Robert Durst, the troubled millionaire scion of an influential New York real-estate dynasty who was convicted of the murder of his longtime friend and was a suspect in another killing and the disappearance of his wife, died Monday at the age of 78.
For years, Mr. Durst had dodged suspicions of his involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, and the 2000 killing of his friend Susan Berman. Though he had many run-ins with law enforcement, he had managed to fend off most of the serious charges against him.
In 2003, jurors acquitted him of murder after he testified that the shooting death of his neighbor in Galveston, Texas, was in self-defense, an accident that happened when Mr. Durst tried to wrestle his gun away from the man. Then, he told jurors, he panicked and sawed his neighbor’s body apart and dumped it into the bay.
The on-and-off investigations that followed Mr. Durst over the decades caught up with him in his later years. His 2015 arrest in connection with the slaying of Ms. Berman in Los Angeles drew national attention. Investigators took Mr. Durst into custody at a New Orleans hotel where he had checked in under an alias, just before the airing of a final documentary episode examining his life and foul-play allegations against him.
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