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Robert Durst Sentenced to LWOP in 2000 CA Slaying of Susan Berman
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Thread: Robert Durst Sentenced to LWOP in 2000 CA Slaying of Susan Berman

  1. #1
    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Robert Durst Sentenced to LWOP in 2000 CA Slaying of Susan Berman

    Susan Berman, a close friend of Mr. Durst, right

    Kathleen Durst and Mr. Durst in the 1970s. Ms. Durst, his first wife, disappeared in 1982. She was declared legally dead.

    Robert Durst was the subject of "The Jinx," a six-part documentary series on HBO.

    Cross-Dressing Convict Robert Durst Returns to New York

    Five years after he was released from prison, Robert Durst has returned to New York. Having fallen out of the public eye after becoming a high-profile fugitive in the killing and butchering of an elderly man at a Texas boarding house, Durst has lately been spotted by locals working out at a Harlem Planet Fitness, getting his coffee fix at a 125th Street Starbucks, and dropping off his dry cleaning at Oxford Cleaners on 116th Street. "He came in here to pick up his dry cleaning and said he was new to the area," said Arnold Caspillo of Oxford Cleaners. "He's a nice guy."

    Durst was acquitted in 2003 of murdering Morris Black, who had been his neighbor in a Galveston, Texas, boarding house. In court, he claimed self-defense and admitted to shooting Black in the head with a handgun during a heated struggle, then butchering the corpse and throwing the headless, trash-bagged remains into Galveston Bay.

    Durst served three years in prison after pleading guilty to skipping out on a $1 billion bail bond and tampering with evidence. He had been caught after shoplifting a sandwich from a supermarket in Pennsylvania.

    At the time of Black's death, Durst was living as a deaf-mute woman known as "Dorothy Ciner" who communicated with the landlord via handwritten notes. During the trial he startled jurors by growling loudly like a dog and snorting like a pig. Later, in prison, he became known for doing nude calisthenics in his cell.

    At the Planet Fitness on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, Durst was seen updating his membership and spending over an hour working out (clothed). "He's really into the cardio," an observer reported. "He doesn't do weights."

    A source close to the Durst family confirmed that Robert was living or at least staying part-time in Harlem and said that the family has put him under surveillance.

    Durst's father, Seymour Durst, ran the Durst Organization until his death in 1995. The company owns and manages some of the most prestigious real estate in New York and is now run by Durst's brother, Douglas, and a family cousin, Jonathan.

    The film All Good Things inspired by the troubled relationship between Robert Durst and his then-wife Kathleen McCormack Durst, an attractive blonde who vanished without a trace nearly 30 years ago had its New York premiere in December and stars Ryan Gossling, Kirsten Dunst, and Frank Langella .

    Durst was also a suspect in the 2000 Christmas Eve execution-style killing of his friend (and former New York Magazine writer) Susan Berman, a case that's still being investigated by the LAPD. Durst has denied involvement in both unsolved cases.

    A recent photograph obtained by New York shows Durst wearing a "Less Violence, More Violins" T-shirt. Reached on his cell phone, Durst said he wasn't talking to the media. When asked if he had put down roots in Harlem, he hung up. Durst and his family are also not on speaking terms, said Durst Organization spokesman Jordan Barowitz, who described the relationship as "totally estranged."

    "I was a little shocked when I found out who he is because he's a quiet guy," said one of the people in Harlem who has interacted with Durst. "Nobody really knows about anybody's business up here. Nobody says much about nothing."


    Robert Durst has seen the movie that implicates him in three killings and he likes it

    You wouldn't think that Robert Durst would have much love for All Good Things, a new movie that implicates him in three sensational killings.

    But Durst, who splits his time between Houston, New York and Los Angeles, told the New York Times that he liked the movie, which opens Friday in New York.

    "Parts made me cry," he said.

    Houstonians know Durst as the man who hacked up a neighbor and threw the body parts in Galveston Bay. A jury determined he acted in self-defense and acquitted him in 2003.

    About Ryan Gosling, who portrays him in the movie, Durst said, "Close. Not as good as the real thing."

    He was more complimentary of Kirsten Dunst, whom he said was a dead ringer for his wife, Kathie, who mysteriously vanished in 1982. Police have questioned Durst but have never charged him in her disappearance.

