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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. The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    I saw all 6 episode of the HBO series The Jinx several years back & was extremely impressed. This is one of the best true crime documentaries I've ever seen; superb use of old archival footage & pictures, as well as new footage, etc. It appears the newer interview segments were filmed in HD - excellent picture quality here. I've never seen a bad or even average HBO production, and The Jinx is no exception - superb.

    I noticed that when RD was speaking specifically about the crimes he was accused of, he had a strange eye blink/twitch. Anyone else notice this? I'm not psychologist, but it seems that may have meant something. Not sure, though.

    I'm not surprised that he was deemed "innocent" in the Galveston case. His extreme wealth enabled him to hire an extremely expensive lawyer, and because of this he was able to get off scot-free - despite having obviously committed a heinous crime. If he had been poor, he would unquestionably have been convicted & spent the rest of his life in jail - if he hadn't gotten the d. penalty.

    Going along with this, I also feel that if Durst weren't wealthy, he would have been in jail years ago for the death(s) of his first wife & his "friend" in LA. Though they didn't have any real evidence against him at the time these happened, poor people have been convicted on a lot less.
     
  2. Message #122 of 141 Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    Another bizarre twist.

    Excerpted from The New York Times

    The New York Times is reporting the producers of The Jinx significantly edited Robert Durst's comments at the end of the series. Rather than being consecutive, the last two sentences Durst is heard to say while off camera in the hotel bathroom where the interview took place (What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.), had been plucked from among the 20 in his rambling remarks, and were presented out of order.

    Mr. Durst’s lawyers are now preparing to cite those edits — they’ll call them manipulations — in an effort to cripple the prosecution as they get ready for the trial to begin in September. They are planning to call the documentary filmmakers as witnesses and to suggest that they cooperated so closely with the police that they became, in effect, “agents for law enforcement.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/arts/television/robert-durst-the-jinx.html
     
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  3. Message #123 of 141 May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    Latest updates.

    From Radar Online & inTouch Weekly
    A recent motion filed by Durst’s attorneys claim the two well-known handwriting samples, including the infamous “cadaver note”, were illegally obtained, as well as other various pieces of evidence surrounding his arrest in New Orleans in 2015. Durst’s counsel also claims there was a Fourth Amendment violation that would allow for the suppression of the New Orleans evidence and that the search of his hotel room in the French Quarter around the time of the arrest was unlawful.
    On May 8, 2019, LA County prosecutors filed an affidavit replying to the motion. LA County Prosecutor John Lewin said Durst stretches to paint a picture of an elaborate conspiracy between the producers of The Jinx, law enforcement officers, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – a conspiracy Durst alleges was conceived to trick "Defendant into incriminating himself and to time his arrest to maximize media attention and ratings". The prosecutor’s statement continued: “However, Defendant completely fails to acknowledge the most relevant fact leading to his arrest and the subsequent search of his hotel room and damning interview – law enforcement was on notice that Defendant was actively preparing to flee the country right after crucial evidence connecting him to Susan’s (Berman) murder was widely publicized on national television. When viewed in this context, it is readily apparent that the actions taken by law enforcement were more than reasonable – they were absolutely necessary to prevent a murderer, who had already avoided apprehension for more than 30 years, from fleeing the country and evading justice.”
    https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2019/05/prosecutors-slam-robert-durst-in-murder-trial-over-cadaver-note-the-jinx/
    https://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/robert-durst-and-attorneys-try-to-suppress-handwriting-evidence/

    From NY Daily News
    On May 17, 2019, LA County Judge Mark Windham granted Durst's defense team a four month postponement of his murder trial. The trial now has a new start date of Jan.13, 2020. The delay was granted after defense lawyers raised concerns about the volume of evidence in the case and conflicts with attorney schedules. Kathie Durst's brother Jim McCormack said he was disappointed by the trial delay and worried about Durst’s longevity. "I’m just hoping he’s still alive. Our family has been through hell.” Durst has battled esophageal cancer and a buildup of fluid on his brain in recent years and underwent a spinal fusion surgery.
    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-robert-durst-trial-postponed-january-20190517-6ijauwsxn5bmxhdnibn3lpl5ny-story.html
     
