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Robert Durst Sentenced to LWOP in 2000 CA Slaying of Susan Berman - Page 4
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Thread: Robert Durst Sentenced to LWOP in 2000 CA Slaying of Susan Berman

  1. #31
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Steven's Avatar
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    NY millionaire Robert Durst guilty of best friend’s murder

    By Brian Melley
    The Associated Press

    INGLEWOOD, Calif. — A Los Angeles jury convicted Robert Durst on Friday of murdering his best friend 20 years ago, a case that took on new life after the New York real estate heir participated in a documentary that connected him to the slaying that was linked to his wife’s 1982 disappearance.

    Durst, 78, was not in court for the verdict from the jury that deliberated about seven hours over three days. He was in isolation at a jail because he was exposed to someone with coronavirus.

    Durst, who faces a mandatory term of life in prison without parole when sentenced Oct. 18, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Susan Berman. She was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home in December 2000 as she was prepared to tell police how she helped cover up his wife’s killing.

    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.

    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 of a tenant in a Texas flophouse where Robert Durst holed up while on the run from New York authorities.

    “Bob Durst has been around a lot of years, and he’s been able to commit a lot of horrific crimes. We just feel really gratified that he’s been held accountable,” Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said.

    Lewin met with jurors after the verdict and said they thought prosecutors had proven Durst had killed his wife and had murdered both Berman and his Texas neighbor in an effort to escape justice.

    He said jurors did not find Durst credible as a witness.

    “He’s a narcissistic psychopath. He killed his wife and then he had to keep killing to cover it up,“ Lewin said.

    Lewin said he hoped Durst understands what it’s like to be held accountable — even if it took 40 years. “Considering what he’s done, he got a lot more of a life than he was entitled to,” the prosecutor said.

    Durst was arrested in 2015 while hiding out in a New Orleans hotel on the eve of the airing of the final episode of “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” in which he was confronted with incriminating evidence and made what prosecutors said was a confession.

    Durst could be heard muttering to himself on a live microphone in a bathroom: “There it is. You’re caught.”

    Durst’s decision to testify in his own defense — hoping for a repeat of his acquittal in the Texas killing — backfired as he was forced to admit lying under oath, made damning admissions and had his credibility destroyed when questioned by the prosecutor.

    Defense lawyer David Chesnoff said Friday they believed there was “substantial reasonable doubt” and were disappointed in the verdict. He said Durst would pursue all avenues of appeal.

    The conviction marks a victory for authorities who have sought to put Durst behind bars for murder in three states. Durst was never charged in the disappearance of his wife, who has never been found, and he was acquitted of murder in Galveston, Texas, where he admitted dismembering the victim’s body and tossing it out to sea.

    The story of Durst, the estranged scion of a New York real estate developer, has been fodder for New York tabloids since his wife vanished. He provided plot twists so numerous that Hollywood couldn’t resist making a feature film about his life that eventually led to the documentary and discovery of new evidence in Berman’s slaying.

    Durst ran from the law multiple times, disguised as a mute woman in Texas and staying under an alias at a New Orleans hotel with a shoulders-to-head latex mask for a presumed getaway. He jumped bail in Texas and was arrested after shoplifting a chicken sandwich in Pennsylvania, despite having $37,000 in cash — along with two handguns — in his rental car.

    He later quipped that he was “the worst fugitive the world has ever met.”

    Durst escaped close scrutiny from investigators when his wife disappeared. But his troubles resurfaced in late 2000 when New York authorities reopened the case.

    His lawyer told him to be prepared to be charged in the case, and he fled a life of luxury to Galveston, Texas, where he rented a cheap apartment as “Dorothy Ciner,” a woman he pretended couldn’t speak. He eventually dropped the disguise after mishaps that included walking into a men’s restroom and igniting his wig at a bar while lighting a cigarette.

    Just before Christmas, he testified that he traveled to LA to visit Berman for a “staycation” with plans to see some of the tourist sites.

    Durst, who had long denied ever being in LA at the time of Berman’s death, testified at trial that he found her dead on a bedroom floor when he arrived.

    Berman, a writer who had been friends with Durst since they were students at the University of California, Los Angeles, had serious financial problems at the time. Durst had given her $50,000, and prosecutors suggested she was trying to leverage more money from him by telling him she was going to speak with the cops.

    Nine months after her death, Durst killed his Galveston neighbor Morris Black, in what he said was either an accident or self-defense. Durst said he found Black, who he had become friends with, in his apartment holding Durst’s .22-caliber pistol.

    Durst was acquitted after testifying the 71-year-old was killed in a struggle for the gun. Durst then chopped up Black’s body and tossed it out to sea. He was convicted of destroying evidence for discarding the body parts.

    After the trial and the ghastly evidence of the dismemberment, Durst found he was a pariah, he said. Despite an estimated $100 million fortune, he was turned away by multiple condominium associations and said the Los Angeles County Museum of Art wouldn’t take his money unless he donated anonymously.

    Durst thought a 2010 feature film based on his life, “All Good Things,” starring Ryan Gosling as him and Kirsten Dunst as Kathie, had been largely accurate and painted a sympathetic portrait, despite implicating him in three killings. He only objected that he was depicted killing his dog — something he would never do.

    He reached out to the filmmaker and agreed to sit for lengthy interviews for a documentary. He encouraged his friends to do the same and gave the filmmakers access to boxes of his records.

    He came to deeply regret his decision after “The Jinx” aired on HBO in 2015, calling it a “very, very, very big mistake.”

    The documentary filmmakers discovered a crucial piece of evidence that connected him to an anonymous note sent to police directing them to Berman’s lifeless body.

    Durst, who was so confident he couldn’t be connected to the note, told filmmakers “only the killer could have written” the note.

    Filmmakers confronted him with a letter he sent Berman a year earlier. The handwriting was identical and Beverly Hills was misspelled as “Beverley” on both. He couldn’t tell the two apart.

    The gotcha moment provided the climax of the movie as Durst stepped off camera and muttered to himself on a live microphone in the bathroom: “Killed them all, of course.”

    During 14 days of testimony that was so punishing Judge Mark Windham called it “devastating,” Durst denied killing his wife and Berman, though he said he would lie if he did.

    He tried to explain away the note and what prosecutors said was a confession during an unguarded moment.

    For the first time, Durst admitted on the witness stand that he sent the note and had been in Los Angeles at the time of Berman’s death.

    Durst said he sent the note because he wanted Berman to be found but didn’t want anyone to know he had been there because it would look suspicious.

    He acknowledged that even he had difficulty imagining he could have written the note without killing Berman.

    “It’s very difficult to believe, to accept, that I wrote the letter and did not kill Susan Berman,” Durst testified.

    A prosecutor said it was one of the truest things Durst said amid a ton of lies.

    https://apnews.com/article/robert-du...20eda46dddd7f2

  2. #32
    Senior Member CnCP Addict Wilso's Avatar
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    All his money couldn't save him from the fact that he will die in a nasty dirty prison or a nasty dirty prison hospital. A fitting end for such a callous person.
    Last edited by Wilso; 09-18-2021 at 09:56 AM.
    "Based upon recidivism studies, just since 1973, we have allowed an additional 14,000 people to be murdered by those we know to have murdered before." - Dudley Sharp.

  3. #33
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    New York DA seeking to indict Robert Durst in ex-wife's death: source

    By Michael Sisak
    Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) A New York prosecutor will seek an indictment in the coming weeks against millionaire real estate scion Robert Durst for the death of his former wife, Kathie Durst, who disappeared in 1982, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday.

    Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah decided in recent days to take the case to a grand jury in the next week or two, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and did so on condition of anonymity. The grand jury process is expected to take about a month, the person said.

    Kathie Dursts disappearance has shadowed Robert Durst, 78, for years, highlighted in an HBO documentary in which he appeared to admit killing people and culminating last month in his conviction in California for murdering a confidante whom prosecutors say helped him cover up Kathie Dursts killing.

    A message seeking comment was left Friday with the Westchester district attorneys office, which previously said that it reopened the investigation into Kathie Dursts death. In a statement issued after Dursts conviction last month, a spokesperson for Rocahs office said its investigation was ongoing.

    Dursts lawyer, David Chesnoff, said I dont respond to rumors.

    Robert Durst is jailed in Los Angeles and scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 14 for the 2000 killing of his friend, Susan Berman. His first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    Durst, the eccentric heir to a family of New York City developers, is now sick and frail. He sat throughout the trial in a wheelchair, spoke slowly in a strained, raspy voice when he testified in his own defense and read his lawyers questions from a tablet giving live transcriptions because he struggles with hearing.

