(LOS ANGELES) — Opening arguments will begin in Los Angeles Wednesday in the much-anticipated trial of New York real estate heir Robert Durst, who is accused of killing his close friend Susan Berman.
Berman’s body was found in her home on Christmas Eve in 2000. She had been shot execution-style in the back of the head.
Durst was arrested for Berman’s murder in 2015 — one day before the last episode aired of the HBO series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
Prosecutors allege Durst wanted to silence Berman about the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen Durst.
Robert Durst was investigated but never charged in her death.
Berman — a close friend of Durst’s since their UCLA days — allegedly helped Durst with an alibi for when Kathleen Durst vanished.
Berman was about to meet with investigators about the Kathleen Durst case when she was killed at her house in Beverly Hills.
Durst’s lawyers say he did not kill Berman and doesn’t know who did.
One piece of evidence revealed in the The Jinx was a letter producers found that Durst once wrote to Berman, in which “Beverly Hills” was misspelled as “Beverley.” Police were led to the discovery of Berman’s body back in 2000 because of a note with Berman’s address and the word “cadaver” on it. That note to police had the same “Beverley” misspelling and both notes had nearly identical handwriting.
This won’t be Durst’s first time on trial.
Durst was charged in the 2001 killing of neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas, but Durst claimed he shot him in self-defense and was found not guilty.
Durst admitted to chopping up Black’s body and disposing of the pieces in the sea.
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