In September, multimillionaire Robert Durst was convicted of the murder of his close friend Susan Berman. On the night before Thursday, the sentencing came: Life without the possibility of release.
Susan Berman was found shot and killed in her own home on December 24, 2000. According to prosecutors, the murder happened because Berman wanted to tell what she showed about the disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen McCormarck Durst, who was last seen in 1982. The wife was pronounced dead. in 2017, even though her body has not been found, writes CNN.
Durst has previously been acquitted of the murder of a neighbor and has been suspected of the murder of his wife. Durst denied the murder of Berman when he testified in court earlier this year.
Confessed in the air
The documentary The Jinx deals with the billionaire’s unusual life and repeated clinging to the law, including the then unsolved murder of Susan Berman. The day before the last episode of the series aired, Durst was arrested.
In the last episode of the series, Durst seems to confess to the murder while he is on the toilet, unaware that the microphone picks up everything he says.
– That’s what you’re taken. What the hell was I doing? Killed them all, of course, says Durst in the series.
The trial did not begin until 2020, but the corona pandemic was postponed for another year.
Durst defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin that the statement was the result of cynical editing by the filmmakers, and Durst himself has said that he was intoxicated during the filming.
From the wheelchair, Durst answered the actor’s questions in a flimsy voice, clearly marked by having undergone an operation for esophageal cancer.
For the first time since the trial began in May, the courtroom was full.
Durst was in a wheelchair and due to hearing difficulties he followed the words that were said in the courtroom on a tablet he had in front of him, writes The New York Times.
“I was robbed and my beautiful son was robbed of an absolutely extraordinary, brilliant man, whose life was taken in a barbaric way,” said one of Berman’s cousins in court.
Judge Mark E. Windham called Mrs Berman’s death a testimony and a “horrific crime.”
Before reading out the verdict, he denied the defense’s request for a new trial, pointing out that it is “overwhelming evidence of guilt”. The defense is expected to appeal, writes The New York Times.
Susan Berman worked as a writer and freelancer in Los Angeles, and is said to have had major financial problems in the year 2000. She and Durst were close friends.
On December 24, 2000, she was found shot and killed in her own home, after the police received a letter with her address and the word “corpse”. In the address written on the envelope, the place name Beverly Hills is misspelled, it said “Beverley hills”.
No one immediately suspected Durst, who is said to have been elsewhere in California, but Berman is said to have told a number of friends and family members prior to the murder that she would be visited by Durst during Christmas.