. He believed it to be Amie, who was on the floor above him, and he fell back asleep. Investigators believe that it was an intruder who broke the French door glass to her home.
Erin Moriarty [looking to photo]: Everyone, as you all know, seems happy at this moment.
Miss Tosh We were all having so much fun and on a high from celebrating the show.
Amie, still at Globe Theater, sat down with Miss Tosh in lobby. Miss Tosh invited her to attend the after-party.
Miss Tosh : She’s like “no, she’s just going to have tea [with my friends]”… And that was my last time with her. I just love you. You’ll be seeing me again soon.”
Amie and her friends quit the Globe Theatre, and ended up at Nomad until 12:18 AM.
Amie pulled into her driveway at 1:02 a.m. and texted Sara Rollins, her friend, to send photos from the Nomad. “Send me pictures on the green couch!” It is now 1:02 AM.
Police believe that she then climbed the stairs to her bedroom on the third floor and was attacked viciously. Police believe that Amie was being held hostage for at least four hours by her assailant.
Amie’s roommate was awakened by her screams. Later, he testified that he heard bodies fall to the ground and more muffled screams.
Amie’s roommate tried screaming to scare away the attacker, but was unable to locate his phone. He runs to get help but is trapped in the courtyard and must climb a tall fence to escape. However, he manages to knock on the neighbor’s door several times and no one comes to his aid.
Amie’s roommate, Amie, is panicking at 1:08 AM. Then he runs down the street, but again, no one answers the doors. He then sees someone on the street with a phone. They call for help. It’s now 1:14 AM.
Amie was found 20 feet below her bedroom balcony by police. She was struggling to breath.
Police found Amie with severe injuries and deep cuts on her neck. This is a sign that Amie was strangled prior to falling from the balcony.
Sara Rollins texted Amie on the green couch at 2:05 AM. She had no idea Amie was struggling to live. Amie was already on her way to Cedar Sinai Medical Center. At 3:26 a.m., she died.
Investigators found evidence of a violent struggle inside her home. A bedroom door was stained with blood. A trail of rosary beads she had worn earlier in the night was found on her bedroom door. It went through her TV room, her bedroom and onto her balcony. They found a filled syringe.
The syringe looked strange considering Amie didn’t smoke, drink, or use drugs. Did Amie leave it? Why?
LOVE AND LOSS
Los Angeles was waking up in the early hours of February 2020. Hearts began to break.
Robert Coshland : It’s almost like the sun has been ripped out of the sky.
Cleopatra Slough and Grace Stanley, Amie Harwick’s closest friends, heard the sad news that Amie Harwick, the 38-year old woman they loved and relied on, had died.
Cleopatra Slough: (cries)
Grace Stanley (cries). She’s gone.
Robert Coshland – The police called me…and asked me to come down to the Hollywood station.
Word reached her ex-fiancee quickly: Drew Carey comedian and host of CBS’ “The Price is Right”. Amie was introduced to the world by him on the Valentine’s Day episode of the show in 2018, two years prior to her death.
Drew Carey – You want an intimate relationship with someone you can trust and open up to… that’s what she was for me.
Carey will be giving his first television interview about Amie Hartwick: A candid, honest account of unanticipated love and devastating loss.
Erin Moriarty: How’d you meet her?
Drew Carey : I… met him at – there was this producer who would throw these big Hollywood parties.
It was 2017. It was 2017.
Drew Carey – Our first date was Disneyland. …And… She was just amazing. I told people at work. … “Wow! I met this amazing girl. Her name is Amie.
Drew and Amie Harwick grew up in middle America, like Drew. Her hometown was in Pennsylvania.
AMIE HARWICK [modeling agency]: It was always a challenge to find my place in the world… and it took a long time to discover who I was as a person.
She was adopted, and at one time, she had been briefly in foster care. She was attracted to an outgoing crowd as a teenager.
Sharon Little : We would all go to the toilet and do our makeup together, and then skip class.
Amie Harwick and Sharon Little used to meet in the ladies’ room. Sharon relates that she was in 10th grade and she was sobbing from the loss of a close friend when someone offered to hug her.
Sharon Little (crying). She saw me cry and held me.
Sharon said they were both hungry for understanding and that they understood each other instinctively.
Sharon Little : It felt like she understood exactly what I was feeling.
Amie moved to LA in 2001 with the intention of pursuing a psychology degree. However, she was short on money.
