Robert Durst Arrested for Murder of Susan Berman

By Dhara Patel,
Domestic News Writer

Robert Durst, 71, was arrested on March 16 for the murder of Susan Berman. From the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, in 1982, until the 2002 dismemberment of his neighbor Morris Black, Durst had been labeled a serial killer.

Durst is a millionaire real estate investor from New York. Durst was the prime suspect in an investigation of his wife’s disappearance in 1982 but was later dismissed. There has been an HBO documentary made on Durst circling his wife’s disappearance, Susan Berman’s murder, and Morris Black’s murder.

Per the New York Post, during the filming of the documentary, Durst was allegedly heard saying off-camera, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” In 2000, his long-time friend and writer, Susan Berman was found killed execution style in her home in Beverly Hills.

Investigators believe that Berman was murdered because she knew about Durst’s involvement in McCormack’s disappearance. Once again, Durst was a prime suspect in the case. However, his defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, maintains the position that Durst was not involved in the slaying of Berman nor does he know who committed the crime.

What led the police to Berman’s body was an anonymous letter from New York, with the word “cadaver” and an address written in it. A forensic expert deemed the letter was most likely written by Durst.

In 2002, the body of Morris Black was found in the Galveston where Durst resided. Durst admitted that he murdered and dismembered Black but he shot Black in self-defense. He also admitted that he disguised himself as a mute woman to avoid scrutiny.

The jury found Durst innocent and he was acquitted. According to the New York Post, the judge involved in the acquittal of Durst, Susan Criss, reported, “I believe that Robert Durst is a serial killer.” Judge Criss found a severed head of a cat on her doorstep possibly left by Durst. Douglas Durst, Robert Durst’s brother, stated that Robert owned a series of seven Alaskan Malamutes all named Igor; they all mysteriously died within six months of owning them.

Criss believes that Durst practiced dismemberment on his dogs which is how he was able to perfect dismembering humans such as Morris Black. Furthermore, Criss mentions a jailhouse conversation between Durst and his wife, Debrah Charatan.

In the conversation, he often uses the word Igor, which both his dog’s name and also the code word for murder. Durst professes to his wife that he was looking through his brother’s window and thought about “doing an Igor.”

Last week, Durst was arrested in New Orleans by the FBI for the first degree murder of Susan Berman. He was charged with possession of a firearm with a controlled substance.

When searching Durst’s room, investigators found a latex mask, a fake ID, $42,000 in cash, marijuana, and a .38 caliber revolver; he was planning to run away. There was a separate raid in Durst’s home in Houston where several burner phones were found.

Currently, Durst is on suicide watch in a mental health unit in Louisiana. Once Durst is moved back to Los Angeles, he will be tried for the murder of Berman.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 24th print edition.

Contact Dhara at

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