Convicted Murderer Robert Durst Dies In Prison

Crime
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Damir Mujezinovic

After evading convictions in the deaths of people close to him for decades, New York real estate mogul Robert Durst was put on trial in 2020 for murdering his longtime friend Susan Berman and subsequently convicted of first degree murder.

Durst allegedly murdered Berman in order to silence her, because she knew he killed his wife Kathleen McCormack in 1982 and provided a fake alibi for him. He was also accused of murdering Morris Black in 2001.

But Durst will never pay for his crimes or serve time in prison.

Robert Durst Dead

As reported by The Los Angeles Times, Durst died at 6:44 a.m. Monday at a hospital near the town of Stockton, California.

He was 78 years old and died of natural causes, according to a statement issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Longtime member of Durst's legal team Chip Lewis explained that the real estate mogul's death was "associated with the litany of medical issues [they] had repeatedly reported to the court over the last couple of years."

Health Issues

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The 78-year-old Durst was struggling with several health issues while standing trial for the murder of Berman.

In June, he was briefly hospitalized when he collapsed ahead of a court hearing. In October, shortly after being sentenced, he contracted COVID-19 and had to be put on a ventilator.

A physician at Cedars-Sinai who treated Durst said he was "profoundly malnourished" and at risk of "sudden death" due to elevated levels of potassium.

It is now likely Durst’s conviction in California will be vacated, and there won't be a trial in New York.

Vacated Conviction

As Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin explained, Durst's legal team filed an appeal of the conviction last year.

The appeal was pending at the time of the real estate mogul's death, so proceedings will be "permanently abated" and the appellate court will have to order the Superior Court to vacate the conviction.

"Whether that conviction legally stands after his death is irrelevant to what all of us know happened. I don’t believe that the technicality that results from someone dying before their conviction is final is going to change the legacy of Bob Durst," Lewin said.

Durt's story was so intriguing that it got covered in an HBO documentary.

Victims' Families

But Lewin's words are no consolation to members of Durst victims' families.

Robert Abrams, a lawyer for the McCormack family, vowed to continue pursuing legal action against other people involved in Kathleen's death.

"Although Robert Durst has died, the ongoing investigation into those who helped him cover up her murder continues. On January 31, 2022, the 40th anniversary of Kathie’s murder, we will provide a further update," Abrams said.

"In the interim, please say a prayer for Kathie and his other victims," he added.

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