Who was Robert Durst?
Robert Durst (born April 12, 1943) is an American convicted murderer and real estate heir, who had a career as a businessman from a wealthy family until 2021.
The son of New York City real estate magnate Seymour Durst and the elder brother of Douglas Durst, head of the Durst Organization, Robert Durst gained notoriety for the unsolved 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst; the 2000 murder of Susan Berman, his longtime friend, for which he was convicted in September 2021; and the 2001 killing of Morris Black, his neighbor in Galveston, Texas, for which he was acquitted in 2003.
Robert Durst, real estate tycoon convicted of murder, dies
Robert Durst, the wealthy New York real estate heir and failed fugitive dogged for decades with suspicion in the disappearance and deaths of those around him before he was convicted last year of killing his best friend, has died. He was 78.
Durst died of natural causes Monday in a hospital outside the California prison where he was serving a life sentence, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Durst had been held in a hospital lockup in Stockton due to a litany of ailments.
Durst was convicted in September of shooting Susan Berman at point-blank range at her Los Angeles home in 2000. He was sentenced Oct. 14 to life in prison without parole.
Durst had long been suspected of killing his wife, Kathie, who went missing in New York 1982 and was declared legally dead decades later.
But only after Los Angeles prosecutors proved he silenced Berman to prevent her from telling police she helped cover up Kathie’s killing was Durst indicted by a New York grand jury in November for second-degree murder in his wife’s death.
Westchester County prosecutors, who had been trying to get Durst transferred there to face the charge, said they planned to reveal new details about the case in coming days.
“After 40 years spent seeking justice for her death, I know how upsetting this news must be for Kathleen Durst’s family,” District Attorney Miriam Rocah said in a statement. “We had hoped to allow them the opportunity to see Mr. Durst finally face charges for Kathleen’s murder because we know that all families never stop wanting closure, justice and accountability.”
Real estate heir Robert Durst found guilty of murdering his friend Susan Berman
The multimillionaire New York real estate heir Robert Durst has been convicted of murdering his best friend Susan Berman more than 20 years ago, in a case that took on new life following the documentary The Jinx.
Durst was found guilty of first-degree murder on Friday after a jury in Los Angeles deliberated for about seven hours over three days. Berman was shot at point-blank range in her Beverly Hills home in December 2000 as she was prepared to tell police how she helped cover up the killing of Durst’s wife.
Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was Durst’s longtime confidante who told friends she provided a phony alibi for him after his wife vanished.
The verdict marked the first homicide conviction for a man suspected of killing three people in three states over nearly 40 years. Durst’s strange story gripped viewers of the hit television documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which chronicled the disappearance of his wife Kathie in 1982, the cold-blooded murder of Berman in Los Angeles 18 years later, and the violent 2001 death of a roommate in Galveston, Texas, where Durst was living undercover as a deaf-mute woman.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors painted a portrait of a rich narcissist who didn’t think the laws applied to him and ruthlessly disposed of people who stood in his way. They interlaced evidence of Berman’s killing with Kathie Durst’s suspected death and the 2001 killing in Texas.
Robert Durst Biography, Wiki
Durst was the eldest child of Seymour Durst, whose family owned a prominent real-estate company. Robert studied economics at Lehigh University, and, after graduating in 1965, he attended UCLA, where he became friends with Susan Berman, the daughter of a mobster.
Durst later returned to New York City, and in 1973 he married Kathleen McCormack, a dental hygenist. That year he also began to sporadically work at his family’s business. According to various reports, by 1981 Durst’s marriage was unraveling amid allegations that he was violent and controlling.
On January 31, 1982, several months before she would have graduated from medical school, Kathleen disappeared. According to Robert, who did not report her missing until February 5, he had taken his wife to the train station in Katonah, New York, so she could return to the city after spending the weekend at the couple’s lakeside home in South Salem.
Durst claimed no involvement in her disappearance, and, though his account of events raised questions, several people reported seeing or talking to Kathleen after she supposedly returned to Manhattan. During the media attention, Berman served as Durst’s unofficial spokesperson. Without leads or a body, the case eventually went cold.
Durst continued to be involved in the family business until 1994 when he was passed over as successor to his father. For the rest of the decade, Durst lived in various states, and in 2000 he remarried. In November that year, amid reports that his first wife’s case was being reopened, Durst moved to Galveston, Texas, where he disguised himself as a mute woman and rented an inexpensive apartment.