  4. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    I think these two things can be true simultaneously:

    1. Durst is guilty as hell.

    2. Jarecki is a poor documentarian.
     
  6. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    From the Los Angeles Times

    Handwriting experts to testify about ‘cadaver’ note in Robert Durst’s murder trial

    By Alene Tchekmedyian, July 17, 2019

    A Superior Court judge will allow handwriting experts to testify during the upcoming murder trial of the eccentric real estate scion Robert Durst but will hold an evidentiary hearing to determine how many — and what they can say.

    Their testimony will center on an anonymous note mailed to Beverly Hills police around the time Susan Berman was killed in 2000 that listed her Benedict Canyon address above the word “cadaver.”

    The mysterious letter, written by hand in block lettering, was postmarked the day before Berman’s body was found in her home with a bullet through the back of her head.

    It was a key piece of evidence that ultimately led investigators to Durst, who prosecutors have argued was trying to prevent Berman from reporting what she knew about Durst’s involvement in the 1982 disappearance in New York of his wife, Kathleen.

    L.A. County Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham will allow prosecutors to call at least two experts who concluded that Durst was probably the author of the so-called cadaver note, but he wants them to explain the studies and science they relied on to form their conclusions to decide what is admissible .

    Windham also decided to exclude the analysis of a Los Angeles Police Department handwriting expert who formed conflicting conclusions about who wrote the note within a two-year time frame, and his supervisor, who later admitted that she rubber- stamped his initial report without reading it.

    In February 2001, the LAPD’s William Leaver concluded it was “highly probable” that the cadaver note was written by Berman’s manager, Nyle Brenner. Several months later, in October, Durst was added to the mix, but there was no definitive conclusion.

    “At this point with the limited [exemplars] on Durst, there are more similarities w/Brenner. Need more,” Leaver wrote, according to a defense court filing.

    Investigators soon traveled to Galveston, Texas, to get additional writing samples from Durst. After reviewing those extra samples, prosecutors said, Leaver concluded the following June that Durst probably wrote the note.

    Faced with contradicting theories, Leaver quickly followed his analysis of Durst’s writing with a conclusion that it was now “highly probable” that Brenner had not written the missive to police.

    Windham called Leaver’s conclusion “garbage” and said “it’s truly shocking” that the supervisor signed off on his report without a thorough review.

    It was their disjointed analysis that defense attorneys cited when they sought to block handwriting analysis from the trial, calling it “junk science.” After the hearing, they would not comment on whether Durst was the author of the note.

    The two experts whom prosecutors plan to call during the trial reviewed the case with far more writing samples than Leaver had. Neither knew about Leaver’s analyses or errors and both pointed the finger at Durst, prosecutors said.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-07-17/robert-durst-cadaver-note-murder-trial
     
  7. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    Absolutely.
     
  8. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    I keep coming back to the same things.

    Short of Durst confessing, which is highly unlikely, I don’t think it will ever be known what really happened. Durst is most likely responsible for all three murders, a variety of felony crimes, and perhaps additional unknown capital crimes.

    The problem is, will there be enough convincing evidence for judge and jury to disregard how The Jinx affected the LA County Prosecutor's decision to indict Durst for Berman's murder?

    After seeing how effective Durst's defense team was in the Morris Black trial, and the type of motions they have filed in this case, it's clear they can call into serious question all the known evidence. The fact an LAPD handwriting expert flip-flopped on who wrote “the cadaver note” will be pounded into the trial.

    Durst will admit the unthinkable, again; the defense team will have him admit he wrote “the cadaver note”. The story will be he went to visit her, found her dead, and wrote the note. He knew he would be suspected but wanted his long time friend to be buried in a timely manner according to Jewish law.

