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Is Robert Durst dead? What happened after Season One of 'The Jinx'

Here's everything to know about the death of Robert Durst, the millionaire murderer whose story continues to be told in Season Two of Max's 'The Jinx."
/ Source: TODAY

Robert Durst may have successfully evaded justice for decades thanks to his millions — but in the end, the New York real estate heir and convicted murderer died while incarcerated at a state prison for ailing inmates.

Durst's many legal woes, including a conviction in the execution-style killing of one of his closest friends and an indictment in the 1982 murder of his first wife, finally caught up to him when he was a frail man in his 70s.

The millionaire Manhattanite faced declining health, suffering with various ailments, including COVID-19, while serving multiple prison sentences in California.

Robert Durst
Robert Durst appears in court during opening statements in his murder trial on March 4, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA.Etienne Laurent / Getty Images

Durst, whose bizarre story continues to be told in Season Two of Max’s “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” premiering April 21, died in January 2022 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 78.

Here’s everything to know about the death of Robert Durst.

Who was Robert Durst?

Robert Durst was born in April 1943 in New York City. He was the oldest son of wealthy real estate tycoon Seymour Durst, head of the Durst Organization, which owns some of the city’s most iconic buildings.

In 2021, the Durst family empire was reportedly worth $8 billion, according to The New York Times.

What crimes did Robert Durst commit?

In October 2021, Durst was sentenced to life in prison for the execution-style murder of his close friend and confidante Susan Berman, who was shot point-blank in the back of her head in December 2000.

Berman had been scheduled to speak to prosecutors about the 1982 disappearance of Durst's first wife, Kathie Durst around the time of her death.

Robert Durst
Durst in court in Los Angeles on Dec. 21, 2016, nearly 16 years to the day after he murdered his close friend and confidant Susan Berman.Jae C. Hong / Getty Images

The following month, Robert Durst was indicted on murder charges in connection to the January 1982 disappearance of his first wife. Kathie Durst, who was 29.

In November 2003, Robert Durst was acquitted of murdering his elderly neighbor Morris Black, despite the fact that Durst admitted in court that he cut up Black's body and tossed it in garbage bags into Galveston Bay in Texas.

Durst told the jury that Black had been accidentally shot and killed while the two wrestled over a gun during a physical altercation in Durst's boarding house room, according to a 2008 episode of NBC’s “Dateline.”

Durst explained in court that he panicked about police finding Black's body in his house so he opted to dismember it and toss its piece into the bay.

Did Durst ever confess to murdering any of his victims?

In April 2012, while filming the Season One finale of "The Jinx," Durst muttered what many deemed a confession while he was talking to himself.

After a tense exchange with Andrew Jarecki, the director of the Emmy-winning docuseries, Durst excused himself to use the bathroom, presumably unaware the his microphone was still recording him.

Alone in the bathroom, Durst whispered to himself in a grim, lengthy soliloquy: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

Legal scholars have debated the confession's legitimacy, noting that the series' producers later revealed that they had edited Durst's conversation with himself.

During the 2021 trial for Susan Berman's murder, Durst's best friend, Nick Chavin, testified that Durst had confessed to him in 2014 that he had killed Berman.

Season Two of "The Jinx" shows Chavin recalling on the stand that Durst told him, “I had to. It was her or me. I had no choice.”

How did Durst die?

Durst died at San Joaquin General Hospital on Jan. 10, 2022 at age 78 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Durst’s health declined while he was serving time in prison on felony weapons charges during his trial for Berman’s murder.

In October 2021, the same week Durst was sentenced to life for killing Berman, he tested positive for COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator.

In June 2021, he was hospitalized for an unspecified health ailment, prompting the judge in the Berman trial to send jurors home.

One of Durst's attorneys had previously asked the judge to postpone the trial because Durst had allegedly been diagnosed with bladder cancer and other health problems. The judge denied the request.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, who successfully prosecuted Durt for the Berman murder, said in a statement that the real estate heir had died "unrepentant."

“It’s a shame when anybody loses their life, however, it’s important to keep in mind that Bob Durst lived to be 78 years old, decades longer than two of his victims,” Lewin said. “To the end he was hostile, unrepentant, and unremorseful. My thoughts and sympathies lie with his victims.”

At the time of his death, Durst was reportedly worth more than $100 million.