Have you heard about Robert Durst? There’s a lot- and that’s an understatement- to tell about the stranger-than-fiction-yet-very-real man at the center of multiple murders. From The New York Times:
NEW ORLEANS — Dressed in an orange jumpsuit with his hands and feet shackled in chains, Robert A. Durst agreed in a court hearing here on Monday to travel to Los Angeles, where he was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Susan Berman, a onetime confidant who was shot dead in 2000.
Long a suspect in the killing, Mr. Durst, a scion of one of New York City’s most powerful real estate dynasties, seemed to implicate himself in Ms. Berman’s death and two other murders during the filming of an HBO documentary about his life.
In court, Mr. Durst, 71, waived his right to an extradition hearing and answered a series of routine questions with the same three-word answer: “Yes, Your Honor.”
According to court records, Mr. Durst had a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver when he was arrested on Saturday, one day before HBO aired the final episode of its documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”
Mr. Durst has been the subject of suspicion long before the documentary began filming, a suspicion dating back to the disappearance of his wife, Kathleen Durst, more than three decades ago.
He reported her missing in 1982 after the couple spent a weekend at their country home in Westchester County. While prosecutors long suspected Mr. Durst of playing a role in her disappearance, no charges were ever brought against him. She was later declared legally dead.
Mr. Durst maintained his innocence but his behavior grew increasingly eccentric as he cut ties with his family and later sued for a $65 million share of the family fortune.
One of the people who had stood by his side was Ms. Berman, a friend from graduate school. The two were so close that Mr. Durst walked her down the aisle at her wedding. She would go on to serve as his spokeswoman after his wife’s disappearance.
Ms. Berman was widely thought to have been one of the few people that Mr. Durst confided in over the years.
In December 2000, a little more than one month after prosecutors in New York stated that they were reopening the investigation into Ms. Durst’s death, Ms. Berman was found dead in her Beverly Hills home, shot once in the back of the head. Mr. Durst was once again considered a suspect, but prosecutors could not place him in Los Angeles at the time of the killing.
Around the same time, Mr. Durst moved to Galveston, Tex., and posed as a mute woman when he rented an apartment.
On Sept. 28, 2001, Mr. Durst’s neighbor, Morris Black, was shot and killed. The man’s arms, legs and torso were later found in Galveston Bay. Mr. Durst was arrested and charged in the murder.
After posting bail, he disappeared, which led to a nationwide manhunt before he was arrested in Bethlehem, Pa., after trying to steal a $5.99 chicken salad sandwich. During his trial, Mr. Durst confessed to shooting Mr. Black but said they had been grappling over a gun and it discharged as they fell to the floor.
He testified that he carved up the body and disposed of the remains because he thought no one would believe that the shooting was an accident.
Um, yeah, with reason…
He was acquitted by a jury, who found that he acted in self-defense.
Mr. Durst remained a suspect in the murder of Ms. Berman, however, and during the course of researching the six-part documentary, the producers uncovered a letter that seemed to implicate him in her murder.
Shortly after her death, the Los Angeles police received an anonymous letter saying that they would find a “cadaver” at Ms. Berman’s home in Beverly Hills. It was written in box letters and the word “Beverly” was misspelled “Beverley.”
The producers obtained a letter written to Ms. Berman by Mr. Durst that appeared nearly identical in style to the “cadaver” letter and also contained the misspelling “Beverley.”
While cameras were rolling, Mr. Durst was shown the letter. He then walked off-camera and into a bathroom.
But a microphone was picking up his every word. “What the hell did I do?” he can be heard whispering in the final episode. “Killed them all. Of course.”
Wow. Wow. Wow. I’m telling you, this story seems way too crazy to be real, but it’s no Onion story. After three decades and three mysterious deaths (and one very questionable acquittal), Durst, at age 71, may finally be forced to answer for his actions.
Many others may have seemed to have gotten away with doing evil, but Scripture assures us in Luke 8:17 that “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
Reflection for the day: Is there anything in your life that you wouldn’t want to “come to light”? Why or why not?