Real-Estate Heir Sentenced for Role in His Friend’s Death

Real-Estate Heir Sentenced for Role in His Friend's Death

( – In December 2000, police officers discovered Susan Berman’s body at her home in Benedict Canyon, California. The daughter of David Berman, a reputed gangster and one of the founders of Las Vegas gambling, she had been brutally murdered execution-style. Although evidence quickly pointed to her killer, it took another 20 years for him to face justice for his crimes.

FBI agents arrested her long-time friend Robert Alan Durst in March 2015, but it took until March 2020 for his trial to begin. Then, California Superior Court Judge Mark Windham quickly put his trial on hold until spring of 2021 due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, on September 17, 2021, a jury convicted Durst for the first-degree murder of Berman. The jury also found him guilty of various special charges. Finally, on October 14, Judge Windham sentenced Robert Alan Durst to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Berman’s murder wasn’t Durst’s first brush with the law. Back in 1982, Durst’s wife, Kathleen McCormack, disappeared. Berman reportedly provided an alibi for him at the time. Prosecutors in the Berman trial theorized Durst thought she might incriminate him, leading to the motive for her eventual murder.

A Complicated Past

Additionally, law enforcement officials investigated connections between Durst and the disappearances of three other women beginning with 18-year-old Lynne Schulze, who went missing in December 1971. FBI agents also looked into Durst’s possible role in the Long Island murders, which occurred over 14 years, beginning in 1996. In 2012, the FBI created a task force to look into Durst’s activities over 20 years.

Durst also faced another jury in 2003 for the October 2001 murder and dismemberment of Morris Black in Galveston, Texas. The jury acquitted him in November 2003, but he pleaded guilty to bail jumping and tampering with evidence in 2004, which resulted in a three-year prison sentence. Thanks to his parole, he spent less than half that time in jail.

The wheels of justice turn slowly at times. However, Durst’s past deeds finally caught up with him this year.

Over the weekend, reports revealed that Durst was hospitalized with COVID-19.

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