DA to air more evidence in eccentric heir’s murder case
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s been more than three years since the arrest of eccentric New York real estate heir Robert Durst in the execution-style shooting of his best friend years earlier in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors could move closer to bringing him to trial if they can show probable cause at a hearing that begins Monday that Durst killed Susan Berman in order to silence her from revealing what she knew about the death of the multimillionaire’s first wife.
Durst, 75, has pleaded not guilty, and with all that has emerged about him publicly from an HBO documentary series and from a string of unusual court hearings that have already taken place, it seems likely a Los Angeles Superior Court judge will order the case to proceed to trial.
Prosecutors have started recording testimony over the past year of older witnesses who might not be available if there is a trial. Some of the testimony includes damning evidence for Durst, who already has beaten a murder rap in an unrelated 2003 Texas killing.
One of his closest buddies, Nathan “Nick” Chavin, who was also close with Berman, testified Durst essentially admitted killing her, saying: “It was her or me, I had no choice.”
Chavin and other friends of Berman said she told them Durst had killed his first wife, Kathleen, who disappeared in 1982 in suburban New York and has never been found.
Berman, a writer and daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, said she helped Durst cover his tracks and told one friend that if anything ever happened to her, Durst would be the culprit.
And then there’s the documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” where he is heard muttering to himself on a live microphone: “You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”