William X. Kienzle

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William Xavier Kienzle was born in Detroit Michigan on September 11, 1928 and died on December 28, 2001. Ordained to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church in 1954, William X. Kienzle spent twenty years as a parish priest. From 1962-74 he was editor in chief of the archdiocese's newspaper, Michigan Catholic, earning an award from Michigan's Knights of Columbus for general excellence in journalism and a Catholic Press Association acknowledgment for editorial writing. Kienzle left the priesthood in 1974

Career after leaving the priesthood[edit]

When in 1974, Father William X. Kienzle left the Priesthood, through a process called laicization and reportedly due to the church's refusal to remarry divorcees, he became the Editor in Chief at MPLS Magazine in Minneapolis. Later, moving to Texas, Kienzle was Director of the Center for Contemplative Studies at the Jesuit University of Dallas. During this period Kienzle authored 24 crime fiction/mystery novels featuring Father Robert Koesler, a Catholic priest. In 1978, Kienzle published the first, and best known of the Father Robert Koesler mystery novels The Rosary Murders. Made into a movie in 1978, it starred Donald Sutherland as Father Koesler, with Charles Durning, Roger Angelini, and Joseph Conrad. Screenplay was co-written by William X. Kienzle with Elmore Leonard and Fred Walton (who also directed the film). The Rosary Murders, like most of Kienzle's mysteries, is set in Detroit, Michigan. Storyline for The Rosary Murders film according to Salvatore Santangelo, pappaone2@libero.it>: Life in the Catholic Church of the Holy Redeemer in Detroit is upset by a series of killings whose victims are all priests and nuns. All victims are found with a black rosary in their hands. Father Koesler, a Priest doubling as a detective, begins collaborating with the police but soon finds himself in a spot when the killer decides to choose him as confessor. The Cognac Festival du Film Policier in 1988 presented the Audience Award to Director Fred Walton, and a Special Mention Award to Elmore Leonard and Fred Walton for the Screenplay and the Dialogs in the 1978 film. In 1980 William X. Kienzle was a National Award Fiction Finalist for The Rosary Murders".

Personal life[edit]

After leaving the priesthood, Kienzle married Javan Herman Andrews, a journalist from the Detroit Free Press. Kienzle died suddenly from a heart attack at age 73 on December 28, 2001 at home in West Bloomfield, Michigan, while preparing for an appointment with his cardiologist. Javan Kienzle died from metastatic breast cancer on September 30, 2015.

Books in the Father Robert Koesler Series[edit]

  1. The Rosary Murders" (1978)
  2. Death Wears a Red Hat (1980)
  3. Mind Over Murder (1981)
  4. Assault with Intent (1982)
  5. Shadow of Death (1983)
  6. Kill and Tell (1984)
  7. Sudden Death (1985)
  8. Deathbed (1986)
  9. Deadline for a Critic (1987)
  10. Marked for Murder (1988)
  11. Eminence (1989)
  12. Masquerade (1990)
  13. Chameleon (1991)
  14. Body Count (1992)
  15. Dead Wrong (1993)
  16. Bishop As Pawn (1994)
  17. Call No Man Father (1995)
  18. Requiem for Moses (1996)
  19. The Man Who Loved God (1997)
  20. The Greatest Evil (1998)
  21. No Greater Love (1999)
  22. Till Death (2000)
  23. The Sacrifice (1999)
  24. The Gathering (2002)

Other Books[edit]

William X. Kienzle's Biography, Judged by Love, was published after William X. Kienzle's death by Javan Herman Andrews Kienzle.

Sources[edit]