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Robert Durst, One-Time Real Estate Heir Who Became Convicted Murderer, Has Died

Robert Durst, who was recently convicted of the murder of Susan Berman and then indicted for the murder of his wife Kathleen “Kathie” McCormack Durst, has died in custody.

By Gina Tron
Robert Durst Admits On The Stand To Lying About His Past

Convicted killer and disgraced real estate heir Robert Durst, who was tied to three highly publicized murder cases and who infamously appeared in an HBO docuseries about his involvement in those deaths, has died behind bars.

The 78-year-old died in custody on Monday morning, according to a press release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

"Robert Alan Durst, who had been housed at California Health Care Facility (CHCF), died of natural causes at 6:44 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, while being treated at an outside hospital," the release states. "The coroner in San Joaquin County will determine an exact cause of death."

Durst’s lawyer has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.

Durst was serving a life sentence for the 2000 murder of his best friend Susan Berman, for which he was just convicted in September. Prosecutors said he killed her after learning the prosecutors in New York wanted to reopen an investigation into his first wife Kathleen “Kathie” McCormack Durst’s 1982 disappearance and presumed murder because Berman had information that could be damaging to him.

Robert Durst Pd

Shortly after his conviction in Berman's death in California, Durst was indicted for Kathie's murder in New York's Westchester County, where the couple had lived.

Durst was also linked to a third death, that of a man named Morris Black in Galveston, Texas in 2001. During the Berman trial, Durst testified that he'd fled to Texas when news broke that Kathie's case was being reopened. There, he bought a wig and hid out in a cheap apartment in Galveston, disguised as a mute woman. Durst became acquainted with Black, his neighbor. Durst later shot him to death in 2001 before disposing of his dismembered remains in Galveston Bay. He claimed he shot Black in self-defense, but prosecutors contended Durst killed Black because he'd discovered his true identity; the millionaire real estate scion was acquitted of that murder at trial. 

Durst’s ailing health has been a point of interest over the past year. In November, it was reported that Durst’s health was suffering as a mugshot of him laying in a hospital bed made the rounds. He had bladder cancer, among other ailments, according to CNN. It was reported in October that Durst was also on a ventilator after being diagnosed with COVID-19. That same month, Durst was not present in court when he was convicted of Berman. Even before that, his health was a focal point. During that Berman trial, Durst’s defense repeatedly sought a mistrial, citing his poor health. Durst was in a wheelchair for most of the proceedings. 

Robert Durst

Last month, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told Oxygen.com that Durst’s health was improving and that he was in stable condition. A mugshot was provided to Oxygen.com at that time that appeared to show Durst standing but using an oxygen machine.

Durst was the subject of the popular 2015 HBO docuseries “The Jinx,” which played a big role in the Berman trial. Durst was arrested in connection with Berman's death just one day before the finale of the series aired.

The docuseries captured Durst on a hot mic while using the bathroom after a contentious interview with the filmmaker, Andrew Jarecki. At that moment, Durst seems to mumble to himself that he was “caught” and that he was having difficulty with the questions. He appeared to have said the phrases “Killed them all, of course” and "What the hell did I do?” While the filmmakers edited his mumblings, they provided the full clip to the police.