Robert Durst, the subject of the documentary series The Jinx and son of New York businessman Seymour Durst, has been convicted of murder in a Los Angeles court on Friday. It ends a crazy, and twisting story that started almost four decades ago when his then-wife went missing and was presumed dead. This most recent court case involved the murder of Durst’s “friend” Susan Berman in 2000. The latter had apparently been part of Durst’s alibi on the night of his then-wife’s murder.
A jury found that the 78-year-old Robert Durst was guilty of killing Susan Berman on or around December 24, 2000. Her body was found in her home in Los Angeles, having been killed execution-style. Durst was long-suspected of having been the murder and remained the prime suspect for some time though there was insufficient evidence to bring him to trial. Because of their close association and some of his travel itinerary at the time, investigators believed he was the one who had perpetrated the crime.
Susan Berman had helped Robert Durst provide an alibi for the evening in 1982 when Durst’s wife Kathleen McCormack Durst went missing near their home in South Salem, NY. Though Durst was a suspect in the disappearance and death of McCormack, that also could not be proven. Berman had helped Durst create a cover story for his whereabouts that night and had even pretended to be McCormack, calling in sick to her hospital shift the night of the murder. And the crime went unsolved for decades. Durst, who was well-funded because of his family’s money had escaped the law when it came to McCormack, thanks to the help from Berman. But apparently, this piece of the story is what led Durst to Berman’s bungalow in California to kill her, wanting to eliminate any possibility that she would come forward with the true events of the story. It was thought that she was possibly blackmailing him over the events and he had sent her money over the years.
The story of Robert Durst was covered at length in the HBO docuseries, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. The six episodes cover the mysterious deaths and disappearances of those within Durst’s inner (and outer) circles over the years, trying to pin down the business mogul’s son into some version of the truth. In addition to McCormack and Berman, Durst was also put on trial for the murder of Morris Black, a man we became associated with while in hiding in Texas.
During the filming of The Jinx, the awkward Durst gave a number of different hints that he was, in fact, guilty of the murders but the real hammer came at the end when he was caught with a hot mic in a bathroom after an interview. It was during this recording, seemingly talking to himself that in a rambling stream of consciousness he said, “…Killed them all of course.” Durst was arrested the next day, following the release of the documentary.
Robert Durst had represented himself in this most recent trial, though of course to no avail. The evidence became overwhelming that he had committed this crime. He now awaits sentencing.