Robert Durst, real estate heir convicted of killing his friend, dies at 78

Robert Durst
(Image credit: Etienne Laurent -Pool/Getty Images)

Robert Durst, the real estate heir who was suspected of multiple murders before being convicted of killing his friend, has died. He was 78.

Durst died Monday at the San Joaquin General Hospital in California after going into cardiac arrest, The New York Times reported. He had been taken there for testing, according to the report. The news was confirmed by Durst's lawyer.

Durst was found guilty last year of murdering his friend Susan Berman after prosecutors said he shot her before she could speak with police about the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathie McCormack. McCormack's body was never found. Durst was previously charged with killing his neighbor, Morris Black, whose body he dismemberd. After claiming self-defense in 2003, Durst was acquitted.

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In 2015, HBO aired a popular documentary series called The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which ended with a bombshell: after filmmaker Andrew Jarecki confronted him with a new piece of evidence pertaining to Berman's murder, Durst could be heard speaking to himself in the bathroom while not realizing his microphone was still on. "Killed them all, of course," Durst muttered. During the trial, Durst's lawyers admitted he wrote a note alerting police to the location of Berman's body, which Durst said in The Jinx was something "only the killer could have written."

A jury found Durst guilty of Berman's muder in September, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. A criminal complaint was subsequently filed charging him with murder in connection with Kathie McCormack's disappearance. In October, his attorney said he had been hospitalized and was on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19.

After Durst's conviction, The Jinx filmmaker Andrew Jarecki told Good Morning America the verdict was "very gratifying" because "this is a man who's evaded justice for so long."

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