October 24, 2021

Sure, That ‘Cadaver’ Be aware Made Me Look Very Responsible

4 min read


Actual-estate inheritor and accused assassin Robert Durst admitted for the primary time—underneath oath—that he was the one who wrote the notorious “cadaver word” despatched to the Beverly Hills Police Division after supposedly discovering the stays of Susan Berman, his good friend and publicist, at her Beverly Hills residence in December 2000.

In testimony on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court docket, Durst, 78, mentioned he arrived at Berman’s home with plans to drive as much as San Francisco to examine on an actual property challenge they have been engaged on collectively. Durst claimed he noticed a bit of paper hooked up to the entrance door that mentioned, “Bobby, I’m doing my stroll, be again in an hour.”

He mentioned Berman had given him a key to her place, and he used it to let himself in. However as soon as inside, Durst claimed he discovered Berman mendacity lifeless on the ground, shot execution-style at the back of the pinnacle. He testified that he picked up the cellphone to name 911, however that the cellphone wasn’t working. So Durst mentioned he drove to a payphone to inform police. Durst claimed he didn’t need to give his title, and regarded utilizing a faux one. Nonetheless, he determined that his voice was too recognizable, so as an alternative he decided to send the police a letter with Berman’s tackle above the handwritten phrase “CADAVER.”

Durst testified that he had pen and paper in his automobile, however no envelopes or stamps. He claimed to not bear in mind the place he purchased these, nor the place he later mailed the cadaver letter.

Durst had long denied writing the so-called cadaver note, saying he lied about it “for years” as a result of, “I imply, I’ve problem believing it myself that I’d write the letter and had not killed Susan Berman.”

Los Angeles County Superior Court docket

Durst mentioned he then drove to San Francisco, flew to New York, spent a little bit of time in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and on the finish of the month, headed to a good friend’s home in Palm Seaside for a New Yr’s Eve get together.

Durst’s storyline is the alternative of the one prosecutors have introduced, saying that Durst was fearful Berman, 55, was planning to cooperate with police and implicate him in his spouse Kathie’s sudden 1982 disappearance after serving to Durst with a false alibi. Kathie Durst’s physique has by no means been discovered.

Protection lawyer Dick DeGuerin spent a very good portion of his direct examination of Durst Monday trying to persuade the jury that Durst had no good cause to have killed Berman.

“Susan had been murdered, somebody should have had a cause, a motive, no matter, to kill Susan Berman,” Durst testified. “I had no cause to kill Susan Berman.”

“Did you’ve got any motive to kill Susan Berman?” DeGuerin requested.

“No,” replied Durst.

DeGuerin continued questioning Durst about his relationship with Berman, and inquired a couple of $25,000 examine he wrote to Berman in March 1999.

“Was she blackmailing you?” DeGuerin requested Durst.

“No.”

“Did Susan ever threaten to blackmail you?” DeGuerin mentioned.

“No,” mentioned Durst, explaining that the examine “may need been for a automobile, her automobile had been falling aside.”

“Had Susan instructed you that the police is likely to be speaking to her, [that] she is likely to be speaking to the police?” he continued.

“Sure.”

The “final query is,” mentioned DeGuerin, “was Susan attempting to blackmail you for something?”

“By no means,” Durst testified.

Durst, who at one level throughout his testimony on Monday sipped water from a Star Wars-branded bottle, mentioned he additionally invested cash in a Broadway musical Berman was attempting to get off the bottom. The price range was $5 million, Durst mentioned, and Berman’s boyfriend, Paul Kaufman, requested Durst for $500,000. Durst claimed he thought this was a ridiculous request, and agreed to speculate $25,000. Durst mentioned he didn’t assume he would ever see the cash once more.

After allegedly killing Berman, Durst went on the lam and lived as a fugitive in Galveston, Texas. Whereas hiding out, Durst in 2001 killed a neighbor, 71-year-old Morris Black, however was acquitted by a jury who believed Durst’s declare he shot Black in self-defense. Prosecutors alleged that Durst killed Black after Black realized Durst—who had been dwelling as a girl to keep away from being recognized—was a prison suspect.

Earlier than Durst’s trial was postponed in July 2020 as a consequence of COVID-19, prosecutors confirmed the jury a video of a 2015 interview wherein Durst described in detail how he dismembered Black’s corpse: “I’ve been instructed, um, {that a} surgeon would reduce up a physique the identical approach you do a rooster. You go into the joint. And also you, you narrow across the joint. You eliminate all of the ligaments. After which, the factor comes out. You’re not gonna attempt to reduce by the goddamned bone.”

In earlier testimony, Durst said he was “very scared” when then-Westchester County, New York District Attorney Jeanine Pirro announced in October 2000 that she deliberate to reopen her investigation into Kathie’s disappearance. Durst on Monday mentioned that whereas hiding out in Galveston and attempting to keep away from Pirro, he heard “the fantastic information that her husband was going to federal jail for tax evasion.”



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