L.A. D.A. Reopening Case Involving Robert Durst as Doc Reveals New Evidence (Report)
The subject of the HBO six-part miniseries 'The Jinx,' who also served as inspiration for the 2010 Ryan Gosling-Kirsten Dunst film 'All Good Things,' has been accused of murder in three instances but never convicted.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has recently reopened an investigation into the killing of a close friend and confidante of accused murderer Robert Durst and is tying that to the disappearance of Durst's wife, Kathie, whom he's long been suspected of killing, The New York Times reported Monday.
That investigation could be aided by new evidence that has emerged from The Jinx — a six-part HBO documentary series that features Durst's first interviews about the murders with which he's been associated — about Durst's behavior around the time of his friend's death.
Susan Berman, Durst's friend, was shot dead execution-style in December 2000. Although Durst was a suspect in her murder, the police never had definitive evidence placing him in Los Angeles on the day she was killed, the Times explains. He was also suspected of writing an anonymous note to the Beverly Hills Police Department alerting them to a "cadaver" at Berman's house, which was postmarked the day California officials believe the murder occurred. Police previously tried to compare Durst's handwriting with the "cadaver" note and a bullet fired from a gun found in his car with the bullet that killed Berman, but both proved "inconclusive."
However, in the fifth episode of The Jinx, which aired Sunday, Berman's stepson calls one of the documentary's producers, Marc Smerling, to say he discovered a 1999 letter from Durst to Berman in which the block lettering on the envelope for that letter appears to match the lettering on the "cadaver" note, and Beverly Hills is misspelled as "Beverley" on both notes.
In The Jinx, Durst also explains that Berman contacted him and said the Los Angeles police "want to talk about Kathie Durst's disappearance." She was found dead not long after that.
When asked about the note in The Jinx, Durst said that whoever wrote it took a "big risk. You're writing a note to the police that only the killer could have written."
The Times reports that in recent weeks investigators from L.A. and one from the New York State Police as well as FBI agents have interviewed witnesses in New York City. New York State Police Investigator Joseph C. Becerra told the Times that the investigation into Kathie Durst's disappearance has been and continues to be an ongoing case.
The Los Angeles D.A.'s office declined to comment when contacted by The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times.
Durst contacted Jinx director Andrew Jarecki shortly before the release of the 2010 fictional movie based on his life, All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. Durst wanted to tell his story to Jarecki, and The Jinx is the result of those conversations. The final episode of the documentary series — which explores Kathie Durst's disappearance, Berman's murder, and the murder of Durst's neighbor Morris Black, who was dismembered — airs next Sunday.
Jarecki said at the miniseries' premiere in New York that after the final episode, "You're going to know what happened."