Millionaire killed friend who was going to reveal fake alibi over wifes death

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Real estate tycoon Robert Durst has been found guilty of murdering his best friend Susan Berman in 2000.

The millionaire was charged with first-degree murder for killing his close pal who was going to reveal a fake alibi over his wife's disappearance from 1982.

A jury spent several hours deliberating in the case over three days, after the murder trial was suspended from March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 78-year-old denied killing his wife or Berman, and claimed he merely discovered his friend's body on the floor in her bedroom.

Prosecutors alleged Durst had told Berman about his wife's murder and solicited her help hiding the body.

A lack of evidence of robbery or forced entry showed Berman "knew her killer", they added.

Burst's first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, known as Kathie, had been on her way to medical school when she disappeared almost 40 years ago.

Kathie and Durst were having marital problems, according to his billionaire brother Douglas, and she wanted to file for divorce.

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But her body has never been found and she was declared legally dead in 2017.

The trial over Berman's death revealed Durst had lied five times to investigators as they quizzed his involvement in the deaths of the two women.

Los Angeles Police Department received a note with the word "Cadaver" before Berman died, and the handwriting resembled another note Durst had sent her of the word "Beverley".

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The tycoon had denied he sent the note but admitted in court filings and trial testimony he did mail it.

Nick Chavin, friend of the Dursts and Berman, testified that the millionaire had said of his murdered pal "it was her or me. I had no choice."

He was also caught making incriminating comments during the filming of HBO documentary The Jinx from 2015.

He was heard saying: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course. There it is. You’re caught. He was right. I was wrong.”

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Durst later claimed he was "high on meth" during the interviews, and the audio has since been revealed as being a complication of multiple clips.

Durst admitted killing a neighbour in 2003, slicing up the body, and disposing of the corpse in Galveston Bay.

He contended it was in self-defence.

Afterward, he lived in drag and played mute to avoid a renewed investigation into his first wife's death.

Durst has not been convicted over Kathie's death or disappearance, a jury also agreed with self-defence for his neighbour's death and acquitted him.

The jury residing over Berman's trial found she was killed because she was a witness to a crime, such as providing an alibi for Durst in Kathie's disappearance.

Jurors signalled they believed he had killed his wife also.

Durst was not in court when the verdict was read out having to isolate due to potential Covid exposure.

He has long been estranged from his real estate-rich family, known for their ownership of a series of New York City skyscrapers and investment in the World Trade Centre.

Durst fell out with his family when his younger brother was placed the head of the family business. After a lengthy legal battle he reached a $60million settlement.

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