    And he pronounced Frank Langella, who plays his father a wealthy New York developer responsible for the rejuvenation of Times Square as "not bad" in the role, but he defended his father as never as "sharp and aggressive" as he was portrayed in the movie.

    Durst was also suspected in the execution-style murder of a close friend in Los Angeles in 2000, but said, "I'm ready to go before God naked and say I don't know nothing" about her death.

    Durst, 67, who received a $65 million settlement from his family, had no input into the making of the movie. Director Andrew Jarecki combined facts of Durst's life with fictionalized accounts of the murders. All of the main characters in the movie have fictitious names. According to the Times:

    Mr. Jarecki, who has spoken of the pressures of life within his own strong-willed father, said he hoped the movie could explain how Mr. Durst unraveled, ending up in Texas in 2001 posing as Dorothy, a mute woman in a blonde wig, and capable of cutting up a body with a hacksaw."
    While Durst disagreed with the movie's view that he was responsible for all three deaths, he said he expected to be portrayed much worse. "The movie, I did think, is as reasonably accurate as anything out there," he said, "a whole lot more accurate than those endless TV documentaries. And this doesn't pretend to be a documentary."

    No murder can be so cruel that there are not still useful imbeciles who do gloss over the murderer and apologize.

  2. #2
    Moderator mostlyclassics's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Wilmette, IL
    Real estate heir Robert Durst arrested in New Orleans on murder charges


    Real estate heir Robert Durst was arrested Saturday in New Orleans on murder charges, the FBI said Sunday.

    Durst, 71, was arrested by FBI agents at a J.W. Marriott hotel on a Los Angeles warrant for the murder of Susan Berman 15 years ago, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

    Durst's attorney Chip Lewis said Durst will appear in court Sunday afternoon and will waive extradition so he can be transported to Los Angeles to face the charges.

    "He's maintained his innocence for years," Lewis said. "Nothing has changed."

    But Durst's estranged family thanked authorities for tracking him down.

    "We are relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted in the arrest of Robert Durst. We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done," said his brother, Douglas Durst, in a statement.

    The arrest came on the eve of Sunday's broadcast on HBO of the final episode of "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."

    "We simply cannot say enough about the brilliant job that Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling did in producing The Jinx." HBO said in a statement released Sunday. "Years in the making, their thorough research and dogged reporting re-ignited interest in Robert Durst's story."

    In 1982, Durst’s wife, Kathie, disappeared in New York. Durst told investigators at the time that he last saw Kathie Durst when he dropped her off at a train station in Westchester County.

    In 2000, Berman, a friend of Durst, was killed execution-style two days before Christmas. She was found with a single gunshot to the back of the head inside her home in Hollywood Hills, Calif.

    Her murder came just as police were about to interview Berman about Kathie Durst's disappearance.

    One episode of "The Jinx" series highlighted a never-before-seen handwritten letter discovered by Berman's stepson, Sareb Kaufman, who believes it was sent by Durst to Berman a year before her death, KTRK reports. Kaufman claims the letter carries similarities to an anonymous note sent to police by the person believed to be Berman’s killer. The anonymous letter reportedly includes details that only the killer would know.

    The letter sent to Berman was recently handed over to California police, who reopened their investigation into Berman’s death, the channel reported.

    "As a result of investigative leads and additional evidence that has come to light in the past year, investigators have identified Robert Durst as the person responsible for Ms. Berman's death," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement Sunday.

    Durst also made headlines in 2003, when he was acquitted in the murder of Morris Black, whose dismembered body was found stuffed in plastic garbage bags in Galveston Bay, Texas, two years earlier. Durst admitted he dismembered Black’s body, but was acquitted after claiming self-defense.

    Before being tried for Black's murder, Durst jumped a $1 billion bond. However, he was caught in Pennsylvania weeks later after shoplifting a sandwich and Band-Aids.

    In 2014, Durst was arrested for urinating on a drug store candy display near his home in southwest Houston. He was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of confectionary, authorities said at the time.

    Durst is the eldest son of the late Seymour Durst, a prominent figure in Manhattan real estate. The Durst family operates numerous skyscrapers in New York City, including 1 World Trade Center, which it runs for the Port Authority, Pix 11 reports.

    The filmmaker of "The Jinx," Andrew Jarecki, told The Associated Press that Durst is a strange but smart man who has long feuded with his wealthy family.

