Robert Durst is a real estate heir from New York. He is also the star of the 2015 six-part HBO documentary series called The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. The film is about Durst’s possible connection to three murder cases: one involving the mysterious disappearance of his first wife, another the death of his elderly neighbor, and the third the murder of writer Susan Berman. The series gives a lot of insight into his childhood, his odd behaviors, and the evidence surrounding all the cases. However, there are still many things about Durst that do not appear to have an explanation.
From a young age, there was an air of darkness around Durst. He allegedly was led by his father to a window to watch his mother jump and fall to her death. This would cause him years of therapy and may explain some of his odd behavior, but not all of it. These are the many things about Robert Durst that remain a mystery.
15. Cause Of Mother’s Tragic Demise
Robert Durst grew up in Scarsdale, New York. He is the oldest of four children. His mother was Bernice Herstein, an American socialite, and his father was Seymour Durst, a major real estate investor. As a child, Robert received lots of counselling due to his mother’s early death at age 32. In 1950 when Robert was seven years old he claims he saw his mother’s tragic end. His dad allegedly took him to a hall window in the middle of the night where he could see his mother on the roof in her nightgown. He supposedly waved to her but is not sure if she saw him. Robert then claims she then jumped off. This scene was recreated in a six-part documentary series on HBO called The Jinx. However, in a March 2015 interview with the New York Times, his brother Douglas claims that Robert did not actually see what happened that night.
14. His Fake Companies
While his given name may be Robert Durst, he used a host of aliases and fake companies to carry out his odd lifestyle. Some of those aliases were used to purchase real estate and open credit cards. He also has had a few limited liability companies registered to him. Some of the companies appeared to deal with the families business of real estate but three of them seemingly were not even active companies at all. Those were Woofing LLC, WoofWoof LLC, and Igor-Fayette Inc. One of these was registered to a private mailbox at a UPS. According to employees, Robert supposedly visited the location about three times a month. His use of the private mailbox appeared normal and no sinister activity was noted. The only odd habit observed was that Durst used to like travel with his iPad separate and would ship it overnight to wherever he was going.
13. Disappearance Of Seven Dogs
His fake companies like Woofing LLC and WoofWoof LLC all seemed to represent Durst’s affection towards dogs. Igor-Fayette Inc. was supposedly named after his dog’s name, Igor. According to his Brother, Douglas, he owned a series of dogs before his wife Kathie disappeared. They were all Alaskan Malamutes named Igor. None of them lasted more than six months. No one knows what happened to the dogs as their bodies were never discovered. In total, seven dogs mysteriously disappeared in the months leading up to Durst’s wife’s disappearance. His brother believes that he was using the dogs to practice what he would do to his wife later. To make things even more menacing, Durst would use the word “Igor” as a verb in what seems to replace the word murder, or an equally dark word. In a Pennsylvania prison, he is recorded saying “I want to Igor Douglas.”
12. Possible Escape Plan
When Robert Durst was finally apprehended by the FBI in March 2015 he had all the makings of a man on the run. He checked into a New Orleans hotel under the alias “Everette Ward” and had a Texas fake identification card with the same name. In addition, he also had a latex mask, a little over $42,000 in cash stuffed into small envelopes, a revolver, a handgun, and some marijuana. Law enforcement indicated that he had all the signs of someone getting ready to flee the country. He had over $100,000 in cash mailed to his hotel room as well. A map of Cuba found in his hotel room indicated that he was planning a possible escape to that country. Not the best idea considering that it is one of the few countries that would gladly send a non-political fugitive back home in a heartbeat.
