Robert Durst has been found guilty of killing his longtime friend Susan Berman more than 20 years ago.
In a statement to Deadline, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury convicted the 78-year-old multimillionaire real estate heir on Friday for the first-degree murder of Berman. He said:
“The jury’s decision demonstrates how our legal system can work to hold accountable people regardless of their wealth and status in life. I want to commend our prosecution team and investigators for their diligent work to ultimately bring justice for those who have been waiting more than 20 years.”
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During the trial, prosecutors said Durst shot Berman in the back of the head at her Beverly Hills home on the night of December 23, 2000, because she reportedly wanted to speak with New York investigators about the disappearance of his wife, Kathie Durst, who went missing in 1982 and has yet to be found. She reportedly planned on confessing to providing the man with a false alibi. However, he long denied knowing what happened to his wife and previously denied ever being in the El Lay area at the time of his friend’s death.
But as they say, though, the truth always comes out. According to People, his attorney Dick DeGuerin later confessed that Durst was in town and planned to spend the holidays with Berman when he found her dead:
“When Bob showed up and found her dead he panicked. He wrote the anonymous [cadaver] letter so her body would be found, and he ran. He ran away all of his life.”
FYI, he had previously denied penning the disturbing letter in the true-crime docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. So he lied.
Speaking of the documentary, his case actually took a turn following its release as he seemingly confessed to being responsible for the deaths of Berman, Kathie, and Morris Black. In the season finale, Durst completely forgot his microphone was on and went to the bathroom, where he could be heard angrily mumbling to himself:
“You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed ‘em all, of course.”
Before the bombshell episode aired, he was arrested in New Orleans in 2015. Still, Robert was never charged in connection with his wife’s death and was acquitted for Black’s death, claiming he shot the neighbor in self-defense.
Following the conviction, Kathie’s family told People now wants justice for their family member:
“Not a single day goes by that we do not think about our beautiful, smart, and kind sister, Kathleen. Today, more than ever before, it is clear that she was murdered by Robert Durst in Westchester County, New York on January 31, 1982. The evidence is overwhelming. Although Durst has now been rightly convicted of killing Susan Berman, who helped him conceal the truth about Kathie’s death, the McCormack family is still waiting for justice. Kathie is still waiting for justice.”
“The justice system in Los Angeles has finally served the Berman family. It is now time for Westchester to do the same for the McCormack family and charge Durst for the murder of his wife, Kathie, which occurred almost forty years ago. They have had interviews, statements, and documents for months. The closing arguments by the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys should remove any doubt. It’s bizarre and unacceptable that Durst was tried for killing an accomplice before being held accountable for Kathie’s murder.”
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for October 18, where he faces life in prison without parole. Reactions to the conviction, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Image via HBO UK/YouTube]