Robert Durst knew that the police would look bad when it was discovered that he had written an article with the word “cadaver” pointing at the lifeless body of his best friend
Robert Durst knew that the police would look bad when it was discovered that he had written an article with the word “cadaver” pointing at the lifeless body of his best friend.
Durst admitted on Monday that he actually wrote a note for the first time in the criminal case, despite refusing to kill Susan Berman.
Durst said it was difficult to understand that the author of the note and Berman’s killer were not the same person, and even questioned the credibility of what he told the jury.
“I have a hard time believing in myself,” he told the Los Angeles County Superior Court. “It’s hard to believe that I wrote the letter and didn’t kill Susan Berman.”
The memory is one of the only pieces of evidence linking him to Berman’s murder, and Durst used his fourth statement to swear that he had discovered his body and then inadvertently tried to report it to the police.
Durst, 78, an eccentric heir to a commercial real estate estate in New York, is accused of Berman’s December 2000 murder.
Robert Durst Says He Lied, Penned ‘Cadaver’ Note to Police:
Durst is expected to be questioned later during a cross-examination, where prosecutors said there were dozens of lies and inconsistencies in the witness stand.
As the jury was outside the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney John Lewin said, “He probably lied 100 times, and that’s not an exaggeration.”
To prove the point, Los Angeles prosecutors have provided evidence that Durst killed his wife in New York in 1982 and that his neighbor’s deadly shooting in Texas in 2001 was not just a coincidence.
Prosecutors say Durst silenced Berman before telling investigators in New York how he presented the fake alibi when Kathie Durst disappeared.
Durst has denied killing his first wife and has never been charged with a crime related to his disappearance. His body was never found, but he was declared dead legally.
In 2001, a year after New York police reopened an investigation into Kathie Durst and about nine months after Berman’s murder, Durst shot dead his neighbor in a boarding house in Galveston, Texas. Prosecutors say Durst, disguised as a dumb woman hiding there, killed Black as the old man discovered his true identity.
Black was acquitted after saying he shot during self-defense during an armed battle. He is accused of destroying evidence to cut off a black body and throw it into the sea.
Durst, who was released on bail pending trial in Galveston, said he planned to commit suicide while fleeing before being caught stealing a sandwich from a Pennsylvania store.
“I’m going to hit myself because I didn’t dream of being a fugitive,” he said.
Fragile and suffering from a number of health problems, Durst spoke in a soft, muffled voice, denying that he had killed his longtime friend Berman, who had a say in his wife’s disappearance.
During a planned visit a few days before Christmas, when he arrived at his home in Los Angeles, he showed no emotion in finding Berman dead.
Durst said a note was pasted on Berman’s front door stating that he was going for a walk. He said he let himself in with a key when he did not answer the doorbell or bell repeatedly.
The back garden door was open and he saw Berman lying on his back on the floor of the bedroom.
“I bought it twice when I saw Susan,” he said. “I put my hand on his face to see if he was breathing. I felt cold. Then I grabbed his arms … his head hung down.”
Although he initially thought that he had been injured in the fall, he eventually came to the conclusion that someone had killed him.
He said he tried to call 911 from home, but his cordless phone ran out of battery. He heard neighbors passing by and decided to leave the house thinking that he would be suspicious if a body was found inside.
Durst said he was standing next to a toll-free phone near Sunset Boulevard and called 911. He said he did not want to give his name to the guard and thought of giving a false name. However, at the end of a different voice decided to be recognized on the record and hung up the phone.
Instead, he sent a note to the police saying “CADAVER” and entering Berman’s address. The envelope misspelled Beverly Hills as “Beverly.”
Durst had always refused to take notes to the police and documentary filmmakers, and was once confronted with a letter from Berman to Beverly in the same handwriting.
The moment of his capture provided the pinnacle of “Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert Durst.” After the interview, Durst went to the bathroom with a live microphone and muttered to himself, “Of course he killed them all.”
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