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Kathleen Durst and Susan Berman Did Robert Durst do it?

 
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peripeteia



Joined: 22 Sep 2002
Posts: 1176
Location: Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:30 am    Post subject: Kathleen Durst and Susan Berman Did Robert Durst do it? Reply with quote

PROFILES OF KEY PLAYERS

THE DEFENDANT

Robert Alan Durst

The son of the late eccentric New York real estate mogul Seymour Durst, Robert Durst grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., and attended Scarsdale High School. He completed his undergraduate degree at Lehigh University and attended graduate school at UCLA. Durst reportedly witnessed his mother's apparent suicide at age 7 when she plunged from the roof of the family mansion.

Durst underwent extensive counseling because of it, Readers Digest reported, and doctors found that his "deep anger" could lead to mental problems, including schizophrenia. Durst went on to become a real estate developer, but his brother, Douglas, now runs the family business, reportedly worth about $650 million. He has been estranged from his family for about 10 years.

He married 19-year-old Kathleen McCormack in 1973, but she disappeared nine years later. In 2000, Durst's longtime friend, Susan Berman, was found murdered execution-style in her L.A. home.

Durst was questioned but not charged in both cases.

He was arrested in Galveston, Texas, shortly after the body of neighbor Morris Black was found floating in a river, but he was released on bail. He missed his court hearing and was declared the nation's first billion-dollar fugitive. He was caught in Bethlehem, Pa., seven weeks later trying to steal a chicken sandwich.

THE VICTIM

Morris Black

Morris Black's landlord, Klaus Dillmann, said neighbors did not like the 71-year-old and had accused him of frequently cutting off their power by fiddling with the breaker box. A loner and a drifer, Black grew up a foster child in a family of five children. At the time of his death had been estranged from his family for many years.

He worked as a merchant seaman, a maintenance man and a watch repairman. But he was always on the move and never really settled in one place; he had lived in Long Beach, Miss.; Malden, Mass.; North Charlestown Beach, S.C.; and several towns in Texas. While he lived modestly, at the time of his death he had nine bank accounts in South Dakota with balances totaling almost $137,000.

Ted Hanley, who helped run a free health clinic out of the back of his pickup truck in a church parking lot for homeless people in Galveston, Texas, described Black as having a charitable side. According to Hanley, Black had found a source for discount reading glasses on the Internet and had purchased five cases of glasses. He then gave them to the Jesse Tree, a Galveston charitable organization. Hanley ran into Black shortly before his body was found and said Black seemed agitated and troubled. Black reportedly told Hanley that he had terrible problems in his life, that he'd done something bad in the past and that no one could help him.

Black's body parts all but the head were found Sept. 30, 2001, washed up in Channelview Drive in Galveston. The autopsy performed on his body showed evidence of a particularly brutal murder and that Black had died of a heart attack, probably brought on by the vicious assault.

THE WIFE

Kathleen McCormack Durst

The product of a middle-class Irish Catholic family from New Jersey, Kathleen McCormack met Durst when dropping off a rent check one day. She was renting an apartment in a building he owned.

She was 19 when she married the 27-year-old Durst in 1973, and and they lived mainly at their South Salem, N.Y., house, which sits on Lake Truesdale. They maintained three residences including one on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and another on the Upper East Side.

Kathleen was a 29-year-old fourth-year medical student at Albert Einstein School of Medicine when she vanished on Jan. 31, 1982. According to friends, "Kathie" went missing not long after telling several friends that if anything happened to her, to point authorities toward her husband. The night she was last seen by friends was at a party hosted by Gilberte Najamy, who later reported that Kathleen received a phone call from her husband demanding she return home. According to Najamy, Kathleen turned to her as she left the party and said, "Gilberte, promise me, if something happens to me you'll check it out. I'm afraid of what Bobby might do."

Durst claims he last saw his wife when he dropped her off at the Katonah train station in Westchester County, just outside New York City. Durst said he spoke to Kathleen by phone from home, just after 11 p.m. that night when she got to their Manhattan penthouse.

Kathleen's school dean received a call the next day saying she was ill and would not be attending. Police questioned Durst when he reported her missing four days later, but no charges were filed. Durst's theory was that she was killed by or ran off with drug dealers.

New York investigators reopened Kathie Durst's file in 1998 after receiving new information on the case. Authorities dragged the bottom of Lake Truesdale 18 years after her disappearance. Nothing was found.

