Mystery and a series of mysterious deaths seem to surround real estate heir Robert Durst. Seventy-one year old Durst was arrested March 14, 2015, in New Orleans and now faces capital murder charges related to the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman, filed by authorities in Los Angeles.
Judge Jeanine Pirro opened an investigation in 2000, while holding the post of Westchester County (New York) District Attorney, into the disappearance of Robert Durst’s first wife, Kathleen – who had gone missing in 1982. Berman was killed – just as Pirro was seeking to interview her in regards to the disappearance of Kathleen.
But this isn’t the first time that prosecutors have charged Durst with Murder. In 2001, Durst’s former neighbor in Galveston, Texas, – Morris Black was shot to death – Black’s dismembered body found headless floating in Galveston Bay. Durst was tried and acquitted in that case – after admitting cutting Black into pieces and disposing of the body – claiming self-defense while the two were fighting over a gun.
In the final scene of the HBO docu-series about his life The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Durst was heard making the off-camera statements, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Durst denies involvement in the disappearance of his first wife and Berman’s murder.
Judge Pirro sits down to spend a few moments with FOX News Radio’s Eben Brown to talk about the case. Listen to the interview here:
Durst Suspected in 1971 Disappearance of Vermont Girl
In the wake of Robert Durst's March 14 arrest for the murder of Susan Berman in 2000, several law enforcement agencies have taken a closer look at the 71-year-old millionaire, including the one in Middlebury, Vermont. The 1971 disappearance of college student Lynne Schulze (above) has mystified authorities in the small town of Middlebury for more than four decades. On December 10, 1971, Schulze, 18, vanished without a trace. In the hours before she disappeared, she bought dried prunes at All Good Things, a local health store. The 5-foot-3, 115-pound brunette was last seen across the street from the shop.
Then, in 2012, a source called police with a fascinating tip: Durst had owned All Good Things at the time Schulze vanished. (The store shares the name of the 2010 fictionalized movie, starring Ryan Gosling and Kristen Durst, based on the disappearance of Durst's first wife, Kathleen.)
Still, evidence in the 43-year-old mystery is hard to come by. "We know that Lynne shopped at the store that was owned by Robert Durst on the day she disappeared," Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley said in a press conference. "He is a person who had some proximate connection with someone who is missing. We can assume at this point there was some wrongdoing involved, potentially a homicide."
If he did kill this girl, I guess that would be his first known victim. I'd like to know more about how his mother died. He saw her die, but it makes you wonder if he might have had something to do with it.
Post by Graveyardbride on Dec 21, 2016 21:55:00 GMT -5
Witnesses Afraid to Testify in Durst’s Murder Trial
LOS ANGELES – Witnesses expected to testify in the murder trial of real estate scion Robert Durst are concerned for their safety, a prosecutor told a judge Tuesday, citing the heir's vast wealth and the deaths of people close to him.
Durst, 73, whose ties to several slayings were chronicled last year in the HBO documentary The Jinx, is charged with fatally shooting writer and longtime confidante Susan Berman in December 2000. Prosecutors say he killed her because of what she knew about the death of Durst’s wife in New York two decades earlier.
Durst, who appeared Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in a wheelchair wearing a blue shirt and glasses with his hair cropped short, pleaded not guilty last month to first-degree murder in the Berman case. Deputy District Attorney John Lewin asked Judge Mark Windham to schedule a conditional hearing for February to record witness testimony, ahead of trial, saying witnesses “understandably are concerned about their safety.” He said witnesses are concerned because Durst is accused of killing Berman over what she knew about his wife’s disappearance. They are also worried about the killing and dismemberment of a Texas neighbor of Durst’s, whom Lewin called “a witness.” Durst was acquitted of murder in that case. Lewin told the court the real estate heir has some $100 million in assets. The prosecutor said among those he hopes will testify is an 85-year-old doctor and another unnamed witness whom Lewin said could “disappear, die, be murdered.”
An attorney for Durst, David Chesnoff, rejected the argument that Durst, wheelchair-bound and incarcerated, poses any threat to witnesses, calling the remarks “hyperbole.”
Windham did not rule on the proposed condition examination hearing to speed up testimony. He did, however, grant the state’s request that an independent expert be appointed to examine crates of Durst-related documents confiscated by investigators and determine which papers should be excluded as material protected under attorney-client privilege. Windham also said he would hold a hearing on the question of whether Durst waived his right to attorney-client privilege over materials seized from Durst’s friend in New York State.
Berman, 55, was found dead in her Los Angeles home, reportedly shot execution style, not long after police in New York reopened their investigation into the 1982 disappearance and presumed killing of Durst’s wife, Kathleen. Durst was questioned but never charged in that probe.
After the hearing, defense attorney Dick DeGuerin told reporters that “Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman, doesn't know who did, and we are ready to get down the road for a trial.”
Durst was formally charged with the Berman’s murder a day after HBO aired the final episode of The Jinx, in which Durst was recorded muttering to himself off-camera: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” After his arrest, Durst told authorities that he smoked marijuana daily and was high on methamphetamine during his appearance on The Jinx, according to court records.
Source: Alex Dubuzinskis and Eric M. Johnson, Reuters, December 21, 2016.