When Robert Durst met Susan Berman at UCLA within the late Sixties, they’d no less than three issues in frequent: They have been Jewish, their moms have been useless and their fathers have been related, Durst’s to New York’s excessive society and Berman’s to the Vegas mob.
On Dec. 23, 2000, in Los Angeles, Durst ended the friendship with Berman with a bullet by way of the again of his greatest good friend’s head.
Durst died on Monday, 78, in a California hospital, as a prisoner serving a life sentence for murdering Berman. He was convicted in September, greater than 20 years after the homicide.
Durst’s demise delivered to an finish the sordid lifetime of the scion of a billionaire actual property clan so estranged from his household that his brother testified towards him on the trial.
He was not solely suspected of murdering his spouse, Kathie McCormack Durst, in 1982, however he confessed to the taking pictures and beheading of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, when Durst was on the run as a suspect within the Berman killing and disguised as a mute lady. In that case, Durst argued that he had acted in self-defense and was acquitted.
Durst’s exploits — and seeming capacity to evade the legislation — was fodder for Hollywood, as soon as in fictional therapy starring Ryan Gosling, “All Good Issues,” in 2010, and in 2015, in “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” an HBO documentary.
His settlement to cooperate with the documentary makers led to his downfall.
His friendship with Berman had been terribly shut: Berman grew to become Durst’s spokesman and was his fiercest defender towards suspicions that he had murdered his spouse. He gave her away at her wedding ceremony in 1984. Berman was obsessive about the profession of her father, a mobster tied to Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel.
They launched into ventures collectively, though at occasions he turned her down, like when she pitched him a Broadway musical primarily based on the Dreyfus affair, the story of the Jewish French officer who was falsely accused of treason on the flip of the twentieth century.
After Berman was murdered, police obtained an nameless notice, saying “CADAVER,” along with her tackle on it. Police discovered her in her home, face down, a pool of blood round her head patterned along with her terriers’ paw prints.
The HBO filmmakers confronted Durst with testimony from a handwriting skilled who stated that Durst had written the notice. Rattled and nonetheless hooked as much as a microphone, he retreated to a rest room, the place he stated, “What the hell did I do? Killed all of them, after all.”
Authorities had not charged Durst for Berman’s homicide for lack of proof. His confession now a matter of televised document, Durst was arrested simply earlier than the screening of the ultimate episode of “The Jinx” (he stated he loved the sequence).
Serving time for a separate cost of unlawful possession of a gun, Durst lastly went to trial after years of delays — some as a result of pandemic — late final 12 months. At his trial, a detailed good friend of Durst’s testified that Durst had instructed him in 2014 that he had killed her as a result of he feared she would flip him in for his spouse’s homicide.
Quickly after he was sentenced to life in jail in October, he was recognized with COVID-19. He was within the hospital for exams when he went into cardiac arrest and didn’t recuperate.
He had been jailed earlier than. Durst went on a cross-country run in October 2001 after killing his neighbor in Galveston. Police caught up with him in Pennsylvania on Nov. 30. He had simply stolen a rooster salad sandwich from a Wegmans grocery retailer.
Weeks earlier, Self-importance Truthful reported not lengthy after his arrest, police had searched an condominium he saved in New Orleans. They discovered a wig on a styrofoam head and a medallion. On it was inscribed the title, “Dave Berman,” Susan Berman’s mobbed-up dad.
She had left it to Durst in her will.