Robert Durst Found Guilty in 2000 Murder of Susan Berman

He'll be sentenced in October

Robert Durst in 2016
Real Estate Heir Robert Durst appears in the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court during a preliminary hearing on December 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Jae C. Hong-pool/Getty Images

On Friday, a lengthy legal saga reached its conclusion in a Los Angeles courtroom. As reported by Charles V. Bagli in The New York Times, Robert Durst was found guilty in the 2000 murder of Susan Berman. Durst’s sentencing is set to take place in October; he faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Besides the murder of Berman, Durst has also been connected to the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, in 1982.

In the Times article, Bagli described Durst as an “enigmatic real estate scion,” and the fact that he was a copiously wealthy figure suspected of murder on multiple occasions made him the subject of fascination to many. This included his participation in the HBO true crime series The Jinx, which featured audio of what sounded like Durst confessing to multiple murders. (Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz called it “uniquely chilling,” and said that “[i]t might be one of the great moments in nonfiction cinema.”)

In the recently-concluded murder trial, prosecutors argued that Durst killed Berman because of her knowledge of his first wife’s fate. The trial began shortly before the pandemic was a widespread concern in the United States, and ended up being delayed for 14 months before resuming earlier this year.

While Durst was never brought to trial in his first wife’s disappearance, he did stand trial for killing his neighbor in Galveston. At the time, his attorneys argued that the killing was in self-defense, which resulted in Durst’s acquittal. For his second time before a jury, Durst faced a very different verdict.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.