    I don’t believe the known evidence is enough to convict Durst. The discovery part of the case is complete (I think) and everything is on the table for trial, including the fact there are no witnesses, no DNA, no fingerprints, no murder weapon. Nothing.

    At one point after realizing this, I thought the prosecution must have other evidence not yet known. Especially considering that lead prosecutor John Lewin made his name in cold cases.

    I wonder now if Lewin is so convinced Durst is guilty that he believed his own press clippings? I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
     
  9. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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  10. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    From The New York Post

    Lawsuit accusing Robert Durst of killing his wife thrown out

    By Lia Eustachewich, August 7, 2019

    The wrongful-death lawsuit against Robert Durst accusing him of murdering his wife Kathie in the 1980s has been dismissed.

    Carol Bamonte waited too long to file the suit against her sister’s alleged killer, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Goetz ruled Tuesday.

    Kathie mysteriously disappeared in 1982. Her body has never been found — but an appeals court previously ruled that her date of death is Jan. 31, 1982.

    Under the statute of limitations, Bamonte had two years to sue the kooky real estate scion, whom she accused in her March complaint of killing Kathie because she planned to expose the wealthy family’s illegal business dealings.

    Bamonte and her lawyer argued for an exception to the statute of limitations, noting that Durst was charged in the 2000 murder of his longtime confidant Susan Berman in California — and that her death was the direct result of Kathie’s.

    Prosecutors in the Golden State believe Durst killed Berman to prevent her from going to authorities with information on Kathie’s death.

    But Goetz decided that the two cases have nothing to do with one another.

    “The California criminal action and this action for wrongful death clearly arise from different events,” Goetz wrote.

    He said an exception to the statute of limitations could apply — but only if Durst is criminally charged with Kathie’s murder.

    “We are disappointed but remain encouraged that Robert Durst will eventually be charged and convicted for Kathie’s murder in New York state,” said Bamonte’s lawyer Robert Abrams. “Sometimes it takes four decades to secure justice for a murder victim and her family.”

    The 76-year-old oddball heir to the Durst Organization is currently behind bars, awaiting trial in California.

    He was arrested in 2015 shortly after the HBO documentary “The Jinx” aired in which he was caught on a hot mic muttering to himself, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

    In 2003, Durst was acquitted in the murder of his neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas — despite admitting to chopping up Black’s body and tossing the parts into a nearby bay. His lawyers said he acted in self-defense.

    Durst’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a message.

    https://nypost.com/2019/08/07/lawsuit-accusing-robert-durst-of-killing-his-wife-thrown-out/
     
  11. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    From Reuters
    August 9, 2019

    Robert Durst's attorneys take aim at filmmakers behind 'The Jinx' in murder case
    LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for real estate scion Robert Durst, charged in Los Angeles with murdering his confidante Susan Berman in 2000, have asked a judge to declare that prosecutors had a very close working relationship with filmmakers behind an HBO documentary series who uncovered key evidence in the case.

    Durst’s attorneys on July 31 filed legal papers, which have not been publicly disclosed but were seen by Reuters, asking a judge to rule that the filmmakers are not entitled to legal rights that shield journalists from having to reveal their sources and information.

    Without such protections, the filmmakers could be forced to disclose information they came across in filming “The Jinx” to Durst’s attorneys that could aid in his defense, legal experts said.

    The legal papers filed by Durst’s attorneys do not seek to suppress any evidence uncovered for “The Jinx” that could be used at trial, saying they were not at this point asserting the collaboration between filmmakers and prosecutors violated his constitutional rights.

    Durst, 76, the multimillionaire grandson of a New York real estate tycoon, has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

    The filmmakers, according to the defense motion, “consulted, coordinated and collaborated” with authorities as far back as 2011 – four years before the documentary aired. They presented prosecutors with a PowerPoint presentation of their findings before Durst was arrested in 2015 and charged with murdering Berman, it said.

    “‘The Jinx’ was not the work of journalists,” Durst’s attorneys wrote in the motion. “It was ratings-seeking filmmakers engaging in police work.”

    Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, in an email would not discuss the motion in detail. “I decline to publicly discuss our strategy,” he said

    Victor Kovner, an attorney representing “The Jinx” director Andrew Jarecki, said the filmmakers reached out to authorities as responsible citizens only after they finished all their interviews because they had discovered evidence.

    “At no time did any of the journalists receive or respond in any way to any direction by the prosecution, and we’ll be making that clear in (court) papers that will be public in a couple weeks,” Kovner said in a phone interview

    A spokesman for prosecutors declined to discuss the motion, saying in an email that any response would come in the form of their own court filing.

    The motion from Durst’s attorneys is among the issues expected to be discussed at a court hearing on Sept. 3.

    HOT MIC STATEMENT
    Authorities arrested Durst in New Orleans on March 14, 2015, one day before the airing of the finale of “The Jinx” in which Durst could be heard muttering to himself off-camera in the bathroom, “There it is, you’re caught” and “Killed them all, of course,” after the filmmakers confronted him with potential evidence. Prosecutors contended he killed Berman because she knew too much about the 1982 disappearance of his wife.

    Although the legal papers filed by Durst’s attorneys do not seek to suppress any evidence uncovered for “The Jinx” that could be used at trial, criminal defense experts said suppressing evidence, such as Durst’s hot mic statements, may be the attorneys’ ultimate strategy.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Windham, at a hearing last year in which he ordered Durst to stand trial on a charge of murdering Berman, said of the hot mic recording, “without explanation from the defendant, it operates as a succinct confession.”

    The judge would be unlikely to agree to suppress evidence from “The Jinx” if defense attorneys requested it be excluded from the trial, legal experts said.

    “The fact that they (the filmmakers) had a recording which they got, there’s nothing wrong with sharing that with law enforcement, it’s evidence in a murder case,” said Steve Cron, a defense attorney not associated with the case and a university lecturer.

    But Durst’s attorneys, if they succeed in their goal of having a judge require the filmmakers share information, could discover evidence that helps their case, legal experts said.

    “It enables them to do discovery work and uncover the entire scope of what (the filmmakers) did and perhaps they could find some misconduct,” said Dmitry Gorin, another defense attorney not associated with the case and a university lecturer.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-durst-exclusive/exclusive-robert-dursts-attorneys-take-aim-at-filmmakers-behind-the-jinx-in-murder-case-idUSKCN1V000B
     
  12. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    NBC's Dateline did an hour last night on Durst and the upcoming trial. Basically a rehash, but they did have unseen footage of some of the conditional testimony collected by John Lewin, the Los Angeles DA in charge of the case. The major items of interest were one of Durst's friends saying Durst told them he was in LA at the time of the Susan Berman murder, and another saying Durst told him 'it was her (Berman) or me'.
     
  13. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    From Courthouse News Service

    Robert Durst Loses a Round as Murder Trial Approaches

    September 4, 2019

    DON DEBENEDICTIS

    LOS ANGELES (CN) — A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday rejected an attempt by defense attorneys for accused murderer Robert Durst to strip the producers of an Emmy-winning documentary series about Durst’s alleged crimes of protection under California’s journalist shield law by having them declared “government agents.”

    Had his attorneys succeeded, they presumably could have forced the filmmakers to turn over raw footage, documents and other material they gathered while making the six-part HBO series “Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”

    Ruling on what he said was an issue of first impression, Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham found that Durst’s defense team had not succeeded in showing that the filmmakers and their production company, Hit The Ground Running, became so entangled with Los Angeles law enforcement while investigating the case that they should be treated as government agents.

    The issue was one of several to go against Durst during the daylong hearing in Windham’s court, including a defense motion to kick the chief prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, off the case for being so deeply involved in the years-long investigation that he might have to be called as a witness.

    Durst is to go to trial in January for the execution-style murder of his best friend, Los Angeles writer Susan Berman. Lewin and his team believe Durst killed Berman to keep her from giving New York investigators evidence that he had murdered his first wife, Kathie Durst, back in early 1982.