    "The story is so operatic," Jarecki said. "That's what's so fascinating to me -- seeing someone who is born to such privilege and years later is living in a $300-a-month rooming house in Galveston, Texas, disguised as a mute woman."

    Lewis said the arrest was orchestrated by Hollywood to come before the final episode.

    "No doubt," he said. "It's all about Hollywood now."

    Lewis said he was familiar with the Berman killing and wasn't surprised by the arrest because of the number of emails and calls he got after last week's episode aired. He said new evidence touted by producers, however, was something he was already familiar with.

    "I know all about this case," Lewis said. "I have no doubt we will present a most compelling defense."

    Jarecki told a Hollywood version of Durst's story in the 2010 film that starred Ryan Gosling, "All Good Things."

    A week before the release of that film, Durst called Jarecki saying he wanted to see it, and eventually agreed to be interviewed by Jarecki. That footage led to the documentary series.

    Jarecki said the six episodes left him with a "firm conclusion" about Durst's guilt or innocence.

    HBO distributed the first two episodes in advance, making news with Durst's admission that he lied to investigators about what he did on the night of his wife's disappearance. Jarecki kept the other episodes under wraps to maintain suspense as they aired each week.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    I have watched a couple episodes of "The Jinx" on HBO.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  4. #4
    Senior Member CnCP Addict TrudieG's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    I remember when his first wife Kathy went missing. I lived in Katonah at the time and there is no way one would have not noticed or known her as it is a very small town and most commuters at the train station know or make small talk on the platform waiting for a train especially as most take the same train every morning. Durst has been suspected from day one and each time he is caught up in trouble people here remember Kathy and how he has gotten away with it. Hopefully with this case he will be put where he should be. I hope this does become a capital case.

  5. #5
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Mr. Durst after he was arrested on Saturday.

    On HBO’s ‘The Jinx,’ Robert Durst Says He ‘Killed Them All’

    The New York Times

    Since his first wife vanished more than three decades ago, Robert A. Durst, the eccentric and estranged son of one of New York’s most prominent real estate dynasties, has lived under the suspicious gaze of law enforcement officials in three states.

    They have followed his path from New York City to Los Angeles, where one of his closest friends was found dead in her home in 2000. They have tracked him to Galveston, Tex., where he fled after investigators reopened the case of his wife’s disappearance, and where he posed as a mute woman and shot and dismembered a neighbor in 2001.

    Mr. Durst was acquitted in the Texas killing, and was never arrested in the disappearance of his wife or the death of his friend. But on Saturday, he found himself in custody once again, arrested on a charge of murder as he walked into a New Orleans hotel he had checked into under a false name.

    On Sunday night, in the final moments of the final episode of a six-part HBO documentary about him, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” Mr. Durst seemed to veer toward a confession that could lift the shroud of mystery that surrounds the deaths of three people over the course of three decades.

    “What the hell did I do?” Mr. Durst whispers to himself in an unguarded moment caught on a microphone he wore during filming. “Killed them all, of course.”

    In the years since his wife, Kathleen Durst, disappeared in 1982 after spending the weekend at the couple’s country home in Westchester County, Mr. Durst has bounced in and out of jail for other crimes, cut ties with his family, remarried, and sued his brother for a $65 million share of the family fortune. Through it all, he has maintained his innocence in the disappearance of his wife, while also denying any role in the 2000 death of the Los Angeles friend, Susan Berman.

    His arrest on Saturday in a Marriott on Canal Street in New Orleans was in connection with Ms. Berman’s death, though the Westchester authorities said they were still investigating him in his wife’s case. Mr. Durst was walking toward an elevator and mumbling to himself when F.B.I. agents intercepted him at the hotel, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said. He had checked in under the name Everett Ward, not the first time he had used an alias.

    Mr. Durst is believed to have left Houston in a Toyota Camry on March 10, headed for New Orleans. Investigators involved in the case said they feared that the renewed attention brought by “The Jinx” would lead him to try to flee the country. Mr. Durst will plead not guilty, said one of his lawyers, Dick DeGuerin, who helped win Mr. Durst’s acquittal in Galveston in 2003 and who said he expected to head Mr. Durst’s defense team in Los Angeles.

    “The rumors that have been flying for years will now get tested in court,” Mr. DeGuerin said.

