Robert Durst, a US tycoon, has been found guilty of the murder of his best friend in Beverly Hills.
Robert Durst, a US real estate tycoon, was found guilty on Friday of murdering his best friend in order to keep her from speaking to authorities about his wife’s disappearance.
Durst, a multi-millionaire who was featured in HBO’s “The Jinx,” has long denied shooting Susan Berman in the back of the head in her Beverly Hills home in 2000.
However, a jury in Los Angeles found the 78-year-old guilty of the execution-style slaying in under eight hours.
Prosecutors claimed he killed crime writer Berman in December 2000 to keep her from being questioned by New York cops about his wife Kathleen’s disappearance two decades before.
After Durst became a suspect in Kathleen’s disappearance, Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas gangster, acted as a publicist for him.
Durst was never charged in his wife’s case, despite being an estranged member of one of New York’s wealthiest and most powerful real estate dynasties.
He was detained in a New Orleans hotel room in March 2015 in connection with Berman’s death, just hours before the HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” aired its final episode.
Durst is heard murmuring to himself in the documentary’s shocking ending, “There it is, you’re caught” and “Killed them all, of course,” apparently unaware that a microphone was switched on as he used the lavatory.
The series also looked at the death of Morris Black, Durst’s Texas neighbor, who was discovered dismembered in 2001.
Durst acknowledged to the dismemberment but claimed that the murder was in self-defense. He was found not guilty.
Durst gave 14 days of testimony in a trial that captivated the local media.
He has denied any participation in Berman’s death, but he has admitted to writing an anonymous letter to police informing them that her body was found in her Beverly Hills home.
Prosecutor John Lewin told the jury that there was “mountain of evidence” that Durst killed all three victims to whom he was linked.
He said that a friend of Durst’s testified that the real estate mogul told him about Berman, saying, “It was her or me.” I couldn’t help myself.”
“For his domestic abuse of (wife) Kathie, he has never been held accountable. He was never found guilty of her death. He’s gotten away with murdering Susan for the past 20 years,” Lewin told the jury.
“He’s dodged responsibility for Morris Black for the past 20 years. Durst is not cursed in any way. He’s a three-time murderer who has gotten away with it each time. Brief News from Washington Newsday.