Real estate heir Robert Durst waived extradition and will return to Los Angeles to face a murder charge in the 2000 death of a writer and friend who acted as his spokeswoman.
Durst appeared before a judge in New Orleans on Monday.
The eccentric heir to a New York real estate fortune was the subject of a six-part HBO series detailing his life. At one point her appears to admit to the killing.
Last week’s episode of ‘The Jinx’ revealed a recently uncovered letter written by Durst to friend and spokesperson Susan Berman years ago.
The handwriting and misspelling on it is identical to the writing on an anonymous letter sent to Beverly Hills police alerting them to a cadaver at Berman’s home. And after producers confronted Durst about the uncanny resemblance, he went to the bathroom with his microphone still on and started talking to himself.
Cameras were still rolling.
Durst said, apparently to himself, “There it is. You’re caught” and “What the hell did I do? Killed them all of course.”
The show ended, and it wasn’t clear whether producers confronted Durst about the secretly recorded words, or what Durst meant by them.
Durst was arrested by FBI agents Saturday at a New Orleans hotel.
“He waived everything. He was not in custody. It was a spontaneous statement. I hear it as a clear ‘I killed them,'” said Judge Jeanine Pirro.
The bizarre drama surrounding Durst dates back to 1982 when his wife Kathleen Durst disappeared.
She is presumed dead and her friends and family have long believed Durst is responsible.
“I don’t know where she is I don’t know what happened to her, I don’t know how it happened to her,” said Durst on HBO’s “The Jinx.”
After Kathie’s death, Berman acted as Durst’s spokeswoman.
In 2000, she was shot to death execution style in her Los Angeles home, just before Westchester County cold case investigators planned to question her about Kathie’s death.
Judge Pirro was the Westchester County District Attorney at the time.
“I was sending investigators out to see Susan Berman. Robert Durst transferred $50,000 to her and she ends up dead. He had the motive and means,” said Judge Pirro.
Investigator and journalist Matt Birkbeck is the author of “A Deadly Secret about Durst.”
“Kathy’s family has waited a very long time to see justice in this case and even though it starts with Susan Berman ideally they’re going to connect her murder to the disappearance and what many believe to be the murder of Kathie Durst,” Birkbeck said.
This is not Durst’s first time facing murder charges.
In 2003, he was acquitted in the dismemberment death of his neighbor in Galveston, Texas.
Durst, who’d been pretending to be a mute woman at the time, said the killing was in self-defense.
Birkbeck predicts a conviction this time around won’t come easy.
“They’re going to take everything that they can get to try to get an acquittal in this case so I wouldn’t put it past them to pull rabbits, multiple rabbits out of their hats given how good they are,” said Birkbeck.
His attorney Chip Lewis told the AP that Durst has maintained his innocence for years.
“Nothing has changed, the arrest was timed to coincide with the HBO finale” he said. “No doubt it’s all about Hollywood now.”
TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN DURST’S LIFE:
Durst’s wife, Kathleen, disappears. Durst has never been charged in the disappearance.
The Westchester County New York district attorney reopens the investigation into the disappearance.
Susan Berman, 55, a writer and friend who acted as Durst’s spokeswoman after his wife disappeared, is shot once in the back of her head at her Los Angeles home shortly before investigators wanted to interview her about Kathleen Durst’s disappearance.
Durst, who had been disguising himself as a mute woman at one point, is arrested in Galveston, Texas, on murder charges in the death of a 71-year-old neighbor who was dismembered.
Durst is acquitted in the 2001 dismemberment death of Morris Black after claiming he killed the man in self-defense.
A Hollywood version of Durst’s story, “All Good Things,” starring Ryan Gosling, is released.
Durst pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief for exposing himself and urinating on candy at CVS drug store in Houston.
Feb. 8, 2015
HBO airs the first episode of a six-week documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.” In it, Durst gives an extensive interview to the filmmaker.
Durst is arrested at a J.W. Marriott hotel in New Orleans.
Durst is ordered held without bond during a court appearance, the same day the documentary finale airs. In it, Durst wears his microphone into a bathroom and is heard saying: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all of course.”
His attorney later said nothing Durst revealed in the documentary changes his innocence.