Schutz, Benjamin M. 1949-2008 (Benjamin Merrill Schutz)

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Schutz, Benjamin M. 1949-2008 (Benjamin Merrill Schutz)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born May 28, 1949, in Washington, DC; died after a heart attack, January 17, 2008, in Woodbridge, MD. Psychologist, novelist, and nonfiction writer. Schutz was a clinical forensic psychologist, specializing in child custody cases, who relieved the gravity and tension of his professional career by writing detective novels and other works of fiction. For fifteen years he worked for the Springfield Psychotherapy and Consultation Center in Springfield, Virginia. In 1995 he became the president of his own company, First Gemini Enterprises. Schutz was affiliated with the American College of Forensic Examiners and the Mid-Atlantic Cold Case Homicide Investigators Association. He never abandoned his formal career, but Schutz's award-winning fiction occupied his free time for twenty years. During that time he won the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America in 1993, after receiving three Shamus Awards from the Private Eye Writers of America. Schutz was the creator of the private investigator Leo Haggerty, a man who was as tough as he needed to be in order to survive in the world of violence and evil that he investigated, a world that sometimes encroached on his private life. Yet he was also human and vulnerable enough to engage his readers' sympathy as he struggled with issues of aging, stress, financial worries, and the dangers of his job. His Leo Haggerty books include the novels All the Old Bargains (1985) and A Fistful of Empty (1991), which some critics described as a masterful look at the power of violence from the perspectives of both victim and perpetrator, and the short-story collection Mary, Mary, Shut the Door: And Other Stories (2005). He also wrote the stand-alone novel The Mongol Reply (2004), about the devastating impact a child custody case can have on its innocent subjects. Schutz also wrote nonfiction from time to time, including Solomon's Sword: A Practical Guide to Conducting Child Custody Evaluations (1989).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Washington Post, January 26, 2008, p. B7.