TV legal pundit discovers his wife murdered at home

Daniel Horowitz, who regularly appears on television as a legal analyst, telephoned police on Saturday night and said that the body of his wife, Pamela Vitale, was lying in the entry way to their home in San Francisco.

Police have not yet indicated how she was killed but said they were treating it as murder. "We're talking to several individuals," said Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the sheriff's department.

"Nobody's in custody right now. We are following up on some leads as well as trying to establish a motive and suspect information."

Mr Horowitz is a regular contributor to television channels such CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. He regularly appeared as a commentator during the Laci Peterson murder trial, in which Scott Peterson was eventually convicted of murdering his wife and his unborn child. Earlier this year, Peterson was sentenced to death.

His current case involves defending Susan Polk, who is accused of murdering her husband in the poolhouse of their California home in 2002. Just last week, a jury listened to opening statements in the case, which centres on a bitter divorce battle. Jurors visited the house where Mrs Polk, 47, is said to have murdered her 70-year-old husband. Mr Polk had been the woman's therapist when she was a troubled teenager and they married when she was 24.

Mr Horowitz told reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday that he was too shocked to comment on his wife's death. "I can't talk. I can't. It's beyond words," he said.

His co-counsel in the Polk case, Ivan Golde, also declined to comment on the circumstances of the killing or to speculate on how the murder might affect the trial with which they were both involved.

"Our hearts and prayers are with Dan and his family," he said.

Mr Horowitz's wife, a former executive in a hi-tech marketing company, worked at his law firm where she established and managed the company's computer databases.

Mr Horowitz met Mrs Polk while visiting her at the Contra Costa Jail while preparing for a television appearance. He became her attorney on the eve of trial.

He has defended numerous other people on trial for murder. During the Peterson trial last year, he repeatedly turned up at the San Mateo County courthouse with stacks of autobiographical material, offering his services to the media as a legal analyst. "You have to realise that publicity brings business," he told reporters at the time. "And [journalism] is fascinating."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test