Convicted murderer and American real estate heir Robert Durst has passed away. Durst was in the process of serving a life sentence after he was found guilty of murder in Oct. 2021. Durst reportedly contracted COVID-19 that month and was being housed at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton. He passed away at 6:44 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2022.
Although Durst had been battling symptoms related to COVID-19 a few months ago, he also suffered from other health conditions, including bladder cancer. Despite the health issues Durst faced, CNN reported that he died of "natural causes." Given Durst's wealthy past and role in real estate, many wonder what his net worth was just before he died.
Robert Alan Durst
Real estate heir
Net worth: $65 million
Robert Durst studied economics at Lehigh University, graduating with a bachelor's degree. He went on to study at UCLA. Durst is the eldest son of Seymour Durst, making him heir to part of his father's real estate business. On Oct. 14, 2021, Durst became a convicted murderer.
Born: April 12, 1943
Died: Jan. 10, 2022
Birthplace: New York City, N.Y.
Spouse: Kathleen McCormack (Disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982) and Debrah Lee Charatan (2000)
Robert Durst leaves behind a $65 million fortune, give or take a few million
In 2015, after HBO docuseries The Jinx had aired, Durst was arrested for the murder of his close friend, Susan Berman. The LAPD's arrest warrant reportedly listed Durst's net worth as $100 million. Considering Durst had to retain legal counsel to defend himself against the severe charges filed against him, his net worth dropped to $65 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
After the passing of Durst, sources estimate his net worth was still somewhere around $65 million.
Robert Durst’s history: The man behind the alleged murders
Durst was born into a family of wealth. His father, Seymour Durst, was the owner of a prestigious real estate company, a business his eldest son would later work at “sporadically.” The Durst family has a net worth of $8.1 billion and owns “more than 16 million square feet of real estate in New York and Philadelphia," according to Forbes.
The Durst family also allegedly owns a “10 percent stake in One World Trade Center.” Prior to working for his family’s company, Durst attended UCLA in 1965. That's where he met and became close with Susan Berman, a mobster's daughter.
In 1973, Durst married Kathleen McCormack, a dental hygienist. That year, he began working at his family’s real estate business in New York. A few years after tying the knot, Durst and his wife were allegedly experiencing trouble in their marriage. Durst was accused of being “violent and controlling.”
Then, on Jan. 31, 1982, Durst’s wife went missing. She was on track to graduate from medical school just a few months later. While Durst was considered a potential suspect—mainly because he didn’t report his wife missing until Feb. 5—the case went cold. McCormack’s disappearance remains a mystery.
The death of Susan Berman: Did Robert Durst commit the murder?
In Dec. 2000, Durst’s close friend, Susan Berman, was “shot at point-blank range in the back of the head inside her Benedict Canyon home,” according to NBC News. Durst was later accused of committing the murder in an effort to silence Berman from speaking with police. Apparently, Berman was going to admit to the police that she had provided a false alibi when Durst’s wife went missing.
Berman died before she had the opportunity to share this information with law enforcement officials. After Berman’s death, Durst disappeared and was allegedly living in Galveston, Tex., “where he assumed the name Dorothy Ciner and regularly wore a woman’s wig, dresses, and high heels.”
Whereas Durst managed to keep attention off him for several years, he was later accused of murdering his neighbor, Morris Black. Although Durst allegedly admitted to “dismembering his body,” he was acquitted and walked free. It wasn’t until after HBO later released its documentary series that police began building a case against Durst.
During filming, Durst stepped away to use the restroom while wearing a hot microphone. In the bathroom, he could be heard whispering to himself, “You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Durst was sentenced to life in prison just months before his death
Although Durst was arrested in 2015, it wasn't until March 2020 that he went on trial for the murder of Berman. The trial was reportedly postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it wasn't until Oct. 2021 that Durst finally had his day in court.
After nine women and three men deliberated on the Durst case, they issued a guilty verdict. Durst was then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Durst's sentence was cut short after his health deteriorated.