( LOS ANGELES) — Robert Durst, the affluent New York real estate heir and failed fugitive steadfast for decades with skepticism in the fade-out and deaths of those around him before he was imprisoned last year of killing his best friend, just died. He was 78.
Durst died of natural generates Monday in a hospital outside the California prison where he was serving a life sentence, according to the ministry of Chastening and Rehabilitation. Durst had held during a hospice lockup in Stockton due to a litany of ailments.
Durst was convicted in September of shooting Susan Berman at point-blank range at her Los Angeles home in 2000. He was sentenced Oct. 14 to life in prison without parole. [time-brightcove not-tgx =” true-life “]
Durst had long been suspected of killing his wife, Kathie, who went missing in New York 1982 and was declared legally dead decades later.
But exclusively after Los Angeles lawyers proved he silenced Berman to prevent her from telling police she helped cover up Kathie’s killing was Durst indicted by a New York magnificent jury in November for second-degree murder in his wife’s death.
Westchester County lawyers, who had been trying to get Durst transmitted there to face the charge, said they planned to reveal new details about the instance in coming days.
“After 40 times invested attempting right for her death, I know how disturbing this news must be for Kathleen Durst’s family, ” District Attorney Miriam Rocah said in a statement. “We had hoped to allow them the opportunity to see Mr. Durst eventually face indictments for Kathleen’s murder because we know that all families never stop requiring ending, justice and accountability.”
Los Angeles attorneys told jurors Durst also is away with carnage in Texas after shooting a follower who discovered his identity when he was hiding out in Galveston in 2001. Durst was acquitted of murder in that case in 2003, after testifying he shot the man as they strove for a gun.
Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said Los Angeles jurors told him after the judgment that they belief Durst had killed his wife and assassinated Morris Black in Texas.
Durst’s undoing was in enormous responsibility due to his hubris.
After beating the charge in Texas, in a bid to rehabilitate his image, he reached out to filmmakers “whos had” evoked “peoples lives” — not favorably — in the 2010 big screen aspect, “All Good Things, ” starring Ryan Gosling as Durst. He offered to sit down for a series of interminable interviews about his life.
It was a decision he told jurors he deeply regretted.
Durst, who later said he was using methamphetamine during the interviews, obligated various curse proclamations including a stunning revelation during an unguarded moment in the six-part HBO documentary streak “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”
The show originated his call known to a new generation and wreaked replaced inquiry and hunch from authorities.
The night before the final incident aired, Durst was arrested in Berman’s killing while obstructing out under an alias in a New Orleans hotel, where he was caught with a firearm, more than $ 40,000 currency and a head-to-shoulders latex mask for a presumed getaway.
The finale’s climax came with him mumbling to himself in a lavatory while still wearing sizzling mic saying: “You’re caught! What the blaze did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
The mentions were later revealed to have been manipulated for startling consequence but the creation — done against the advice of Durst’s lawyers and friends — dredged up brand-new manifestation including an envelope that connected him to the scene of Berman’s killing as well as incriminating proclamations he made.
Police had received a note directing them to Berman’s home with only the word “CADAVER” written in block letters.
In interrogations imparted between 2010 and 2015, Durst told the makers of the “The Jinx” that he didn’t write the mention, but whoever did had killed her.
“You’re writing a note to the police that exclusively the killer could have written, ” Durst said.
His defense lawyers relinquished in the run-up to trial that Durst had written the observe, and prosecutors said it amounted to a confession.
Clips from “The Jinx, ” and “All Good Things” had starring roles at trial.
As did Durst himself. He took the hazards of again taking the stand for what turned out to be about three weeks of evidence. It didn’t work as it had in Texas.
Under devastating cross-examination by prosecutor Lewin, Durst declared he lied under oath in the past and would do it once again to evade trouble.
“’Did you kill Susan Berman? ’ is strictly a hypothetical, ” Durst said from the stand. “I did not kill Susan Berman. But if I had, I would lie about it.”
The jury promptly returned a guilty verdict.
