Judge orders Robert Durst to stand trial in friend’s killing 18 years ago
A real estate tycoon heard muttering on the HBO documentary “The Jinx” that he had “killed them all” must stand trial on charges that he murdered a friend in 2000, a Los Angeles judge ruled Thursday.
Robert Durst, 75, is accused of shooting Susan Berman in the head at her Beverly Hills home on December 23, 2000. She was scheduled to speak hours later with police about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife. Berman’s body was found the next day.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham also ruled admissible statements Berman made about allegedly helping Durst build an alibi for the death of his wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, prosecutors said in a news release.
Durst has long maintained he had nothing to do with Berman’s death or his wife’s disappearance. CNN reached out to his attorneys for comment.
His first wife’s body was never found. No one has been charged in that case.
HBO documentary brought notoriety
In 2003, Durst told police he killed and dismembered a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001. He said he shot the man in self-defense and cut him up in a panic. Prosecutors said he wanted to steal the man’s identity and escape the investigation of his wife’s disappearance.
He was acquitted.
He was later accused of killing Berman, a crime writer who had been a longtime friend of his. When authorities arrested Durst, he was found with a .38-caliber revolver and later pleaded guilty to one charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Prosecutors argued he’d been preparing for a life on the lam.
In 2015, HBO focused on Durst in a documentary called “The Jinx.”
At the end, he is overheard on a microphone he apparently did not realize was on.
“What the hell did I do?” he says. “Killed them all, of course.”
Durst, who was arrested in Berman’s death that year, is scheduled for an arraignment on November 8.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, authorities said.