- BBC News World
A jury in Los Angeles, USA, found American millionaire Robert Durst guilty on Friday of killing his best friend Susan Berman 21 years ago.
Berman was found dead, shot to the head at her Beverly Hills home in 2000.
Durst was found guilty of “premeditated murder” for preventing Berman from telling the police the whereabouts of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, who disappeared in 1982.
McCormack’s body was never found.
Durst, a 78-year-old real estate entrepreneur, was arrested in 2015 after starring in a crime documentary series on HBO called The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (“The Curse: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst”) in which, in apparent carelessness, he is heard muttering how he recognized the murders.
Apparently unaware that the microphone he was wearing was plugged in, Durst was recorded telling himself that he had “killed them all“shortly after he was questioned during an interview for the documentary.
Hours before the last episode aired, authorities arrested Durst in New Orleans.
The clip of the documentary where he allegedly acknowledged the crimes was used as evidence during the trial.
Investigators say Durst is a “narcissistic psychopath.” Now it is very likely that he will end up dying in prison.
Susan Berman was a crime writer and Durst’s best friend. In fact, he acted as his spokesman when the businessman became a suspect in the disappearance of his wife.
In one of the trial sessions, Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, objected that the lawyers also showed excerpts from the 2010 film All Good Things (“Crime in the Family”), based on their marriage and starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst.
The film was directed by the same director who years later would make the documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (“The Curse: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst”), Andrew Jarecki, and describes the life of the tycoon, showing him as a murderer.
Durst’s first wife, Kathleen McCormack, is believed to have died, having disappeared in 1982.
Shortly before Friday’s verdict, McCormack’s family released a statement asking prosecutors in Westchester County, New York, to prosecute Durst for his disappearance.
“The Los Angeles court system has finally served the Berman family. Now is the time for the Westchester family to do the same for the McCormack family,” the statement said.
Researchers They argue that Durst killed three people in total.
The third victim is a neighbor of the tycoon, Morris Black, who discovered his identity while hiding in Texas in 2001.
Durst was cleared of murdering Black. He argued that he had killed him in self-defense.
The millionaire is a member of one of the richest and most powerful real estate dynasties in New York.
His brother Douglas Durst, who testified at the trial, told the court that his brother “would like to murder him.”
Robert Durst is scheduled to be convicted on October 18.
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Robert Durst: American millionaire found guilty of killing his best friend 21 years ago