Robert Durst, a former New York City real estate agent convicted of one murder and suspect in others, died Monday. at the age of 78.
Durst died in Stockton, California, where he was serving a life sentence. His lawyer, Chip Lewis, told The New York Times that Durst had cardiac arrest in a hospital near the prison and could not be resuscitated.
He contracted COVID-19 and was briefly connected to a ventilator last year, exacerbating his preexisting health problems.
“Mr. Durst passed away early this morning while in California Department of Corrections custody,” Lewis said in a statement. court in the last couple of years. “
Durst, imprisoned since his arrest in 2015, is separated from his family, which operates some of New York’s most prestigious properties.
His trial was delayed due to the pandemic, but Durst was ultimately convicted in September for shooting his girlfriend Susan Berman in the back of the head in 2000 – out of fear, prosecutors alleged, that she would reveal information about his involvement in the death. … his first wife, Kathleen McCormack. In October he was sentenced to life in prison.
McCormack disappeared in February 1982 after allegedly telling a friend that she was afraid of Durst. She is presumed dead, although her remains have never been found. A grand jury indicted Durst for her death in November, but he died before he could be tried.
After McCormack’s disappearance, Berman worked as a spokesman for Durst, a college friend of hers. Later, however, hard times came for her.
In 2015, Durst was dramatically arrested in New Orleans – with a latex face and shoulder mask and over $ 40,000 in cash – for shooting Berman, just hours before the final episode of his documentary, The Curse, which aired on the channel. HBO. …
During the filming of The Curse, Durst appeared to inadvertently confess to the murders. Off-screen, but in the presence of a microphone, which he didn’t know he was recording, he muttered, “Of course I killed them all.” The jury heard part of the 2015 tape from his trial.
He has been held without bail since he tried to flee a Texas murder charge more than a decade ago.
In 2003, Durst was tried for the murder of Morris Black’s neighbor. He claimed that Black’s pistol fired when Durst tried to defend himself, and admitted that he dismembered Black’s body out of fear that the authorities would not believe him. He was ultimately acquitted.
Durst was under scrutiny in connection with McCormack’s disappearance, and the New York attorney was reportedly seeking indictment. In their allegations of the impact on the victim, several of Berman’s friends and family pleaded with Durst to tell the McCormack family what he allegedly did to her body.