Published December 9th, 2009
Notorious Home for Sale
By Cathy Tyson
It was more than four years ago that Pamela Vitale, wife of defense attorney and television legal analyst Daniel Horowitz, was brutally murdered in the entry way of a mobile home the couple was living in while they built their dream home nearby. Scott Dyleski, a 16-year-old neighbor at the time of the incident, was found guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole.
The home was completed and, according to Horowitz, has been occupied for over two years. The mobile home where the incident occurred is long gone, and the luxurious four bedroom, three-plus bath home in Hunsaker Canyon is for sale.  The home could be the bargain of the century. For residents looking for a spectacular, very private 6,200 square foot Italian villa on over thirteen acres with commanding views, this could be just the ticket. 
"Between the murder and the location (up a narrow one lane road) it would take a special person to buy this house" said Cathy Schultheis, a Lamorinda realtor. Some might consider it a bit of a bargain - it's huge, has an approved federal winery license, vineyards, four fireplaces, game room and more. For the same asking price, $3,998,000 there's a slightly larger, 6,488 foot, home available in Lafayette, but it's situated on slightly less than half an acre, closer in to town.
According to California Civil Code section 1710.2, deaths on a property must be disclosed for three years. Since it's been just over four years, technically the realtor handling the transaction doesn't necessarily have to mention it. However, according to Tom Pool, Spokesman for the California Department of Real Estate, "Agents have a duty to disclose all material facts."
A laborer with a local contracting firm working on the home at the time of the murder who wished to remain anonymous said, "All of the guys were creeped out. They kept referring to, 'una fantasma,'" a ghost in Spanish.
Already on the market for 121 days, this could be the perfect Christmas gift for a motivated buyer. Interested parties should know this is a gated property, so don't plan on stopping by if in the Burton Valley neighborhood. (Repeated calls to Peggy Cortez, the listing agent with J. Rockliff Realtors, were not returned by press time.)

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