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The Jinx’s Robert Durst Sentenced to Life in Prison For 2000 Murder Of Longtime Friend

October 14, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Robert Durst, who drew national attention from the HBO docuseries that documented allegations of murder against him, has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted for one of them. Deadline reports that Durst was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Durst was convicted in September of first-degree murder in the death of his one-time friend Susan Berman, who was found dead in her Benedict Canyon home in 2000. A written note notifying police of the body’s location was a big part of both the trial and the miniseries.

The defense made a motion for a new trial at today’s hearing, arguing that there was “insufficient evidence to support the conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, and the verdict was contrary to the evidence and the law.” The defense also argued that there was a lack of forensic evidence, which the prosecution argued was not necessary to convict. LA County Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham rejected the motion, noting that Durst confessed to the killings among other things. He dismissed Durst’s explanation that his admission — dramatically captured in the closing moments of the docuseries The Jinx — was meant as “they’ll all think I killed them all, of course.”

Prosecutors argued that Durst killed Berman in an attempt to silence her from talking about how she provided a false alibi for him after his first wife, Kathie McCormack, disappeared in the 1980s from the couple’s home in South Salem, New York. She has since been declared dead and her body was never found. Despite public suspicion, Durst has never been charged in her disappearance.

Durst was acquitted on a separate murder charge back in 2003 for his rooming house neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas on a self-defense charge. Durst killed Black and dismembered his body to hide it.

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Robert Durst, Jeremy Thomas