    The “Jinx” series delved into both cases, as well as a third in which Durst was acquitted on self-defense grounds of killing a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. He did serve time for dismembering the body and dumping it in the bay.

    Durst was arrested in connection with Berman’s death on July 15, 2015 — just one day after the final episode of “The Jinx” aired on HBO. At the end of that final episode, Durst is heard muttering to himself on an accidentally open microphone that he had “killed them all, of course.”

    The filmmakers — Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier — started developing “The Jinx” in early 2011. By August that year, they were talking with Los Angeles police and prosecutors.

    In a motion, Durst’s defense team, led by Dick DeGuerin of Houston, argued that the filmmakers and the police “consulted, coordinated and collaborated” so closely that they formed a “symbiotic relationship,” converting the filmmakers into government agents. The producers not only gave the police and prosecutors multiple advance screenings of their work, they even put together a PowerPoint presentation for them — at prosecutors’ suggestion — about why Durst should be charged with Berman’s death, the motion states.

    Windham initially said on Tuesday that he did not have the authority to “declare” the filmmakers to be government agents absent the context of a specific discovery dispute. But he relented after Lewin and the filmmakers’ attorney, Victor Kovner of New York, argued that a decision now would save time later in the case.

    Windham then said he could rule by treating the motion and Kovner’s response as early discovery motions.

    Arguing in Durst’s defense, Chip Lewis of Houston said the question of whether a third party has become a government agent turns on whether the third party is acting with the intent to assist law enforcement. For the filmmakers, several statements from Jarecki and others showed just that, he said.

    “It went from being a movie to being more of a mission, the mission being seeing Mr. Durst charged in this case,” Lewis said.

    In one crucial example, Jarecki and Smerling came upon evidence tying Durst to an anonymous letter that alerted Beverly Hills police to the location of Susan Berman’s body. Printed in block letters, the note and envelope misspelled Beverly as “Beverley.” The filmmakers found a letter Durst had earlier sent Berman printed in matching block letters and addressed to her in “Beverley Hills.”

    Lewis complained that the filmmakers not only gave the letter to police but pointed prosecutors to their handwriting expert.

    But Kovner and Lewin countered that all Lewis had shown was that the filmmakers communicated with law enforcement and that they passed on certain information in hopes of getting information in return.

    To show that Jarecki and his team were government agents required showing that the police and prosecutors “directed and controlled” the filmmakers, they said.

    “Has he come up with any evidence of government control?” Kovner asked. “There isn’t any.”

    And, he said, the communication between the filmmakers and police was appropriate. “California policy is to encourage people to talk to law enforcement when they have any evidence of criminal activity,” Kovner said. That policy includes journalists, he added.

    Lewin said the defense simply “wants a chance to go fishing” for information in Hit The Ground Running’s files.

    Windham said that even though the question of an alleged government agent’s privilege as a journalist was a new one, he could use the reasoning and standards laid out in cases dealing with whether alleged agents violated suspects’ constitutional rights. Under those standards, he ruled, the defense motion failed.

    In another portion of the day’s hearing, a second judge, Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra, affirmed Windham’s decision after a preliminary hearing to bind Durst over for trial on the murder charge and on allegations of special circumstances for lying in wait and killing a witness.

    The prosecution is not planning to seek the death penalty against Durst, who is 76 years old and frail from cancer and other health problems.

    Lewin set another hearing on discovery and other matters for Oct. 28.

    https://www.courthousenews.com/robert-durst-loses-a-round-as-murder-trial-approaches/
     
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  14. Message #134 of 141 Oct 24, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    I have to admit one of the reasons I find this subject so interesting, is because it continues to be so, so unpredictable.

    And in that category today, we find the news that Stephen I. Holm, a successful long time NYC area real estate attorney, who's clients included Robert Durst, passed away. According to The New York Times as recently as May 2017, Mr. Holm was recently known to be living with Durst's wife, Debrah Lee Charatan.

