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Robert Durst, real estate scion convicted of murder, dead at age 78

Robert Durst sits for opening statements in his murder trial in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 4, 2020.
Etienne Laurent/Pool via REUTERS

Robert Durst, the one-time scion of a prominent New York real estate family who was serving a life sentence for murdering his confidante and friend in 2000, died in prison at age 78, his lawyer’s office said on Monday.

The law office of Chip Lewis did not provide details to Reuters, but Lewis told the New York Times that Durst went into cardiac arrest and died at the San Joaquin General Hospital, where he had been taken for testing.

Durst was sentenced in October to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of murdering Susan Berman in 2000, in a long-delayed punishment for a man who was long suspected in three murders.

Days after the sentencing, the Los Angeles Times, citing his lawyer, reported that Durst had COVID-19 and was on a ventilator. During his trial, he was being held in the USC Medical Center under the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A multimillionaire whose grandfather founded one of New York City’s premier real estate companies, Durst was long a suspect in the disappearance of his first wife Kathleen McCormack, who went missing in New York in 1982. In November, a grand jury indicted him for that murder.

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