Robert Durst Dies: 78-year-old millionaire and murderer Susan Berman die in California prison

HOUSTON, Texas – Robert Durst, an eccentric heir to a real estate fortune, died early Monday morning while serving life in prison for the murder of his best friend, his attorney confirmed. receive. Durst was 78 years old.

Durst died while in the custody of the California Department of Corrections. Attorney Chip Lewis released a partial statement, “We understand that his death was of natural causes related to medical issues that we have consistently reported to the court for several years. via.”

In September, a grand jury in Los Angeles found Durst in the murder of his best friend Susan Berman, who was killed more than two decades ago. Authorities believe she was killed in an attempt to cover up the death of his wife Durst, who disappeared in 1982.

Durst’s troubled history with the law, and his alleged involvement in three murders, prompted a movie and later an HBO series about his life.

READ ALSO: Millionaire Robert Durst faces trial starting for best friend murder

The case spanned across the country and over three decades. Here are highlights of some of the key events in the various instances where Durst is connected.

In 1973: Robert Durst, the son of New York real estate developer Douglas Durst, is married to a dental hygienist named Kathleen “Kathie” McCormack.

1980: The couple was separated, but not officially divorced, and According to Dan Tri, he began dating Prudence, sister of Mia Farrow, who was the subject of the Beatles song “Dear Prudence”.

READ ALSO: Old friend claims Robert Durst attacked him with pointed toe shoes in 1981

January 31, 1982: By early 1982, the couple lived in different apartments in Manhattan, but still shared a house in Westchester County, New York. Kathie’s friend, Gilberte Najamy, threw a party in Newtown, Connecticut, on the night of January 31, but Kathie left after receiving an angry phone call from her estranged husband.

“She came home, she was clearly upset. Things weren’t going well that weekend. She kept calling Bob, Bob would call home ‘I want you to come home right now. .’ She didn’t want to go,” Najamy told ABC News in 2001.

“The last conversation I had with Kathie was a very powerful one and when she left my house she turned to me and said ‘Gilberte, promise me if anything happens to me. , you’ll check. I’m afraid. of what Bobby might do,” she told ABC.

Durst told investigators they argued that evening when she returned to their South Salem, New York cottage, but he drove her to the train station and her back to Manhattan. Five days later, Durst contacted the police to report that Kathie was missing.

2000: Westchester County investigators reopened their investigation into the disappearance of Kathie Durst, which at the time was still treated as a missing person case rather than a homicide. The following year, Kathie was declared dead, however, her body was never found.

Investigators scheduled to speak with Susan Berman, a good friend of Durst’s who lives in California. But on Christmas Eve, just days before her scheduled meeting with investigators, Berman was found in her home with a fatal bullet to the back of the head.

According to an article in the New York Times in 2001Berman’s family and friends at the time did not suspect Durst and felt that he would never hurt Berman, with whom he was so close that he let her go at his wedding. her in 1984.

October 2001: Durst was arrested in Galveston, Texas, for the murder of Morris Black, his 71-year-old neighbor.

When police began investigating the murder, they discovered that Durst had rented an apartment in Galveston in April, according to The New York Times. He had told the landlord that he was renting to his mute sister-in-law, and gave the name of one of his childhood classmates. Durst was seen dressed as a woman at the library and at local restaurants.

Durst is accused of killing Black, but claims he did it in self-defence.

READ MORE: Prosecutors: Robert Durst lived life as ‘Dorothy’ in Galveston

During his 2003 trial, the Associated Press reported that Durst admitted to using a paring knife, two saws and an ax while dissecting Black’s body, which he later dumped in Galveston Bay. . A jury later acquitted Durst.

2004: The AP reported that Durst pleaded guilty to jumping bonds and tampering with evidence. He was released on parole in 2005. However, he later faced the law again when he violated the terms of the pardon by returning to the home where he had killed Black, leaving him We have to stay four more months. in prison.

2010: His case received renewed attention when a film titled “All Good Things” was released detailing a fictionalized version of Durst’s life, with the character Durst played by Ryan Gosling. Durst contacted the film’s director after the film’s release, and their subsequent interactions resulted in an HBO series.

July 2014: Durst was arrested in July 2014 for exposing his body and urinating in a candy counter at a CVS pharmacy on Kirby. He subsequently made no objection to a charge of malice and was ordered to pay CVS compensation.

READ MORE: Video of alleged Robert Durst urinating at Houston CVS released

March 15, 2015: At the time, Durst, 71, was arrested by FBI agents at a New Orleans hotel, a day before the HBO series’ final episode aired.

“As a result of the investigations and additional evidence that have come to light over the past year, investigators have identified Robert Durst as the person responsible for Ms. Berman’s death,” the Los Angeles Police Department said. Angeles said in a statement.

In the HBO series, Durst appears to have admitted to killing the Bermans, and is heard on tape saying that he “killed them all, of course”. The recording was recorded on a microphone he was wearing while he was in the bathroom. The filmmakers said they didn’t detect the sound until years after it was recorded.

March 16, 2015: Durst waives his right to be extradited in a courtroom in New Orleans. The Los Angeles County District Attorney charged him with one count of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of killing a witness, as well as pending and firearm charges.

September 2021: A grand jury in Los Angeles found Durst in the murder of Berman. The following month, he was sentenced to life in prison.

October 2021: Durst is charged in New York City with the murder of his ex-wife, Kathie, who went missing in 1982, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Dais Johnston

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