Robert Durst is back in the spotlight as he faces charges in the murder of Susan Berman 20 years ago. The eccentric billionaire has eluded the law for decades but his life has been shrouded in suspicion and controversy since his wife Kathleen disappeared in a New York suburb in 1982 and authorities suspected him as the murderer.

Now, the New York real estate heir is finally set to stand trial for the murder of Berman, his best friend and daughter of a prominent Las Vegas mobster. On Dec. 23, 2000, Berman’s body was found inside her Los Angeles home with a shot in the back of her head at point-blank range.

Berman was there to defend Robert Durst during the media frenzy that followed the disappearance of his wife Kathleen. Years later, however, Berman was killed. Authorities believe that Durst murdered his best friend to keep her from revealing his secret about his wife’s disappearance and death. Durst reportedly confided to Berman that he had abused and killed Kathleen years before Berman’s murder.

On March 14, 2015, Durst was arrested in a hotel in New Orleans and was indicted in April of that year on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm but he maintained his innocence. While there was almost no physical evidence linking Durst to the killing of Berman 20 years ago, what links him to the murder today is a cryptic note sent to the police on the day of Berman’s death. The note bore the address of Berman and the word “CADAVER,” leading the authorities to Berman’s lifeless body. Durst was initially accused of having penned the note, but he denied the accusation and said only the killer or someone involved in the slaying could have written it.

Durst’s 2015 arrest came the day before the final episode of “The Jinx” aired on HBO. His arrest was based on another note, which was discovered during the production of the show and which Durst admitted writing to Berman. The handwriting happened to match the “CADAVER” note that alerted the police to the location of Berman’s remains in 2000. The address on the note misspelled the location of Beverly Hills as “Beverley Hills” the way Durst’s letter to Berman when she was still alive misspelled “Beverly.”

Durst currently faces one count of murder for the killing of Susan Berman and his trial will be held in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday. On this week’s trial, prosecutors intend to use the note to indict Durst. There is also reportedly a web of new circumstantial evidence that will prove Durst’s involvement in the murder of his wife, Berman, and another victim.

Prosecutors will also rely on former friends of Durst and Berman, who are set to provide damaging accounts of Durst’s abuse of his wife. The witnesses claim that Berman once told them that if anything happened to her, they should suspect Durst.

Robert Durst
Robert Durst is set to face charges in the murder of Susan Berman on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Getty Images/ Jae C. Hong-Pool

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