Murderous millionaire who escaped from prison has died – and his story is on “HBO”
Robert Durst is believed to have committed three murders but was not arrested until 2015. He died that Monday, victim of a prolonged illness.
Robert Durst was a millionaire, the son of real estate tycoon Seymour Durst. Descendants of Polish emigrants who died at the beginning of the 20th century.
Durst has always been a separate figure in the family. With no interest in the family business, he devoted himself to his own healthy food brand until his father convinced him to return to the skyscraper business in New York. His father never liked it, who eventually broke with tradition and handed over management of the company to his younger brother Douglas.
The decision shook the family and provoked a sibling conflict. Robert would eventually sell his stake for a handsome $ 57 million. The status might be enough to recall Durst’s legacy, but the truth is that the American would become famous for much more macabre reasons.
Durst died in prison this Monday, January 10, at the age of 78 from the complications of the numerous health problems that have plagued him in recent years, from Covid-19 to bladder cancer. He has been in custody since 2015, charged with multiple murders.
The millionaire’s life story was so far-fetched that in 2015 an “HBO” miniseries was made about the strange crimes around him. Durst would be sentenced to life imprisonment in October 2021, about three months before his death.
Susan Berman’s death sentence nearly two decades ago was just one of several murders that damaged her reputation and image. Murdered in the back with a headshot, it was suspected that Berman was trying to reveal to police the details of another filthy story: that Durst was responsible for the disappearance of his first wife, Kathie McCormack Durst, who was last seen in 1982.
Exactly forty years ago, Robert Durst reported Kathie’s disappearance to the police five days after she last appeared. His belongings were found in the trash can of a residential building three weeks later. Thirst was investigated, mainly because McCormack had been treated in the hospital for injuries to her face weeks before her disappearance. She is said to have pointed her finger at her husband but refused to bring charges. It was also known that Thirst would have an extramarital affair. Despite the contradictions, the investigation ended with no result.
McCormack’s death was later declared by the court in 2016 as the body was never found. Over the years, the family has tried several times to reopen the investigation – and even the police have returned to discreetly looking for clues. The controversy was rekindled with the Susan Berman prosecutor’s case, but Durst died before a decision could be made.
Thirst has always been a controversial figure. He had a number of arrests on his file: one in 2001 for being caught stealing products in a supermarket and then in possession of two guns and more than € 30,000 in cash; He was arrested again in 2005 for breaking parole when he met the judge who pronounced the sentence; and again in 2013 after breaking into his brother’s house, who had applied for deportation against him.
In 2001, Durst was in the crosshairs of the authorities after mutilated body parts of a neighbor were found in Galveston Bay, Texas. Despite his arrest, he was released on bail of 200,000 euros. He was followed by the police after missing a trial. Two years later he was even to be tried.
Durst had the opportunity to explain his version: he said Morris picked up his gun and threatened him. A fight ensued in which the gun was accidentally fired. The worst happened later: Durst confessed to having cut up the neighbor with the help of a knife, two saws and an ax before throwing the body into the bay.
Surprisingly, Durst was exonerated by the jury. The victim’s head was never found and therefore it was never possible to confirm the story or to deny that it was a physical confrontation that resulted in death in self-defense. Durst only admitted the charge of manipulation and manipulation of evidence. Sentenced to five years in prison under an agreement with the State Department, he only served three years and was released on parole in 2005.
After the premiere of the HBO documentary, which revealed more details about another suspicious death among millionaires, authorities finally got hold of thirst in 2015. Berman’s body was found at home in December 2000 with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Despite a relationship with Berman, in which he would have paid around 50,000 euros in the most recent transfers, Durst was not involved in the case.
Fifteen years later, director Andrew Jarecki managed to convince Durst to give the production an interview in which he was confronted with several pieces of evidence analyzed by the creators. During one of the breaks, Durst goes into the bathroom and completely forgets that the microphone that was put on him was still on.
“Here it is. You got caught,” Durst said to himself, almost in a whisper. “What the hell did I do? I killed them all, of course.” The police were on alert and when new evidence came in, Durst fled. He was caught performing under an assumed name in New Orleans and would be tried again over the death of Berman, a key witness in the trial of his ex-wife, who was the one who provided the alibi would have served to remove any evidence that might incriminate him.
He would be charged again with the death of McCormack, in a trial that was reopened in October, but that comes to an abrupt conclusion. Despite family requests, Durst has always refused to reveal any details about the case or the possible whereabouts of his ex-wife’s body. The secret died with him.
Thirst suffered from various health problems.