On Monday, August 9, New York real estate heir Robert Durst took the witness stand to deny killing his best friend Susan Berman two decades ago. 

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, asked Durst point-blank if he killed Berman, to which Durst responds that he did not. When asked by DeGuerin if he knows who commited the crime, Durst also denies any knowledge of information. 

HBO’s 2015 miniseries The Jinx, made Durst’s alleged crimes famous by exploring his involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathie Durst, as well as the murder and dismemberment of Durst’s former neighbor Morris Black and the shooting of writer Berman. 

On the night of The Jinx’s final episode release in 2015, Durst was arrested in New Orleans on a warrant in the case of Berman’s death.

Berman served as Durst’s spokesperson after his wife’s disappearance, and the prosecutor alleges that Durst shot Berman, execution style, in the back of the head to keep her from revealing the truth about his involvement in his Kathie Durst’s possible murder. 

Durst’s trial was scheduled and began in the Los Angeles Superior Court last year, but was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the trial’s resumption in May, Durst’s physical condition has worsened heavily. He requires the assistance of a tablet held by DeGuerin, showcasing a live transcription of the defense attorney’s questions. And, unable to maneuver to the witness stand, Durst makes his testimonies from his personal wheelchair on the courtroom floor. 

During Monday’s testimony, Durst recounts the start of his friendship with Berman, with whom he attended the University of California, Los Angeles in the mid-1960s. They were fast friends, Durst alleged, because they “both had trust funds.” 


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