New York Real Estate Builder Robert Durst was on Thursday sentenced to life in prison for murdering a friend more than two decades ago, in a joint murder trial of the wife of a deceased murderer.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham handed down the sentence just one month after judges sentenced Durst, 78, of first-degree murder on December 23, 2000, to the death of Susan Berman. Berman was shot in the open at the back of his head inside his Benedict Canyon home.
Durst’s lawyers said at a Chinese court hearing they planned to appeal the case.
Prior to his assassination in 2000, Berman had been scheduled to speak to police about a case he had filed against Durst when his wife disappeared in New York in 1982, prosecutors said.
Kathie Durst has not yet been found and no charges have been filed in connection with her disappearance.
After Berman’s assassination, Durst dropped off the grid and landed in Galveston, Texas, where he took the name Dorothy Ciner and always wore a woman’s wig, dresses and high heels.
Durst’s neighbor, Morris Black, was killed and mutilated by Durst in September 2001, but was released, saying he was defending himself.
Then in a 2015 HBO article series, “The Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert Durst,” Durst was seen confessing to murder.
He went to the bathroom still wearing a hot microphone, which allowed him to whisper to himself: “You’ve been caught! What have I done? He killed them all.”
In a statement before Durst’s trial, the Berman family spoke warmly about the manner in which they were treated and his assassination.
Denny Marcus called Berman, his brother, “a wonderful, unforgettable, intelligent man whose life was taken from him at the age of fifty-five when he was so many years ahead.”
“I know he has his hand right here, he’s on my shoulder, and he knows I do anything for him,” Marcus said. He added that he could not hate Durst, because Berman made sure he always knew that “hatred has no purpose.”
Berman’s mother’s son, Sareb Kaufman, said, “I must have been working for a proud career, finding love, getting married and having children. one day. “
Kaufman and David Berman, one of Berman’s relatives, used their statements to ask Durst to indicate where Kathie Durst’s body was.
“Let us know where Kathie’s body is so her family can get a burial,” said David Berman.
“I hope in your last days and hours you will come to the same understanding and give McCormick what little they ask: to find Kathie,” Kaufman said. “Laying him down to rest properly, finally and finally. This is an important question … the only thing you have to give any real value or be able to distort any of your views.”
“By telling you where Kathie is, you can probably get a little relief in human action,” Kaufman said.