Robert Durst: HBO Documentary leads to an arrest with possible ties to several missing people

Susan Berman and Robert Durst

UPDATE 11/30/15 -Relatives of the missing wife of millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst have filed a $100 million lawsuit blaming him for her presumed death.

Karen Mitchell of Eureka, Calif went missing on Nov. 25, 1997.  Kristen Modafferi, 18, from North Carolina who was visiting San Francisco, went missing on June 23, 1997.  They have one thing in common, they were believed to have run into Robert Durst.

Kristen Modafferi
Karen Mitchell

Authorities were looking at Robert Durst in connection with Karen and Kristen’s  disappearance in 2003 when he was on trial for murdering and dismembering his neighbor, Morris Black in Galveston, Tex, in 2001 according to New York Daily News.   He was acquitted, after Durst stated he acted in self-defense.

Who is Robert Durst?  Durst is the eccentric son of New York’s real estate tycoon who is back in the news again after an HBO documentary based around his life and because he was charged  with murdering Susan Berman in 2000.  Susan, a friend of Durst was found shot in the back of the head in her LA home, two days after she was called by the police to talk with them about the disappearance of Durst’s wife in 1982.  

Kathie and Robert Durst

The Beverly Hills Police Dept. received a letter that said the “cadaver” is at Berman’s home.  The police noted at the time that Beverly was spelled “Beverley.”  In Berman’s stepson found a letter written from Durst with the word “Beverly identically misspelled as the anonymous letter the police received in 2000. 

The Jinx:  The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” took HBO filmmakers 10 years of research before it was aired last week.

Subsequently, some believe that it led to Durst’s arrest on Saturday at a Marriott on Canal Street in New Orleans in connection with Berman’s death. 

LA prosecutors reopened their investigation into Berman’s death after they heard that Durst agreed to do the interviews with the HBO documentary filmmakers and began talking with them in 2013, reports the New York Times

“These two producers did what law enforcement in three states could not do in 30 years,” Jeanine F. Pirro, the former Westchester County district attorney told the New York Times. 

During the documentary, Durst goes to the bathroom and forgets to take off his microphone.  While there he mumbles, “What the hell did I do?  Killed them all, of course.”

Two years later, the audio was found by the filmmakers, and aired on the last episode of The Jinx on Sunday night. 

Whether Durst’s words are admissible in court is a question that is not known at this time, and we will have to wait and see.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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