Robert Durst, the Manhattan real estate heir and convicted killer who eluded justice for decades, died Monday in a California healthcare facility.
He was 78 and serving a life sentence for the execution-type murder of his shut pal Susan Berman at a condition jail for ailing inmates in Stockton. He died at San Joaquin Typical Hospital.
“We recognize that his loss of life was due to purely natural brings about related with the litany of health-related challenges we had continuously documented to the court docket about the last few of calendar year,” Durst’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, reported in a assertion.
Right until his arrest in 2015 in the Berman murder, Durst experienced managed to escape punishment for the fatalities of his to start with wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, and an aged Texas neighbor, Morris Black, whose physique he admitted dismembering and dumping in Galveston Bay.
But Durst, who experienced pleaded not responsible to murdering Berman, was convicted last year of killing her two decades previously and sentenced to everyday living in jail. He experienced been arrested a working day before the finale of an HBO documentary termed “The Jinx: The Lifestyle and Deaths of Robert Durst,” in which Durst appeared to confess that he “killed them all, of class.”
Then in November 2021, Durst was indicted for the demise of his first wife.
“When Kathleen Durst disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982, her relatives and friends were still left with suffering, anguish and thoughts that have contributed to their unfaltering pursuit of justice for the past 39 several years,” Westchester County District Lawyer Miriam Rocah explained at the time.
But Durst died unrepentant, claimed Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, who properly prosecuted the authentic estate baron for the Berman murder.
“It truly is a disgrace when anyone loses their life, however, it is crucial to continue to keep in head that Bob Durst lived to be 78 decades old, a long time more time than two of his victims,” Lewin said in a statement. “To the close he was hostile, unrepentant, and unremorseful. My ideas and sympathies lie with his victims.”
Born April 12, 1943, and raised in the swanky New York Metropolis suburb of Scarsdale, Durst was the eldest son of Seymour Durst, who ran the Durst Firm, just one of the most highly effective real estate empires in Manhattan. At the time of his demise, Durst was mentioned to be worthy of in excess of $100 million.
When he was 7, Durst’s mother died just after both falling or leaping from the roof of the family members residence — a tragedy he claimed to have witnessed.
His brother Douglas instructed The New York Periods that Durst’s declare about having found his mother’s demise was a lie. He also recounted how his brother experienced been diagnosed with mental difficulties and had consistently conquer him and their two other siblings up.
“He would torture them more than he would torture me,” Douglas Durst reported of his sister, Wendy, and brother Tom.
In advance of he joined the family members business enterprise in 1969, Durst was briefly enrolled in a doctoral plan at UCLA when he fulfilled Berman, who was the daughter of a effectively-regarded Las Vegas mob manager and turned his lifelong close friend.
Two decades afterwards, Durst satisfied his first spouse, who was a professional medical pupil at the time. Jointly they moved to his house in Vermont, the place Durst had opened a wellness food stuff retail store. But under force from his relatives, the young couple moved back to New York Metropolis and ended up married in 1973 on Durst’s 30th birthday.
9 years later on, Kathleen McCormack Durst disappeared, and suspicion promptly fell on her spouse just after he gave law enforcement conflicting accounts about when he previous noticed her and soon after investigators realized that she experienced been conversing about a divorce. Her overall body was under no circumstances located, and police could not pin the criminal offense on Durst.
Meanwhile, Durst was at loggerheads with his relatives, an significantly tense condition that turned into open up warfare following Seymour Durst made a decision in 1992 to appoint Douglas Durst to operate the organization. Durst responded by suing for his share of the family members fortune.
Berman was discovered lifeless of a single shot to the head at her rented home on Dec. 24, 2000. This was a tiny over a thirty day period after term bought out that the New York Condition Police experienced reopened its investigation into the disappearance of Durst’s wife.
Los Angeles police introduced in February 2001 that their detectives were being trying to get to converse with Durst about Berman’s loss of life, but they stopped short of calling him suspect. By then, Durst had fled to Galveston, Texas, and experienced taken to disguising himself as a woman to toss law enforcement off his trail.
Durst was arrested in Oct 2001 immediately after rubbish luggage that contains Black’s dismembered entire body elements ended up uncovered floating in the h2o off Galveston. Immediately after he posted $300,000 bail, Durst took off and was re-arrested a month later on at a Pennsylvania grocery retail store right after he was caught attempting to shoplift a hen salad sandwich and other objects, even though he experienced $500 dollars in his pocket.
Durst was also documented to have stalked his brother Douglas when he was on the operate.
Having been returned to Texas, Durst claimed that he killed Black in self-protection and was acquitted in November 2003.
Hollywood experienced previously taken observe of the Durst drama and in December 2010 produced a motion picture called “All Fantastic Points,” starring Ryan Gosling as a Durst-like character whose wife quickly disappears and who will become a suspect in a series of murders. It was directed by Andrew Jarecki.
In 2015, HBO introduced its documentary about Durst, which Jarecki directed with Marc Smerling. And in March of that calendar year, Durst was arrested at a Marriott Resort in New Orleans and flown to Los Angeles, exactly where he was formally billed with Berman’s murder.
The same 7 days Durst was sentenced to everyday living for killing Berman, he examined favourable for Covid-19 and positioned on a ventilator.
Irrespective of his fundamental well being challenges, Durst survived, but he was considerably weaker when he was taken back to the California Health and fitness Care Facility. But upon his return to the hospital Monday for far more healthcare tests, Durst went into cardiac arrest and this time he did not get well, Lewis mentioned.