Robert Alan Durst was born on April 12, 1943. He is an American real estate heir and convicted serial killer. He is the younger brother of Douglas Durst, the head of the Durst Organization.
He is accused of killing three people: His first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, who vanished in New York in 1982; Susan Berman, a longtime girlfriend who was murdered in Los Angeles in 2000, and Morris Black, a neighbor who was murdered in Texas in 2001.
After Black’s body parts were discovered floating in Galveston Bay, Durst became the focus of a multi-state manhunt. Despite admitting to dismembering Black, he was cleared of murdering him due to self-defense.
Durst was arrested in New Orleans on March 14, 2015, on a first-degree murder warrant in connection with the Berman murder. He was transported to California in 2016, and a court concluded in 2018 that there was enough evidence for him to stand trial for Berman’s killing.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Durst’s trial was postponed after six days. The trial was rescheduled for May 17, 2021, after more delays.
Robert Durst – Early life
Robert Durst, the eldest of four children, was born on April 12, 1943, into a Jewish family in Scarsdale, New York. Seymour Durst, a real estate investor, and his wife Bernice Herstein are his parents. Douglas, Tommy, and Wendy are his siblings. Joseph Durst, Durst’s paternal grandfather, was a tailor when he arrived from Austria-Hungary in 1902.
He went on to become a renowned real estate manager and developer, finally forming the Durst Organization in 1927. Following his father’s death in 1974, Seymour took over as head of the family firm.
Robert’s mother died when he was seven years old after falling from the family’s Scarsdale home; he later said that his father brought him to a window where he could see her standing on the roof moments before she died.
However, in a March 2015 interview with the New York Times, his brother Douglas denied that Robert was present when she died.
Robert and Douglas received sibling rivalry counseling as children, and a 1953 psychiatrist’s evaluation on 10-year-old Robert mentioned “personality decomposition and probably even schizophrenia” in his report.
Durst went to Scarsdale High School, where he was considered a recluse by his classmates. In 1965, he graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, where he was a member of the varsity lacrosse team and the business manager of The Brown and White student newspaper.
Later that year, Durst enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he met Susan Berman, but dropped out and returned to New York in 1969.
Durst went on to work for the Durst Organization as a real estate developer, but his brother Douglas was named to lead the company in 1992. The appointment damaged Robert’s relationship with his family, and he finally filed for his half of the family fortune.
Robert Durst – Personal life
Durst married Debrah Lee Charatan on December 11, 2000, just before the Berman murder.Durst owned a series of seven Alaskan Malamutes in the early 1980s, according to his brother Douglas, all of whom were named Igor and died in strange ways.
Durst was still married to McCormack in late 1981, but he was on the edge of ending a three-year affair with Prudence Farrow, who was also married at the time.
According to the New York Post, Farrow called McCormack a few months before her disappearance in January 1982 and begged her to give up Durst because friends said she wanted him all to herself.
After Durst was acquitted of murdering Black in 2003, Farrow expressed concern for her safety, claiming that Durst was enraged with her for ending their relationship three days before McCormack went missing.
Durst has undergone a series of serious medical procedures since 2015, including esophageal cancer surgery, a shunt implanted in his brain for hydrocephalus, and cervical spinal fusion.
He was found in possession of a range of pharmaceuticals when he was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, including the sleep aid melatonin, a muscle relaxant, and pills for high blood pressure, blood flow, and acid reflux.
The Associated Press has clarified a prior allegation regarding Robert Durst: the real estate heir is not the former lead vocalist of the 1990s nu-metal band Limp Bizkit, as previously stated. Durst is best known for his recent “killed them all” confession on The Jinx.
Robert Durst – Legal issues
Durst’s family members requested and were granted restraining orders against him in 2012 and 2013, alleging they were scared of him. In New York, Durst was charged with trespassing after stepping in front of townhouses owned by his brother Douglas and other members of his family.
In December 2014, he was acquitted after a trial. The judge also revoked the thirteen protective orders that his family members had issued against him.
Durst was arrested in July 2014 after turning himself into police after an incident at a Houston CVS drugstore in which he allegedly exposed himself and urinated on a candy rack without provocation.
He then went out of the business and down the street in a relaxed manner. Durst was charged with criminal mischief, a crime.
He pleaded “no contest” and was fined $500 in December 2014. Durst had just been released from a hospital where he had undergone two medical procedures, and his lawyer described the episode as an “unfortunate medical mistake.” The whole thing was captured on videotape.
Robert Durst was transported to California in 2016, and a court concluded in 2018 that there was enough evidence for him to stand trial for Berman’s killing.
Durst’s trial was scheduled to begin on March 2, 2020, but was postponed after only six days owing to the COVID-19 epidemic. The trial was rescheduled for May 17, 2021, after more delays.
Kathleen McCormack Durst’s disappearance had been classified as a murder and would be reinvestigated, according to the Westchester County District Attorney on May 17, 2021.
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