From Real Estate Millionaire to Murder Suspect: Robert Durst's Story Explained in 7 Clicks
DURST'S WIFE KATHIE DISAPPEARS
A former wealthy scion of a prominent New York real estate family, Robert Durst first became a tabloid fixture when his 29-year-old wife vanished mysteriously in 1982. Durst told police they'd argued before she left their country home in Westchester County, N.Y., for their N.Y.C. apartment. He reported her missing five days later, and in HBO's docu-series The Jinx, which aired in February, Durst revealed, "I am complicit in Kathie not being here," though he claims he has nothing to do with her going missing.
DURST'S FRIEND SUSAN IS MURDERED
Susan Berman, a longtime friend of Robert Durst who often acted as his spokesperson following the situation with Kathie, was found dead on Christmas Eve 2000 after having been shot execution-style in her Los Angeles home. According to an episode in The Jinx, police had been planning to speak to Berman about her knowledge of Durst's wife disappearance. (Police also received a letter days after the murder with Berman's address and the word "cadaver.")
DURST IS CHARGED WITH ANOTHER MURDER
After the dismembered body of 71-year-old Morris Black was found floating in Galveston Bay, Texas, police zero in on his neighbor who often clashed with Black and discover it is none other than Durst, living undercover as a mute woman. Durst goes on the lam for two months and is finally found (after being caught stealing a sandwich) and is arrested and charged with Black's murder.
BUT HE'S ACQUITTED OF THAT MURDER
A Texas jury believed Durst's claim that he killed Black in self-defense and subsequently disposed of the body in a panic. After pleading guilty to bond jumping and evidence tampering relating to the disposal of Black's body, Durst was sentenced to five years.
THE SAGA HITS THE BIG SCREEN
Ryan Gosling played a thinly fictionalized version of Durst in the 2010 film All Good Things, directed by Andrew Jarecki. "He’s a very complicated guy. He either did or he didn't," Gosling told the Los Angeles Times. "And even if all of it or none of it or some of it might be true, there’s just no way to really know."
THE JINX AIRS ON HBO … AND DURST CONFESSES?
After Jarecki's movie, Durst agreed to share his side of the story for the gripping six-part HBO docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, also directed by Jarecki, which premiered in February. In the chilling finale, Durst walks into a bathroom, seemingly unaware he was still miked, and mumbles, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
DURST IS ARRESTED FOR BERMAN'S MURDER
The evening before the finale of The Jinx aired March 15, Durst was caught checking into a New Orleans hotel under a pseudonym and arrested on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting of Berman. Judge Susan Criss, who sat on the bench in 2003 when Durst was acquitted of the brutal murder of his neighbor, tells PEOPLE of his upcoming trial, "I hope everyone's got their act together and nobody drops the ball this time. There's a lot riding on this."