    Los Angeles prosecutors say Durst shot Berman at her Los Angeles home in December 2000 as she was preparing to tell police about her involvement in Kathie Dursts death. She had told friends she provided a phony alibi for him after his wife vanished, prosecutors said.

    Hes a narcissistic psychopath. He killed his wife and then he had to keep killing to cover it up, Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said after Dursts conviction in the Los Angeles case.

    Kathie Durst was 29 and in her final months of medical school when she vanished on Jan. 31, 1982. She and Robert Durst, who was 38 at the time, had been married nearly nine years and were living in South Salem, near the Connecticut border. Her body was never found. At the request of her family, she was declared legally dead in 2017.

    Robert Durst claimed to police that on the night of her disappearance, hed put her on a train to New York City, had a drink with a neighbor and then spoke with Kathie Durst by telephone while she stayed at their Manhattan apartment. Theyd been fighting earlier in the evening, he said. A few weeks before that, Kathie Durst went to the hospital with facial injuries she said were caused by Robert Durst.

    In the 2015 HBO documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, he admitted he made up the details about seeing his neighbor and talking to Kathie Durst by phone, saying he did so because he was hoping that would just make everything go away.

    In the same documentary, after filmmakers confronted Durst with evidence linking him to Bermans killing, he stepped off camera and muttered to himself on a live microphone in the bathroom: Killed them all, of course.

    Robert Durst, who divorced Kathie Durst in 1990 citing abandonment, has never been charged in her disappearance despite several efforts over the years to close the case. Authorities reopened the case in 1999, searching a lake and the couples home.

    While all that was happening, Durst fled to Galveston, Texas, where he was accused of killing a neighbor, Morris Black. Durst then chopped up Blacks body and tossed it out to sea. Durst claimed self-defense that he and Black were struggling for control of a gun and was acquitted. He was convicted of destroying evidence for discarding the body parts.

    Durst, testifying in the Los Angeles trial, denied killing Kathie Durst. After her medical school called to report that she hadnt been going to class, he said he figured she was out someplace having fun and suggested that perhaps drug use was to blame.

    It hadnt occurred to me that anything had happened to her, Durst testified in August. It was more like: what had Kathie done to Kathie?

    https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/10...-wife-killing/
    "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

  4. #34
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Steven's Avatar
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    Robert Durst sentenced to life in best friend’s murder

    By Brian Melley
    AP

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — New York real estate heir Robert Durst was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without a chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more than two decades ago.

    Durst, 78, was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court last month of first-degree murder for shooting Susan Berman point-blank in the back of the head at her home in December 2000.

    The killing had been a mystery that haunted family and friends for 15 years before Durst was arrested in 2015 following his unwise decision to participate in a documentary that unearthed new evidence and caught him in a stunning confession.

    Berman’s death left a permanent hole in the lives of family members who remembered her Thursday for her adventurousness, creativity and deep love and loyalty.

    “It has been a daily, soul-consuming and crushing experience,” said Sareb Kaufman, who considered Berman his mother after his father dated her. “I’ve lost everything many times over because of him.”

    Durst, who has numerous medical issues and sat in a wheelchair wearing brown jail scrubs, said nothing. His eyes were wide open, and he had a catatonic stare when he entered the courtroom and barely looked over at Kaufman and three of Berman’s cousins when they spoke.

    Durst silenced Berman to prevent her from incriminating him in the reopened investigation of his wife’s 1982 disappearance in New York, prosecutors said.

    Berman provided a phony alibi for Durst when Kathie Durst vanished, prosecutors said.

    Durst testified he didn’t kill either woman, but he said on cross-examination that he would lie if he had.

    Prosecutors also presented evidence that he intentionally killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, though he had been acquitted of murder in that case after testifying that he shot the man in self-defense and then panicked and chopped up the corpse and tossed it out to sea.

    Defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin said Durst will appeal, and he refrained from making other remarks.

    Judge Mark Windham denied a motion for a new trial, rejecting arguments there was insufficient evidence or that he ruled incorrectly on 15 issues.

    “You said the court erred so many times it made me feel self-conscious,” Windham joked.

    Windham there was overwhelming evidence and prosecutors proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at least five ways, including devastating revelations during Durst’s cross-examination and an admission he made in the climax of the six-part documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Crimes of Robert Durst.”