Drew Carey She worked her way through college…she worked go-go dancing, bartending.
She was able to get gigs at nightclubs around the city.
Sharon Little : She was blossoming. She was enjoying fire…
Drew Carey She knew what she wanted to do. She hustled a lot.
Amie’s hard work, intelligence and passion for personal development paid off.
With a master’s in clinical psychology, and later a doctorate in human sexuality, she started her own private practice. She worked with many clients who were often overlooked.
AMIE HARWICK (“Good Morning La La Land”): My work involves sex workers and people who might have been sex workers in the past.
Amie also brought her unique combination of compassion and charisma to a YouTube crowd.
AMIE HARWICK: This is Dr. Amie Harwick…
AMIE HARWICK: You communicate your goals and boundaries.
Friends say that part of her fascination was her colorful interests.
Grace Stanley – Taxidermy and other things.
Amie had a morbid fascination about mortality, however
Robert Coshland She was obsessed about death…and in fact, she bought her own coffin at one time.
She also had a zest to live and a passion for life.
Grace Stanley – She did everything…and I don’t know from where she got her energy.
Drew Carey: I fell so hard for her.
Erin Moriarty – You said you were fortunate enough to have the love of your life. What did that mean?
Drew Carey : It was. It felt like I had finally found everything I wanted.
He said that Amie gave him unconditional love.
Drew Carey : I have many body issues, but- I would like to take off my shirt around her and not worry about it, and she would still love me. She didn’t seem to care. She thought I was hot and sexy.
They were engaged in 2017.
Drew Carey : We had a great night together… and we’d be, you know? In the kitchen dancing.
However, there were also serious issues.
Drew Carey : It would be something like “Oh, Drew Carey, and Amie Harwick at one thing.”
Amie was sometimes unwelcomed by the couple’s celebrity outings.
Drew Carey : Then the next day, two more days later, it would be there.
He says that almost everything would appear online: anonymous, negative comments on websites that review doctors. Amie was afraid her reputation as a therapist might be damaged. They were probably written by her jealous ex-boyfriend. His name was Gareth Pursehouse.
Drew Carey : She’s like…
Erin Moriarty – What if this was a great love and you were so enmeshed?
Drew Carey : We had some issues and I don’t want to get into it.
Carey said that they had tried for 48 hours to make it work.
Drew Carey : We tried therapy as many times as possible and then, you know what?, we had to stop. It was very upsetting for us both.
Friends claim that the split was amicable, and the couple eventually parted ways. Carey was in a new relationship at the time and was delighted when Amie suddenly contacted him with a text.
Drew Carey: I would love to meet with you and have a conversation. And I replied, “Yeah. I would love that.” You are my love.”
Erin Moriarty – Are you disappointed that you didn’t get the chance?
Drew Carey: I never got it.
Amie’s friends dealt with her death in different ways. However, when they were asked about who would hurt her, only one name came up.
Grace Stanley – My friend is afraid of one person.
Robert Coshland It’s Gareth.
Erin Moriarty : She thought that he was dangerous.
Grace Stanley : She knew what he could do.
ACCUSATIONS OF ASSSAULT
Robert Coshland went to Hollywood’s police station and shared his knowledge about Gareth Pursehouse. Amie had been with Pursehouse for years. He was a software engineer and aspiring comedian, as well as a photographer.
Robert Coshland : They asked me… Who might have done it and… Did she have any enemies? “This ex-husband of hers, Gareth… If anyone… it would probably be this guy.”
Coshland also said that Amie claimed Pursehouse had assaulted and beaten her more than once.
“48 Hours” uncovered numerous police reports as well as two restraining orders Amie obtained against Pursehouse.
Erin Moriarty [reading] : This is what she wrote April 2011.
“Gareth Pursehouse forced my to the ground, covered me mouth to stop me yelling and kicked me.
Mid-May was a time when Gareth Pursehouse choked, suffocated, pushed against walls, kicked, punched, dropped me to my knees, forced forcefully stomped on me and slammed me into the ground.
Robert Coshland : They would engage in… screaming fights. One time, she even threw a pillow at Coshland. He hit her, and she was beaten against the ground.
Robert Coshland. He would then make up and say, “I’m really sorry” or “I love you”.
Grace Stanley recalls that it was a completely different relationship when they first began dating.