    But, according to this article, Holm and Charatan were husband and wife!

    https://rew-online.com/2019/10/steven-holm-dead/
     
  15. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    Today's hearing mostly consisted of Durst's defense team accusing The Jinx production company, Hit The Ground Running, of holding back evidence. Apparently there was a list of 53 recorded conversations obtained during the production of The Jinx, given to Durst's lawyers as part of discovery. The problem is 3 other recordings that The Jinx director Andrew Jarecki told Lewis about that the defense does not have, under the shield of journalistic privilege. Not to mention any additional non-recorded interviews or other pertinent information Hit The Ground Running may have.

    Chip Lewis, a Durst attorney that dates back with him to the Morris Black trial, said his 12 year old son could see through this attempt to conceal evidence possibly helpful to the defense. Lewis told the court he acknowledged the journalistic shield but trusted the court would be fair in this matter.

    Date of October 28, 2019
    https://lawandcrime.com/daily-debrief/
     
  16. Message #136 of 141 Oct 31, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    Dan Abrams Law & Crime Network has provided video of the recent pretrial hearings on their YouTube channel. The October 28th hearing is in 3 parts, and the September 3rd hearing is in 6 parts.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoW1SIeAWaWbvl7uLVvuXaq3gCJiDSiNg

    Here's a picture of Durst from the hearing, glaring at LA DA John Lewin.

    snapshot.

    Durst is very frail, barely able to sit down and get up, but I wouldn't want him living next door to me.....
     
  17. Message #137 of 141 Dec 10, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    From Law & Crime.com

    Robert Durst Defense Hits Speed Bump in Lead-Up to Murder Trial

    Alberto Luperon, December 4th, 2019

    The defense hit a speed bump in a preliminary hearing for murder suspect Robert Durst, 76. The long and short of it is that, as the situation stands, his attorneys cannot suggest a specific alternate suspect in his upcoming trial for the 2000 murder of friend Susan Berman, 55.

    Authorities say the defendant killed his friend Berman in December 2000 by shooting her in the back of the head. Ugly allegations trailed Durst for years. His wife Kathleen Durst disappeared in 1982. He allegedly abused her during their relationship, and didn’t report her missing until five days later. In fact, the alleged motive behind Berman’s death is that she perhaps knew something about Kathleen’s disappearance.

    Prosecutor John Lewin brought up at the hearing that the defense wanted to discuss another man as a possible suspect, but he argued that they didn’t reach the standard under case law.

    “They can always argue that Bob Durst didn’t do it,” he said. “They can always argue somebody else did it. They cannot put on specific evidence that any other person did it unless and until–and the court has already said, and put a deadline of today–for submitting that motion, so that third-party culpability has sailed.”

    “I don’t necessarily agree it has sailed, your honor,” defense lawyer David Chesnoff said.

    The attorneys argued back and forth about the matter in an often testy exchange, but Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham pointed out that the defense’s hasn’t satisfied the case law at this point.

    “I’m not going to stop any party from presenting their fifth motion for reconsideration, but after the first denial, it becomes increasingly futile, so I’ve excluded it,” he said.

    The other man in question–identified in court as Nyle Brenner–was Berman’s manager. One of the victim’s friends Richard Mackey testified in 2017 that Berman had a rocky relationship with him, and that he had at first suspected Brenner in the killing. Brennar has been on the defense’s radar for years. Police did initially eye him in the killing, but never accused him of it.

    https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/live-trials-current/robert-durst/robert-durst-defense-hits-speed-bump-in-lead-up-to-murder-trial/
     
  18. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    From The Wrap.com

    Robert Durst Murder Trial: LA District Attorney Says 2015 Interview Statements Should Remain in Trial

    Tim Baysinger, December 10, 2019

    In a new motion filed on Monday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney argued that certain statements from a 2015 interview with prosecutors that Robert Durst, the real estate heir who is charged with the murder of Susan Berman, and his team are trying to get thrown out, doesn’t hold merit.

