End of the Road
Within an hour a computer check showed the alleged shoplifter was millionaire Robert Durst, 58, a suspect in a recent Texas murder—and wanted for questioning in New York about the disappearance of his wife nearly 20 years ago. When the officer confronted Durst, a member of a Manhattan real estate family, "his eyes slid back and his jaw dropped to the floor," says Benner, adding that Durst then asked to see a lawyer.
He'll need one. Durst had avoided being charged when his medical-student wife, Kathie, then 29, vanished in January 1982. But a tip last year spurred police to reopen the investigation. They were planning to interview his longtime friend, author Susan Berman, 55, when she was found shot to death last Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. No suspect has been named in that case. On Oct. 9, however, Durst was arrested for the murder of his Galveston neighbor Morris Black, 71, whose severed limbs were found days earlier in plastic bags in Galveston Bay. Durst failed to show up for a bond hearing—skipping out on $300,000 bail—and became the target of a nationwide manhunt.
While Texas authorities seek his extradition and L.A. police explore his possible links to Berman's death, Durst is being held in Northampton County Prison. That's a relief to some. Says Gilberte Najamy, 49, who was Kathie Durst's best friend: "I cannot tell you how comforting it is that Bobby is behind bars."
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