Stanley claims that Amie introduced her back to Pursehouse in 2008, when she was photographing for Bench Warmer trading card cards. Amy used to model under the name Amie Nicole back then.
Grace Stanley : I knew right away that he was drawn to her when I first met him. She was always on my mind taking photos of me.
Grace Stanley – I think she was searching for the kind of guy, who would be a good friend, and not break her heart. You don’t have to be afraid of someone who is so into you.
Rudy Torres : He was loud and charming. He was a little bit goofy.
Pursehouse uploaded videos to social media.
Stanley claims that there were no signs of trouble at the beginning. But, something is strange now.
Grace Stanley – I have never seen them together as a couple, and I wonder if he kept her from her friends.
Amie was unable to hide her abuser signs any longer. Friends claim that she began documenting her injuries.
Erin Moriarty : He was hurting his wife. Is that the Amie you are familiar with? It’s not fair to stay in such a dire situation.
Robert Coshland – Actually, it does. She would love to see relationships succeed, even if they didn’t work for her. She didn’t like losing. I believe that a relationship ending… would feel like loss. She was passionate about keeping the things she had, even if it wasn’t great.
Grace Stanley – I remember doing the friend thing… “leave he, leave him.” That’s not a type of relationship you want to keep.
Erin Moriarty – How did she respond to the request to end their relationship?
Grace Stanley – She was absolutely open to it.
Amie and her husband ended their relationship in 2012.
Rudy Torres Gareth didn’t take it very well. He would become obsessed.
Rudy Torres – He wanted to know her whereabouts… he used want me to be his intermediary, which I didn’t want to do. He would always ask me to send him… photos or send links to his sappy love songs. He wouldn’t accept no as an answer.
Rudy Torres : He just kinda blew up and said “you have to choose, it’s either I or she.” …and I went with her, and he cut me off.
Amie was determined not to stay in Pursehouse. She survived, but she also thrived. Nearly four years later, someone broke into her house.
Robert Coshland – She called me and said she was like he had broken into my home and taken my photo albums. It was wiped.
Robert Coshland She believed it was him. However, she couldn’t prove it because she didn’t have any cameras.
Grace Stanley : She felt that he might be watching her, and she thought he could have bugged things.
Amie believed Pursehouse was responsible for some of the degrading and insulting comments she received online over the years. Gareth also sent messages to her friends in an attempt to undermine her friendships.
Grace Stanley : It seemed absurd. … He must have moved on.
They met for the first time in eighteen years on January 16, 2020. A prominent sex therapist was invited to the annual XBIZ Awards, an industry gala for adult films.
Pursehouse was working the event at that moment. Although she tried to remain calm, Robert Coshland later discovered that Gareth had gone ballistic when he saw her.
Robert Coshland : He was shouting at her, “You’ve destroyed my life!” He was reciting text messages that she had sent him in 2012. It was a huge scene.
Robert Coshland : There are about a hundred people here and he is screaming. He’s working the event. He is a large man and he shouts at her, sobbing…falls to the ground in an fetal position, wailing.
Amie spoke 45 minutes privately with Pursehouse after the show. She was away from everyone but still visible to security guards.
Robert Coshland She said she entered therapist mode and told him that he needed to get on with his lives. But, it was in a non-confrontational way. She felt that she had managed to calm him down.
Robert Coshland… But she was not bothered by it all… She was then like, “I want you to share my location with me.” … “If anything happens to me, it’s him.”
Grace Stanley She wanted to increase the security of her home. She needed pepper spray. She was following the lead of someone who was afraid.
Amie called her parents two weeks after Gareth’s run-in, and made an unanticipated request.
Robert Coshland : She… said to them that if she dies, she would like an open-casket funeral, and an elaborate headstone.
Just a few days before Valentine’s Day 2020, Amie sent Drew Carey text.
Drew Carey – I was so happy to see her again. It was great to see her again.
Carey would never again hear from Amie. Robert Coshland would bring the devastating news.
Drew Carey He says, “Hey, Amie was killed.” And I was like “What?” And then I – and I started to cry… I couldn’t even get up. I was astonished that this was possible.
News of Amie’s death has exploded all over the country.
Within hours, detectives located Gareth Pursehouse at home and arrested him for her murder. The prosecutors began to build the case against him.
Rhonda Sunders: This is going to be a tough fight.
A LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE
Gareth Pursehouse was arrested in September 2021. This was a year and a half after Pursehouse’s arrest. In September 2021, Pursehouse appeared before the Los Angeles Superior Court to have a preliminary hearing. Rudy Torres was once Pursehouse’s friend and wanted to be there for Amie.
Rudy Torres – You want to see what her last moments were like. You don’t have to be there, but you do need to be present because she needs someone to watch over her.
Cameras were prohibited inside the hearing, where a judge would decide if enough evidence was available to charge Pursehouse with the murder of Amie Harwick.
Rhonda Sunders – You know what? There’s never been a Slam Dunk Case.
Rhonda Saunders served as a deputy district attorney for LA for 33 years. Although she is not involved in the case, she reviewed court records upon request at 48 Hours. Amie’s autopsy was discussed by prosecutors at the hearing. It documents her apparent defensive wounds on her arms, hands, and legs. Amie also had a pattern of petechiae (broken blood vessels) around her eyes, which could be evidence of strangulation.
Rhonda Sunders: Not only were there the petechiae but also bruises on her neck.
Was Gareth Pursehouse really the intruder on February 14, 2020? Prosecutors presented DNA evidence from the French doors and living room floors that they claimed was related to Pursehouse.
Rudy Torres – The word of today was septillion. It’s the one that has 24 zeroes. … I was unable to remember much of it, but I do recall seventy-nine.
Torres is right – investigators found that there was less than one chance the DNA belonged other than Pursehouse. They also claim that Pursehouse’s DNA was found on Amie’s fingernails. Torres said he was disturbed by the thought of Amie’s final moments alive, which occurred approximately 6 minutes after she sent her last message and before her roommate knocked at the door to seek help.
Rudy Torres: Six minutes. Six minutes were her last moments on this earth. The most frightening part is that, although it doesn’t seem like she was fighting for six minutes, this seems to be the longest time she lived.
The defense asked whether the DNA was correctly collected and tested, and whether Pursehouse was actually present at the hearing. However, a neighbor’s video of their home from Valentine’s Day shows an intruder Torres believes to be Pursehouse.
Rudy Torres He holds his hand up to the camera so that it doesn’t see him. But, when you’ve known someone for so long it’s almost like looking at him from afar. It was like he.
Gareth Pursehouse has pleaded not guilty and his defense lawyers argue that no evidence from the state proves murder. Even if the intruder was Pursehouse, which they don’t believe it was, they say he could have gone to Amie just to talk to her and that Amie’s fall from the balcony could have been accidental.
Rudy Torres – That’s absurd. … He’s tall. She’s small. … She is unmatched in every way that you can quantify.
Robert Coshland – He might have wanted to tell her some things, but I believe he was there to kill her.
Police also found a syringe on Amie’s balcony. Later lab tests revealed that the syringe contained nicotine, which is a potentially lethal poison. Robert Coshland believes that the syringe was only there for one reason.
Robert Coshland : This just really showed that he intended to kill, as there is no reason to ever have a syringe full of nicotine.
Even though it is rare, there have been cases of murder involving lethal nicotine doses – one such case was the Paul Curry case. He was found guilty in 1994 of poisoning his wife Linda with the toxin.
Dr. Neal Benowitz: It takes longer to absorb if you take it orally, either by mouth or skin. If you take it intravenously, you could die in minutes.
Dr. Neal Benowitz is a noted expert on nicotine and spoke to “48 Hours” about how one could create a high-concentration solution.
Dr. Neal Benowitz (holding a vial): This is a concentrated nicotine solution which could cause death.
Police later discovered a Pursehouse home containing a similar syringe to the one with nicotine. Prosecutors claimed that Pursehouse’s murderous intent was evident by the poison found at Amie’s house.
Rhonda Sunders The prosecution must prove that she intended to harm or kill her. What else could there be?
Amie’s friends testified at the hearing about her fear of Pursehouse and the measures she took to protect herself. This included setting up a home security system, purchasing pepper spray and allowing Robert Coshland access her phone. Robert found Amie’s email password and discovered what might be the most disturbing evidence against Pursehouse. It was written by Amie.
Erin Moriarty You found something in her Gmail.
Robert Coshland: Yes.
Erin Moriarty – That was very important, wasn’t it?
Robert Coshland: Yeah.
Amie used her email address to record her terrifying encounter with Pursehouse at XBIZ Awards Show. She wrote:
He screamed, “You shouldn’t be here. Why are you here? He began to sob. … He was shaking vigorously …”, and was distorting the appearance of his face.
