Police Reopen the Murder of Robert Durst's Friend, Susan Berman

After the HBO docuseries The Jinx aired, cops took a closer look at the case

Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

The Los Angeles District Attorney has reopened the investigation into the unsolved 2000 murder of Susan Berman, a friend and confidante of New York real estate scion Robert Durst.

A law enforcement source tells PEOPLE that the case was reopened about a year ago.

Berman, a journalist and author, was shot in the back of her head at her Southern California home on Dec. 23, 2000. As a longtime friend of Robert Durst, she had often served as his unofficial spokesperson to the media after the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathie.

Berman, 55, was killed just as Westchester, New York, prosecutor Janine Pirro sought to interview her after the District Attorney reopened the investigation into the disappearance.

Her murder is explored in the HBO docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which raises unanswered questions about her death.

The fifth episode of the docuseries claims that Berman’s stepson found a letter written by Durst to Berman in 1999. The block lettering on the envelope seemed to match an anonymous note sent to the Beverly Hills Police Department after Berman’s slaying, alerting them to a “cadaver” at her house.

Beverly Hills is misspelled as “Beverley” on both documents.

Those who have seen the sixth episode of the docuseries, which will air this Sunday night, tell PEOPLE that Durst is shown the handwriting samples and himself recognizes that Beverly is misspelled.

Durst, the son of the late New York City real estate magnate Seymour Durst, was once the heir to his family’s $4.4 billion fortune. Now 71, he has a long history with murder investigations. In addition to being a person of interest in his wife’s disappearance and Berman’s slaying, he also faced trial for the grisly 2001 murder of a neighbor, Morris Black, whom, at trial and in the docuseries, Durst admitted he dismembered. However, the jury in Texas found Durst not guilty of murder.

Durst denies involvement in the cases of his wife’s disappearance and Berman’s murder.


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