Prescription for Revenge


Greg Kuykendall, a Tucson defense attorney, said that Schwartz was very vocal about telling people that he intended to get even with Stidham. "Dr. Schwartz went around town telling every Tom, Dick and Harry that he intended to have Dr. Stidham killed. That he hated Dr. Stidham and wanted him dead."

Lopez said she heard Schwartz say that "he was going to get him."

The Murder

On Oct. 5, 2004, sometime between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m, Stidham was brutally murdered -- stabbed 15 times -- in the parking lot outside his office. He was 37 years old.

When Lopez heard about the murder on the news, she went to the police. She reported that Schwartz repeatedly told her he was going to kill Stidham.

As the evidence mounted, police closed in, arresting Schwartz for allegedly hiring a hit man, who was reportedly paid $10,000 to kill Stidham.

The prosecution's theory in the case was that this was a crime of revenge, motivated by Schwartz's anger at Stidham for stealing his practice and from his perspective, ruining his life.

The trial lasted almost two months. It took the jury five days to convict Schwartz of conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

'It's a Very Hard Thing to Ever Accept'

Lopez said it was all about revenge. "I couldn't understand any other reason why he would want to hurt Brian. Brian was a good man. Brian was a father, he was a doctor, had patients who loved him, who needed him. It was all about revenge."

Schwartz' desire to settle a score with his medical partner left a deep wound in their tight-knit community. Stidham's friends and colleagues remain scarred by the murder -- close friend Dr. Steven Cohen said that Stidham was a special person.

"I think about Brian a lot. I think about what a special person he was, how fortunate I was to have him in my life. It's a shame that we're not going to grow old together and have our families grow old the same way. It's a very hard thing to ever accept. And I felt like I had lost a part of myself. I don't think anybody of a normal mind would ever consider murdering somebody. So I think Dr. Schwartz is going to pay for his crimes, not only here but for eternity. I think he's an evil person."

Those who knew him best still worry that Schwartz may be capable of exacting even more revenge. Atkinson said that she's still scared, just because "he's behind bars, that don't mean he's not going to get out some day and have revenge."

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