'Jerry Springer' guest charged with murder

A guest on last Monday's US broadcast of the
Jerry Springer Show was yesterday being held without bail in a Florida jail. He was charged with murder in connection with the death, just hours after the airing of the programme, of his ex-wife, who had also appeared on the show.

A guest on last Monday's US broadcast of the Jerry Springer Show was yesterday being held without bail in a Florida jail. He was charged with murder in connection with the death, just hours after the airing of the programme, of his ex-wife, who had also appeared on the show.

Ralf Panitz and Eleanor Panitz, his new bride of just a few months, had vanished on Monday evening when police reported finding the badly beaten body of his previous wife, Nancy Campbell-Panitz, in a home that the three had apparently been sharing in the resort of Sarasota.

The killing occurred on the same day viewers in the US watched as Ralf, Eleanor and Nancy traded vicious barbs on the set of Jerry Springer. The newlyweds accused Nancy, 52, of stalking them and of making their lives a misery. The confrontation ended with Nancy storming out.

The hunt for Ralf and Eleanor Panitz was in high gear all week until the couple apparently decided to surrender. They gave themselves up in Boston and flew late on Friday to Sarasota. Police believe they had been attempting to cross the Canadian border.

Mr Springer, whose show is produced in Chicago, has yet to comment on the killing, which has cast a shadow over his programme - though no culpability has been shown - and to others of the same trash-talk variety. It is reminiscent of a 1995 scandal at the Jenny Jones Show, when a guest owned up to having a gay crush on another guest only to be murdered by that man a few days later.

The Jenny Jones incident quickly went to the courts, and the programme and its producers ended up facing a fine of $25m for negligence.

In a statement late on Friday, Linda Shafra, a representative for Jerry Springer, said the producers were gratified the couple had turned themselves in. "We are continuing to co-operate with the Sarasota county sheriff's department."

Ms Campbell-Panitz obtained a restraining order against her former husband earlier on Monday, claiming he had beaten her repeatedly during their 15-month marriage, which ended in February 1999, and that last month he had chased her with a knife.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Designer

£32969 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Data Engineer

£35000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Data Engineer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence