Wealthy New York real estate heir and convicted murderer Robert Durst has died at the age of 78. He was held under suspicion for decades before killing his best friend last year and sentenced to life in prison.
Durst died Monday at a state prison hospital in Stockton, Calif., his attorney, Chip Lewis, said. He said that the death occurred due to natural causes due to many diseases.
In September, Durst was convicted of shooting Susan Berman at point-blank range at her Los Angeles home in 2000. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole on 14 October. Two days later, he was hospitalized with COVID-19, his trial lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said.
Durst has long been suspected of killing his wife, Cathy, who went missing in 1982 and was pronounced legally dead.
Los Angeles prosecutors proved that the motive for Berman’s death was to silence her because she had helped Durst cover up Kathy’s murder—which led to a New York grand jury indicting her for second-degree murder in November. Imposed.
Los Angeles prosecutors told jurors that Durst got away with murder in Texas after he shot a man hiding in Texas after Berman’s murder. Durst was acquitted of murder in 2003 after he shot a man fighting for a gun.
Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John Levine said jurors told him after the verdict that they believed Durst murdered Morris Black in Texas and killed his wife.
Durst discussed matters and made several hurtful statements—including a surprising confession—during an insecure moment in the six-part HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durstow,
The 2015 show made his name known to a new generation and brought renewed scrutiny and suspicion from the authorities. She was arrested the night before the final episode in the murder of Berman—who had locked herself in a bathroom with her mumbling while still wearing a live microphone: “You’re caught! What did I do? ? Killed them all, of course.”
It was later discovered that the quotes had been manipulated for dramatic effect, but the production – done in collaboration with Durst against the advice of his lawyer and friends – removed the new evidence, including an envelope that depicted Durst as the Berman. Murder and shoddy statements. Make.
look | National report when Durst was charged in 2015:
The police had found a note instructing them to go to Burman’s house, in which the word “CADAVER” was written in capital letters.
In an interview given between 2010 and 2015, Durst told the makers of the film the jinx While he had not written the note, whoever did had killed him.
“You’re writing a note to the police that only the killer could have written,” Durst said.
His defense attorneys admitted during the hearing that Durst wrote the note. Prosecutors said it amounts to a confession.
clips from the jinx and from the 2010 film all good things, in which Ryan Gosling played a fictionalized version of Durst, with roles in the trial.
So did Durst himself. Her lawyers again risked putting her on the stand, which turned out to be about three weeks of testimony. It didn’t work as it did in Texas.
Under disastrous cross-examination by prosecutor John Levine, Durst admitted that he had lied under oath in the past and would do it again to get out of trouble.
“‘Did you kill Susan Berman?’ is strictly a fiction,” Durst said from the stand. “I didn’t kill Susan Berman. But if I had, I would have lied about it.”
The jury immediately returned a guilty verdict.
a former fugitive
Durst fled in late 2000 after New York officials resumed an investigation into his wife’s disappearance. She rented a modest apartment in Galveston, Texas and disguised herself as a silent woman.
In 2001, the body parts of a neighbor, Morris Black, began to be washed away in Galveston Bay.
Arrested in the murder, Durst took bail. He was arrested six weeks later for theft in a sandwich shop in Bethlehem, Pa., where he had gone to college. Police found $37,000 in cash and two grenades from his car.
He would later testify that Black had drawn a gun at him and died when the weapon went off during the conflict. He detailed to the jurors how he purchased the equipment and dismembered and disposed of Black’s body.
Durst was acquitted of murder. He pleaded guilty to breach of his bail and tampering with evidence to refute. He served three years in prison.
Durst had bladder cancer and his health deteriorated during the Burman trial. He was taken to court in a wheelchair every day dressed in prison attire as his lawyers said he was unable to change into a suit. But the judge refused to delay further after a 14-month pause during the coronavirus pandemic.
First wife missing in 1982
The son of real estate magnate Seymour Durst, Robert Durst was born on April 12, 1943, and grew up in Scarsdale, NY.
He earned a degree in economics from Lehigh University in 1965, where he played lacrosse. He entered a doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he met Berman, but dropped out and returned to New York in 1969.
He became a developer in the family business, but his father handed him over to his younger brother and rival Douglas in 1992 to head the Durst organization.
In 1971, Robert Durst met Kathy McCormack, and the two married in 1973 on her 30th birthday.
In January 1982, his wife was a student of her final year in medical school when she went missing. She appeared unexpectedly at a friend’s dinner party in Newtown, Conn., then left after a call from her husband to return to their home in South Salem, NY.
Robert Durst told police that he last saw her when he put her on the train to live at his apartment in Manhattan because he had class the next day.
He would divorce her eight years later, claiming the husband and wife had deserted, and in 2017, at the request of her family, she was declared legally dead.
Robert Durst is survived by his second wife, Debra Chartan, whom he married in 2000. They did not have any child.
Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School, said that under California law, if a defendant dies, the case dies during appeal.
Lewis said an appeal had been filed for Durst.