The Longform Guide to Robert Durst
</a>A collection of picks on the real-estate scion and accused killer.
Who Killed the Gangster's Daughter?
Susan Berman's life was colorful. Her death was shrouded in mystery.
"I have information that's going to blow the top off things," Susan told her.
"What do you mean?" Kim asked. "What information?"
"Well, I don't have it myself," said Susan. "But I know how to get it."
The Fugitive Heir
Kathie Durst’s friends spent almost twenty years hoping someone or something would catch up to Durst. They just didn’t think it would happen in the form of the murder of Morris Black.
Bobby was odd in other ways. He was a pothead—he smoked like a chimney. He had facial tics. But his strangest tendency—the thing that no one could ever fathom—was that Bobby belched. Belched and farted, actually. All the time. Anywhere. In front of anyone. Serial gas expulsion was his statement to the world, went the theory. It was his way of saying, “I’m Bobby Durst, and fuck you if you don’t like it.” That was the theory, anyway.
The Killer in the Blue Dress
In Galveston, Durst made unusual friends in the seedy bars he frequented.
As the bus driver had guessed, the young black cross-dresser who rode the No. 6 and disembarked at 53rd and P 1/2 with Durst had indeed departed Galveston a few days after Morris Black's headless trunk and dismembered limbs were discovered in the bay. When I tracked down Frankie in an apartment in another Texas city this past January and asked about the timing of her departure, her bulbous eyes narrowed and she shook her head emphatically. "I'm not even gonna comment," she said quietly. "I didn't have nothing to do with it; I ain't gonna be nobody's damn witness; I'm not gonna be subpoenaed to come to no court—mm-mm! He cut that man up! First the head, then..."
My Murderer's Futon
On living with Durst’s abandoned furniture in Galveston.
“Are you sure he won’t mind,” I asked Klaus, suddenly hesitant. Durst’s murder trial was underway in the county courthouse a few blocks away from where we were standing. He had been charged with first-degree murder, but was claiming self-defense. I imagined Durst on the witness stand and it seemed wrong, suddenly, to take his belongings without his permission. Later, people who learned about my furniture would tell me that taking Durst’s things was wrong for other reasons. How could you? they would ask, mouths agape. He was a murderer! But I’ve never been sentimental or superstitious. More than disgusted or scared by the furniture, I was curious. But at the same time, I didn’t want to feel like I was stealing from someone—murderer or not.