UPDATED 9:41 AM PT – Saturday, September 18, 2021
A nearly 21-year-old murder case has been put to rest in court following the announcement of Robert Durst’s conviction. A Los Angeles County jury convicted multimillionaire Durst of killing his friend Susan Berman in 2000. The verdict was given on Friday after three days of deliberation.
Durst allegedly killed Berman for preparing to confess her cover-up of Durst’s wife’s murder. Durst ambushed his trusted friend, leaving her for dead with a bullet to the back of her head. Durst claimed he found the body, but didn’t call the police believing no one would think he was innocent.
Berman is only the first supposed victim of Durst’s that he has been convicted for. Meanwhile, his late wife Kathleen McCormack Durst went missing in New York City in 1982. Berman allegedly provided a false alibi to police, but was looking to come clean to authorities almost 20 years later.
While authorities were investigating the disappearance of Berman, Durst hid in Galveston, Texas. While living there, he got into an altercation with his neighbor Morris Black and killed him. The prosecution in that case argued Black had recognized Durst and was going to report him to authorities.
Durst testified Black had brandished a firearm, forcing him to act in self defense. The Galveston jury ended up acquitting him.
The incident leading to his arrest was his interview for the HBO documentary series “The Jinx” in 2015. While using the on set restroom, he unknowingly admitted to all three of the murders on his microphone, which was still recording.
Durst was taken into custody that year while evading authorities in New Orleans. The man attending the courtroom was gaunt and wheelchair-bound, esophageal cancer having withered away his body. When questioned by the prosecution if he would ever admit that he killed both Kathy or Susan, he said he never would.
A California jury found multimillionaire real-estate heir Robert Durst guilty of murdering his best friend Susan Berman in 2000, the first homicide conviction for a man suspected of killing three people in three states over the past 39 years https://t.co/RWtJkeZxgy pic.twitter.com/lTPnJdBUDE
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 18, 2021
The defendant was not present to hear his own verdict, being forced to isolate due to coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. In the meantime, the 78-year-old is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars. He’s expected to be sentenced on Oct. 18.
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