LA handwriting pros messed up in Durst murder case: docs

Robert Durst was given time to kill by an LAPD handwriting expert.

Back in 2001, when Los Angeles police were investigating the murder of Durst’s longtime friend Susan Berman, document examiner William Leaver concluded that it was “highly probable” that a note they received tipping them off about her death was written by Nyle Brenner.

Brenner, according to a timeline that accompanied a warrant to search Durst’s Houston address, was Berman’s manager and friend.

Leaver’s conclusion was “rubber stamped” by a supervisor who did not check his work, the papers say.

It wasn’t until June 2003 that Leaver compared the block letters on the “cadaver” note and envelope, on which “Beverley Hills Police” was misspelled, to new samples of Durst’s handwriting obtained a year earlier when LAPD met with the suspect and his lawyers.

Leaver then decided that Durst was the writer, the timeline says.

By then, Durst had been accused of murdering and dismembering Morris Black, his neighbor in Galveston, Texas.

Durst was acquitted of killing Black.

Meanwhile, the telltale letter landed on the desk of California Department of Justice investigator Sean Espley, who concluded Durst was “probably the author of the cadaver letter and note,” the timeline said.

But for reasons not laid out in the paperwork, the Berman case went cold for more than a decade until investigators learned that Andrew Jarecki was making an HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” about the creepy cross-dressing scion of a Manhattan real estate empire.

In it, Durst – also long suspected of killing first wife Kathie Durst – appeared to confess that he “killed them all, of course.”

In November, the LAPD had two independent examiners analyze the documents and both concluded Durst was the author, according to the search warrant affidavit.

The LAPD has declined to comment on Durst until he is in their custody.

The 71-year-old suspect, who was arrested Saturday in New Orleans, is being held in protective custody — his extradition delayed by an illegal gun and pot possession charge by local police.

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, told The Associated Press that the fact that the handwriting experts could not agree on who wrote the note “shows you what junk science really is.”

(NY Daily News)


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