It long loomed he would avoid any convictions.
Durst went on the run in late 2000 after New York officials reopened an investigation into his wife’s disappearance, leasing a modest suite in Galveston and disguising himself as a subdue woman.
In 2001, the body parts of a neighbor, Black, began laundering up in Galveston Bay.
Arrested in the killing, Durst climbed indemnity. He was caught shoplifting a sandwich six weeks later in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he had gone to college. Police determined $37,000 cash and two handguns in his car.
He later quipped that he was “the worst fugitive the world countries have hitherto met.”
He would testify that Black had plucked a gun on him and died when the artillery went off during a struggle.
He told jurors in detail how he bought tools and downed a bottle of Jack Daniels before maiming Black’s body and convulsing it out to sea. While he was cleared of carnage, he pleaded guilty to break his bail, and to manifestation manipulating for the dismemberment. He served three years in prison.
Durst had bladder cancer and his health deteriorated during the Berman trial. He was escorted into courtroom in a wheelchair wearing confinement attire each day because his attorneys said he was unable to change into a dres. But the judge refused further delays after a 14 -month pause during the coronavirus pandemic.
At his sentencing, Durst entered the courtroom with a wide-eyed unoccupied gaze. Attorney Dick DeGuerin said he was “very, very sick” — the most difficult he searched in the 20 times “hes spent” representing him.
Near the end of the hearing after Berman’s loved ones told the judge that her extinction upended their lives, Durst coughed hard and appeared to struggle to breathe. His chest heaved and he drew his concealment down below his mouth to gulp for air.
He was hospitalized two days later with COVID-1 9 and DeGuerin said he was on a ventilator. But Durst apparently recovered and was transferred to state prison where mug shots demonstrated no indicate of a ventilator.
The son of real estate magnate Seymour Durst, Robert Durst was born April 12, 1943, and grew up in Scarsdale, New York. He would later say that at senility 7, he evidenced his mother’s death in a fall from their home.
He graduated with an economics degree in 1965 from Lehigh University, where he represented lacrosse. He enrolled a doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he met Berman, but discontinued out and returned back to New York in 1969.
He became a developer in the family business, but his father overstepped him over to reach his younger brother, and contender, Douglas the head of the Durst Organization in 1992.
Durst broke ties with their own families, reaching a settlement with a family trust. He was estimated to have a fortune of about $100 million.
Douglas Durst witnessed at tribulation that he was afraid two brothers wanted to kill him.
“Bob lived a sad, painful and unfortunate live ,” he said in a statement Monday.” We hope his death wreaks some closure to those he hurt.”
In 1971, Robert Durst encountered Kathie McCormack, and the two married on his 30 th birthday in 1973.
In January 1982, his wife was a student in her final time at medical academy when she disappeared. She had shown up accidentally at a friend’s dinner party in Newtown, Connecticut, then left after a call from her husband to return to their home in South Salem, New York.
Robert Durst told police he last-place interpret her when he made her on a train to stay at their accommodation in Manhattan because “shes had” world-class the next day.
Prosecutors said Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, constituted as Kathie Durst to call Albert Einstein College of Medicine the next morning to say she was sick and wouldn’t be at her hospital pirouette. The announce required an alibi for Robert Durst because it stimulated it perform his wife uttered it safely to Manhattan after he saw her.
He would divorce her eight years later, claiming spousal defection, and in 2017, at her family’s request, she was declared legally dead.
Kathie McCormack Durst’s home said they plan to provide an update on Jan. 31 — the 40 th anniversary of her going — into an investigation of others who helped covered under her killing, attorney Robert Abrams said.
Robert Durst is existed by his second wife Debrah Charatan, whom he married in 2000. He had no children.
Under California law, a sentence is evacuated if a accused dies while the case is under appeal, said Laurie Levenson, a principle prof at Loyola Law School.
Attorney Chip Lewis said Durst had appealed.
Associated Press writer Michelle A. Monroe in Phoenix contributed.
Read more: time.com