THE FRIEND

Susan Berman

Susan Berman was the daughter of reputed mobster David Berman, the partner of famed mafia boss Ben "Bugsy" Siegel to open the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1946.

David Berman died in 1957 when Susan was 12, and her mother killed herself the following year. Berman supposedly witnessed the suicide. She met Robert Durst at UCLA graduate school in the late 1960s. Durst gave Berman away at her wedding. Berman lived an intensely private life. She never spoke of the brief marriage in the 1980s, and she raised the two children of a boyfriend of 13 years earlier; they preferred to stay with her after the couple broke up.

Berman was a writer, and her work focused on her early life as the daughter of a mobster. Her books "Easy Street" and "Lady Las Vegas" were about her youth spent amongst the Mafia's elite. She also wrote several screenplays. One of her screenplays, a documentary called "The Real Las Vegas," was nominated for an award by the Writer's Guild of America in 1996. She also wrote for the Showtime situation comedy "Sin City." In 2000, Berman was, however, struggling financially and she wrote to Durst to ask for a loan of $7,000 to buy herself a second hand car. In November 2000, Durst sent her $25,000, telling her it was a gift not a loan. Durst then sent her another check for $25,000 in December.

Susan Berman was found dead at age 55 in her run-down L.A. home on Dec. 24, 2000, murdered by a single shot to the back of the head. At the time of Berman's murder, New York police were planning to interview her about the disappearance of Kathleen Durst. And New York magazine had also reported that Berman had told a friend recently that she had information that was "going to blow the top off things." Berman had acted as an informal spokeswoman for Durst after the disappearance of his wife. Kathleen's friends believe it was Berman who called the school dean pretending to be Kathleen the day she supposedly called in sick. The police in Los Angeles believe Berman's killer was someone she knew well as there was no sign of forced entry at her home.




Real estate dynasty heir Robert Durst is tried for the murder of his elderly neighbor Morris Black in Texas. Durst has never been charged with his wife's 1981 disappearance or in connection with the murder of his friend, Susan Berman.




Case background
Crime Library
Full coverage




Robert Hirschhorn
Durst's jury consultant discusses strategy
Juror No. 12
Juror Chris Lovell discusses the verdict




Case in pictures




Robert Durst
Morris Black
Kathleen Durst
Susan Berman




Case timeline




Prosecution's closing
Jury instructions
Defense theory video
Private investigator Bobbi Racha discusses her research on Black
Gilberte Najamy recalls the night Durst's wife vanished
Steve Silverman discusses his friendship with Durst and Berman




Arrest Affidavit
This statement outlines the reasons police believed Durst was responsible for murdering, decapitating and dismembering Black.
Civil Complaint
Morris Black's sister filed this wrongful death suit against Durst.
Durst's Letter
Durst hand wrote this letter requesting that his lawyers be dismissed from his case.
Lawyer's Letter
Defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin requested a $600,000 advance from Durst to continue working on his case.






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peripeteia



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert Durst
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peripeteia



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:51 am    Post subject: Lastest in Durst Case Reply with quote

NY Real Estate Heir Durst Pleads Guilty In Gun Case
10/25/2004 9:00 PM
(Philadelphia-AP)

Robert Durst, the millionaire New York real estate heir acquitted of murdering a neighbor last year, pleaded guilty to federal gun charges Monday and could be out of prison within nine months.

The case involved two .38-caliber revolvers that Durst took with him when he fled Texas in 2001, after the shooting death of his 71-year-old neighbor, whose body he chopped up and dumped into Galveston Bay.

He spent more than a month on the lam before he was caught shoplifting a sandwich at a grocery store near Bethlehem. The guns were found in his rental car.

The worst of Durst's legal problems were cleared up last year when a jury found him not guilty of murder after he testified that neighbor Morris Black was shot accidentally while the two struggled for a gun.

He received a light sentence for bail-jumping and evidence-tampering charges and was about to be paroled when he was indicted on two charges of carrying a gun across state lines while he was a fugitive.

Standing in a Philadelphia courtroom Monday, Durst told a judge that he was pleading guilty to both counts because he wanted to get the matter behind him once and for all.

The plea bargain would give Durst a maximum of nine months in prison, plus two years on probation. He could be free in as little as seven months if he gets credit for some time already spent in jail and behaves well while behind bars.

