Archive for Saturday, May 25, 2002

Jerry Springer’ guest gets life sentence

May 25, 2002

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— A man was sentenced to life in prison Friday in the slaying of his ex-wife after they and another woman were featured in a "Jerry Springer Show."

Ralf Panitz, 42, was convicted in March of second-degree murder in the July 2000 death of Nancy Campbell-Panitz.

Campbell-Panitz was beaten and choked on July 24, 2000, shortly after the airing of an episode of the Springer show in which she was confronted by her ex-husband and his new wife, Eleanor, who the ex-wife didn't know about.

Prosecutors said they believe the killing was touched off by Panitz's anger at being barred by a judge from living in his ex-wife's house. The couple had been divorced since 1999 but lived together off and on, even after Panitz secretly married Eleanor in March 2000.

The Springer show episode, taped months before the killing, was titled "Secret Mistresses Confronted," and the audience jeered as Campbell-Panitz was ridiculed as being "fat" and "old."

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