Scott Pettigrew: Roommate Who Turned Anita Cowen’s Home Into Crime Scene

She was a part-time pharmacy worker & single mother, who had purchased a home in Cathedral City, California.

Netflix’s crime documentary, “Worst Roommate Ever,” is back for season 2, and the second episode, “Housemate from Hell,” sheds light on a distressing case of elder abuse and homicide of 65-year-old Anita Cowen.

Key Takeaways

  • Anita Cowen, a 65-year-old homeowner and CEO, was mu*dered by her roommate Scott Pettigrew, whom she had taken in to help with mortgage payments.
  • Despite seeking legal protection, Cowen’s attempts to distance herself from Pettigrew’s threats failed, leading to her de*th shortly after a court ruling.
  • Worst Roommate Ever season 2 is available for streaming on Netflix.

Anita Mimie Cowen, a 65-year-old Cathedral City resident, became the victim of a tragic mu*der at the hands of her roommate, Scott Edmund Pettigrew, in 2016.

Cowen was a part-time pharmacy worker and single mother of two who had purchased a home in Cathedral City, California.

To help with mortgage payments, she rented out bedrooms in her three-bedroom house.

In February 2016, she offered a room to Pettigrew, a coworker facing eviction from his previous residence, as stated in the court document: “Scott Pettigrew was a co-worker I believed to be a friend.”

Initially, their living arrangement seemed friendly. However, within months, the situation deteriorated rapidly.

Pettigrew stopped paying rent, stole Cowen’s belongings, and engaged in increasingly threatening behavior. His two dogs, which he refused to let out, defecated inside the house.

Feeling terrorized, Cowen sought a restraining order against Pettigrew.

Despite her pleas, the court only ordered the removal of Pettigrew’s dogs and mandated he maintain a five-yard distance from Cowen while still residing in her home.

Tragically, just four days after this ruling, on June 14, 2016, Cowen’s life came to a violent end.

Following reports of a disturbance, police discovered her body floating face-down in her backyard pool.

Evidence of a brutal struggle was found throughout the house, including broken glass and human hair.

Pettigrew was apprehended at the scene. In August 2019, he was convicted of mu*der, elder abuse, and violating a court order.

He received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, with parole eligibility set for December 2035.

Scott Pettigrew’s Roommate Was CEO Of A Company

Anita Cowen was the CEO of American Med Search, LLC, a travel nursing company established in 1995.

The 65-year-old was an MBA graduate from Manchester University (1966-1969) with a long history in the medical industry.

She had over 30 years of experience in front-line management for national & international recruiting firms.

In 1986, Anita was the Lead Physician Recruiter at EMSA Emergency Medical Service Associates.

Then, she became a National Director at Stat Travelers, Los Angeles, until she started her own company.

But, even between that time, she was Vice President at MRA Staffing Systems from August 1985 to March 2008 and also worked part-time.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • Anita Cowen was characterized as someone pleasant and helpful.
  • Pettigrew is currently an inmate at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison.


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