11. Misdemeanor In CVS
A weird habit that has been noted about Robert Durst is that he liked to relieve himself in places that were not the bathroom. His brother discovered back in the 1990s that Durst was using the wastebasket to alleviate himself. A UPS employee in Houston also noted one time that he had gone out in the parking lot. The most recent case was one that actually got him in trouble. In 2014 he walked into a CVS and relieved himself all over the cash register and candy display. According to police, he purchased a prescription, proceeded to take care of his business all over the cash register, and then left casually. Durst was charged with criminal mischief, which is a class C misdemeanor, for inappropriately exposing himself and urinating. He pleaded no contest, blaming a “medical mishap” for the incident. He had to pay a fine and for the damages caused.
10. The Letter
In 1999 Robert Durst wrote a letter to Susan Berman. Susan Berman was a close confidant of Durst and had received financial aid from him. The letter read “Now and again I think about old times. Good luck, Bobby.” A seemingly innocent exchange between friends is now a chilling message, given Berman’s mysterious murder in the winter of 2000. What makes the letter so interesting is its connection to another one found by police. The Beverly Hills police received an anonymous letter stating that there was a dead cadaver in Berman’s home. While Durst’s admits to writing the first letter, he denied any connection to the second, even though they appear to have identical handwriting. The word “Beverley” is even misspelled the same way. Still, regardless of similarities, Durst maintains that he did not write the second letter indicating where the deceased was located.
9. State Of First Marriage
In 1982, Kathie Durst mysteriously went missing. No one knows exactly what happened to her but there have been many accusations made in the direction of her husband. This is due to various issues that may have been present in their marriage. Kathie’s brother Jim shared a chilling story about the couple from Christmas 1980, in which Robert wanted to leave but Kathie did not want to. When she refused to get off the couch, he lunged at her, pulled her off the couch by her hair, and then proceeded to drag her across the room before exiting. Before her disappearance, the two had talked about divorce. Kathie even went so far to hire an attorney to help reach a settlement. However, the negotiations went nowhere as Durst refused to give up any of his fortunes. Apparently, the Thursday before she went missing, Kathie initiated divorce proceedings.
8. His Wife’s Disappearance
One day in 1982, Robert Durst casually strode into the Manhattan police station and reported his wife missing. In his hand, he had his dog Igor and in the other, he was carrying a two-year-old copy of Time Magazine. The cover story was “The Five Most Powerful Men in New York” with a picture of Seymour Durst. He indicated that he had not heard from his wife in a few days. Initially, there were no leads indicating where she could have gone. Gilberte Najamy and Eleanor Schwank, friends of Kathie, went snooping through the couple’s South Salem to find evidence of foul play from Robert. All they found was a mysterious stack of black plastic bags in the dining room closet and Kathie’s expensive medical textbooks in the garbage can. Katie was due to graduate medical school just three months before her disappearance. Her case stills remains a mystery.
7. Shoplifting Salad
Robert Durst was no poor man. He was, in fact, a millionaire. However, looking at his rap sheet of petty crimes like shoplifting, one would have no idea. In 2001, he was arrested in Hanover, Pennsylvania for stealing a chicken salad sandwich on pumpernickel, a newspaper, and a Band-Aid. At the time he had over $500 in cash on him. It is unknown why he stole the previously mentioned items. When the authorities picked him up for shoplifting, they found that he was a wanted man. He was actually on the run at the time for his involvement in the death of his 71-year-old neighbor, Morris Black. Durst has posted a $300,000 bail in Texas but then did not show up for the arraignment hearing. At the time, he had been using the alias Emilio Vignoni. Locals also claimed that they had seen him about town wearing a brown wig and white moustache.
6. His Neighbor’s Remains
On September 30, 2001, in Galveston, Texas the remains of Morris Black were discovered by a man and his son who were out fishing. At the time, Durst was posing as a mute woman called Dorothy Ciner and was living in a small apartment complex in Texas. Morris Black also lived in that apartment complex. A trail of blood was found from Black’s apartment to Durst’s. A neighbor also noted that Durst was seen loading black trash bags into a station wagon. Durst was arrested, posted bail, and then went on the run. He was later picked up in Pennsylvania. Durst would later be found not guilty on the plea of self-defence, stating that his neighbor had threatened him with a gun. Durst also admitted to dismembering the body (the head was never found). It still remains a mystery why, if the act was done in self-defence, that Durst would feel the need to dispose of Black’s body in such a gruesome manner.
