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'The Jinx - The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst' on HBO

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Ken H, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Quite frankly I cannot see how this gets Durst to LA any quicker than if the evidence was thrown out, in which case Durst would most likely be extradited as soon as possible.


    Now that the evidence is admissible, there is no way the Federal prosecutor will plea bargain this one out. No way. They want Durst in jail for the rest of his life and this might be the best way to do just that.


    I believe like Dick DeGuerin does, that all the various law enforcement agencies involved, including the LA County District Attorney’s Office, are fully cooperating with each other to nail Durst. Perhaps like DeGuerin also says, LA does not have that much on Durst. So why not proceed with this case and if that doesn’t work, then let LA take their shot? Worse case it will keep Durst in custody longer, maybe even long enough that he dies or develops serious health issues.


    If they appeal, that will take longer.


    If they go to trial, that will take longer.


    I must be missing the point here.
     
  2. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert Durst Is 'Eager' to Clear His Name, Lawyer Tells PEOPLE


    Excerpted from PEOPLE.com


    By Chris Harris, 10/19/2015


    The eminent Texas litigator leading New York real estate heir and suspected murderer Robert Durst's defense team tells PEOPLE that his notorious client is anxious to get to California so he can finally prove his innocence.


    "He is ready for the fight," explains attorney Dick DeGuerin, who successfully defended Durst, 72, in 2003 while he was on trial for allegedly killing and dismembering Morris Black, his Galveston, Texas, neighbor.


    "He was very discouraged, at first, when they arrested him" on federal firearm charges in New Orleans back on March 14, DeGuerin says. "But he has come to realize that this is finally his opportunity to clear his name – at trial, with fair rules, in a court that will require hard evidence."


    In an interview with PEOPLE, DeGuerin says the producers of the acclaimed HBO show ('The Jinx') "were out to get [Durst] from the very get-go" and claims his client was "tricked into thinking he would get a fair opportunity to explain himself after being under unfair suspicion for almost all of his adult life in the disappearance of his wife."


    Instead, DeGuerin says Durst was blindsided by (Director Andrew) Jarecki, who did not respond to emails seeking comment for this story.


    "Now, he's unfairly suspected of killing Ms. Berman because of this entertainment program being creatively edited to make it look like he was either confessing or that there is new evidence when there is not," DeGuerin says. "He is eager to finally have his say in court, at his trial, in front of a jury and not with somebody who was only out to get an Emmy."


    Life in Jail
    DeGuerin says he has been traveling to Hahnville, Louisiana, weekly to meet with Durst at the St. Charles Parish Jail, where he is being held without bail. His client is not in isolation, but isn't "roaming general population with 20-year-old gangbangers" either, he says.



    DeGuerin says he's "very satisfied with the way" his client is being treated at the jail, noting staffers tend to Durst's ongoing health issues. Without offering up names, DeGuerin adds his client has had a number of visitors since his arrest in March.

    Durst's trial on the federal gun charge – stemming from his alleged possession of a handgun at the time of his March arrest – is set to begin in New Orleans on Jan. 11, 2016, and DeGuerin says he can't wait.


    "We're ready to go, like race horses in the starting gates," the lawyer says. "This case in New Orleans has been a distraction from him being able to defend himself in this case in California. We are trying to expedite the process [in Louisiana] so we can get him to California and go to trial as soon as we can."


    DeGuerin, who will represent Durst when he goes to trial in both Louisiana and California, admits that he's not sure how easy it is going to be to find impartial jurors after the airing of The Jinx.


    "We don't know how much exposure HBO has in the areas where we will be picking our jury, but it is available through hundreds of cable providers and has been replaying," he says. "You can also watch it online. What the saturation is, I don't know. But we are making efforts to find that out."


    DeGuerin also says he'd be curious to see the raw footage that Jarecki and his film crew captured while profiling Durst.


    "There are hundreds of hours of footage that was shot over several days with Bob, and a lot of the outtakes we don't have yet but we would like to see because as I said, I think it was heavily creatively edited," DeGuerin says.


    Durst has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.


    http://www.people.com/article/robert-durst-eager-clear-his-name-lawyer
     
  3. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Who the hell would marry Robert Durst?


    From The New York Post

    By Mackenzie Dawson, October 31, 2015


    Jeanine Pirro handled countless cases as the district attorney and first female judge on the Westchester County bench. But the one involving Kathleen “Kathie” Durst, missing since Jan. 31, 1982, would become something of an obsession for Pirro over the next few decades — her great white whale.


    Kathleen’s husband, Manhattan real estate scion Robert Durst, was a suspect in her disappearance, although her body was never found, and the case never went to trial.


    Based on a tip that ultimately proved fruitless, Pirro reopened the cold case in conjunction with the New York State police in the fall of 2000. Panicked over the ensuing media attention, Durst fled New York for Galveston, Texas, where he tried to pass himself off as a deaf, mute woman.


    This incognito new life didn’t last long; on December 23, 2000, Durst’s longtime friend, Susan Berman, was shot and killed in her Los Angeles home — a shocking development that put Durst once again in the middle of a criminal case.


    Then, in October 2001, he was arrested on accusations of having murdered and dismembered a Galveston neighbor, Morris Black. Durst was acquitted after claiming he shot Black in self-defense and dismembered the body in a panic.


    More than a decade passed. Durst remained free. But it all came to a stunning climax last February, when the HBO docu-series “The Jinx” aired. In the final episode, Durst, unaware that his microphone is still on, wanders off to the men’s room and mutters, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”


    In this excerpt from Pirro’s new book — “He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice,” out Tuesday — she details meeting Durst’s current wife, Debrah Lee Charatan, who was seen briefly in “The Jinx” and became a source of fascination to viewers.


    People wondered what kind of woman would marry Durst — and so did Pirro.


    Pirro recalls being driven through Manhattan in October 2001, shortly after Durst was arrested for the murder of Morris Black, when her phone rang. It was John O’Donnell, a senior investigator in her office.


    “Boss, we found Robert Durst’s wife.”


    My heart stopped. They found the body. I said, “Where?”


    He said, “She’s living in New York City.”


    Kathie was alive? I said, “What do you mean?”


    He said, “He’s got another wife — Debrah Lee Charatan.”


    My head was reeling. Who in her right mind would marry Robert Durst?


    Durst had quietly been granted a divorce from Kathie on the grounds of spousal abandonment in 1990. He and Charatan had married in December 2000. Upon hearing the surprising news, Pirro immediately had her driver change direction and head to the Madison Avenue offices of Debrah Lee Charatan Realty, Inc., on Madison Avenue.


    The receptionist might not have recognized my face, but the name clicked. Her eyes got big. “One minute,” she said, and went through a door. She came back and said, “I’m sorry. Debrah can’t see you. You don’t have an appointment.”


    “Well, you tell her she can talk to me now or she can come to the grand jury,” I said, which was my number-one favorite threat.


    The receptionist went back in, then came out and said, “Follow me.”


    We were brought to a large, sunny office. The woman behind an impressive desk said, “I’m Debrah Lee Charatan.”


    “Are you married to Robert Durst?”


