Authorities arrested real estate heir Robert Durst Saturday night in New Orleans believing that he was behind the 2000 slaying of his friend, Susan Berman, a crime writer, who was found shot dead in her Beverly Hills home after a letter tipping them off. LA Police said in a statement yesterday:
“As a result of investigative leads and additional evidence that has come to light in the past year, investigators have identified Robert Durst as the person responsible for Ms. Berman’s death.”
The arrest comes amid heightened interest in Durst, who is the subject of the HBO documentary series The Jinx, which aired it’s final bombshell episode last night. Durst has long maintained he didn’t kill Berman or have anything to do with his wife’s disappearance.
Investigators found him on Saturday at a Marriott hotel in New Orleans, where he was staying under a false name and was carrying a fake driver’s license. He’d paid in cash, and authorities believe he was flee to Cuba He was jailed without bond and was awaiting an extradition hearing Monday morning.
Durst’s brother said in a written statement that he was thankful for the arrest:
“We are relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted in the arrest of Robert Durst,” Douglas Durst said. “We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done.”
In The Jinx, Berman’s stepson reveals a letter from Durst he found among her possessions. That could be a key development. Michael Daly, a special correspondent for The Daily Beast said:
“You look at the letter, and the handwriting is astonishingly similar.”
SPOILER ALERT: Investigators haven’t said whether the documentary played a key role in this weekend’s arrest, but I think that filmmaker Andrew Jarecki either volunteered footage and audio from last night’s episode or was forced to turn it over ahead of the air date. After the final interview in the documentary, Durst excuses himself to go to the bathroom and his mike is still recording. We hear him talking to himself, muttering that he’s “caught”… and the last shot in the film is below. Durst saying,
“Killed them all, of course.”
Fade to black.