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Robert Durst, the real estate heir who made headlines for his alleged involvement in the murder of Susan Berman and the disappearance of his former wife Kathleen McCormack Durst, died on Monday, Jan. 10. He was 78 years old.
Durst’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, confirmed the news in a statement to NBC News. “Mr. Durst passed away early this morning while in the custody of the California Department of Corrections,” Lewis stated. “We understand that his death was due to natural causes associated with the litany of medical issues we had repeatedly reported to the court over the last couple of years. We will issue no further statements and will not entertain any questions out of respect.”
In September 2021, Durst was sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of journalist and close confidant, Berman. Later that month, following more than three decades of speculation, Durst was also charged with the in the death of his former wife Kathleen, who went missing in 1982.
As news of Durst’s death emerged, LA County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, who served as prosecutor during the trial for the Berman’s murder told NBC News, “It’s a shame when anybody loses their life, however, it’s important to keep in mind that Bob Durst lived to be 78 years old, decades longer than two of his victims. To the end he was hostile, unrepentant, and unremorseful. My thoughts and sympathies lie with his victims.”
Jae C. Hong-poolGetty Images
Prior to her passing, Berman reportedly intended to speak with New York investigators about the disappearance of Durst’s wife. According to prosecutors, she wanted to confess to giving the former heir a false alibi.
Both Berman’s death and Kathie’s disappearance were once again brought to light in the 2015 HBO docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
The 78-year-old previously went on trial for the 2001 death of Morris Black, who was one of his neighbors in Galveston, Tex. That was found deceased in a local bay. Durst claimed that he shot black in self-defense after attempting to wrangle a gun out of Black’s hand.
Before his death, Durst was in prison for the past five years and was recently put on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19, per The New York Times.
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