    As he watched the documentary Sunday night with the filmmakers, James McCormack, the brother of Kathleen Durst, said, “Closure is near at hand; I feel in my heart.”

    It was Mr. Durst himself who may have set the latest twist in his bizarre saga in motion. Los Angeles prosecutors reopened their investigation into Ms. Berman’s execution-style murder only after Mr. Durst agreed to a series of interviews with the producers of “The Jinx,” Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling.

    The amount of press coverage Mr. Durst has generated is topped only by the volume of work he has made for his lawyers and police investigators in Westchester, Los Angeles, Galveston and beyond. Yet he had rebuffed overtures from journalists until he saw “All Good Things,” a lightly fictionalized film the producers had previously made of his life in 2010, and approached them to tell his story.

    “I will be able to tell it my way,” he said in the second episode of “The Jinx.”

    In a more recent interview, he brushed off the possibility that the documentary would whet prosecutors’ appetites, saying: “It’s so long ago. Some D.A. would have to commence a budget-busting investigation. I don’t see that happening.”

    By then, a new investigation was already encircling him.

    “These two producers did what law enforcement in three states could not do in 30 years,” said Jeanine F. Pirro, the former Westchester County district attorney, whose office investigated Kathleen Durst’s disappearance for six years. “Kudos to them. They were meticulous. They were focused. They were clear.”

    The filmmakers spent nearly 10 years researching Mr. Durst’s story: his upbringing as the eldest son of a family that controls 11 major skyscrapers in New York; his marriage to Ms. Durst, a medical student who lived in one of his family’s buildings, and its unraveling; his estrangement from his family after his father chose his younger brother, Douglas Durst, to run the business in 1994.

    “We are relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted in the arrest of Robert Durst,” Douglas Durst said in a statement on Sunday. “We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done.”

    When prosecutors began pursuing new leads in his wife’s disappearance in 2000, Mr. Durst fled to Galveston, posing as a mute woman to rent a $300-a-month room in the Gulf Coast city. The next year, he was on the run again, with a warrant out for his arrest in the murder of Morris Black, a former merchant seaman who had lived across the hall in Galveston. After a nationwide manhunt, he was found in Bethlehem, Pa., where he had shoplifted a sandwich from a Wegmans supermarket.

    Mr. Durst convinced a Texas jury that Mr. Black had died accidentally when the two men were grappling over a gun that discharged as they fell to the floor. He testified that he had carved up Mr. Black’s body until he was “swimming in blood.”

    But he was still under suspicion in the death of Ms. Berman, a friend from graduate school with whom he had become so close that he walked her down the aisle at her wedding. She served as his spokeswoman after his wife’s disappearance, and investigators have long suspected that she knew his secrets.

    The police had always known Mr. Durst was in California when Ms. Berman was killed, but could not place him in Los Angeles. They suspected he was the author of a short anonymous note sent to the Beverly Hills police on the same day Ms. Berman was found shot in the head, saying there was a “cadaver” in her home. But a handwriting analysis performed in 2003 was inconclusive.

    The makers of “The Jinx” obtained a letter written by Mr. Durst to Ms. Berman in which the lettering of the address on the envelope appears identical to that of the “cadaver” note, down to the misspelling of Beverly Hills as “Beverley.”

    In the final episode, a forensic document examiner the filmmakers asked to analyze Mr. Durst’s handwriting concluded that the tics in the note’s handwriting “are unique to one person and only one person.”

    Mr. Jarecki, who was also the show’s director, and Mr. Smerling struggled with whether to bring the letter to law enforcement authorities. If they did so too soon, their lawyers told them, they could be considered law enforcement agents in the event of a prosecution, possibly jeopardizing the material’s admissibility in court, Mr. Jarecki said.

    They also wanted to preserve a journalistic privilege not to disclose sources or testify in court. Still, Mr. Smerling said in an interview, “We had a moral obligation and an obligation to the families of the dead to see that justice was done.” They began speaking to Los Angeles investigators in early 2013.

    Near the documentary’s end, the filmmakers were packing up their equipment when Mr. Durst asked to use the bathroom. He did not remove his wireless microphone as he closed the door, however, and began to whisper to himself.

    More than two years passed after the interview before the filmmakers found the audio.

