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Oxygen True Crime’s ‘Blood & Money’ Explores 'What Happens When Rich People Kill'
“People with a lot of personal wealth have the means to make it extremely difficult to be brought to justice,” said a series producer.
The rich are different, so it’s been said.
And that's true when wealthy people commit murder, according to executive producers of “Blood & Money,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
Inspired by Dick Wolf’s long-running TV series “Law & Order,” the docuseries explores “what happens when rich people kill,” Executive Producer Jane Lipsitz told Oxygen.com Correspondent Stephanie Gomulka.
The first case highlighted in the series involved the murder of writer Susan Berman and real estate tycoon Robert Durst. Berman, a 55-year-old journalist and author, was shot at point-blank range in her home in Los Angeles in December 2000.
Before his death in 2022, Durst was found guilty of killing Berman. But that verdict came after he was found not guilty in his first trial for the death of Morris Black.
“People with a lot of personal wealth have the means to make it extremely difficult to be brought to justice,” said Executive Producer Dan Cutforth, adding that wealth puts the best lawyers possible in reach. "That’s what you saw happen with Durst.”
“In the first murder trial that he was part of, even though it seemed like they had him bang to rights, he escaped and was not found guilty,” said Cutforth.
Wealth changes legal proceedings in other ways. It raises the “stakes for the detectives and the prosecutors as well,” said Cutforth.
It also increases the odds of more than one trial, according to Lipsitz. “A lot of the trials in this series are really interesting,” she said, “because it’s not always just one.”
“Because of their means [and] excellent legal teams, there can be repetitive trials,” Lipsitz told Oxygen.com. “That made it really interesting because it wasn't just a straight story or courtroom drama.”
Durst’s name is connected to more than one case. His 29-year-old wife Kathleen disappeared in 1982 and was declared legally dead in 2017. Her body has never been found.
Joseph Becerra, a retired New York State Police investigator featured in “Blood & Money,” told Gomulka that Kathie’s case caught his attention.
“This woman who was about to graduate medical school … just basically fell off the face of the earth and was never seen again,” said Becerra.
“As I looked into it and started investigating it with other members of the State Police and the Westchester D.A.’s office,” Becerra said, “we came to the realization that most likely this woman met her demise by foul play.”
Becerra’s investigation revealed a very tight relationship between Berman and Durst. “Everyone told me that Susan and Robert were thick as thieves," he said.
For Cutforth and Lipsitz, forging a close association with investigators and legal professionals as well as loved ones of the victims in cases has been an invaluable part of “Blood & Money.”
Finding people who could talk knowingly about the victims helps the audience better understand who that person was.
“It’s sort of easy to get kind of caught up in the drama of this kind of story and forget that there’s a sort of human tragedy at the heart of it,” said Cutforth.
Watch “Blood & Money,” airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.