Investigation Discovery examines the case of Robert Durst, a real estate heir and son of New York mogul Seymour Durst. The 76-year-old is suspected of murdering three people, including his first wife, Kathie McCormack Durst.
His other alleged victims were Texas neighbor Morris Black who was shot and dismembered in 2001, and Durst’s so-called “close friend” Susan Berman, who was shot in the head, execution-style in her Beverly Hills home in 2000.
Durst implicated himself in TV documentary
An HBO documentary in 2015 The Jinx examined the murders, which included interviews with Durst. At the end of the documentary, Durst entered a bathroom and apparently unaware he was still microphoned was heard to say, “what the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
A short time later, he was arrested at a hotel in New Orleans with a .38 caliber revolver in his possession; prosecutors later argued that he was preparing for a life on the lam. He is currently being held in Los Angeles on charges relating to the murder of Susan Berman.
Investigators arrested him over several factors raised in the HBO Documentary, one of which was a confirmation of their belief that Durst penned an anonymous letter to the police alerting them to the murder and location of Berman’s corpse. Durst finally admitted to writing the note at this trial on December 31, 2019. His trial is ongoing.
The Disappearance of Kathie Durst
Durst’s wife, Kathie, was on her way to medical school in New York in 1982 when she vanished without a trace. Police were suspicious of Durst at the time but lacked any substantial evidence. Her body has never been found, which has hampered the investigation. She was declared legally dead in 2017.
There are allegations that Kathie was close to exposing illegal practices by the multi-million dollar Durst Organisation at the time of her disappearance. It’s claimed Seymour then told his son to “take care of the problem.”
The Killing of Morris Black
Durst has been on trial for murder before, in 2003 he informed police that he had shot and dismembered a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. He claimed to have killed the man in self-defense, saying afterward, he panicked, chopped up the remains of Morris Black, and disposed of the pieces.
There was some suspicion that Durst had been hoping to steal the man’s identity in the hope of avoiding prosecution for his wife’s murder. He was acquitted of murder but did spend nine months in a Texas jail on weapons charges relating to the crime.
Durst’s trial is to resume February 10, 2020, and is expected to last into the summer. If convicted he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Follow the links to check out two other ID Murder Mysteries, such as the murder of Odin Llyod by New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez or the unsettling murder of pregnant Shannon Watts by her husband Christopher “Chris” Watts.
Follow this two-parter from 8/7c on Robert Durst: An ID Murder Mystery on Investigation Discovery.