"I have no problem with the sentence, your honor," Durst told Judge Timothy J. Savage.

During a break in court action, he turned to a female supporter in the audience and whispered the words, "It's survivable."

Savage accepted the guilty plea but delayed formal sentencing until Nov. 29. Under the terms of the plea bargain, Durst could withdraw his plea if the judge does not accept the nine-month sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Reed said he believed the case was resolved fairly. He said if the case had gone to trial Durst might have gotten as much as three years in jail but he also could have been acquitted.

"We cannot deny the facts. He fled from Texas. He had guns in his car. He had bullets in his car," Reed said. But, he said, "This is not your typical case."

Durst moved to Galveston and began living under an assumed name amid media attention surrounding a new investigation into the mysterious 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen Durst.

Authorities in Los Angeles also wanted to question Durst about the Christmas Eve 2000 slaying of one of his friends, writer Susan Berman.

While living in Galveston, Durst posed as a mute woman and lived in a dingy apartment despite his considerable wealth.

His family runs The Durst Organization, a privately held billion-dollar New York real estate company.

/quote

regretably there is no reference to the present status of the investigation into Kathleen's death. The police will be able to keep tabs on him while they have several more months to try and piece together a circumstantial case in Kathleen's death. There seems to be evidence that Kathleen returned to her home and was never seen again. Who would want to murder Susan Berman.....one of the only people who seemed to be aware of the discord in the Durst's marriage and perhaps the woman caller to the University announcing that Kathleen would be absent from school, the very day Kathleen has gone missing!

It seems that dismembering a body is not something that Durst is opposed to, we know that he has the stomach for it, he admits doing it to the buddy in Florida. Allegedly the night that Kathleen went missing a bluish light was seen in the basement of their home. They lived on a lake, and Durst was reluctant to sell this house for many years and when he did, he often returned to the house and was seen gazing out into the lake.

It is likely Durst murdered his wife, there was allegedly violence in the past, he had the opportunity, the means, and a motive would be any insane notion that struck Durst for the moment. This could have been any number of things, for arguement sake, let me call it simply that Kathleen might have ticked him off. What more of a motive does a cracker jack like Robert Durst need, this chap is way out yonder....way out on a limb.

One wonders about the death of his mother, one wonders at the possibility if she was murdered, or if he might not have pushed his mother off or someone dumped her out of the house....????

It seems to me that to go flying off the roof of your house that you would have to be very daft, with all the medication and guns and other things available to the wealthy, why try and fly off the roof of your house, less of course, Durst's mother was DAFT? The suicide one can understand but the dramatics is a little much, and who is to say that she might not have been murdered? Perhaps this is another investigation that we should undertake!?. Bet there is not much on line concerving the death of Mrs. Durst senior. Will venture to see what is to be had on the net.

If this case ever comes to trial, Durst will not be as lucky in the New York courts as he was in Florida, there will not be any get out of jail card once he faces murder charges against his wife. Wonder too about the Berman investigation and how that is faring? I think it was Berman's murder that brought the death of Kathleen back into the limelight at the possibility that their murderers might be one in the same, our Mr. Robert Durst.

The battery of Lawyers available to Durst is likely staggering, therefore the police are likely stymied as they have not found any forensic evidence to tie Robert to the death of Kathleen and/or Susan. Likely weak circumstantial evidence would be challenged and suppressed heavily by the Defense. All that is needed is some piece of evidence? One wonders where is Kathleen's body, is it in the basement, on the property, in the lake, where was Robert looking at when he gazed out towards the lake?

Now finding Kathleen's body would be key, and any guess, Robert chopped her up and threw her into the lake, or she is in the basement.
Guess it would be cheaper to start with searching the basement with a magnifying glass and fine tooth comb, the floors the walls, the drains, water fountains, out buildings, the works. Kathleen is there somewhere, no mistake about this, whether her body has totally disintegrated after all this time remains to be seen, all that is needed is a bone fragment in good shape, and perhaps who knows that the luck of the Irish of finding things will come to her rescue and something will be found.

Given that Robert hid his neighbour in the water, perhaps he did the exact same thing with his wife Kathleen and she is there in the water. How much bones decay in water is totally unknown to me and therefore the possibility of finding anything in the water may or may not exist after this passage of time........
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benn



Joined: 19 Sep 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kate, I was watching the tv news last night, or the night before, and they showed some "cadaver dogs" that can find bodies buried hundreds of years ago. Some of them are used at cemetaries where there are unmarked graves.
.
The people handling the dogs do not seem to know how old of a grave the dogs can find. The news report did not say if dogs can do the same thing finding bodies that have been underwater for a long time.

