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This past weekend California lawyer Daniel Horowitz's (search) wife was murdered in their home.
Horowitz has appeared on many television programs — although not ours — discussing the Laci Peterson (search) and Michael Jackson (search) trials. Apparently he came home about 6 p.m. Saturday and discovered her dead in the entranceway to their home. Earlier in the day Horowitz had had breakfast with Bob Massi (a lawyer who appears often on FOX News and our show) and had worked on a trial that he has recently started. He represents Susan Polk who is accused of murdering her husband, therapist Felix Polk. I spoke to his trial assistant on Sunday who said that she had been working on the trial with Horowitz from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. A short time after 2:30 p.m., after his meeting with his trial assistant ended, he again met up with Bob Massi to give him some information on another legal matter that the two of them are working on. Subsequently he went home to the disturbing discovery.
I don't know if we will do a segment on this or not tonight, but it certainly has many in the legal community rocked. Over the weekend, I spoke to a few people who know Horowitz and, to say they were shocked understates it. I know Horowitz vaguely — I spoke to him a few times in the courtroom at the Peterson trial but since he was never on our show, I don't know him very well. I know him well enough to say, "Hi, how are you?" Jim Hammer and Laura Ingle, who both spent everyday in the Peterson trial, know him much better. An autopsy will be conducted today and we will learn much more — including time of death, which can be a crucial clue.
The murder has already captured the attention of viewers. Here are some e-mails about the death: (I want to emphasize that at this point, everyone is speculating... and no one knows what happened — except the killer)
E-mail No. 1
Apparently there was some sort of dispute with a contractor over work done on the mansion. Being that he is a well-known knowledgeable lawyer, the contractor may have been frustrated on collecting money he was owed.
As I understand it she was found in the entranceway. It did not specify whether she was inside or outside. If she was outside then someone might have already been in the house waiting for her. If she was on the inside then she might have opened the door for someone she knew — someone from work maybe. In a house this size they probably had a maid to keep it running. Was there any jockeying for position at work for a promotion?
A house this secluded on top of a mountain does not lend itself to having neighbors. Are there houses down close to the main road that might have seen a strange vehicle leaving the entrance road that day?
The style or manner of the killer may lend a clue as to motive. I do not know this woman at all but it could be a jealous wife. With his occupation it could be a hit. She probably had a small group of friends that she would discuss stuff with either at work or socially. Those people may have an idea about who could have done this.
Overkill might indicate an emotional motive. A professional hit would be neater and not overdone.
Did she attend an exercise class or country club facilities? Those people would meet her in more relaxed circumstances and she might open up more to them than other people.
Right now I am just winging it but I sure hope they find the killer. I just hope they don't tromp all over any tire tracks leading to the mansion that might be crucial evidence. Tire track moldings should be a high priority to obtain. Unique features of tires such as nicks or rocks between the tread could be important in identifying a person of interest. Only one set of tires would have this same chemistry. I would check for those behind the mansion. They would not park out front huh. If there is a beach below this house then that should be searched also. They could have come by boat. They need to look for the most convenient egress down to the beach and then get skin divers to check to see if any weapons were discarded in the water there. Criminals are stupid sometimes and they might not wait till they are farther from the bank.
ANSWER: I think anyone who has had extensive work done on a house has a dispute with a contractor (just like in every marriage there are spats from time to time.) However, a dispute does not lead to murder — or at least often. Of course at this point everyone who knows this woman is a person who should be looked at. This could also be an unknown intruder.
E-mail No. 2
I just heard about Daniel Horowitz’s wife. This is just horrific. Will your team be following the developments? I hope so. I think that fully deserves the support of his colleagues right now.
E-mail No. 3
I don't know if you take time to read all this mail your program receives, though, upon listening to people who rehabilitate felons and people with substance abuse problems, I have this to say:
Fine, so and so did his time, and he has every right to get along with his life. However, so and so does not have the right to expect me to join in his cause, whatever that may be, even if it is merely to make me say hello, claiming that if I don't socialize with him at the most basic level, which is a way to get his foot in the door, that I am doing it, ignoring him, solely because he has a past felony record. Well, for the record, I may personally discriminate against anyone I choose for any reason, be it a past felony conviction, a present felony conviction, or solely because I don't care for the shoes he has on, on any given day.
Being a past felon does not give the person the right to expect others to interact with him at the personal level, not even to the point of insisting others say hello. I might feel the person has a defective way of handling life when it doesn't go his or her way. You may feel otherwise, any way you choose, providing you do not shove your way of thinking onto me.
E-mail No. 4
I'm so glad to hear Mr. Mansur back reporting the news to you! I'm delighted he's well enough to be back at work. He certainly seems like a very decent man.
Keep up the great reporting on this mess.
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