A Los Angeles judge has ruled there is enough evidence to try real estate magnate Robert Durst for the 2000 murder of his best friend Susan Berman, three years after he was first charged with the grisly killing.
Durst was previously implicated in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, but was never charged over her death.
In a separate incident, he was acquitted of murdering neighbour Morris Black and then dismembering his body in 2001, after a jury ruled he had acted in self-defence.
Both incidents were extensively covered in the 2015 HBO documentary series The Jinx. The case achieved extraordinary notoriety when Durst was charged over Berman’s death the day the show’s finale aired in the US.
Durst plead not guilty to Berman’s murder, has publicly denied involvement in her death, and has stated he doesn’t know who killed her.
Prosecutors argue that Durst killed Berman because she was ready to present evidence investigators implicating Durst in McCormack’s disappearance.
They stated Durst’s tacit acceptance of the film, which was based on the real-world disappearance of McCormack, constituted a de facto confession to her slaying.
“I felt the movie was very, very, very close in much of the ways about what, pretty much, happened,” Durst said in the commentary.
Judge Mark Windham today accepted the prosecution’s argument, ruling Durst had potentially incriminated himself through his own statements on the audio commentary.
An anonymous hand-written letter which first alerted authorities to Berman’s death, which prosecutors say matches Durst’s handwriting, was also admitted as evidence.
Durst’s arraignment was set for November 8.