Robert Durst, Wealthy Killer At The Heart Of HBO’s ‘The Jinx,’ Dead At 78

Robert Durst on sentencing on October 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Susan Berman. (Photo: Myung J. Chun via Getty Images)

Robert Durst, the former New York real estate scion convicted of murder and suspected of others, died Monday at the age of 78.

Durst died in Stockton, California, where he was serving a life sentence. His lawyer, Chip Lewis, told the New York Times that Durst suffered cardiac arrest in a hospital near the prison and could not be resuscitated.

He had contracted COVID-19 and was briefly placed on a ventilator last year, contributing to his pre-existing health issues.

“Sir. Durst passed away early this morning while in California Corrections custody,” Lewis said in a statement. “We understand his death was due to natural causes associated with a litany of medical issues which we had repeatedly reported to the court over the past two years. “

Durst, who has been in jail since his arrest in 2015, is estranged from his family, who operate some of New York’s most prestigious real estate.

Her trial was delayed due to the pandemic, but Durst was ultimately convicted in September of shooting her friend Susan Berman in the back of the neck in 2000 – out of fear, prosecutors said, that she would give out information about her. link with death. by his first wife, Kathleen McCormack. He was sentenced to life in prison in October.

McCormack disappeared in February 1982 after allegedly telling a friend that she was afraid of Durst. She is presumed dead, although her remains have never been found. A grand jury charged Durst with his death in November, but he died before he could stand trial.

Following McCormack’s disappearance, Berman had been the spokesperson for Durst, one of his college friends. However, she later fell into hard times.

In 2015, Durst was dramatically arrested in New Orleans with a latex face mask and over $ 40,000 in cash – for the set of Berman, just hours before the last episode of a documentary about him, “The Jinx, ”airing on HBO.

During the filming of “The Jinx”, Durst appeared to inadvertently admit the murders. While off camera, but in the presence of a microphone he didn’t know was recording, he muttered “Killed them all, of course.” Jurors heard part of the 2015 recording during his trial.

He was held without bail, after attempting to flee a Texas murder charge more than a decade earlier.

In 2003, Durst was tried for the murder of a neighbor, Morris Black. He claimed Black’s gun exploded as Durst tried to defend himself and admitted to dismembering Black’s body out of concern, he said, that authorities wouldn’t believe him. He was eventually acquitted.

Durst was under increasing scrutiny for McCormack’s disappearance, and a New York prosecutor has reportedly requested his indictment. In their victim impact statements, several of Berman’s friends and family members pleaded with Durst to tell McCormack’s family what he allegedly did with his body.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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