    After being caught in a lie about a note he penned directing police to Berman’s lifeless body, Durst went into a bathroom and muttered to himself on a live microphone, “You’re caught.” He later said, “Killed them all, of course.”

    Filmmakers confronted him with a note police received that had Berman’s address and only the word “cadaver.” It was addressed in block letters and misspelled Beverly Hills as “Beverley.”

    Durst said only the killer could have written it, and it wasn’t him. He was then shown a letter he once wrote Berman in the same handwriting and Beverly misspelled the same way.

    Durst testified that he regretted participating in the documentary.

    Kaufman’s life was derailed in his mid-20s when Berman was killed and he found himself responsible for taking care of her estate. He said he spent months packing up her house, returning to the murder scene where her matted hair was still on the floor amid the bloody paw prints of her dogs.

    He spoke bitterly of the experience and having to store her belongings in his tiny apartment, but didn’t mention it was there that crucial piece of evidence — the letter confirming a match with the “cadaver note” was found.

    The trial began in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months as the coronavirus pandemic swept the U.S. and courts were closed. It resumed in May with the jury that reached its verdict Sept. 17.

    Seven of the jurors returned to witness the sentencing.

    Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster and a writer, was Durst’s longtime confidante from college days. She told friends and Durst she was preparing to speak with police about the reinvestigation of his wife’s disappearance shortly before she was killed.

    Kathie Durst has never been found. Robert Durst has never been charged with a crime related to her disappearance.

    But following his conviction in Berman’s death, which relied on evidence that he killed his wife, a New York prosecutor is prepared now to seek charges against him in her death, a person familiar with the matter — but who was not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity — told The Associated Press.

    Kathie McCormack Durst’s family had hoped to present statements to the court Thursday about their loss, but prosecutors denied the request, according to emails sent to their lawyer.

    Attorney Robert Abrams, who showed up at the hearing. said the McCormack family was disappointed, and he was outraged.

    “The family is not going to go travel 3,000 miles to be a prop in some Hollywood production and sit there and not be able to make their victim impact statements,” Abrams said. “This is not some movie where it’s gross spectacle. This is their lives, and they’ve suffered for 40 years.”

    Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, Kaufman and others pleaded with Durst now to tell the McCormack family where she was buried.

    “I hope in your final days and hours you will ... give the McCormacks what little they are asking for: to find Kathie, to lay her to rest appropriately, finally and at long last,” Kaufman said. “This is the most important question that still haunts us.”

    Durst is the grandson of Joseph Durst, who founded the Durst Organization, one of Manhattan’s largest commercial real estate firms, and is said to have a $100 million fortune.

    Davy Berman, whose family took in his his cousin after her father died, said he had gone to see her grave before the sentencing.

    “I visited her and told her she could rest easy,” he said as his voice cracked. “That justice has been done.”

    https://apnews.com/article/coronavir...1d62c0d4db72cc

  5. #35
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    He has Covid and is in the hospital on a ventilator.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...ays/ar-AAPBQLx
    "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

  6. #36
    Senior Member CnCP Addict Wilso's Avatar
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    My reaction to this is a combination of Nelson Muntz's laugh and Emma Stone Cruella's cackle.
    "Based upon recidivism studies, just since 1973, we have allowed an additional 14,000 people to be murdered by those we know to have murdered before." - Dudley Sharp.

  7. #37
    Administrator Aaron's Avatar
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    If you really want to revel in something like that, consider the fact that Richard Davis of Missouri death row died from covid after 2 weeks on a ventilator. Fitting end for a sexual predator who delighted in suffocating his victims.
    Don't ask questions, just consume product and then get excited for next products.

  8. #38
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Yes, except when you are on a ventilator you are sedated, Aaron. He still got off pretty easy compared to his victim's.
    "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. #39
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Robert Durst charged with murder of former wife

    Law & Crime

    Robert Durst has been charged in Westchester County with the murder of his former wife, Kathie, who disappeared in 1982, according to the district attorney's office.

    A criminal complaint was filed Tuesday of this week.

    "The Westchester County District Attorney's Office can confirm that a complaint charging Robert Durst with the murder of Kathleen Durst was filed in Lewisboro Town Court on Oct. 19, 2021. We have no further comment at this time," a statement from a spokeswoman for Westchester DA Mimi Rocah said.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...ife/ar-AAPPfQs
    "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

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