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Robert Durst dead: Convicted real estate heir was 78

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Robert A. Durst passed away after going into cardiac arrest while serving a life sentence in California, according to his lawyer. The Manhattan real estate heir was convicted for the murder of Susan Berman in September and was suspected in two additional murder cases including the disappearance of his former wife, The New York Times reports.

Durst died as a California prisoner after pleading guilty in September to killing his friend Susan Berman.

He murdered her to stop her talking to police about his wife’s disappearance. Police believe he killed two others.

The US real estate heir turned fugitive unwittingly confessed in an HBO crime documentary series about himself.

Durst’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, confirmed that he died at the San Joaquin General Hospital while in the custody of the California Department of Corrections.

He said that his death was due to “natural causes” and that he had been suffering from numerous medical issues.

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Prosecutors say that he also murdered his neighbour, Morris Black, while living as a fugitive in Texas nine months after killing Berman.

Durst claimed to have shot him accidentally, before going on to dismember his body and dump the parts in Galveston Bay.

After a 45-day manhunt, he was arrested for shoplifting a chicken sandwich from a grocery store in Pennsylvania, only a few miles from where he attended university. He was found with thousands of dollars in cash in his rental car, as well as cannabis and Black’s driving licence.

He claimed self-defence at his 2003 trial, and was acquitted after arguing that he fled because he thought his story would not be believed.

Durst is also suspected in the 1982 death of his wife Kathie Durst, whose body has never been found. She was legally declared dead in 2017.

He was formally indicted for her murder in November by the Westchester Country District Attorney’s office in New York.

“After 40 years spent seeking justice for her death, I know how upsetting this news must be for Kathleen Durst’s family,” District Attorney Miriam Rocah said in a statement on Monday.

“We had hoped to allow them the opportunity to see Mr Durst finally face charges for Kathleen’s murder because we know that all families never stop wanting closure, justice and accountability.”

The office added that more information on the Kathie Durst case would be released to the public in the coming days.

 

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