It is the end of a long soap opera. The rich and sulphurous American heir Robert Durst, made famous by the documentary of the HBO channel The Jinx was sentenced Thursday to life imprisonment by a Los Angeles court, without the possibility of parole, for the murder of his best friend.
The 78-year-old multimillionaire was convicted in September of killing his friend Susan Berman with a bullet to the head at her 2000 home in Beverly Hills to prevent him from speaking to police about the disappearance by his wife, Kathleen, two decades earlier.
“This crime is the murder of a witness,” Judge Mark Windham said before handing down the sentence. “This circumstance (…) greatly aggravated this terrible and disturbing crime”, he added. The magistrate rejected the defense’s request for a new trial, arguing that there was “sufficient, indeed overwhelming, evidence of guilt.”
Suspected of the murder of his wife
During the hearing, Robert Durst, who had pleaded not guilty, remained almost motionless in his wheelchair. Relatives of Susan Berman urged him in court to say where the body of his wife Kathleen is.
The prosecution believes that Susan Berman had helped Robert Durst to cover up his role in the murder of his wife Kathleen and that he ended up killing Susan Berman to prevent her from responding to the New York police officers who were investigating his wife’s disappearance. in 1982.
A black sheep from one of New York’s biggest real estate families, Robert Durst was arrested in March 2015 on the eve of the airing of the last episode of a six-part HBO biographical documentary, The Jinx.
“I killed them all, obviously”
The series returned to another bloody episode in the life of Robert Durst: the murder of a neighbor, which he then dismembered and thrown into the sea. He had been acquitted of this crime thanks to an army of prestigious lawyers who pleaded a mixture of self-defense, an accidental gunshot and acts committed under the influence of alcohol.
In The JinxRobert Durst seemed to be making an involuntary admission, whispering to himself as he was in the bathroom and his wireless microphone was not turned off: “What have I done?” I killed them all, of course. “