Six weeks after being sprung from prison, cross-dressing killer Robert Durst has traded his wig for a yarmulke and his jail cell for a town house in a yuppie Houston neighborhood, The Post has learned.
The almost-free man, who has to wear an electronic ankle bracelet until November 2006, has been worshipping at a Hasidic temple ever since he was released from the pokey, the rabbi said.
“We don’t make a big deal out of it,” said the rabbi, who didn’t want to give his name. “Nobody knows who he is. He’s very unassuming.”
He said Durst – a one-time Studio 54 regular, habitual marijuana smoker and the serial suspect in a string of crimes – worships at the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch synagogue because he befriended one of their assistant rabbis who works as a prison chaplain.
In addition to finding God, the eccentric heir to one of New York’s largest real-estate fortunes has found a new residence.
He’s been renting a stucco town house in a charming, tree-lined historic district with a mini-Manhattan vibe for the past two weeks. Prices start around $2,000 a month.
He appears at ease in his new home, often reading newspapers at night in the bay window or comfortably ensconced on the couch watching television.
On Friday, a hired car picked him up in the morning and took him around town shopping. A frail-looking Durst, 62, spent an hour in OfficeMax, leisurely strolling the 11 aisles with a yellow cart.
He stocked his cart with essentials like printer paper, highlighters, cassette tapes and a calculator.
His driver then ferried him to a furniture store 45 minutes away for an apparent nest-feathering shopping spree. He bought two handsome leather chairs for $359 each, an 80-pound mirror and a set of floor lamps.
“He kept adjusting his socks,” one onlooker said. “I think his ankle bracelet was bothering him.”
In total, he spent over $1,200 in about an hour, pocket money for the ultra-wealthy scion, who was acquitted of murdering his elderly neighbor, Morris Black, in 2003.
A jury in Galveston, Texas, believed Durst when he said the gun went off as the two men were struggling over the weapon, and that he’d acted in self-defense.
Durst did admit that he chopped up the man’s body after shooting him and throwing his remains in a bay and was convicted of tampering with evidence. He also served time for jumping bail after the 2001 killing.
At the time of Black’s slaying, Durst was trying to elude New York authorities by dressing as a deaf mute woman. Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro had reopened her probe into the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathie. Durst has always been a suspect, but was never charged.
For the next 14 months, Durst will be under Texas’ Super Intensive Supervision program. He has a monthly minimum of six face-to-face meetings with his parole officer, six unscheduled visits, among other meetings with officials who monitor him, said Mike Viesca, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Every week, he files a schedule with authorities, and they must approve all of his comings and goings.
“He can’t decide to go out and get a Big Mac at 11 o’clock at night,” said Patrick Ivey, the deputy director of Texas’ parole division.
He’s also on supervised release with the feds for gun charges.
A few of Durst’s neighbors aren’t thrilled about the latest transplant to their chic enclave.
Lindsey Gibbon, 24, said, “It freaks me out. It’s kind of scary.”