Eccentric real estate heir faces charges stemming from 2000 killing of friend Susan Berman
Accused murderer Robert Durst, subject of the explosive HBO documentary “The Jinx,” had a latex mask, a fake ID and $42,000 in cash when he was arrested on Saturday, a new court document reveals. The document also reveals that Los Angeles police analyzed the handwriting on an envelope tied to a murder victim and connected it to Durst.
The mask, which could have been used to conceal his identity, was large enough to cover the entire head and neck, according to a search warrant filed by Houston police. The documents said the cash, mostly comprised of $100 bills, was likely withdrawn over a period of about six months.
The fake ID was for Everette Ward, a name that Durst used when he registered at the J.W. Marriott in New Orleans where he was arrested. Durst also had his actual birth certificate and passport.
Durst has been charged in Los Angeles for the murder of his friend Susan Berman in 2000.
In addition, the search warrant revealed that Los Angeles police analyzed in 2002 the handwriting on an envelope sent by Berman’s presumed killer, sent to police at the time of the killing. The handwriting matched that of Durst, the warrant said: “Detective Whelan advised me that Leaver said that ‘it is probable’ that Durst was the author of the cadaver letter.”
Shockingly, the search warrant reveals that no fewer than four experts confirmed that the handwriting was probably Durst’s. Document Examiner William Leaver did so in 2002. Sean Espley of the California Department of Justices’s Forensic Services concluded this in 2003. Forensic Document Examiner Lloyd Cunningham and independent Forensic Document Examiner Linton Mohammed did so in 2014. “Mohammed agreed with Cunningham’s conclusions and opinions and also identified Robert Durst… as the author of the cadaver letter and envelope.”
It is unclear from the warrant why these findings did not lead to any prosecution of Durst, until his arrest last week.
The items found in Durst home point to his likely intention to flee the country, the documents reveal. The day Durst was arrested in Louisiana was also the first day of commercial flights to Cuba after the United States’ longstanding travel ban was lifted.
The search warrant that revealed these details was signed by a judge in Texas to allow Houston police to raid Durst’s condominium in that city on Tuesday in search of any evidence pertaining to the 2000 killing of Susan Berman or the disappearance of Durst’s wife Kathie McCormack. The search turned up notes, CDs and other documents.
Louisiana State Police released a separate warrant on Tuesday that said Durst also had more than 5 ounces of marijuana and a loaded .38-caliber revolver in the hotel room when he was arrested.