A month later, Berman, who was to be interviewed by investigators in Kathleen’s disappearance, was found shot to death. The day her body was discovered, police received a letter stating that a “cadaver” would be found at her address, which was misspelled as “Beverley Hills.”
|Born||Robert Alan Durst|
April 12, 1943 (age 78)
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Other names||Bobby Durst|
|Education||Lehigh University (BA)|
|Spouse(s)||Kathie McCormack(m. 1973–1990)|
Debrah Charatan (m. 2000)
|Relatives||Douglas Durst (brother)|
Joseph Durst (grandfather)
|Criminal charge||Murder of Susan Berman|
Robert Durst Wife’s Disappearance
Kathleen was on the verge of extricating herself from what friends described as a controlling, abusive Durst when she vanished in 1982.
Durst did not report the disappearance for four days, and his accounts of the last time he saw his wife in their Westchester County home kept changing and did not hold up to scrutiny.
The police were stumped, but after several of Kathleen’s friends undertook their own investigation, their homes were burglarized and relevant materials were stolen.
Robert Durst Crimes
Besides three critical cases in which he was involved, for sure, the policemen examined connections between the real estate manager and other murders and disappearances.
According to numerous allegations, as a husband, he was severe and violent. When his wife was disappeared, he claimed that he hadn’t been involved. There still have remained many questions. The family of the despaired woman believes that she was killed; her mother tried to sue Robert. The survey was reopened in 1999 but hadn’t dropped the light.
Since the tragic vanish of his wife, the real estate developer continued his work. His long-term friend, who helped him to prove his alibi, was found killed in New York a year later.
Robert came to the city the day before her murder. He refused to be questioned about this case.
In 2003 he was in court for the murder of his neighbor. He employed the attorney who claimed it as self-defense. Besides, the psychiatrist worked with him, who stated that he has symptoms of developmental disorder.
Robert claimed that the neighbor warned him with the gun, they struggled, and the weapon was shot in his neighbor’s face. As the head of the victim hadn’t been found, Robert was acquitted. However, in 2004, he was prisoned for three years as a result of the plea bargain. He was set free in 2006.
Murder of Susan Berman
Susan Berman, a longtime friend of Durst who had facilitated his public alibi after McCormack’s disappearance, was the daughter of David Berman, a reputed gangster who in the late 1940s operated the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. On December 24, 2000, Berman was found murdered execution-style in her home in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, California, after her neighbors called the police to report that her back door was open and her three fox terriers were loose.
A few days later, the Beverly Hills Police Department received a handwritten note, postmarked December 23, which contained Berman’s address and the word “cadaver”. Durst is known to have been in northern California days before Berman was killed, and to have flown from San Francisco to New York the night before Berman’s body was discovered.
Berman had recently received $50,000 from Durst in two payments. Although Durst confirmed to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) that he had sent Berman $25,000, and faxed investigators a copy of her 1982 deposition regarding his missing wife, he declined to be further questioned about the murder.
Durst stated in a 2005 deposition that Berman called him shortly before her death to say that the LAPD wanted to talk to her about McCormack’s disappearance. A study of case notes by The Guardian cast doubt on whether the LAPD had made such a call, or whether then-Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro had scheduled an interview with Berman at all.
On October 31, 2000, after being tipped off by his sister Wendy that the McCormack investigation had been reopened, Durst went into hiding and moved to Galveston, Texas, disguising himself as a woman to avoid police inquiries. Berman biographer Cathy Scott has asserted that Durst killed her because she knew too much about his wife’s disappearance.
Some Lesser Known Facts about Robert Durst
- Robert Durst carried on with his real estate activity and sold two properties he had bought in 2011 at $8.65 million for $21.15 million in 2014.
- When he was apprehended in 2015, his net worth, according to the FBI, was around $100 million.
- Since 2015, Durst has been plagued with numerous medical issues like surgeries for esophageal cancer, getting a shunt installed in his brain for hydrocephalus, and cervical spinal fusion.
- After the tragical departure of his wife, the heir of the estate company decided to divorce. However, the real estate manager chose to tie the knot again in the 2000s. The heir and his current hadn’t warm relationships and never lived together. Nevertheless, he gave her a good fortune, and the couple counted as still married.
Robert Durst FAQ’s
Who is Robert Durst?
Robert Alan Durst (born April 12, 1943) is an American convicted murderer and real estate heir, who had a career as a businessman from a wealthy family until 2021.
Why is Robert Durst found guilty?
Robert Durst is found guilty of the murder of his best friend Susan Berman.
What is Robert Durst’s net worth?
Around $100 Million.
Who was Robert Durst’s wife?
Kathleen McCormack Durst.
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