    Durst’s team has been arguing that the March 15, 2015 interview should not be admissible, but, as the D.A. points out, the court has rejected those attempts. Durst’s team’s latest attempt has been to try and exclude certain statements, which the D.A. said in the motion are “completely unsupported by the facts and the law, and in addition, fail to meet even the most rudimentary standards for exclusion under EC 352.5.”

    “As the Court is painfully aware, the admissibility of Defendant’s March 15, 2015 interview (“NOLA Interview”) has been challenged, litigated, and relitigated in every legitimate, and sometimes illegitimate, legal context. Defendant’s objections have been lodged, argued, and rejected by this Court in no less than six previous hearings,” the D.A. wrote in the filing. “In response to Defendant’s last attempt to prohibit the admission of the interview, the Court briefly stated on the record, but expanded off the record, that there were a few comments during the interview by Deputy District Attorney John Lewin which were subject to exclusion pursuant to California Evidence Code section 352.”

    The murder trial against Durst who is accused for the murder of Susan Berman, will begin Feb. 10, 2020. He is scheduled to return to court Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The hearing on Tuesday will argue whether the statements should remain or not.

    The D.A.’s office says Durst is charged with murdering Berman on or about Dec. 23, 2000. Her body was discovered in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve. Prosecutors claim Durst shot Berman in the back of the head to keep her quiet about the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst. Her body has never been recovered.

    Durst was arrested in New Orleans on March 14, 2015 in connection with Berman’s death. His arrest came one day before the finale of HBO’s “The Jinx,” which chronicled Durst’s life and the death of three people close to him — his first wife, Berman and a neighbor in Galveston, Texas.

    https://www.thewrap.com/robert-durst-murder-trial-la-district-attorney-says-2015-interview-statements-should-remain-in-trial/
     
  19. Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    Note that the trial date has been now been changed to February 10, 2020.
     
  20. Message #140 of 141 Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    Ken H

    Ken H Second Unit

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    And now in the category of 'it worked once before, so let's do it again!".

    Admitting the unthinkable, Robert Durst's legal defense team filed a court document on December 24, 2019, doing a 180 degree turn on over a decade of Durst denying he wrote the 'cadaver note'.


    From The New York Times
    By Charles V. Bagli
    December 31, 2019

    Robert Durst, Subject of ‘The Jinx,’ Admits Writing Key Note in Murder Case
    Mr. Durst, who was profiled in the HBO series, had long denied mailing a note alerting the police to a dead body. Last week, his lawyers acknowledged that he did.

    On Dec. 23, 2000, someone mailed the Beverly Hills Police Department a single sheet of spiral notebook paper, across which were printed an address and a word in big block letters: “cadaver.”

    The address belonged to Susan Berman, who was shot and killed at her home the same day the note was sent. Police found her body the next day, but it would be another 15 years before a suspect was arrested: Robert A. Durst, a real estate scion who has been dogged by murder suspicions for nearly four decades.

    Mr. Durst, who is scheduled to face trial in February, has long insisted that he did not kill Ms. Berman, one of his closest friends, and did not write what has become known as the “cadaver note.”

    In 2015, he told the producers of “The Jinx,” an HBO documentary that turned his story into a national sensation, that the writer of the note had taken a “big risk” because it was something “that only the killer could have written.”

    His defense lawyers have repeatedly tried to block testimony from forensic document examiners who say the handwriting on the note matches Mr. Durst’s. The judge in the case also rejected the lawyers’ attempt to identify Ms. Berman’s personal manager as the author of the note and the killer. Then, in a court document filed on Christmas Eve, the lawyers suddenly reversed course, acknowledging that Mr. Durst was the author of the note.

    It is the first time that either Mr. Durst or his lawyers have conceded that he was in Ms. Berman’s home, or even in Los Angeles, around the time that someone put a 9-millimeter handgun to the back of her head and fired, killing her instantly. But they continue to deny that Mr. Durst, a millionaire who will turn 77 during the trial, was involved in her murder.
    “Bob didn’t kill Susan Berman, and he doesn’t know who did,” said Dick DeGuerin, Mr. Durst’s lead defense lawyer, in an interview.