    In her gravelly smoker’s voice, she answered, “Yes.”


    I took one look at her and knew two things. One, she was not a woman you could mess with. And two, she was my kind of broad. She was impeccably dressed in high-end designer clothes. Great jewelry. She was fit and obviously worked out. Here’s a woman who spends a lot on clothes and lifestyle. Money is very important to her. She oozed confidence and was, as I’d realize quickly, sharp as a whip.


    It was just bizarre to be standing in front of my nemesis’s wife. If Debrah Lee Charatan and I had happened to meet in the 1980s at a restaurant like Elaine’s or Michael’s, I could see talking to her over a cocktail and thinking, “This is one smart cookie”. . .But we weren’t meeting under pleasant circumstances.


    Why marry him? Robert didn’t make a move unless he had a damned good reason, so their secret marriage had to serve a larger purpose. Knowing him, and getting to know her, I concluded that reason could only be one thing: money. It sure as hell wasn’t love.


    “When did you marry Robert?” I asked.


    “Last year,” she replied.


    “Do you remember the date?”


    “No.”


    “You don’t remember the day you got married?”


    She said, “Not really.”


    She was giving me the run-around while two men with guns stood behind me. This woman had seriously big, clanging balls.


    But so did I. “Why don’t you get your calendar and we’ll take a look?” I asked.


    She called in the receptionist to get her calendar. Debrah flipped through it and said, “We got married on Dec. 11.”


    Twelve days before Susan Berman was murdered.


    I said, “Were any people at the wedding?”


    “It was a small ceremony.” As my team later discovered, Debrah had opened a phone book and picked a rabbi, one Robert I. Summers. He performed a 15-minute ceremony in a conference room.

    Robert gave her a $78,000 ring. It might sound like a lot. But consider that Durst received $3 million a year from his trust. If you used the one-month-salary rule, Durst should have spent $250,000.


    The betrothed couple next went to a lawyer’s office, and he signed over power of attorney, giving her control of his vast fortune. Durst would himself describe the union to his sister, Wendy, as a “marriage of convenience. I had to have Debrah to write my checks. I was setting myself up to be a fugitive.”


    I said to her, “You do realize that Robert Durst is a dangerous man.”


    “He’s not dangerous at all. If he came home, I’d open the door.” He was on the lam at the time, having jumped bail in Galveston, Texas.


    At the time, Durst was a suspect in the murder and dismemberment of Morris Black. After being charged with the murder, he posted $300,000 bail and fled Texas. He was later caught in Pennsylvania shoplifting a sandwich from a Wegman’s grocery store.


    Clearly, Debrah didn’t scare easily. I would find out that she grew up a butcher’s daughter in Howard Beach, Queens. Her parents were among the few Polish Holocaust survivors — her father lost a foot on a landmine during the war — so you can only imagine how tough they were. Their daughter came with a survivor’s instinct preinstalled. It was in her blood.


    “Do you have kids?” I asked.


    “A son.”


    “Would you let Robert in if your son was home?”


    “I didn’t get custody,” she said.


    Her first marriage, to attorney Bradley Berger, ended in 1985. The divorce, and the custody battle for her then 5-year-old son, was brutal. Her husband got full custody. After losing numerous appeals, Debrah didn’t visit or speak to her son for 15 years.


    “Let’s back up for a second. How’d you meet Robert?” I asked.


    “Oh, I’ve known him for years,” she said.


    As it turned out, they met at the Rainbow Room at a real-estate-industry party in December 1988. I can totally understand why Robert Durst would have zeroed in on her. She was 16 years his junior, striking and elegant with an unmistakably hard edge.


    But she was having a rough time. She was buried under lawsuits and legal bills, recently divorced. Her first firm, Bach Realty, Inc., had been an all-female firm founded in 1980.


    It was, initially, a huge success, with annual billings of $200 million. Charatan was obsessed with money and fame. In a profile for Manhattan Inc. magazine in the mid-’80s, she was quoted as saying, “If I couldn’t be a star, I wouldn’t be happy.”


    By the late ’80s, her star had fallen. The Labor Department was investigating her on three cases, and at least four lawsuits were filed by ex-employees [who claimed the firm failed to pay commissions].


    They used words like “tyrannical,” “greedy” and “shark” to describe their former boss.


    Debrah lost most of the suits and had to pay hundreds of thousands in fines and commissions. The firm dissolved in 1987.


    Enter Robert, Debrah’s savior, in 1988. Somehow, he overcame his chronic cheapness and gallantly paid off her lawyers. He showered her with Durst Organization perks like car service vouchers.

    Practically overnight, she went from down-and-out to living large.


    In 1990, two years into their relationship, Charatan moved into Durst’s Fifth Avenue apartment.


    After the altruistic, naïve Kathleen, Robert must have seen Debrah as appealingly ruthless and savvy. His murky past and personality quirks — burping, farting and smoking pot in public —wouldn’t faze her. She could handle him.


    Debrah must have looked at Robert and seen dollar signs. . .She was, it seemed, the only person in the world he trusted.


    I said, “You know, his wife is missing. Susan Berman was murdered. And he chopped up a guy.”


    She said, “Yeah. I’m not afraid of him at all.”


    “What’d you do for Christmas?” I asked. Susan was killed Dec. 23.


    She said, “We don’t celebrate Christmas.”


    “What’d you do for Hanukkah?”


    “I don’t really remember.”


    I said, “What’d you do for New Year’s Eve?”


    “I was probably in the Hamptons. He was wherever.”


    “Where did you go on your honeymoon?”


    “We didn’t go on a honeymoon,” she replied.


    “Well, that’s weird,” I said.


    “Look,” she said. “I’m a businesswoman. I have a business to run. I have a lot of other things going on.”


    “Okay,” I said. She got me there. “So you get married, you don’t go on a honeymoon, you don’t spend Hanukkah or New Year’s together. Are you guys living together? Did you consummate the marriage?”


    Before she could answer that gruesome question, a man came into the room. “Steve Rabinowitz. She’s represented by counsel. No more questions.” He started making noises about asking us to leave.


    I could tell by Debrah’s voice that she was a smoker. I was a smoker then, too. I said, “Where can we have a cigarette?” Apparently, she was jonesing for one, and she took me out onto the fire escape.

    The two of us — in our skirts and heels — climbed out the window. I asked again about their intimate relationship, but she danced around the details. From her expressions, though, it was obvious that she wasn’t a real wife and theirs wasn’t a real marriage. She was a front, a beard.


    “I don’t get it,” I said. “Why would you stay with Robert after what he’s done?”


    “You’re a stand-up woman,” she said. “You stood by your man.”


    Pirro’s husband, Al, was convicted in 2000 of federal tax evasion and conspiracy.


    She was equating my loyalty to Al, the father of my children, with her loyalty to Robert Durst?


    I said, “My husband never laid his hand on me or anybody else.”


    I stayed with Al because I believe in family. Al was a great father, a great provider, and a decent, wonderful man. There was a difference between an accountant’s screwup and dismembering a human.


    “Well, I’m not afraid of [Robert] and I’ll take him back.” But by the time we finished our cigarettes, her lawyer [had returned]. “She’s done talking,” he said.


    Durst, now 72, was arrested on first-degree murder charges in the death of Susan Berman in March 2015 and is awaiting trial in a New Orleans prison.


    Charatan, 58, remains married to Durst, but a New York Times story from March 2015 states that she hasn’t spoken to Durst since February, when “The Jinx” aired. She is currently expanding her NYC investment office.


    From “He Killed Them All” by Jeanine Pirro. Copyright 2015 by Jeanine Pirro. Reprinted by permission of Gallery, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


    http://nypost.com/2015/10/31/what-kind-of-woman-would-marry-robert-durst/


    This is the first, of many I'm sure, salvos of publicity for Ms. Pirro's book. Now all we have to do is wait for is the lawsuit from Douglas Durst that is also sure to follow.


    I wonder if all it would take is a phone call with the right dollar amount for Ms. Charatan to hop back on board the Durst bandwagon? Maybe, maybe not. After all, she already has roughly $20 million of his money for herself, from all reports her new business is thriving, and she's pretty well hooked up with one of Durst's many real estate lawyers Steven I. Holm. Maybe she feels like she just doesn't want to go there again? I'd bet big money that Holm is telling her to stay as far away from Durst as possible. We shall see.


    Footnote: When this article was originally published in The New York Post on 10/31/15, the title was "What kind of woman would marry Robert Durst?" By the next day, the title was changed to "Who the hell would marry Robert Durst?"
     
  4. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Ex-Prosecutor Details Robert Durst Case in New Book, but Some Fear It Could Aid Defense


    From The New York Times

    By Charles V. Bagli, 11/4/15


    Just when the story of Robert A. Durst, the New York real estate scion who is a suspect in two murders, could not get any stranger, a new book arrives from a former Westchester County district attorney, Jeanine Pirro, describing her quest for justice in his case.


    As she frequently reminds readers of “He Killed Them All,” Ms. Pirro donned custom-made armor — Armani suit, Chanel bag and Manolo Blahnik pumps — to pursue an investigation from 1999 to 2005 into the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Durst’s first wife, Kathleen.


    But details in her 313-page account, which was published on Tuesday, are already being challenged by some of her former investigators; friends and relatives of Kathleen Durst; the Durst family; and the original co-author of the book, who was fired in June.


    Ms. Pirro’s critics fear that her memoir could aid Mr. Durst’s defense and provide a major headache for prosecutors in Los Angeles, where Mr. Durst is accused of murdering a onetime confidante to prevent her from disclosing what she knew about how Mrs. Durst vanished in 1982.


    Aside from recounting the history of Mr. Durst’s misdeeds in three states, Ms. Pirro devotes many pages to excoriating a half-dozen figures long associated with the case who have been critical of her role or, in her view, committed some other offense.


    Her enemies list includes the original State Police investigator (Joseph Becerra) who reopened the case in 1999 and brought it to her office; the prosecutor whom she promoted (Kevin Hynes) and put in charge of the case; the judge in Galveston, Tex., (Susan Criss) who presided over Mr. Durst’s 2003 murder trial there and placed Ms. Pirro under a rule of silence; an acquaintance of Mrs. Durst (Ellen Strauss) who has been critical of Ms. Pirro’s actions; and Douglas Durst, Mr. Durst’s brother, whose lawyer has warned her against repeating “factual errors” about the family.


    Whatever the merits of Ms. Pirro’s accusations, investigators worry that she has handed Mr. Durst’s defense team a playbook to impugn their testimony.


    Mr. Becerra and Douglas Durst are among those expected to be prosecution witnesses in the Los Angeles murder case. Even if the accusations are groundless, the statements in her book could be used to undermine their credibility with the jury.


    “It sure sounds like payback time,” Gerald L. Shargel, a prominent criminal defense lawyer in New York, said. “In my opinion, she’s giving the defense team more ammunition for cross-examination.”


    But, Mr. Shargel added, the rules of evidence may limit the impact of anything in a book published long before a trial would probably begin. Mr. Durst, 72 and in poor health, is in prison outside New Orleans, where he is being held on gun charges.


    Years ago, Ms. Pirro’s public statements did renew interest in Mrs. Durst’s disappearance; investigators from Ms. Pirro’s office unearthed new evidence and tore holes in Mr. Durst’s alibi. But Ms. Pirro was never able to bring an indictment. “We didn’t have much more than they had in 1982,” she acknowledged in the book, “other than an additional 21 years of witnesses’ memories fading, lost opportunities and minus one central witness.”


    Mrs. Durst’s disappearance resulted in what is now regarded as a sloppy investigation. Susan Berman, a Mr. Durst’s confidante and a magazine writer, served as his shield against the spotlight of the news media.


    Mr. Durst, who waited five days to report his wife missing, hired a lawyer and briefly talked to investigators. In a television documentary broadcast this year, he conceded that he did not tell the truth about his whereabouts at the time.


    The investigation soon lost steam and disappeared from the headlines for 17 years until 1999, when Mr. Becerra, a New York State Police investigator, got a tip prompting him to interview witnesses and Mrs. Durst’s relatives. He eventually brought the case to the Westchester district attorney’s office.


    “Joe was a stand-up guy,” Mrs. Durst’s brother, James McCormack, said. “Joe was the only guy I talked to until the end of 2000.”


    But that is not the way Ms. Pirro describes Mr. Becerra, whom she scorns as someone who “always managed to get his mug in front of the camera,” a complaint often lodged against her.


    She accuses Mr. Becerra of jeopardizing the case against Mr. Durst by leaking information to reporters and alerting Mr. Durst and Ms. Berman.


    Mr. Becerra has always denied doing any such thing, but he did respond to questions about Ms. Pirro’s accusations. Ms. Pirro complained to Mr. Becerra’s boss. Ultimately, he was thrown off the case, banished to a distant barracks and investigated. But not before he traveled 10 months later with Ms. Pirro and other investigators to Galveston, where Mr. Durst had been arrested on murder charges.


    One evening after a round of drinks with her investigators at a hotel, Ms. Pirro related, she rose to go to her room. Mr. Becerra, she says, slipped into her elevator and propositioned her. “There was no question in my mind what he wanted,” she wrote.


    The broadside against Mr. Becerra, however, has infuriated other investigators who worked on the case.


    “She had him thrown off the case because he was getting more press than she,” said Ed Murphy, a retired senior criminal investigator who is praised by Ms. Pirro in her book. “I don’t understand it. Joe was the one who did all the legwork.”


    Lisa DePaulo, who was Ms. Pirro’s original co-author, cast doubt on her account of Mr. Becerra’s unwanted affections. She had flown to Galveston in 2001 with her and joined the group at the hotel bar.


    Ms. DePaulo said she continued talking with Mr. Becerra and the investigators after Ms. Pirro went to her room. “I’m pretty sure Joe and I were the last ones there,” she added.


    Ms. DePaulo filed a lawsuit last month against Ms. Pirro claiming that they had a falling out after she refused to write things that she knew to be untrue.


    Ms. Pirro did not return phone calls seeking comment.


    “He Killed Them All” dismisses Mr. Hynes, Ms. Pirro’s former prosecutor, as a “nosy” assistant who “had nothing to offer about Durst, or to law enforcement in general,” despite her having promoted him to the No. 2 spot in her office and sending him to California to interview witnesses.


    Ellen Strauss, a retired lawyer who has criticized Ms. Pirro publicly since 2003 for failing to interview Ms. Berman before her death, fares no better. Ms. Strauss is portrayed as a liar who falsely claimed to have been a friend of Mrs. Durst and to have uncovered evidence in the case.


    Susan Criss, the judge who presided over the 2003 murder trial in Galveston, is dismissed as “completely out of her depth” and all too willing to accommodate Mr. Durst’s defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin.


    “This book should be classified as a romance,” Ms. Criss said. “But I am not sure love stories that only involve one person sell.”


    One former investigator in the Westchester County district attorney’s office, who requested anonymity because he may be called as a witness in Los Angeles, lamented that Mr. Durst had escaped justice for so many years. His last hope, he said, lies with the prosecutors. “I just hope that Jeanine’s book doesn’t hurt the California case,” he said.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/05/nyregion/ex-prosecutor-details-robert-durst-case-in-new-book-but-some-fear-it-could-aid-defense.html?_r=0



    How ironic that Pirro's book could end up serving Durst. Strange is an understatement.
     
  5. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Is Robert Durst moving closer to answering a murder charge in L.A.?


    From The LA Times

    By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, November 16, 2015


    Jailed millionaire Robert Durst is about to re-enter the spotlight.


    On Monday, a federal judge issued an order for Durst to be re-arraigned on weapons charges next month in Louisiana. That could signal that he is prepared to change his not guilty plea in order to speed his extradition to Los Angeles, where he faces a murder charge in the 2000 killing of his friend Susan Berman.


    In Houston, Durst’s lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, would not comment about whether his eccentric client plans to change his plea at the Dec. 17 hearing, and said the legal team remains focused on getting him extradited.


    "Bob Durst did not kill Susan Berman and doesn't know who did," DeGuerin said.


    "From the time of his arrest in New Orleans in March, Bob and his legal team have been eager to get to California so he will finally have the opportunity to prove his innocence," he added, "We hope to resolve all other charges right away so that Bob can be transferred to California for trial."


    Durst, 72, heir to a New York real estate empire, drew national attention this year as the subject of the HBO docudrama "The Jinx."

    The series explored the mysterious disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathy, in 1982, as well as the 2000 killing of Berman, who was found shot in her Benedict Canyon home. In the final episode, Durst is caught muttering what sounded like a confession to the killings into a microphone off-camera.


    Durst left his final interview to use the bathroom, appearing not to notice that his microphone was still recording as he muttered to himself, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."


    "There it is, you’re caught," he said at another moment. "What a disaster."


    Before the series ended last spring, Durst disappeared from his Houston condo, a manhunt ensued and he was caught in New Orleans on March 14. Los Angeles County officials charged him with murder in connection with Berman’s death and attempted to extradite him to California.


    Durst’s high-powered legal team didn’t oppose extradition, but the Louisiana prosecutors did. State and federal officials brought charges in connection with guns recovered from Durst’s New Orleans hotel room, and he has languished in a Louisiana prison ever since.


    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-robert-durst-rearraignment-louisiana-20151116-story.html



    Ms. Fiske is the journalist that Durst wrote to last April while in a Louisiana jail, after his arrest in March.



    It appears I was completely wrong about the US Attorney's Office cutting a deal with Durst.


    Current Speculation:
    - The deal must call for Durst to accept a delayed sentence while the trial in L.A. proceeds.
    - The evidence for the Federal charges must be so compelling that his legal team is conceding them now and would worry about them later, assuming there was a reason to do so after the murder trial. Meaning if he’s convicted on the LA murder charge that would make the Federal sentence irrelevant.
    - Since all the law enforcement agencies are working together, they must feel the evidence in LA is pretty strong, perhaps DNA or new witnesses?


    Hopefully we’ll learn more details when the hearing takes place on December 17th.
     
  6. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert Durst’s former sister-in-law pushes back against brother’s steps toward filing wrongful death lawsuit for Kathleen Durst


    From The New York Post

    By Barbara Ross, November 20, 2015


    Robert Durst's former in-laws are clashing over whether they should sue him for the wrongful death of his wife, Kathleen, who disappeared in 1982.


    In Manhattan Surrogate Court on Friday, attorneys for one of her sisters, Carol Bamonte, and for the Public Administrator's office said they were concerned about the validity of a document that Kathleen's brother, James McCormack, submitted.


    McCormack has asked the Surrogate Court to appoint him temporary administrator for the sole purpose of filing the lawsuit, and his papers include a waiver signed by his 101-year-old mother saying she supported his efforts.


    Staci Graber, the attorney for the Public Administrator who has overseen Kathleen's estate because she had no will, said the sisters claim their mother has "severe dementia" and is not capable of knowing what she was signing.


    "Her (mental) capacity is questionable," Graber said.


    "Someone is competent until they are deemed incompetent. There has been no finding that she is," replied McCormack's lawyer, Elizabeth Eilender.


    Surrogate Court Judge Nora Anderson postponed making a decision for a month until Eilender can give Kathleen Durst's mother formal notice of the proceeding and invite her to object.


    "There is a family dynamic going on here," McCormack said afterward.


    He said that for the past 30 years, his sisters have insisted on privacy when it came to dealing with their sister's presumed death and they are not eager to push it into the courts where the painful matter will be in a public forum.


    "I love my sisters. I don't blame them for wanting to protect their privacy," he said.


    McCormack said his sisters always "pushed back" against publicly demanding justice, but he took a different path, urging investigators to solve the mystery of his baby sister's disappearance and working with documentarians whose series, “The Jinx,” resulted in the airing of Durst's private, chilling admission that he "killed them all."


    "That's the straw that broke the camel's back," McCormack said.


    "This is not a money grab by James McCormack. This is a grab for justice," Eilender told reporters. McCormack said he invited his sisters to join his application to pursue a wrongful death claim, but they refused.


    "All I got is push back and then cut off," he said.


    McCormack said he decided to do it on his own and he insisted there is nothing wrong with his mother's signed waiver or her mind. It's a hearing problem — only 10% in one ear and 60% in the other — that gives the impression of dementia, he said.


    Although Durst has been investigated repeatedly for the possible murder of his wife, whose body was never found, Durst was never charged with killing her.


    The Westchester County District Attorney's office and New York State police have an ongoing inquiry into her 1971 disappearance from the couple's home in South Salem. It was reinvigorated with the airing of “The Jinx.”


    “The Jinx” also triggered new interest in the death of a California woman, Susan Berman, who was a friend of the couple. Berman was killed shortly before Westchester investigators could interview her about the couple and the wife's disappearance.


    Now in a New Orleans jail facing weapons charges, Durst is due next to appear in the California courts where he has been charged with Berman's death.


    McCormack said that any money that comes from a wrongful death case would go to Kathy's Porchlight Foundation, a group he has set up to provide financial assistance to medical students. Kathleen Durst, who wanted to be a pediatrician, was three months away from finishing medical school when she vanished.


    Despite the controversy among the siblings, McCormack's lead attorney Alex Spiro predicted a peaceful resolution.


    "The wrongful death case will go forward," he said.


    Bob Abrams, the Lake Success attorney representing Kathleen's sister, Carol Balmonte, did not return a call seeking comment.


    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/robert-durst-in-laws-fight-wrongful-death-suit-article-1.2441713
     
  7. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Family of Robert Durst’s First Wife Sues Him for $100 Million in Her Disappearance


    From The New York Times

    By Charles V. Bagli, November 30, 2015


    Kathleen McCormack Durst disappeared from her home in Westchester County nearly 34 years ago, on a cold January night, only months before she would have graduated from medical school. It was the beginning of an enduring mystery.


    On Monday, Ms. Durst’s mother, Ann McCormack, who is 101, and three sisters — Carol Bamonte, Mary Hughes and Virginia McKeon — filed a $100 million lawsuit against the man they have long suspected of killing her: Robert A. Durst, her husband. The lawsuit contends that Mr. Durst violated the McCormack family’s right to sepulcher, a rarely used New York law granting family members the immediate right to possession of a body for burial.


    “The family’s priority has been and continues to be to provide Kathleen with a proper and dignified burial,” Robert Abrams, a lawyer for the McCormack family, said.


    The lawsuit contends that Mr. Durst “murdered Kathleen,” 29, his first wife. If successful, the lawsuit would strip Mr. Durst of much of his wealth; authorities put his net worth at about $100 million.


    The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Mineola, N.Y., is only the latest development in Mr. Durst’s legal troubles since he agreed to cooperate with the producers of a six-part documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” that was broadcast on HBO in February and March.


    For a long time after Ms. Durst disappeared, Mr. Durst led a carefree, peripatetic life that took him from New York to Los Angeles to Houston and back again, fueled by a constant flow of cash from his estranged family’s real estate empire in New York City.


    Mr. Durst, 72, has been in prison in New Orleans since March on a gun charge. He is expected to be sentenced on Dec. 17 to more than five years in prison after acknowledging his guilt in that case, according to people briefed on the negotiations but not authorized to discuss them.


    Mr. Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, declined to discuss the pending plea bargain. “We’re not going to comment on it until the day it happens,” he said.


    Mr. DeGuerin added: “There is no evidence that Robert Durst had anything to do with Kathleen’s disappearance. Anybody can file a lawsuit, but eventually they’ll have to come with evidence.”


    Sometime next year, Mr. Durst will be transferred to Los Angeles, where he has been charged with the execution-style murder of a confidante who served as his spokeswoman after his wife’s disappearance in 1982. According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Durst shot the confidante, Susan Berman, in the back of the head because she was “a witness to a crime.”


    Mr. Durst’s life has been in a tailspin since he agreed to cooperate with the filmmakers and provide them with 25 hours of interviews and an extensive cache of family mementos, credit card records and court papers.


    His lawyers had warned him against the idea, citing the risk of stirring up investigators and prosecutors who suspected him in the deaths of at least three people.


    But Mr. Durst was undeterred. “I am convinced that there’s no reason I shouldn’t say anything I want to anyone I want,” Mr. Durst said in an interview in February, two days before the first episode of “The Jinx” was shown. “It’s so long ago. Some D.A. would have to commence a major budget-busting investigation. I don’t see that happening.”


    The documentary, which explored his connection to the deaths of Ms. Berman, the decapitation of a boardinghouse neighbor in Texas, and the disappearance of his wife, concluded with Mr. Durst’s own whispered words: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”


    Less than 24 hours before the broadcast of the final episode, Mr. Durst was arrested in New Orleans on a first-degree-murder warrant from Los Angeles. Investigators discovered that Mr. Durst had a fake identification card, a latex mask, thousands of dollars in cash and a handgun in the pocket of a coat hanging in his hotel room.


    Contrary to Mr. Durst’s calculation, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office had reopened the investigation into the murder of Ms. Berman, helped in part by information from the producers of “The Jinx.”


    Investigators in Los Angeles had been tracking Mr. Durst’s movements and, fearing he was about to flee the country, obtained a murder warrant on March 11. Detectives found Mr. Durst three days later in New Orleans, where he had registered at a hotel under an assumed name.


    After Ms. Durst’s disappearance, investigators initially made little headway. In “The Jinx,” Mr. Durst conceded that he had not told the truth about his whereabouts on the night his wife disappeared, but professed no knowledge of what happened. He obtained a divorce in 1990.


    Mr. Durst sought his first wife’s $123,670 estate, but a Surrogate’s Court judge ruled in November 2001 that a portion would go to Ms. Durst’s mother and Mr. Durst’s share would be placed in escrow until the authorities determined whether he was culpable in Ms. Durst’s death. In 2013, Mr. Durst was again unsuccessful in obtaining a share of the estate.


    Ms. Durst’s brother, James McCormack, filed a petition in October seeking the authority to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Mr. Durst on behalf of his mother.


    But Ms. Bamonte, his sister, who has her mother’s power of attorney, has challenged the move in Surrogate’s Court, saying that their mother was incapable of knowing that she signed his petition. Instead, Ms. Bamonte, representing her mother, and her sisters have filed their own lawsuit against Mr. Durst.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/nyregion/family-of-robert-dursts-first-wife-sues-him-for-100-million-in-her-disappearance.html?_r=0



    A very illuminating article.


    So now we know that Durst is copping a plea to the federal gun charges, and he’ll get 5 years, before other considerations like parole or health issues. That alone may be enough to finish him off.



    Like I said before, his legal team must be more concerned with the pending charge in LA, and figure they only have to worry about the 5 years if things go really, really well in the murder trial.



    And the lawsuit, that’s another bizarre deal. After all this time, what is going on with Kathie Durst’s brother and sisters?
     
  8. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Durst's (ex) in-laws want assets frozen during civil suit


    From lohud.com

    By Jonathan Bandler, December 9, 2015


    The assets of multimillionaire real estate heir Robert Durst should be frozen as he faces a civil lawsuit accusing him of killing his first wife at their South Salem home nearly 34 years ago, her relatives argued in new court papers.


    Kathleen Durst’s mother, Ann McCormack, and three sisters, Carol Bamonte, Mary Hughes and Virginia McKeon, sued Durst in Nassau County Court last week, seeking at least $100 million – what authorities believe he is worth – for killing Kathleen and hiding her body, denying them the right to properly bury her.


    On Monday their lawyer filed a motion asserting that Durst must explain why his assets should not be frozen. The lawyer, Robert Abrams, contends that Durst has a history of hiding his millions.


    “Durst has shown there are no limits to his willingness to evade court orders and flaunt the law in order to be held personally liable for his actions,” Abrams wrote, calling Durst the “poster child” for why courts block defendants from disposing assets while civil lawsuits are pending. “Through these acts, Durst has established that his love of money trumps the value he places on human life.”


    It was unclear who would represent Durst in the lawsuit. His criminal defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, would not address the effort to freeze assets but suggested the lawsuit's claims were flawed.

    "Anybody can bring a lawsuit but you need evidence to sustain it," DeGuerin said Wednesday. "And there's no evidence that Bob Durst had anything to with the disappearance of Kathleen Durst."


    Abrams also wants access to documents detailing Durst’s fortune, particularly as they relate to real estate transactions conducted by his second wife, Debrah Charatan, who has control of Durst’s finances.


    Kathleen Durst disappeared on the night of Jan. 31, 1982, after returning to the couple’s South Salem home from a party in Connecticut. Durst has long maintained that he took her to the Katonah train station that night so that she could go to their Manhattan apartment and that he spoke with her later by phone.


    But he acknowledged in an HBO documentary that aired this year that he never spoke with her, claiming he lied about that years ago so that the investigation into her disappearance would “go away.”


    Durst was arrested in New Orleans on March 14, on the eve of the final episode of “The Jinx”, the HBO documentary that explored his life, the disappearance of his wife, his dismemberment killing of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001 and the execution-style slaying of his close friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000.


    FBI agents took him into custody on a California warrant charging him with first-degree murder in Berman’s slaying. After a gun was found in his hotel room, he was charged in federal court with possessing a weapon as a convicted felon. He had earlier served prison time for possessing guns during a cross country manhunt in 2001 after he skipped bail following his arrest in the Galveston killing. He was acquitted in that killing after claiming he shot Morris Black in self-defense during a struggle over a gun.


    Durst is expected to plead guilty next week to the gun charge, which would clear the way for him to be extradited to California to face the murder charge.


    Authorities there suspect he killed Berman just before Christmas in 2000 hoping to silence her over what she knew about the disappearance of Kathleen Durst.


    While Kathleen Durst’s family has long suspected that her husband killed her, the lawsuit follows his apparent admission at the conclusion of the documentary’s sixth and final episode.


    After being confronted with a handwriting sample suggesting he had written the note alerting police to Berman’s body, Durst ends an interview and heads to the bathroom.


    The mic remained on and Durst could be heard saying: “There it is… you’re caught. What the hell did I do? Killed them all of course.”


    http://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2015/12/09/durst--laws-want-assets-frozen-during-civil-suit/77057986/
     
  9. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Quoted in this topic many times, Charles V. Bagli is a New York Times reporter who has written about Robert Durst for 15 years, and arguably has provided the foremost journalistic coverage of Durst. He has a new article about Durst and his family - "The Durst Dynasty’s Rise, a Scion’s Descent". It's a recap of the family history, and Robert's roll as a misfit.


    Mr. Bagli covers "the intersection of politics and real estate" for the Times. He first mentioned the Durst family real estate activities in 1997.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/nyregion/durst-organization-new-york-real-estate.html
     
  10. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    I first became aware of this article from the "NYT Now" app, where at one point on Friday afternoon it was the lead article. Shortly after, it completely dissapeared from the app and I could only find it after a search of the NYT web site, where it was moved to the New York / Region section, langushing as the fifth story on the page.


    I wouldn't put it past the Durst family, in particular Douglas, to pressure the Times to bury this story as soon as possible. It just seems unusual for The Times to use a story in a promenent way, then immediatly relegate it to middle of the road page placement.


    In the NY/Region section, most of the stoies are dated today, but some are still there from 2-3 days ago. I wonder where this most current Durst story will find itself tomorrow? After all, the 17th is this Thursday.


    We shall see.
     
  11. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad to see the story is still on the NY/Region page today.
     
  12. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, tomorrow was supposed to be the big day. But this report from NOLA.com says otherwise.


    Robert Durst won't sign New Orleans plea deal this year


    Court filings show that Robert Durst still has a plea deal with federal prosecutors in New Orleans but won't sign it this year.


    He had been scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing Thursday (Dec. 17) on a weapons charge.


    But prosecutors and defense attorneys told Judge Helen Berrigan in a joint motion Tuesday that scheduling conflicts rule out all dates before a Jan. 11 trial date.


    Berrigan rescheduled the trial for March, noting that will let both sides set a new date for the re-arraignment and plea agreement.


    The weapons charge has kept Durst jailed in Louisiana since March, though he waived extradition to Los Angeles. There, he's accused of killing friend and former spokeswoman Susan Berman.


    His lawyers have said Durst is eager to prove he is innocent in Berman's death.


    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/12/robert_durst_wont_sign_new_orl.html
     
  13. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert Durst will return to L.A. to face murder charge in the summer


    From The Los Angeles Times, December 22, 2015

    By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Richard Winton


    New York real estate heir Robert Durst will return to Los Angeles by next summer to face a murder charge in connection with the death of his writer friend Susan Berman, prosecutors announced Tuesday.


    The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a statement that it had reached a deal with Durst's attorneys to have him extradited from New Orleans by Aug. 18.


    The agreement, made public by the district attorney's office, is dependent on Durst reaching a separate plea deal in a federal weapons case in Louisiana and his sentencing in that case.


    A Durst murder trial would be one of the highest profile and closely watched criminal trials the Los Angeles courts have seen in years.


    “We look forward to working with our district attorney to achieve some level of justice from Mr. Durst,” Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.


    Durst's Houston-based attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said the extradition deal had been in the works for some time.


    “Once we get our case resolved in New Orleans, then we will work on getting him, Bob, to California where he can be brought to trial,” DeGuerin told The Times.


    “We're hoping to get it resolved and get him there as soon as possible,” DeGuerin said, noting that Durst would be held pending arraignment if he arrives in California before Aug. 18.


    “There's a lot of moving parts. He has to be designated by the federal government to a prison in California,” where he would be held until he is transferred to another detention facility during trial, DeGuerin said.


    DeGuerin said he talked to Durst, 72, about the deal to get him extradited to face the murder charge in Los Angeles.


    “He recognizes that that's the main case, that's everything,” DeGuerin said of his client. “He's been amenable to being extradited since Day One.”


    Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said prosecutors fully expect Durst to be arraigned in August.


    “Everyone wants this proceeding to move forward. The agreement speaks for itself,” she said, adding the office would not comment further.

    Durst drew national attention this year as the subject of the HBO docudrama “The Jinx.”


    The series explored the mysterious disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathy, in 1982, as well as the 2000 killing of Berman, who was found shot in her Benedict Canyon home. In the final episode, Durst is caught muttering what sounded like a confession to the killings into a microphone off-camera.


    Durst left his final interview to use the bathroom, appearing not to notice that his microphone was still recording as he muttered to himself, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”


    “There it is, you’re caught,” he said at another moment. “What a disaster.”


    Before the series ended last spring, Durst disappeared from his Houston condo, a manhunt ensued and he was caught in New Orleans on March 14. Los Angeles County officials charged him with murder in connection with Berman’s death and attempted to extradite him to California.


    Durst has remained in prison in Louisiana facing a federal gun charge related to the discovery of a loaded revolver by FBI agents in his New Orleans hotel room. He has a change-of-plea hearing in federal court scheduled for Feb. 3.


    Durst has insisted he had nothing to do with Berman's fatal shooting.


    “Bob Durst didn't kill Susan Berman and doesn't know who did,” DeGuerin said. “He's ready to get to California and prove his innocence.”