Erin Moriarty – What does that tell you? That kind of reaction to just running into a woman he hasn’t had contact with in years?
Kris Mohandie : This was frightening to her, and she should have been terrified because this is not normal.
Kris Mohandie is a Forensic psychologist.
Kris Mohandie This email is a voice of Amie Harwick.
She also wrote, “It terrorizes me that he has been obsessed with me since nine years… He is extremely intelligent and malicious and he is determined to harm me.”
Rhonda Sunders: This email shows that, even though she wrote it, there was no way that she would invite him over. She would not have wanted to have anything to do or with him.
Now, the judge must decide. Is there enough evidence for Gareth Pursehouse’s trial? Amie’s friends don’t doubt this.
Erin Moriarty – Do you believe she fell from the balcony?
Cleopatra Slough : No.
Robert Coshland: No. No.
Robert Coshland – She said that “if anything happens to me it will be Gareth.” These were her exact words.
WANTING BETTER AMIE
Grace Stanley – You know, she had been in other relationships that didn’t work out. They never met.
Grace Stanley, Amie’s friend and close confidante, also testified at Gareth Pursehouse hearing about texts she received from Amie expressing her concerns about him.
Grace Stanley She didn’t like to text about Gareth. He was not her favorite name.
Erin Moriarty – Why? Was she afraid he might not see it?
Grace Stanley : She felt like he was watching her. That was something she had always felt.
Six days of evidence and arguments later, the judge decided that there was enough to bind Pursehouse for trial in the case against him for the murder of Amie Hartwick.
Erin Moriarty – Will you attend the trial?
Rudy Torres is Yes. … We are a small group and have agreed to ensure that there is always someone in the room for her.
Sharon Little, friend and musician, plans to attend.
Sharon Little : I want the judge see how important she is. You know what? I wanted to be there.
Kris Mohandie, a psychologist, believes that Pursehouse’s state case against the state, if it is true, reflects a deep obsession that Amie has, first documented in long-ago court documents that were revived after their chance encounter on the red carpet.
Kris Mohandie – There was a time when things seemed to be slowing down, but it was at the awards event that the chase got back on track.
Pursehouse was not charged with stalking, but he pleaded guilty to Amie’s murder. Kris Mohandie believes, however, that his alleged crime fits the pattern of obsessional pursuit if the allegations by the state are true. Amie likely responded to Gareth out of sympathy, not safety for her own safety.
Erin Moriarty – Was it a mistake to try to calm him down and defuse the situation?
Kris Mohandie – I’m not sure if I would consider it a mistake. Her decision to speak with him twice in the evening to calm him down would be considered her humanity.
Mohandie believes that the best course of action for stalking victims is to n never engage their stalker if possible. Stalkers’ delusions can twist well-meaning human kindness and fuel their rage.
Kris Mohandie – And they don’t recover from that rage. They nurture it and feed it. If true, this is the nine-year window.
Amie’s friends claim that she never intended to let her fear about Pursehouse stop her from living her life.
Robert Coshland – Fear is a death sentence. … You’re giving someone control over your life if you want to live in fear. She was not like that. She was her person, and she was going to control her destiny. He would never be able to do the same for her. Ever.
Erin Moriarty – It’s been almost two years. It hasn’t gone away.
Robert Coshland: No. (Cleopatra Slough is seated beside Coshland and shakes her head. “no. It won’t, I doubt it.
Erin Moriarty – Is Valentine’s Day difficult for you?
Drew Carey : Terrible. Yeah (emotional) … Yeah. Valentine’s Day is a sham. This is not a day to be remembered.
Erin Moriarty – Do you regret anything?
Rudy Torres : Yes. We all do, I believe. You always think that I could do more, that I should be there more, or that I should listen more.
Rudy Torres knows what he can do right now. He invites other men to come along with him.
Rudy Torres – Men need to hold each other accountable.
Drew Carey said that he hopes Amie’s death and the attention it received will bring awareness to intimate partner violence as well as the real dangers of stalking.
Drew Carey : It is impossible to be a citizen of this country and not have known a woman who was a victim domestic violence. It’s impossible. It’s a real problem that not enough people recognize.
Erin Moriarty – What will you most miss about her? Do you know one thing? You just think …?
Robert Coshland: Her. Only her. You know her, she sits next to me. I can hear her voice every day, you know.