I guess that is the way dogs find the bones that they bury, by the smell.

benn
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peripeteia



Joined: 22 Sep 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a given that Kathleen's body is likely in the lake or basement in the floor or walls, and more than likely in the water, as we know this was Durst modi of operandi in the murder of the man in texas. I think that it could not hurt to bring the dogs in, and this should have been done eons ago. Even some luminol on the walls in the basement, I have a feeling that the blue light in basement might have been used to see the blood spatter when he dismembered Kathleen's body. Given the snow storm the night that Kathleen went missing, it would be very possible to cover the tracts to the lake that night....

I will have to go back and look at the evidence of how long Durst kept this house, it was if I remember correctly a very long time, yet he did not live there. We know he has money and likely this house was of no consequence, however, I believe that he kept his house so long to cover up evidence. Also what is curious, Durst's with all his millions did very little to find his wife. For example did Durst hire a private detective, I don't think he did. This just doesn't make sense, given his past history of violence towards Kathleen and his later murder of another man because he was being annoyning says that likely he murdered Kathleen in cold blood.

Benn if Durst did dismember Kathleen's body, and if these pieces were just thown in the water, it is difficult to know what would remain after this lengthy passage of time. If the body parts were placed in a container or wrapped in plastic, the bones should still be intact, well enough for a DNA analysis. I wonder how enormous this lake is, and I wonder if it was drained when Kathleen first went missing. Will have to go and brush up on the facts, I'll be back.
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peripeteia



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Truesdale lake appears to be about a mile long, this is a large lake, presumably from what I understand by the description given from a woman who latter moved into the house which was in the media... that the house sits directly on the lake



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A vision sent me on the path of seeking justice for Chandra, nothing I've seen in print to date has diminished the vividness but only served to reaffirm the validity of this vision.


Last edited by peripeteia on Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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peripeteia



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




p.s. I believe this is the correct lake.....
This Truesdale lake appears to be about a mile long, this is a large lake, presumably from what I understand by the description given from a woman who latter moved into the house which was in the media... that the house sits directly on the lake

It is odd that Kathleen went home during a snow storn to the country when the couple have two apartments in town, this is very strange? Why go to the bother of going home to your husband who is pissed at you to the country in the cold when one could just go over to Manhattan or the lower east side, this does not make much sense, well at home where Hubby the miserable was any destination would have been better on such a night than going to where he was and out in terrible weather! This sort of doesn't make sense, other than Durst demanded that Kathleen come home.....????!!!!!
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benn



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't know anything about this case, kate, except what I have seen posted here. Is there a police force to contact, or a tips line?

It looks like it might be a case for dogs, if they are the right dogs, with the right handlers, experienced in that type of searching. Maybe there is some dog handling society that we could write to, and maybe they could make some kind of a judgement as to the probability of finding anything. I don't remember any names being given in the news report that I saw about cadaver dogs.

I am wondering now how much, if at all, dogs were used after Chandra Levy's remains were found. They were finding bones here and there, but I don't remember if any dogs were involved, except the turtle man's dog.

benn
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peripeteia



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben I will research this some more, but it is the New York Police who are looking after this case, however, the FBI might be involved since the murder of Susan Berman which Durst is also a suspect, and this would be the california police. Durst also murered the man in Florida and got off with possession of a loaded firearm.

I think the dogs should be brought in, especially into the house, there is plenty of evidence in the house, even if it has been two decades. Dogs should have been brought in Susan's house too, but given the scent for Durst....


Will post more of the details here later Benn, off to work right now.....
later gater, kate
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A vision sent me on the path of seeking justice for Chandra, nothing I've seen in print to date has diminished the vividness but only served to reaffirm the validity of this vision.
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peripeteia



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject: Robert Durst Reply with quote

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/23/us/robert-durst-investigation/

Robert Durst is charge with the murder of Susan Berman, and several other murders which are being investigated, mostly by proximity of his domicile to the murder victim.

It appears that he might be ill physically as well as mentally, and it's suspect if it might not be too late, re: risk of expiring. The next little while should prove interesting?

Justice comes to those whom wait!!!
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