Ex-husband taken into custody in 'Springer Show' murder

Click to follow
The Independent US

The ex-husband of a woman found dead after their twisted love story aired on The Jerry Springer Show this week was in custody, officials said.

The ex-husband of a woman found dead after their twisted love story aired on The Jerry Springer Show this week was in custody, officials said.

Ralf Panitz, who had disappeared after Nancy Campbell-Panitz was beaten to death Monday, made a brief court appearance and was ordered held without bail on a murder charge. Panitz's wife, Eleanor Panitz, was being held as a material witness.

Defense attorney Jayne Weintraub told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Friday that the couple decided to surrender after realizing they were suspects.

The couple and their lawyers brokered a deal with Sarasota authorities while in Boston on Thursday. They flew to Tampa, 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Sarasota, on Friday and surrendered.

Authorities had said they believed the couple would try to reach the Canadian border. Weintraub insisted those reports were inaccurate.

Linda Shafran, publicist for the Springer show, issued a brief statement Friday: "We are gratified that they have turned themselves in. We are continuing to cooperate with the Sarasota County Sheriff's department."

In a show that was taped in May and broadcast Monday, Campbell-Panitz, 52; Ralf Panitz, 40, and Eleanor Panitz, 45, traded barbs for five minutes. Panitz and his wife claimed Campbell-Panitz had been stalking him. Campbell-Panitz eventually walked off the stage to applause shortly after her ex-husband's new wife called her "old" and "fat."

A few hours after the show aired - and not long after Campbell-Panitz told a judge she feared for her life - she was found dead in her Sarasota home.

Comments