    Mr. Durst’s private monologue makes for good television. But it is unclear whether the recording of his comments could be used in court, some legal experts said, since they were made in a bathroom when he was alone and had an expectation of privacy.

    “That’s pretty damning stuff,” said Daniel J. Castleman, the former chief of investigations in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “The question is: Is it admissible in court?”

    But Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor who is a professor at Columbia University Law School, said the statements could be admitted in court “so long as it can be shown that the tape wasn’t tampered with.”

    John Lewin, the lead prosecutor in the investigation into Ms. Berman’s death, declined to comment on Sunday. Mr. Lewin has built a reputation for winning convictions in cold cases, some of them decades old.

    Now he faces an opponent who has, time and again, slipped out of law enforcement’s grasp.


  6. #6
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Moh View Post

    On HBOs The Jinx, Robert Durst Says He Killed Them All

    On Sunday night, in the final moments of the final episode of a six-part HBO documentary about him, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Mr. Durst seemed to veer toward a confession that could lift the shroud of mystery that surrounds the deaths of three people over the course of three decades.

    What the hell did I do? Mr. Durst whispers to himself in an unguarded moment caught on a microphone he wore during filming. Killed them all, of course.
    ^^^ Spoiler Alert if you DVR'd the episode!
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  7. #7
    Senior Member Member maybeacomedian's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    I am currently watching & listening to this story on TV.

    I'm just thinking, "Wow! This guy literally has NO inner-monologue whatsoever!"

    He's talking to himself, aloud, in a moment of candor, never-the-while realizing that his mic is still hot...

  8. #8
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Letter, not recording, led authorities to arrest Robert Durst for friend's murder

    A letter written by real estate heir Robert Durst to his friend and former spokeswoman Susan Berman a year before she was killed proved to be the key piece of evidence that allowed authorities to charge the 71-year-old with her murder, according to a report.

    The Associated Press, citing a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported that analysts had linked Durst's letter to Berman with one that, in Durst's own words, "only the killer could have written" to point police to Berman's body.

    Durst was charged Monday in Los Angeles with first-degree murder in the shooting of Berman, who was killed execution-style in her Beverly Hills home shortly before Christmas in 2000. He could face the death penalty under special circumstances that allege he ambushed her and murdered a witness to a crime.

    The Los Angeles Times
    reported that the makers of "The Jinx," the acclaimed HBO documentary series about Durst, were given his letter to Berman shortly before beginning interviews for the film. It was found by Berman's stepson in a box of her belongings and was turned over to investigators approximately two years ago, around the same time the Los Angeles Police Department had re-opened the case. The Times reported that the producers locked it away in a safe deposit box instead of going to authorities.

    It was not immediately clear why LAPD investigators had missed the letter during their initial investigation into Berman's murder.

    In the final episode of the series, which aired on HBO Sunday night, director Andrew Jarecki confronted Durst with similarities between the letters, the second of which informed police that they would find "a cadaver" in her house. Both were written in distinctive block handwriting and both misspelled Beverly as "Beverley." Durst admitted writing the earlier letter to Berman, but denied contacting the police. However, When Jarecki presented him with enhanced images of the misspelled "Beverley" side-by-side, Durst could not differentiate between the two.

    At that point came the now-infamous moment where Durst stepped away from the interview and went to the bathroom, still wearing the live microphone that recorded what he said next.

    "There it is. You're caught!" Durst whispered. "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

    The law enforcement official who spoke to the AP said that the bathroom recording was not presented to prosecutors before charges were filed because detectives were still trying to determine if the recording was tampered with in any way.

    The Times reported that the filmmakers, led by Jarecki, have canceled a series of planned media appearances, saying that they expect to be called as witnesses in an upcoming trial. The paper also reported that Jarecki has given differing answers when asked about the timing of the climactic interview with Durst, as well as how much time passed before the apparently unguarded bathroom monologue was discovered by an editor.

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  9. #9
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Robert Durst murder charge could carry death penalty

    By Janet McConnaughey and Brian Melley
    Associated Press

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Robert Durst couldn't explain away similarities between his handwriting and a letter he said "only the killer could have written" that alerted police to his friend's shooting 15 years ago.

    Confronted with new evidence by the makers of a documentary about his links to three killings, the troubled millionaire blinked, burped oddly, pulled his ear and briefly put his head in his hands before denying he was the killer.