    Mr. Durst has been in jail since 2015, when he was arrested in New Orleans and charged with Ms. Berman’s murder just hours before the final episode of “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” aired on HBO. The authorities said they suspected that he was about to flee the country.

    The upcoming trial, which could last as long as five months, is expected to refocus the media spotlight on the long, complicated story of Mr. Durst, once considered the heir apparent to a vast New York real estate empire. Already, NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s 20/20 and CNN Headline News are planning episodes.

    The police in Los Angeles found Ms. Berman’s body in 2000 after neighbors notified them that her back door was ajar and her terriers were running free. There was no sign of forced entry. Nothing had been taken, and no fingerprints or DNA were found from the killer.

    Prosecutors contend that Mr. Durst killed Ms. Berman because he feared that she was about to tell the authorities what she knew about the 1982 disappearance and murder of Mr. Durst’s first wife, Kathie McCormack Durst, in New York, five months before she would have graduated from medical school.

    Ms. Berman, who friends say was fiercely loyal to Mr. Durst, was his spokeswoman and media adviser at the time. Prosecutors and witnesses say she also made a critical call while posing as Kathie Durst that redirected New York police detectives away from the actual crime scene and hobbled the investigation.

    The “cadaver note” that arrived at the Beverly Hills police department became a key piece of evidence in Ms. Berman’s death. After clearing various suspects, the Los Angeles police got a court order in 2002 for handwriting samples from Mr. Durst to compare with the block lettering on the note.

    By then, Mr. Durst was in jail in Galveston, Texas, charged with the killing and dismembering of Morris Black, a man who had lived across the hall from him. The two men became friendly after Mr. Durst left New York in 2000, when the authorities reopened the investigation into his wife’s disappearance.

    Mr. Durst testified during the trial in 2003 that he and Mr. Black had struggled over Mr. Durst’s gun. As they fell to the floor, the gun went off, Mr. Durst said. He told the jury that he had resorted to dismemberment because he thought no one would believe it was self-defense. The jury acquitted him.

    With the murder investigations in Los Angeles and New York stalled, Mr. Durst could have laid low, but in 2010 he made a decision to talk to journalists and filmmakers. He gave the producers of “The Jinx” access to his private papers, urged friends to talk to them and gave them more than 20 hours of filmed interviews.

    The producers discovered new evidence, including a letter that Mr. Durst had written to Ms. Berman in 1999. In her address on the envelope, he had misspelled the first word in Beverly Hills as “Beverley.” The address on the envelope of the cadaver note included the same misspelling, in similar lettering, with the first word of the Beverly Hills Police Department written as “Beverley.”

    “The Jinx” filmmakers confronted Mr. Durst with the earlier letter and its similarities, but he denied writing the cadaver note.

    Although his lawyers now acknowledge that his denial wasn’t true, a legal brief they filed in August indicates that they will likely argue that the note could have been written by someone other than Ms. Berman’s killer. “What the note demonstrates is that the person who mailed it was aware that there was a body at the house, not that the individual murdered Susan Berman,” the brief stated.

    In interviews in 2015 and 2016 with The New York Times, one of Mr. Durst’s friends, who requested anonymity out of fear of legal entanglements in the case, said Mr. Durst had privately acknowledged finding Ms. Berman’s lifeless body when he went to her home on Dec. 23, 2000, and did not want her dogs to gnaw on it.

    But he fled after writing and mailing the cadaver note because he did not think anyone would believe he was innocent, the friend said.

    But Mr. Durst has also told prosecutors, the filmmakers and his godson, Howard Altman, something very different. “The person who wrote the note killed her,” Mr. Altman said, recalling Mr. Durst’s words while he was in jail in Galveston.

    Asked about those statements by his client, Mr. DeGuerin replied: “He said a lot of things that I don’t think are correct.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/us/robert-durst-jinx-murder.html
     

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