    Laurie Levenson, a Loyola law professor and former federal criminal prosecutor, said the deal to move Durst to Los Angeles was not surprising.


    “We knew this day was coming. They can only hold him so long in New Orleans,” she said. “Sooner or later, he has to have his day in court in L.A.”


    She said the agreement suggests that both sides think they can win.


    “The question is are the prosecutors ready for trial on a murder case. This is a sensational case, but prosecutors have had almost a year already to prepare,” Levenson said. “They, of course, had been helped by Mr. Durst statements when he mumbled on tape he did it.”


    Though the HBO documentary might have given viewers the impression that the case against Durst is strong, both Levenson and Robert Sheahen, an L.A. criminal defense attorney, said proving murder in court is much more difficult.


    Sheahen noted that some of the evidence presented in the documentary — including what has become known as “the letter” — might not be enough to convince a jury that Durst is guilty of murder.


    The final episode of a six-part HBO documentary about Durst focuses on a writing sample from him. The episode highlights similarities between an envelope from a letter he sent to Berman in 1999 and an anonymous note sent to Beverly Hills police at the time of her killing, telling authorities that they would find “a cadaver” in Berman’s house.


    Both writing samples are written in all capital letters, and in both cases the “Beverly” in Beverly Hills is misspelled.


    “The evidence against him at first glance is significant, but a deeper examination shows problems,” Sheahen said. “The envelope doesn’t make him the killer.”


    [email protected]

    [email protected]


    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-robert-durst-will-face-murder-trial-in-l-a-next-summer-20151222-story.html
     
  14. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    This is exactly what I've been saying all along; unless the prosecutors in LA have a lot more evidence than what we know about (DNA?), Durst may well walk away again on a murder charge.


    Hopefully at a minimum he'll still serve the 5 year federal gun charge sentence.
     
  15. Ken H

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    Robert Durst blasts ‘vanished’ wife’s family over $100M lawsuit


    From The New York Post, by Julia Marsh and Bruce Golding

    January 4, 2016


    Creepy killer Robert Durst says his former in-laws haven’t got a legal leg to stand on in their $100 million lawsuit over the disappearance of his first wife.


    The wacko New York real-estate heir says a three-year statute of limitations “unquestionably” bars ex-mother-in-law Ann McCormack and her three daughters from seeking damages because they never got to bury the body of Kathleen Durst, according to court papers obtained by The Post.


    The Nassau County Supreme Court filing accuses Kathleen’s family of trying to capitalize on the “hype” and “media frenzy” generated by “The Jinx,” the HBO documentary miniseries about him that ended with an apparent confession by Durst, 72.


    In the series’ March finale, Durst — who was acquitted of murder in Texas in 2003, despite admittedly killing his neighbor, and is charged in the 2000 killing of a suspected witness in Kathleen’s 1982 disappearance — was caught on microphone muttering, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”


    “Whatever may be said about those comments in the media or in other proceedings, they have nothing to do with the statute of limitations, which runs from the date of mental anguish, not from the date of allegedly relevant (although highly debatable) evidence against the defendant,” his court papers say.


    Through his lawyers, Durst repeatedly blasts “The Jinx,” calling it “cleverly edited,” “imaginatively edited,” “fictionalized,” “sensationalized” and a “docu-drama.”


    “Careful examination of the production leaves no doubt that its producers were more interested in receiving an Emmy than revealing the truth,” the Wednesday filing says.


    Durst also took a shot at McCormack, 101, by alleging that she’s “more than 100 years old and apparently not legally competent.”


    McCormack and daughters Carol Bamonte, Mary Hughes and Virginia McKeon sued Durst in November, invoking a “right to sepulcher,” which allows a family to demand possession of a relative’s body for burial.


    In his response, Durst’s lawyers said they “are aware of no circumstances where such a claim has been brought against a deceased’s husband, or her alleged killer.”


    Durst is the only named suspect in Kathleen’s disappearance. He went on the lam disguised as a deaf-mute woman when the investigation was reopened in 1999.


    The lawyer representing McCormack and her daughters didn’t return a request for comment.


    http://nypost.com/2016/01/04/robert-durst-blasts-vanished-wifes-family-over-100m-lawsuit/
     
  16. Ken H

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    Building Owned by Robert Durst's Wife Lands on City's Watch List


    Excerpted from DNAinfo.com
    By Gustavo Solis, December 30, 2015


    HARLEM — An apartment building owned by Robert Durst's estranged wife was placed on a list of "at-risk" buildings by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.


    A 21-unit apartment building at 3149 Broadway — owned by Debrah Lee Charatan, the wife of suspected murderer and real estate scion Robert Durst — was placed under HPD's Proactive Preservation Initiative (PPI) in November, a spokeswoman said, giving the agency the power to take landlords to court for failing to make repairs.


    Rent-stabilized tenants of the building told DNAinfo New York in October that their landlord, BCB Property Management, which is run by Charatan, was trying to force them out by turning their homes into a construction zone full of dust, noise, and shaking walls.


    “They want us out,” said resident David Hanzal, a member of the recently-formed tenant association, who lives in a rent-stabilized apartment.


    The building's also been without cooking gas for four months, and currently has 49 open violations for transgressions including water leaks, loose light fixtures and a front door that won't close all the way.


    When DNAinfo reported on the building's conditions in October, residents said they had not had cooking gas since the beginning of September.


    While tenants continue to live without gas, construction crews have been upgrading the building's modest common areas with luxury finishes like chandeliers, residents said.


    “They put this gigantic, extravagant chandelier in the hallway and it’s hysterical,” he said. “Just making the hallway nicer doesn’t make the management better. It doesn’t make my apartment better. They are still not responding to certain things.”


    A lawyer representing BCB denied that they were in an HPD program.


    https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151230/west-harlem/building-owned-by-robert-dursts-wife-lands-on-citys-watch-list
     
  17. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Suspected Robert Durst victim must be declared dead in order for $100M lawsuit to continue


    From The New York Daily News

    By Barbara Ross, January 22, 2016


    Kathleen Durst, the wife of accused killer Robert Durst, must be declared dead — again — by a court if her family wants to sue her creepy real estate heir hubby for his $100 million fortune, a Manhattan judge said Friday.


    Manhattan Surrogate’s Court Judge Nora Anderson put the brakes on a squabble between Kathleen Durst's siblings over who will control the court battle for the money by suddenly asking: "Is there any evidence that Kathleen Durst is deceased?"


    Kathleen Durst disappeared in 1982 and although her body was never found, she has been presumed dead by her family and law enforcement. Her husband, who is facing California murder charges, has long been a suspect in his wife's death but has never been charged.


    Robert Abrams, a lawyer for Kathleen's sisters, told Anderson that a prior Manhattan Surrogate judge "regarded her (Kathleen) as an absentee."


    However, an attorney for Kathleen's brother said that same judge actually declared Durst's wife to be deceased in 1988, but just for the limited purpose of disbursing some of her life insurance policy to her mother.


    A lawyer for the brother, Alex Spiro, said he’d file the necessary paperwork to have the missing woman officially declared dead.


