LUTZ PASSES AWAY

By Ryan Katzenbach

George Lee Lutz, 59, of Las Vegas, and former owner of the infamous 'Amityville Horror' house dies of cardiovascular disease Monday evening

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Coroner's Office indicates that Lutz most likely died in the living room of his Las Vegas residence.

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UPDATED MAY 10 -LAS VEGAS, NV- MAY 9, 2006 - George Lee Lutz, whose allegedly 28-bone chilling days in a Long Island house spawned the bestselling Jay Anson book, The Amityville Horror, is dead at 59.

On Wednesday afternoon, a Las Vegas attorney confirmed Lutzes passing and verified that the George Lee Lutz who died in Vegas on Monday was, indeed, the same 'Amityville Horror' Lutz.

Lutz had just agreed to settle his legal battles with MGM and Dimension Films in April. MGM had sued Lutz for declaratory relief, seeking an adjudication that the studio had the adsolute right to remake their 1979 "The Amityville Horror," which is based on the Lutzes story. Lutz then sued MGM and Dimension Films alleging defamation of character and libel. Lutz was apparently dissatisfied with how his character was portrayed by actor Ryan Reynolds in the 2005 remake. According to papers filed Monday, the day Lutz passed, both lawsuits had been settled.

On Monday evening, May 8, an Amityville Horror-related message board carried a posting from an individual claiming to be Lutz's estranged step-son, Christopher Lutz. Within the post, the individual claimed that George Lutz had passed that day, May 8th. Within a few minutes, the posting was deleted from the message forum and the board went into a locked down status with no further information available. The individual, allegedly Chris Lutz, who made the posting, stated that while he and his stepfather had been estranged for a number of years, 'he was glad he and his father had worked out their differences' before George Lutz passed.

Katco contacted the Las Vegas Review Journal seeking confirmation. As of this posting, they had not heard the news of Lutz' passing. The news room stated that they have received no obituary.

The Clark County, Nevada, Coroner's Office, however, on Tuesday afternoon, did confirm the death of a white male Caucasian identified as George Lee Lutz, 59 on May 8, 2006, however. The Coroner's office also confirmed that this particular Lutz was a resident of Clark County. The Coroner's office stated, officially, that Mr.Lutz' death had been ruled to be "natural causes" with the cause listed as cardiovascular disease. However, the Coroner's office could not provide official confirmation as to Lutz' pseudo-celebrity status when asked to confirm, positively, if this was the same George Lee Lutz of Amityville Horror fame.

According to the Coroner's office, the Nevada Funeral Service was on rotation when the call was received. According to the mortuary, however, there has been no memorial service planned through their firm. The mortuary also refused to verify the location wherein they responded to the Lutz call. As of Wednesday, local newspapers and media outlets still have no official notification of Lutz' passing.

The Clark County Coroner's office stated that Katco that the time of death was established as right around 5:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon. "The location is listed as living room," the clerk at the Coroner's office stated. "That typically means it happened at the person's residence. But, I don't have a physical address available."

"We know Lutz was a white male. We know he was approximately 59 or 60, so we're certain that the rumor isn't a rumor, especially considering the post from Chris Lutz on that message board last night." said Publisher Ryan Katzenbach.

In 2003, George Lutz sued Katco author Ric Osuna, dragging him through a year and a half federal court proceedings over Osuna's book, The Night The DeFeos Died. The lawsuit was dismissed with Lutz receiving no monetary awards. Lutz and Osuna had sparred for years over whether Lutz was telling the truth about his experiences in Amityville. Despite the fact that Osuna out-and-out called Lutzes story a hoax, Lutzes lawsuit did not challenge the factual content of his book. Instead, the causes of action centered on a business dealing gone bad between them before they became enemies.

From Las Vegas, upon hearing the news of Mr. Lutzes passing, Ric Osuna stated "I feel that a chapter in the Amityville hoax saga has come to a close. Although I disagreed with Mr. Lutz, I wish his family the best during this time of sorrow."

Kathy Lutz, George's former wife to whom he was married at the time of the Amityville Horror passed away on August 17, 2004. The Lutzes divorced in the late 1980's, but remained unified in their capitalization off the Amityville Horror franchise. At the time of his death, Lutz was in litigation with MGM & Dimension films over the 2005 remake.

(Reprinted with permission by www.katcomedias.com)
http://www.katcomedias.com/