Robert Durst’s complicated life has sparked a lot of suspicion over the years because people close to him were dying in mysterious ways.
Now, ABC News’ ‘20/20: The Devil You Know‘ seeks to chronicle Robert’s life, beginning with the 1982 disappearance of his first wife and two subsequent murders. Robert was eventually sentenced to prison for one of the killings.
The testimony of one of Robert’s greatest friends, Nick Chavin, was crucial in securing a conviction. So, how about we learn a little more about him?
Who Is Nick Chavin And How He Met Robert Durst?
Nick Chavin was born in 1944 and studied in the 1960s at the University of Texas at Austin. Nick relocated to San Francisco, California, a few years later, and had a brief career as a western singer, releasing a few CDs that were mostly parodies and openly filthy.
He met Susan Berman, a journalist who had previously covered him, at the same time. Both eventually relocated to New York.
While Nick’s band failed to gain traction, he found work as a copywriter at an advertising agency to supplement his income. Susan introduced Nick to Robert Durst over lunch in 1980, and the two hit it off immediately.
In reality, Robert eventually recruited Nick to handle advertising for his company’s new initiative, cementing Nick’s reputation. Both of them became excellent friends over the next few years, and they spent a lot of time together.
Despite being married, Robert would go to bars with Nick. Robert told him at the time that he was married to Kathleen McCormack Durst in an open marriage.
Kathleen vanished in 1982 under strange circumstances, and Susan was the official media spokesman at the time.
Robert later admitted to lying about his movements around the time of Kathleen’s disappearance, and he claimed that the marriage was violent towards the end. Susan allegedly assisted Robert in arranging a bogus alibi, according to witness accounts.
Susan was found shot to death in her house in Los Angeles, California, in the year 2000. Susan’s address was written with the word “cadaver” on a letter that eventually reached the authorities.
The handwriting was identical to Robert’s, and he later acknowledged to writing as well as claiming to have discovered her in a pool of blood. With all of the evidence pointing to Robert, Nick’s testimony became critical to the case.
Susan told Nick in 2017 that Robert confessed to killing Kathleen, according to Nick, a secret witness. Then, in 2014, Nick alleged that Robert confessed to killing Susan during a meal. “I had to,” Robert said, according to him.
It was either her or me; I didn’t have a choice.” While Robert denied mentioning that, Nick stated that he did not fabricate the storey. He did concede, however, that he waited seven months before notifying the prosecution about the conversation.
What Happened to Nick Chavin And Where Is He Now?
Because of Nick’s testimony, Robert was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for Susan’s murder. For the testimony, he was flown from New York to California under tight police protection.
Nick left the corporate world in 1989 to start his own advertising agency with a partner, where he worked until 2006. He has been Principal & Creative Director at Miller Advertising Agency since September 2008. Nick appears to be in his seventies and lives in New York City, New York, with his wife of over thirty years, Terry.