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In this Dec. 21, 2016, photo, billionaire real estate investigator Robert Durst sits in court in During the trial in Los Angeles.
Confession Of A Real Estate Millionaire
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Robert Durst, a wealthy New York real estate mogul and failed fugitive who was plagued by the disappearances and deaths of those around him for decades before being convicted last year of murdering his best friend, has died. He is 78 years old.
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Durst died of natural causes Monday at a hospital near the California prison where he was serving a life sentence, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Durst was kept in custody at a hospital in Stockton for various ailments.
Durst was convicted in September of shooting Susan Berman in her Los Angeles home in 2000. On October 14, He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Durst has long been suspected of killing his wife, Kathie, who went missing in New York. York in 1982 and was pronounced dead decades later.
But it wasn’t until Los Angeles prosecutors proved he silenced Berman from telling police he helped cover up Kathie’s murder that a New York grand jury in November charged Durst with second-degree murder in his wife’s death.
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Westchester County prosecutors, who have tried to have Durs moved there to face charges, said they plan to release more details about the case in the next few days.
“After 40 years of seeking justice for her death, I know how sad this news is for Kathleen Durst’s family,” District Attorney Miriam Rocah said in a statement. “We hope to give them the opportunity to finally see Mr. Durst brought to justice for Kathleen’s murder, because we know every family will never stop wanting closure, justice and accountability.”
Los Angeles prosecutors told jurors that Durst also got away with murder in Texas after he shot a man who discovered his identity while hiding in Galveston in 2001. Durst was acquitted of murder in that case in 2003 after he testified that he shot the man in a gunfight.
Assistant District Attorney John Lewin said jurors in Los Angeles told him after the verdict that they believed Durst killed his wife and murdered Morris Black in Texas.
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After beating the charges in Texas, he turned to filmmakers who portrayed his life – not so well – in the 2010 big screen film All Good Things starring Ryan Gosling as Durst. He offered to sit down for a long interview about his life.
Durst, who later said he used methamphetamine in interviews, has made several devastating statements, including a shocking confession during a closed-door HBO six-part documentary series, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”
The show made his name known to a new generation and caused further scrutiny and suspicion from the authorities.
The night before the finale aired, Durst was arrested for Berman’s murder while hiding under an alias in a New Orleans hotel, where he was held with a gun, more than $40,000 in cash and a rubber bandana. An expected resting place.
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The climax of the tournament came with him muttering to himself in the bathroom, still wearing a hot microphone, saying, “I’m caught! What am I doing? Of course he killed them all.”
It was later revealed that the words were manipulated for great effect, but the production, against the advice of lawyers and friends of Durst, discovered new evidence, including an envelope that linked him to the murder of Berman, and made an incriminating statement.
Police received a message that led them to Berman’s home, only with the word “CADAVER” written in block letters.
In an interview between 2010 and 2015, Durst told the producer of “The Jinx” that he did not write the record, but whoever did, killed him.
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His defense attorney admitted before the trial that Durst wrote the note, which prosecutors said was a confession.
Like Durst himself. He risked standing up again for about three weeks of testimony. It doesn’t work like it does in Texas.
Under prosecutor Lewin’s intense questioning, Durst admitted that he had lied under oath. in the past and will do it again to avoid problems.
“Did you kill Susan Berman?” “Strongly hypothetical,” Durst said from the stand. “I did not kill Susan Berman. But if I do, I’ll lie about it.”
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Durst took action in the late 2000s after New York authorities reopened an investigation into his wife’s disappearance, renting a modest apartment in Galveston and posing as a womanizer.
Caught in the murder, Durst posted bail. Six weeks later, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he attended college, he was caught stealing a sandwich. Police found $37,000 in cash and a second hand gun in his car.
He testified that Black pulled a gun on him and that he died when the gun went off during the fight.
He told jurors in detail how he bought tools and downed a bottle of Jack Daniels before dismembering Black’s body and throwing it into the sea. While convicted of murder, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Breach of security and tampering with broken evidence. He spent three years in prison.
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Durst had bladder cancer and his health deteriorated during the Berman trial. He was taken to court in a wheelchair every day in prison because his lawyer said he could not wear a suit. However, the judge ruled out further delays after a 14-month break during the coronavirus outbreak.
At the sentencing, Durst entered the courtroom broadly. Attorney Dick DeGuerin said he was “very sick” – the worst he has appeared in his 20 years of representation.
At the end of the hearing, after Berman’s loved ones told the judge that her death had ruined their lives, Durst coughed violently and appeared to be having trouble breathing. His chest was heavy and he pulled the mask over his mouth to gasp for air.
Two days later, he was hospitalized with COVID-19, and DeGuerin said he was on a ventilator. However, Durst apparently recovered and was taken to state prison, where a mug shot showed evidence of no breathalyzer.
Making Of A Millionaire
Robert Durst, the son of real estate magnate Seymour Durst, was born on April 12, 1943, and grew up in Scarsdale, New York. He later said that he saw his mother’s death at the age of 7 when he fell from home.
He graduated from Lehigh University in 1965 with a degree in economics, where he played lacrosse. He entered doctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he met Berman, but left and returned to New York in 1969.
He became a developer in the family business, but his father gave him to his brother and rival, Douglas, as the head of the Durst organization in 1992.
Durst cut ties with his family and agreed to a family trust. His property is about 100 million US dollars.
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She said in a statement on Monday that “Bob lived a sad, painful and sad life. “We hope his death brings relief to those he has injured.”
In January 1982, his wife was in her final year of medical school when she disappeared. go She showed up unexpectedly at a friend’s dinner in Newtown, Connecticut, then left to return to South Salem, New York after her husband called her.
Robert Durst told police the last time he saw her was when he took her on the train to stay at their Manhattan apartment because he had classes the next day.
Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, posed as Kathie Durst to call Albert Einstein College of Medicine the next morning to say she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be at the hospital, prosecutors said. The call provided an alibi for Robert Durst, as his wife apparently made it safely to Manhattan after seeing him.
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Eight years later, he divorced her, citing desertion, and in 2017, at the request of his family, he was declared legally dead.
The family of Kathie McCormack Durst said they want an update on the investigation into who covered up her killing on Jan. 31, the 40th anniversary of her disappearance, attorney Robert Abrams said.
Robert Durst is survived by his second wife, Debrah Charatan, whom he married in 2000. He has no children.
Under California law, convictions are vacated if the defendant dies while the case is on appeal, said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School.
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