New York actual property inheritor Robert Durst on Thursday was sentenced to life in jail for murdering a buddy greater than 20 years in the past, in a slaying probably tied to the killer’s lacking spouse.
Los Angeles County Superior Court docket Choose Mark Windham handed down that punishment one month after jurors convicted Durst, 78, of first-degree homicide for the Dec. 23, 2000, loss of life of Susan Berman. Berman was shot at point-blank vary at the back of the pinnacle inside her Benedict Canyon dwelling.
Durst’s legal professionals mentioned at Thursday’s sentencing they plan to attraction.
Previous to her homicide in 2000, Berman had been scheduled to talk to police a couple of faux alibi she allegedly gave Durst when his spouse disappeared in New York in 1982, prosecutors mentioned.
Kathie Durst has by no means been discovered, and no fees have ever been introduced in connection along with her disappearance.
After Berman was killed, Durst fell off the grid and landed in Galveston, Texas, the place he assumed the title Dorothy Ciner and repeatedly wore a lady’s wig, clothes and excessive heels.
Claiming self-defense, Durst was acquitted of the September 2001 killing of his neighbor Morris Black, regardless of admitting to dismembering his physique.
Then in a 2015 HBO documentary sequence, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” Durst appeared to admit to the slayings.
He went to the toilet whereas nonetheless carrying a sizzling microphone, which recorded him whispering to himself: “You are caught! What the hell did I do? Killed all of them, after all.”
In statements earlier than Durst’s sentencing, Berman’s household spoke passionately concerning the affect she, and her homicide, had on them.
Denny Marcus referred to as Berman, her cousin, an “completely extraordinary, unforgettable, good particular person whose life was savagely taken from her at 55 when she had a few years forward.”
“I do know she’s received her hand proper right here, she’s on my shoulder, and he or she is aware of that I might do something for her,” Marcus mentioned. She added that she couldn’t hate Durst, as a result of Berman made positive she at all times knew that “hate serves no goal.”
Berman’s stepson, Sareb Kaufman, mentioned: “I ought to have been working for a profession I might be happy with, discovering love, getting married and having youngsters. As an alternative, I used to be compelled to pay for memorials and payments that weren’t mine or deliberate for, having to spend what time I may handle to not be in tears or really feel the hopelessness of occurring one other day.”
Kaufman and David Berman, one other of Berman’s cousins, used their statements to name upon Durst to disclose the situation of Kathie Durst’s physique.
“Tell us the place Kathie’s physique is, so her household can get some closure,” David Berman mentioned.
“I hope in your ultimate days and hours you’ll come to the identical understanding and provides the McCormicks what little they’re asking for: to seek out Kathie,” Kaufman mentioned. “To put her to relaxation appropriately, lastly and in the end. That is a very powerful query … the one factor it’s a must to give any actual worth or potential to sway any opinion of you.”
“In telling the place Kathie is, maybe you would discover some small redemption in an act of humanity,” Kaufman mentioned.