Convicted Killer Robert Durst Faces Murder Trial In Connection To His Wife’s 1982 Disappearance
One-time Manhattan real estate heir Robert Durst was found guilty in California of the first-degree murder of his best friend and confidante, Susan Berman.
Here's a look at a timeline of the case:
One-time Manhattan real estate heir Robert Durst was found guilty in California of the first-degree murder of his best friend and confidante, Susan Berman. According to prosecutors, Durst shot the screenwriter in the back of the head at her Los Angeles home in December 2000 after he grew worried she was about to cooperate with investigators looking into the death of his first wife, Kathie Durst, almost two decades earlier. “Bob Durst has been around a lot of years, and he’s been able to commit a lot of horrific crimes,” LA Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said, calling the convicted killer a “narcissistic psychopath.”
California Superior Court Judge Mark Windham called Durst’s testimony on the stand during the Berman murder trial “profoundly incredible and incriminating” and noted there was “overwhelming evidence of guilt.” Durst received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Berman’s slaying. “May he live to be 100 so he can spend more time in jail after what he did to Kathie and my sister,” Fadwa Najamy told The New York Times.
New York State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra filed a felony criminal complaint in Lewisboro, a town outside New York City, charging Robert Durst with the second-degree murder of his wife, Kathy Durst. Robert told producers of the 2015 documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst that on Jan. 31, 1982, the couple got into a “pushing, shoving argument” at their home in South Salem, New York. Kathie, then a 29-year-old student who was about to finish medical school, vanished and has never been seen or heard from since. Her body has never been found, and she was declared legally dead in 2017.
Prosecutors in White Plains, New York, indicted Durst on one count of second-degree murder in connection to the disappearance and suspected death of Kathie Durst. “For nearly four decades there has been a great deal of speculation about this case, much of it fueled by Robert Durst’s own highly publicized statements,” said Miriam E. Rocah, the Westchester district attorney. “An indictment is a crucial step in the process of holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions.” Durst, 78, has denied he killed his wife.
Kathie Durst’s brother raised serious questions about the indictment during a press conference. “It is important to ask why it took so long to get to this point,” James McCormack said of prosecutors filing the murder charge against Robert Durst, insisting he and his loved ones “deserve answers.” Robert Abrams, an attorney for Kathie Durst’s family, said the district attorney “did what her job requires her to do,” something, he added, “that was not done for the past 40 years.”
For more on this tragic case, stream Robert Durst: An ID Murder Mystery now on discovery.