‘The Trials of Robert Durst,’ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, looks at the several cases in which real-estate heir Robert Durst was involved. Since the disappearance of his first wife in 1982, Robert has appeared to be at the centre of numerous other death investigations, with his actions only creating more concerns.
Robert has been suspected of murdering his first wife, Susan Berman, whom he was just convicted of killing. So, how about we learn more about Robert and where he is now?
Who Is Robert Durst?
Robert Alan Durst (April 12, 1943 – January 10, 2022) was a convicted murderer and American real estate heir.
He came to popularity as a suspect in the mysterious 1982 missing of his first wife Kathleen McCormack, the 2000 murder of his best friend Susan Berman, as well as the 2001 murder of his neighbour Morris Black, the eldest son of New York City real estate magnate Seymour Durst.
Durst was acquitted of the second charge in 2003 and did not face any more legal action until his role in the 2015, an HBO documentary miniseries The Jinx, which led to his being charged with Berman’s murder.
In 2021, Durst was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of release. Shortly after his sentencing, he was accused with McCormack’s disappearance, but he died in 2022 before a trial could commence.
Durst developed COVID-19 in 2021, which worsened his other health issues. At the age of 78, he died of heart arrest at the San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton, California.
At the time, he was undergoing testing. Durst was still in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the time of his death.
What Happened During Robert Durst’s Prosecution?
Kathleen McCormack Durst, Robert’s first wife, vanished without a trace in 1982. On January 31, that year, she was last seen at Gilberte Najamy’s home in Connecticut. Kathleen had a close friend named Gilberte. When questioned, Robert stated that following a disagreement, he put Kathleen on a train to Manhattan, New York.
He went on to say that he spoke with her on the phone about 11 p.m. that night when she called from their apartment. Kathleen had requested a divorce, according to the investigation. Kathleen had also made charges of physical abuse against Robert before her disappearance.
After receiving a call from her institution, Robert reported her missing on February 5, 1982. Someone claiming to be Kathleen called in and said she was sick and couldn’t attend classes, according to the dean.
Kathleen’s body was never recovered, and the investigation didn’t go very far. When Robert learned that the matter was being examined again in late 2000, he relocated to Galveston, Texas, and began life there as a mute elderly woman.
Then, in December 2000, officials in Los Angeles, California, received an anonymous letter directing them to Susan Berman’s residence. Robert had a close friendship with her. The word “cadaver” was referenced in the letter.
Susan was discovered shot to death in the manner of execution. Robert was known to have flown from San Francisco, California, to New York around the time of the murder on December 23, 2000. Susan was supposed to talk with the authorities about Kathleen’s disappearance just days before she was murdered.
Morris Black, Robert’s Galveston neighbour, was found dismembered in the Galveston Bay in September 2001. The police followed the evidence to Robert, who was ultimately apprehended.
He escaped while on bail, but was apprehended again in Pennsylvania in November. He had guns at the time, as well as directions to Gilberte’s house. During Robert’s trial for the death of Morris Black, he testified that his neighbour grabbed a gun in his house, and while they struggled for it, the gun went off, killing Morris.
Robert claimed that he became terrified and dismembered the body before throwing it into the bay. In November 2003, a jury ruled him not guilty of the murder, believing his account of events.
Robert was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to bond jumping and evidence tampering. Many years later, HBO’s ‘The Jinx’ documentary focused on Robert and the deaths that seemed to surround him. In it, he appears to admit to lying about speaking with his wife on the night she went missing.
Further evidence appeared to link him to Susan’s death, with the handwriting of a letter he had written to her in the past appearing to match the anonymous letter that alerted authorities in 2000.
Robert was arrested for Susan’s murder in New Orleans shortly after the show aired in March 2015. He was discovered in possession of a large sum of money, a latex mask, firearms, and marijuana.
Evidence from the Morris case was allowed to be introduced at Robert’s trial in 2020. The defence also confessed that Susan was found in a pool of blood inside her home when Robert penned the anonymous letter.
When the case was revived, the prosecution said Susan was the one who called the university in 1982, and Robert killed her to cover his tracks.
Must Read: Deadly Women: Where Is Lisa Shuler Now?
Where Is Robert Durst Today?
Nick Chavin, a friend of Robert’s, testified as well. Robert requested a meeting with Nick sometime in 2014 to discuss Kathleen and Susan, according to Nick.
When asked about Susan, Nick recalled Robert saying, “It was either her or me.” I didn’t have an option.” Susan allegedly called another friend after Kathleen went missing, telling her of a disagreement between Robert and Kathleen and an accident on the stairs.
Robert was found guilty of Susan’s murder in October 2021, with the added circumstances of lying in wait and killing a witness. The 78-year-old man was given a life sentence with no chance of release.
Robert tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after his sentencing and was said to be on a ventilator. Kathleen’s relatives wanted her to be legally declared dead in 2016. In November 2021, Robert was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Kathleen’s death.