Multimillionaire real estate heir Robert Durst, who confessed to three murders in the HBO documentary The Jinx, has been convicted of murdering his longtime friend, Susan Berman, in December 2000.
A Los Angeles jury convicted the real estate heir on Friday, 17 September 2021, of murdering his best friend 20 years ago. The jury found that Susan Berman was killed because she witnessed a crime involving Durst’s wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst.
Berman had provided an alibi for Durst in the disappearance of his wife, and with this revelation, the jury stated that they believed that Durst, now 78, had also killed Kathleen in 1982 and murdered Berman because he believed she was about to implicate him.
Durst confessed to his friends that Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was his confidante who provided a phoney alibi for him after his wife vanished. Susan Berman was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home in December 2000, as she was allegedly preparing to tell the police how she helped Durst cover up his wife’s death.
Nine months after Berman’s death, Durst also killed his Galveston neighbour Morris Black. According to him, Black, who he had become friends with, was in his apartment, holding his 22-calibre pistol. Black’s death was either an accident or self-defence.
In 2003, Durst was acquitted after testifying that Black was killed in a struggle for the gun but was convicted of destroying evidence; he chopped up Black’s body and tossed it out to sea.
Robert Durst was on the run for five years and was finally caught in 2015 while hiding out in a New Orleans hotel on the eve of the airing of the final episode of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
When he was caught, he made what could be termed an incriminating statement. He could be heard muttering to himself on a live microphone in a bathroom: “There it is. You’re caught.”
5 interesting facts about Robert Durst
- Born on 12 April 1943 in New York City, New York, US, Robert Alan Durst is a businessman from a wealthy family.
- In 1973 he married Kathleen McCormack, a dental hygenist, and by 1981 there were reports of Robert Dust being controlling. A few months before her graduation from medical school, in 1982, she disappeared while he remarried in 2000.
- In 2006 Durst was reportedly paid $65 million to settle a lawsuit he had filed for his share of the family’s wealth.
- In 2012 and 2013, family members sought and received restraining orders against him, claiming they were afraid of him. However, when he went on trial, he was acquitted of several charges in December 2014.
- On 17 September 2021, the jury convicted Durst of first-degree murder in the death of Susan Berman, which opened up the possibility of him being also charged with his wife’s disappearance (death).