Robert Durst died at the age of 78 of cardiac arrest just months after the New York real estate heir was convicted by a California jury of murdering his friend Susan Berman in an execution-style shooting at her Los Angeles County home in December 2000.
Durst died at San Joaquin General Hospital after he went into cardiac arrest, attorney Chip Lewis told the New York Times.
“Mr. Durst passed away early this morning while in the custody of California’s Department of Corrections,” Lewis said. “We understand that his death was due to natural causes associated with a litany of medical issues we had repeatedly reported to the court over the last couple of years.”
Long considered the lone suspect in the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, in New York in 1982, Durst seemed to flit in and out law enforcement and the public’s attention in the years after she vanished.
In Texas, he avoided prison time in a bizarre murder trial even after admitting to dismembering and dumping his neighbour’s body in the Galveston Bay. And for 15 years, he eluded Los Angeles investigators who suspected he killed his close friend Susan Berman at her Benedict Canyon home in order to stop her from cooperating with a renewed probe into Kathie’s disappearance.
McCormack was a medical student when she vanished in 1982, and her husband became the lead suspect in her possible death and a fixture of New York tabloids.
But the case gradually faded from view, until 2015, when Durst appeared in the six-part HBO documentary series “The Jinx,” which chronicled his strange life and the suspicions surrounding him.
The series finale saw Durst confronted with evidence suggesting he wrote the so-called cadaver note, an anonymous letter that alerted authorities to Berman’s death, which investigators long believed could have been written only by the killer.