Actual-estate tycoon Robert Durst was discovered responsible of homicide on Friday after months of testimony.
The 78-year-old millionaire was charged with first-degree homicide within the killing of a detailed buddy, Susan Berman, in 2000 in Beverly Hills. Berman, 55, died only one hour earlier than a scheduled assembly with regulation enforcement to debate the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s first spouse, Kathleen McCormack Durst. Higher often known as Kathie, she had been en path to medical faculty when she disappeared. She and Robert have been having marital troubles on the time, in keeping with Robert’s billionaire brother Douglas, that included Kathie’s plans for a divorce. Her physique has by no means been discovered, and she or he was declared legally useless in 2017.
Durst has denied killing his spouse or Berman, asserting he merely found the latter’s corpse on the ground in her bed room with a gunshot wound at the back of her head. Prosecutors alleged Durst had advised Berman about his spouse’s homicide and solicited her assist with hiding the physique. An absence of proof of compelled entry or theft confirmed that Berman “knew her killer,” in keeping with prosecutors.
The prolonged trial, delayed for 14 months as a result of coronavirus pandemic, revealed that Durst had lied 5 occasions to investigators as they probed his involvement within the deaths of the 2 ladies through the years. His legal professional stated that although Durst’s “compass doesn’t level north,” he was not a assassin.
Los Angeles Police obtained an ominous observe with the phrase “Cadaver” on it earlier than Berman’s loss of life, and the handwriting strongly resembled one other observe Durst had despatched her of the phrase “Beverley.” Durst had lengthy denied that he despatched the letter when confronted about it, however he admitted in courtroom filings and in testimony at his trial that he had certainly mailed it.
“I’ve problem believing it myself that I might write the letter and had not killed Susan Berman,” he stated.
Durst was caught on a scorching mic making seemingly incriminating feedback through the filming of the 2015 HBO documentary The Jinx: “What the hell did I do? Killed all of them, after all. There it’s. You’re caught. He was proper. I used to be improper.” Durst stated he was “excessive on meth” whereas sitting for interviews, and the scandalous audio has since been revealed as a compilation of a number of clips.
The documentary was not Durst’s solely damning second. Nick Chavin, a buddy of each the Dursts and Berman, testified through the trial that Durst had stated of Berman, “It was her or me. I had no selection.”
Durst admitted to killing a neighbor in 2003, slicing up the physique, and disposing of it in Galveston Bay, all of which he contended was self-defense. After the neighbor’s loss of life, Durst lived in drag and performed mute to keep away from a renewed investigation into his spouse’s loss of life. A jury agreed together with his self-defense argument and acquitted him.