Jurors convicted Robert Durst of the 2000 shooting of Susan Berman, who reportedly had information on the disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathie.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury found the 78-year-old real estate heir guilty of the first-degree murder of Berman, his former longtime friend and confidante.
“The jury’s decision demonstrates how our legal system can work to hold accountable people regardless of their wealth and status in life,” Gascón said. “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.”
During the trial, prosecutors said Durst shot Berman in her Los Angeles home on the night of Dec. 23, 2000.
Prior to her death, Berman reportedly intended to speak with New York investigators about the disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathie, who went missing in 1982 and has yet to be found. According to prosecutors, she wanted to confess to giving Durst a false alibi.
Durst first went on trial in March 2020, but proceedings were brought to a grinding halt when the coronavirus pandemic began. After a 14-month break, the jury returned to the Los Angeles courthouse in May to resume proceedings.
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Durst’s sentencing has been set for Oct. 18.
The 2015 HBO docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst brought renewed attention to Berman’s death and Kathie’s disappearance. Friends and family of the deceased spoke to the filmmakers about their loved ones, as well as their suspicions of the New York real estate heir.
Additionally, Durst himself participated in an interview with the documentarians, before seemingly admitting to killing Berman and his missing wife. In the season finale, Durst forgot his microphone was on and went to the bathroom, where the series showed him angrily whispering to himself, “You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed ’em all, of course.” Durst later claimed the scene had been edited in a misleading way.
Durst was arrested in New Orleans on March 14, 2015, a day before the bombshell finale aired. Since then, his legal team has claimed that prosecutors had no “physical evidence,” and were basing their case on “speculation and hearsay.”
The 78-year-old previously went on trial for the 2001 death of Morris Black, one of Durst’s neighbors in Galveston, Tex. who was found deceased in a local bay. He claimed that he shot black in self-defense after attempting to wrangle a gun out of Black’s hand.