5. His Houston Alias
After the mysterious murder of Susan Berman, Robert Durst moved to Galveston, Texas in April 2001 to escape media attention. To further get away from the public eye, he even took on another alias. This time not only did he change his name but his appearance and gender. He took on the persona of a woman; he wore wigs, dresses, and pretended to be mute. He also went by the name Dorothy Ciner, which it turns out is the name of an old high school classmate. Under this disguise, he lived in a boarding house where rent only cost $300. He supposedly only communicated with his landlord via written notes. The olive-brown house was divided into four little apartments, one of which Morris Black resided in. Later, Durst would be acquitted for Black’s murder on the grounds of self-defence. Even when he jumped bail and ran to Pennsylvania, Durst was arrested still wearing his wig but going by another name.
4. Relationship To His Family
Robert Durst is the oldest of four children. After supposedly watching his mother fall to her death at a young age, he was always a little estranged from his other siblings. At a young age, Douglas Durst claims that Robert would torture him and their younger siblings. He claims he dreaded being around Robert. As they grew older they would both come to work at their father Seymour’s real estate business. According to Douglas, Robert would act normally during meetings with customers but his behavior grew bizarre during internal meetings. His behavior became so erratic that the family decided Douglas, even though he was not the oldest son, would succeed their father as head of the business in 1994. In prison, Robert even admitted to wanting to cause harm to his brother. Things got so bad between the brothers that Douglas took out a restraining order against Robert in 2012.
3. Marriage To Debrah Lee Charatan
Debrah Lee Charatan was the daughter of a Brooklyn butcher and worked in the real estate business. According to other real estate brokers, she was tough as nails. Not only that, but she would take advantage of inexperienced employees and work her employees to a breaking point. One former employee even claimed that she had no soul. After about a month following the mysterious disappearance of his first wife, Robert Durst proposed to Charatan. He moved from his house in South Salem to an apartment in the Upper East side with Charatan but then left after nine months. At the time, Durst was also allegedly dating Kim Lankford, who was friends with Susan Berman. In September 2003 during his trial for the murder of his neighbor Morris Black, he admitted that his marriage to Charatan was one of “convenience” so that she could be given power of attorney.
2. Susan Berman’s Death
On Christmas Eve, one of Susan Berman’s neighbors had seen one of her terriers wandering outside the house and phoned the police. The police arrived to find the door unlocked and Berman’s dead body face down on the floor. She had one gunshot wound to the back of the head caused from a close range. There was no sign of forced entry and nothing had been stolen from the home. Berman had written books about the Las Vegas mob and was said to be working on another. Supposedly, she had been talking to a lot of shady characters in Las Vegas for that book. She was also in talks with the New York police in regards to the reopening of Kathie Durst’s case. The police also received a mysterious letter informing of the location of Berman’s body. Although he denies it, the handwriting appears to match Durst’s handwriting. In March 2015, Durst was officially charged with first-degree murder and the case is still pending.
1. Who Is “Them All?”
In the spring of 2015 HBO released their six-part documentary on Robert Durst. The series ends with a mysterious monologue from Durst. He’s heard on his microphone talking to himself while in the bathroom. At the very end of his rant, he very clearly says “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” While this is not necessarily a full confession, it definitely is a chilling ending to the documentary. It also has everyone wondering, who is “them all?” He was already acquitted for the murder of his neighbor. Durst is currently on trial for the death of Susan Berman. There is the mysterious disappearance of his wife. Now, it has come to light that Durst may be a possible suspect in other cases as well. One involves the disappearance of two teenage girls in Northern California. Durst supposedly stayed at the homeless shelter one of the teens volunteered. The mysteries surrounding Durst have yet to be solved.
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