Robert Durst Murder Trial Begins, Prosecution Says Victim ‘Knew Her Killer’

Durst is on trial for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman

Robert Durst trial day one
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The murder trial of real estate heir Robert Durst began Wednesday morning with the prosecution announcing that its opening statement would take two full days to complete.

Durst, the subject of the 2015 HBO docuseries “The Jinx,” is charged with murdering his close friend Susan Berman on or about Dec. 23, 2000. Her body was discovered in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve.

L.A. County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said the prosecution believes Berman knew her killer, saying there were no signs of a struggle, no sign of a break-in and her purse and credit cards were still in the home. Lewin said, “Susan knew her killer. She freely and voluntarily admitted this person into her house.”

Lewin played excerpts of an interview he conducted with Durst in 2015 in which the eccentric millionaire said he does not believe the rules apply to him. In another part of the interview, Durst talked about how he burps loudly during meetings that he felt were not important. “I do what I want. There’s nothing anybody can do about it. Tough,” Durst said.

In addition to the interview clips, Lewin also showed graphic photos of Berman’s dead body, lying face-up on the floor of her home and covered in blood. He also played a 911 call placed by a neighbor of Berman’s who had seen her dog wandering around outside was concerned.

“She lives by herself and I hate to think,” the caller said.

Durst was arrested in March 2015 by FBI agents in New Orleans, one day before the finale of HBO’s “The Jinx,” which chronicled Durst’s life and the death of three people close to him — McCormack, Berman and a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. He was not charged with the disappearance of McCormack and acquitted in the death of the neighbor.

Durst has pleaded not guilty.