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Shooting Ended Hope of Ex-Spouse for Career : Slaying: A trail of disputes followed couple's bitter breakup. She had been on welfare, planned to become a paralegal.


Meanwhile, Eileen Zelig had exhausted on attorney's fees all of her own funds and some money she borrowed from her parents, forcing her to represent herself for the past year and also go on welfare, Takit said.

"There were times when she had no milk in the house," Takit said. "She sold everything in her house to get money."

Eileen Zelig wanted to leave California and move to Philadelphia with her parents, but her financial debt kept her in Los Angeles, Takit said. To avoid her husband, she had tried unsuccessfully to get the Los Angeles district attorney's office to go after her ex-husband for child support payments, Takit said.

Eventually, she seized her ex-husband's car in an effort to get some money.

"It was the car. That was the final thing that just took it over the edge," Takit said.

Fischbach said the divorce battles obviously strained the relationship and that Eileen Zelig's death is a tragedy for everyone, including Harry Zelig.

"There are two sides to every story and until Harry has a chance to tell his, everybody should reserve judgment," he said.

Times staff writers Kim Kowsky and Ian James contributed to this story.

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