    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/preventing-100m-robert-durst-lawsuit-article-1.2506652
     
  18. Ken H

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    Robert Durst to enter plea on gun charge in February


    From ABC13.com


    A fugitive New York real estate heir held in Louisiana on a weapons charge will enter a plea next month that will let him return to Los Angeles to face a murder charge.


    Court filings show U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt set Feb. 3 as the date for Robert Durst's re-arraignment on a charge of illegally carrying a .38-caliber revolver after being convicted of a felony.


    The charge has kept Durst in Louisiana even though he waived extradition to Los Angeles to face a charge that he killed a friend and onetime spokeswoman in 2000.


    Previous filings show Durst has made a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Louisiana.


    In December, Durst's attorneys and Los Angeles County prosecutors filed an agreement stating that Durst will be extradited by Aug. 18.


    http://abc13.com/news/robert-durst-to-enter-plea-on-gun-charge-in-february/1174443/
     
  19. Ken H

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    Trump to Robert Durst in 2013: I Get Your Anger


    From The Daily Beast

    By Gideon Resnick, January 27, 2016


    The GOP frontrunner tweeted that he understood the infamous The Jinx subject’s anger in 2013.


    Before Donald Trump joked that he would shoot people on Fifth Avenue, he empathized with an acquitted, self-professed killer who admitted to cutting off an old man’s head.


    “Personally, I think Douglas Durst’s brother got screwed by Douglas—no wonder he’s angry,” Trump tweeted at 2:20 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2013.


    This, of course, came after the brother in question, Robert Durst, was acquitted of a 2001 murder in Texas in which he admitted cutting off his neighbor Morris Black’s head. Durst is awaiting trial for the 2000 slaying of friend Susan Berman in California.


    Trump’s tweet came 14 months before an HBO docuseries put Durst’s violent past back in the spotlight.


    In 2003, the same year of his acquittal, Durst allegedly showed up to his brother Douglas’s New York estate with two loaded handguns. He claimed he was contemplating suicide and not considering killing his brother. Durst later trespassed in front of townhouses owned by Douglas and other relatives in 2012 and 2013 and later insisted on a trial instead of spending a maximum 15 days in jail after his arrest.


    “I felt like kissing my lawyers,” Durst said after being acquitted of the trespassing charges in 2014. He asserted once again that he didn’t have murder on the brain. “I’m not spending my time running around 43rd Street wanting to shoot my brother,” Durst added.


    Trump’s tweet was likely aimed at venting his frustration at Douglas Durst, who was a major real estate competitor with the current Republican frontrunner. Durst, for example, won a bid to take ownership of the Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade Center. Trump called Durst a “disaster” at operating the new building, where Condé Nast eventually moved its offices.


    Of course, since then, Robert Durst has been booked on another murder charge for which he will face trial in Los Angeles this summer. And then there’s the whole unsolved situation involving the disappearance, and potential murder of his first wife, popularized in the HBO series The Jinx.


    It is unclear whether Trump still understands Robert Durst’s murderous anger or empathizes with his plight.


    When reached for comment on his relationship with Trump, a spokesman for Douglas Durst said, “We will take a pass.”


    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/27/trump-to-robert-durst-in-2013-i-get-your-anger.html
     
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    How Robert Durst Of 'The Jinx' Inspired KnowMe, Andrew Jarecki's Game-Changing Video App


    From Forbes

    By Ellen Killoran, January 27, 2016


    These days, Andrew Jarecki is best known for capturing a stunning off-camera murder confession from Robert Durst in the HBO documentary series The Jinx. But that’s only part of his story: The Princeton graduate earned an Oscar nomination for his 2003 documentary Capturing the Friedmans; he co-founded Moviefone and sold it to AOL for millions; he co-wrote the theme song to Felicity with showrunner J.J. Abrams.


    It’s safe to say that Jarecki contains multitudes. And he thinks the rest of us do, too — even suspected triple murderers. That’s what drove him to create KnowMe, a new iOS app that allows users to create and instantly share bite-sized movies, using stored images and audio files on their phone to enrich the message. There are plenty of apps out there for sharing videos, as well as more professional tools for editing raw footage into a narrative. But KnowMe, which guides users to create complex video ‘stories’ in real time, “is a way to eliminate the need for complicated editing tools by allowing people to create the story as they go,” Jarecki said. “My feeling was there should be something to communicate a rich message in a very simple way.”


    KnowMe, which had its official launch last week after a year of beta testing, may not be for everyone. Although there are unlimited options for the types of videos you can create, and no requirement to be on camera, the app’s default camera setting is on the creator, and the majority of current users are visible or audible in their KnowMe creations. Even those of us comfortable with the occasional selfie might find ourselves a bit camera-shy when trying out the KnowMe app.


    But Jarecki said the beta users appreciated the added exposure KnowMe provides. When asked how they felt about marketing KnowMe as “the quickest way to make a movie,” the focus group participants balked. “When you describe it as quick it sounds less fun for me,” Jarecki was told: “I like the experience of being able to craft something that takes me a minute or two to make. I enjoy the fact that I am sharing a little more of my personality.”


    While acknowledging that Durst “may not be the best example,” Jarecki said his Jinx subject helped him become more aware of our habit of making quick one-dimensional judgments of each other, often based on fear. “The truth is that Bob Durst is a person, and I didn’t know that until I spent some time with him,” Jarecki said.


    At KnowMe’s Soho offices, the company’s mission statement is written on a board in an open area: “We believe the more you know someone the more you love them.” Jarecki said that his hopes for KnowMe are to cut through the superficiality that defines so much of today’s social media culture. “With KnowMe, you’re seeing other people in their real state,” he said.


    Jarecki seeded KnowMe himself and brought in outside investors he knew personally, like J.J. Abrams and Trevor Noah. Additional funding came from Bessemer Venture Partners. Though Jarecki said he hasn’t concentrated too much on future monetization plans, he acknowledged that KnowMe has the potential to disrupt both the digital journalism and the online dating markets.


    Some KnowMe beta testers became citizen journalists, creating polished videos of newsworthy events as they happened, like the 2015 gas explosion in New York’s East Village. “News [can] happen in a quicker, more organic way” on KnowMe, Jarecki said. And for some users, KnowMe is a less restrictive alternative or supplement to apps like Tinder and OkCupid. Subscribers can create video profiles of themselves, on their own terms and in their own style, and share them in a space that isn’t yet defined by a specific intention.


    “The world of online dating is almost an artificial construction,” Jarecki said. “Why isn’t there just a way for people to connect with each other online, and decide later whether that’s a person you want to play guitar with in your band or someone you want to go on a date with? It’s kind of a crazy that a dating app in 2016 is basically offering you a photograph, measurements, and a couple of little factoids.”


    Still, Jarecki says he doesn’t think anyone in the social media or mobile video space should be feeling particularly threatened by competition from KnowMe. At least not yet. “It’s going to be awhile before we’re eating anyone’s lunch.”


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenkilloran/2016/01/27/how-robert-durst-of-the-jinx-inspired-knowme-andrew-jareckis-game-changing-app/#3fa6673255d6
     

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