Robert Durst, the onetime New York actual property scion convicted of 1 homicide and suspected of others, died Monday at age 78.
Durst died in Stockton, California, the place he was serving a life sentence. His lawyer, Chip Lewis, advised The New York Times that Durst went into cardiac arrest at a hospital near the jail and couldn’t be revived.
He’d contracted COVID-19 and was briefly positioned on a ventilator final yr, contributing to his preexisting well being issues.
“Mr. Durst passed away early this morning while in the custody of California’s Department of Corrections,” Lewis mentioned in a press release. “We understand that his death was due to natural causes associated with a litany of medical issues we had repeatedly reported to the court over the last couple of years.”
Durst, who has been incarcerated since his 2015 arrest, is estranged from his household, which operates a few of the most prestigious actual property in New York City.
His trial was delayed as a result of pandemic, however Durst was in the end convicted in September of taking pictures his pal Susan Berman behind the pinnacle in 2000 ― out of fear, prosecutors alleged, that she would surrender details about his connection to the dying of his first spouse, Kathleen McCormack. He was sentenced to life in jail in October.
McCormack vanished in February 1982 after allegedly telling a pal she was afraid of Durst. She is presumed useless, though her stays have by no means been discovered. A grand jury indicted Durst in her dying in November, however he died earlier than he might be tried.
In the wake of McCormack’s disappearance, Berman had served as a spokesperson for Durst, a school pal of hers. However, she later fell on laborious instances.
In 2015, Durst was dramatically arrested in New Orleans ― with a latex face-and-shoulders masks and over $40,000 in money ― for Berman’s taking pictures, simply hours earlier than the ultimate episode of a documentary about him, “The Jinx,” aired on HBO.
During filming of “The Jinx,” Durst appeared to inadvertently admit to the killings. While off-camera, however within the presence of a microphone he didn’t know was recording, he muttered “Killed them all, of course.” Jurors heard a part of the 2015 recording at his trial.
He was held with out bail, having tried to flee a homicide cost in Texas greater than a decade prior.
In 2003, Durst was tried for the homicide of a neighbor, Morris Black. He claimed that Black’s gun had gone off whereas Durst was making an attempt to defend himself, and admitted to dismembering Black’s physique out of concern, he mentioned, that authorities wouldn’t imagine him. He was in the end acquitted.
Durst had been below rising scrutiny for McCormack’s disappearance, with a New York prosecutor reportedly searching for his indictment. In their sufferer impression statements, a number of of Berman’s family and friends members implored Durst to inform McCormack’s household what he allegedly did along with her physique.