Robert Durst, HBO Miniseries Subject, Must Stand Trial For Friend’s Murder

Screen grab from NBC News

Robert Durst, who famously may have confessed to a murder on an HBO documentary, will have to stand trial for the 2000 slaying of his best friend, writer Susan Berman.

A judge ruled Thursday there is enough evidence for Durst to stand trial. Durst is charged with shooting Berman in the back of the head at her Benedict Canyon home.

Durst, age 75 ,was the subject of HBO’s The Jinx, a miniseries examining his wife’s disappearance, Berman’s death, and the killing of Durst neighbor Morris Black in 2001. Durst was eventually arrested in New Orleans in connection with Berman’s slaying on March 14, 2015, the day before the HBO series finale aired. In the finale, Durst mumbled, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

The case against Durst ruled on today is expected to focus on the theory that Berman was killed to keep her silent on what happened with Durst’s first wife, who died in 1982 and was believed murdered as well.

Prosecutors allege that Berman was slain to keep her from telling authorities what she knew about the disappearance in New York of Durst’s first wife years earlier. Los Angeles prosecutors have sought to build a case that Durst, the son of a prominent real estate tycoon, killed his wife, Kathleen, in 1982.

Durst has denied both killings and pleaded not guilty in the Los Angeles case.

Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham cited comments Durst mumbled during filming of the HBO series and two handwriting samples. The judge also ruled that prosecutors could allege a special circumstance, that Durst killed Berman as a witness to a previous crime.

“The evidence,” Windham said, “does suggest that Robert Durst killed Kathie.”


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