Robert Durst isn’t ‘crazy,’ he’s cruel and homicidal, prosectors say
Los Angeles prosecutors told jurors Monday that real-estate scion Robert Durst’s murder spree wasn’t the act of a crazy man but a cold-blooded killer who was trying to evade responsibility for the slaying of his first wife.
“Although the murders Bob Durst committed are horrible, they’re not crazy and they’re not the signs of a deranged individual,” Deputy DA John Lewin said in opening statements. “Cruel, illegal, immoral, homicidal — but not crazy.”
Durst, 76, is on trial in Los Angeles for allegedly shooting dead his best friend, Susan Berman, in 2000 to prevent her from cooperating with authorities, who had launched a fresh probe into the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathie Durst.
“Bob Durst killed Kathie Durst in the midst of a nasty divorce,” Lewin said in Los Angeles Superior Court. “He killed Susan Berman because he was afraid that Susan Berman was going to reveal what she knew [about Kathie’s death].”
Prosecutors argued that Durst then killed Morris Black, dismembered him with a saw and dumped his headless torso and limbs in Galveston Bay, Texas.
At the time, the New York real-estate heir was hiding out in Texas disguised as a mute woman.
“Mr. Black knew who he was and was able to connect him to his name and [to] New York,” Lewin said. “In the end, Bob Durst eliminated a problem.”
Although Durst is only on trial for one murder, prosecutors said they will prove all three slayings, which are intrinsically connected.
Authorities finally arrested Durst for Berman’s murder in 2015 at a New Orleans Marriott where he was checked in under the alias Everette Ward. Investigators recovered from his room a map of Florida and Cuba, $44,634 in cash, a loaded gun — and an “expensive lifelike latex mask,” Lewin said.
Durst’s arrest came one day before the finale of the documentary series “The Jinx” which climaxed with him muttering into a hot mic, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
The Westchester County DA never charged Durst for Kathie’s death, but he was tried and acquitted of murdering Black in Texas.
“When Bob Durst killed Kathie, he killed Susan and Morris as well because once that happened, once he did that, there was no turning back,” Lewin said at the end of his opening argument, which spanned three days.
“Bob Durst is a person who is going to protect and take care of Bob Durst.”
The defense is scheduled to give their opening statement Tuesday morning.
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