    Then he stepped away from the tense interview and went to the bathroom, still wearing the live microphone that recorded what he said next.

    "There it is. You're caught!" Durst whispered before the sound of running water is heard. "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

    That moment didn't just make for a captivating finale to a six-part documentary on the eccentric life of an heir to a New York real estate fortune.

    It also may have given police and prosecutors more evidence in the long-cold case of a mobster's daughter. Susan Berman was felled by a bullet to the back of her head as investigators prepared to find out what she knew about the disappearance of Durst's wife in 1982.

    Los Angeles prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge Monday that alleges Durst lay in wait with a gun and killed a witness -- special circumstances that could carry a death sentence if prosecutors decide later to pursue it.

    Durst, 71, who was arrested at a New Orleans hotel on the eve of Sunday's final episode, agreed Monday to face trial for the murder of Berman, who had vouched for him in public after his wife vanished.

    Attorney Dick DeGuerin said outside court that Durst didn't kill Berman, and is "ready to end all the rumor and speculation and have a trial."

    The makers of "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" said Durst rejected his lawyer's advice to stay quiet before granting two lengthy interviews. They also said he knew he was being recorded throughout, and that they shared any evidence they gathered with authorities long before broadcasting the film on HBO.

    Legal experts said the bathroom tape could become key evidence.

    "Any statement that the defendant makes that they want to use against him, they can use against him," said Andrea Roth, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "Even if it's sketchy, and only in context appears to make him look guilty."

    Kerry Lawrence, a defense attorney in Westchester County, New York, said Durst's lawyers will have to try to explain away his comments, perhaps dismissing them as a joke.

    "Prosecutors would argue it was a candid moment of self-reflection, and he I assume will argue that he knew he was still being recorded, and this was either said in jest or he was being facetious or sarcastic or was being provocative," Lawrence said. "I don't think it's quite the smoking gun."

    The bathroom recording was not part of the evidence presented to prosecutors before charges were filed because detectives were still trying to determine if the recording was tampered with in any way, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.

    The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly because the investigation was ongoing and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the handwriting analysis was the key new evidence in the long investigation.

    The documentary showed filmmaker Andrew Jarecki confronting Durst with a copy of an anonymous letter that alerted Beverly Hills police to look for a "cadaver" at Berman's address.

    Durst offered that whoever sent it was "taking a big risk. You're sending a letter to police that only the killer could have written."

    Then, in the final episode, Jarecki revealed another envelope, which Durst acknowledged mailing to Berman, that has similar writing in block letters and also misspelled the address as "Beverley."

    ''I wrote this one but I did not write the cadaver one," Durst said. But when shown an enlargement of both copies, Durst couldn't distinguish them.

    Former Westchester County prosecutor Jeanine Pirro seemed stunned when the filmmakers showed her Durst's previously unknown letter to Berman, saying "the jig is up."

    She believes it was her reopening of the cold case into Kathleen Durst's 1982 disappearance that provoked the killing of Berman, who had been Durst's confidante.

    Now, she said, his own words can convict him.

    "It was a spontaneous statement, a classical exception to the hearsay rule," Pirro told Fox's "Good Day New York." ''I don't hear it as a muttering. I hear it as a clear, unequivocal 'I killed them.' That means he killed his wife, he killed Susan Berman and he killed Morris Black."

    Durst -- still worth millions despite his estrangement from his family, whose New York real estate empire is worth about $4 billion -- has maintained his innocence in three killings in as many states.

    He was acquitted by a Texas jury in the 2001 dismemberment killing of his elderly neighbor, whose body parts were found floating in Galveston Bay. Lawyers said Durst -- who fled Texas and was brought back to trial after being caught shoplifting in Pennsylvania -- killed Morris Black in self-defense.

    Durst, however, acknowledged using a paring knife, two saws and an ax to dismember the body, and that may result in a delay of his transfer to Los Angeles, because he was arrested with a revolver on Saturday. That's illegal for felons, and Durst did prison time after pleading guilty to evidence tampering and jumping bail.

    Louisiana authorities filed weapons charges late Monday charging Durst as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and with having a small amount of marijuana.

    When Durst approached the filmmakers and agreed to go on camera, he was still suspected in the killing of Berman, whose father was a Las Vegas mobster associated with Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, and the disappearance of his wife, who was declared dead long after she vanished in New York in 1982.

