Washington, Mar 16: An eccentric US tycoon linked to several mysterious deaths appeared in court on a murder charge today, following the explosive finale of a television documentary in which he seems to admit his own guilt.
Robert Durst, the scion of one of New York's wealthiest real estate dynasties, has waived his right to extradition from Louisiana -- where he was arrested on Saturday -- to California, where he will face charges in the 2000 death of his friend Susan Berman. His arrest came on the eve of the shock final episode in the six-part HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."
In the finale, Durst, 71, is heard muttering to himself, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course" -- apparently unaware that a wireless microphone remained switched on while he used the bathroom. It was not immediately clear if Durst was sincerely confessing guilt.
The sensational development quickly exploded on Twitter, with Durst and #TheJinx rocketing to the top of the list of trending topics. Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin said his client was innocent and ready to face trial.
"Bob Durst didn't kill Susan Berman. He's ready to end all of the rumor and speculation," DeGuerin said outside the courthouse in New Orleans. "We're ready to go to California and have a trial." It appeared that the investigative work done for the documentary directly contributed to Durst's arrest in the long-unsolved case.
"As a result of investigative leads and additional evidence that has come to light in the past year, investigators have identified Robert Durst as the person responsible for Ms Berman's death," the Los Angeles Police Department said yesterday, without alluding to the TV series.
Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was shot dead execution-style in the back of the head in Los Angeles one day before police were to question her over the disappearance of Durst's wife. Durst had long been under suspicion over his wife's death in 1982, but has denied any involvement.
The real estate mogul was also charged in 2003 in the murder and dismemberment of his 71-year-old neighbor in Texas two years earlier, but was found not guilty after a trial in which he claimed self-defense.