Police arrested millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst in New Orleans on Saturday, just hours before the final episode of an HBO miniseries about his alleged connections to three murders aired — and appeared to show him confessing to the crimes.
In the Sunday night finale of HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Durst is caught talking to himself by a hot mic: “There it is. You’re caught,” he said. “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Durst was arrested in the lobby of a Marriott hotel on Canal Street in New Orleans on Saturday, where he had checked in under a fake name, according to the Associated Press. He is reportedly being held without bond, pending a hearing on Monday.
Durst had long been suspected in the murder of his friend, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles in 2000. Berman was reportedly found dead in her Beverly Hills home, one day before she was scheduled to testify in the mysterious 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen Durst. Durst was not arrested in connection with either incident.
Investigators re-opened the 15-year-old case after Durst agreed to participate in the production of The Jinx. Sunday night’s finale revealed new information about Berman’s killing.
Producers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling obtained a previously unseen letter Durst had sent to Berman, containing handwriting similar to an anonymous letter received by authorities after Berman’s murder alerting them to the location of her body. Both letters also misspelled “Beverly Hills” as “Beverley Hills.”
Durst mentions in the film that only the woman’s murderer could have sent the anonymous letter to police.
“These two producers did what law enforcement in three states could not do in 30 years,” former Westchester County district attorney Jeanine F. Pirro told the New York Times. “Kudos to them. They were meticulous. They were focused. They were clear.”
After Berman’s death, Durst reportedly moved to Galveston, Texas, where he posed as a mute woman and lived in a $300-per-month rented room. In 2001, an arrest warrant was issued for Durst for the murder of Morris Black, a former merchant seaman, whose body parts were found floating in Galveston Bay. Durst fled the state, but was later found in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania after shoplifting a sandwich from a Wegman’s supermarket, despite having $500 cash in his pocket, according to the AP.
Durst reportedly told a Texas jury he had accidentally killed Black when a gun discharged during a fight, striking Black in the forehead. Durst admitted that he had dismembered the body before discarding it, but was ultimately found not guilty of murder.
Durst is the oldest son of the late real estate tycoon Seymour Durst. Robert Durst was reportedly estranged from his family after his father chose his brother, Douglas Durst, to head Durst Corporation. His family had secured restraining orders against him in recent years.
The Durst family is estimated to be worth $4.4 billion, while Robert Durst’s net worth is estimated at $100 million.
According to the Times, in an early interview for the project, Durst expressed doubt that a prosecutor would ever re-open the murder cases.
“It’s so long ago,” he said. “Some D.A. would have to commence a budget-busting investigation. I don’t see that happening.”