    Durst's longtime Houston lawyer Chip Lewis called Jarecki "duplicitous" for not making it clear to Durst that he would be sharing footage with police.

    "It's all about Hollywood now," Lewis said.

    But Jarecki said Durst signed a contract clearly giving the filmmakers the right to use what they gathered however they wished.

    Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Kirk Albanese said the timing of the arrest had nothing to do with the production and that police were concerned Durst might flee the country.

    "We do police work based on the facts and evidence," Albanese told the AP on Monday. "I know there's lots of speculation about that. It had nothing to do with the show."

    By Monday, the filmmakers -- likely witnesses at a trial -- said they would make no more comments.


  10. #10
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Real estate heir Durst is a suicide risk, sheriff says

    Troubled real estate heir Robert Durst was moved from a New Orleans jail to a state prison with a mental health unit because he is considered a suicide risk, officials said Wednesday.

    Durst, the 71-year-old millionaire, is in custody in Louisiana on gun charges while awaiting a transfer to Los Angeles to face murder charges in the death of his friend Susan Berman 15 years ago.

    A city magistrate had ordered that Durst remain in the New Orleans jail. But the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office appealed that order, and Louisiana's 4th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the sheriff on Tuesday.

    He moved that night to Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, about 70 miles from New Orleans, according to the sheriff's office.

    A three-judge panel ruled that the sheriff has sole authority to decide where to house inmates needing mental health treatment.

    Durst's lawyer does not believe his client suffers from acute mental illness, according to a brief filed by the sheriff's office. The magistrate agreed Durst should stay in the city jail so he could help his defense team prepare for his weapons case. But the sheriff's office said in its brief that lawyers could have "virtually unrestricted access" to Durst with 24 hours' notice to the prison.

    Dick DeGuerin, Durst's lead attorney in New Orleans, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    On Tuesday, seven officers spent hours searching Durst's Houston home a condominium in a 17-story building in a posh neighborhood. They carried away two white cardboard document boxes.

    But DeGuerin said he would be surprised if any evidence against his client were found.

    The lawyer called the search "a publicity stunt" by a California prosecutor.

    "I don't know what they could be looking for 15 years after Susan Berman was killed 1,500 miles away," DeGuerin said. "I would really be surprised if they found anything of any evidentiary value. They can search now till kingdom come. They're not going to find anything because there isn't anything."

    But Durst himself may have pointed to his condo, in a recording made while talking to himself in a bathroom immediately after a tense interview with the makers of a documentary about his life.

    Just before saying he "killed them all," he says "I don't know what's in the house!"

    In this bathroom tape which forms the shocking conclusion of the six-part HBO documentary that wrapped up Sunday Durst talks to himself in short bursts of whispers, apparently contemplating his arrest. The filmmakers say they shared the tape with police months ago.

    Durst also has been suspected but never charged in the disappearance of his first wife in New York. In 2003, he was acquitted of murder in a dismemberment death in Texas.

    Harris County, Texas, district attorney's office spokesman Jeff McShan said Los Angeles police contacted his office last week days before Sunday's finale on HBO of "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."

    LAPD spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the department is not commenting until Durst is in custody in Los Angeles. It's not clear how soon he will be returned to California.

    Durst could face the death penalty if convicted of killing Berman, the daughter of a prominent Las Vegas mobster, under special circumstances that allege he ambushed her and murdered a witness to a crime.

    A law enforcement official said his arrest on the murder charge was based on words he wrote in a letter to Berman a year before her killing, which match one that pointed police to her body.

    That's the key new evidence that revived the cold case, the official told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

    DeGuerin disagreed: "This is a case that the L.A. D.A. has issued a warrant based on a television program, a (expletive) docudrama."

    Bob Martin, a neighbor of Durst's in Houston, described the murder suspect as courteous and no quirkier than anyone else in the building.

    Durst waived extradition to California on Monday, but was then charged with being a felon in possession of a gun and illegally carrying a weapon with marijuana, a controlled dangerous substance. Assistant District Attorney Mark Burton said investigators found more than a quarter-pound of pot and a revolver in his hotel room.

    DeGuerin said he wants a quick hearing in Louisiana, so that "Durst can go to California and face trial as quickly as possible."

    The judge in New Orleans scheduled another hearing for Monday.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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