California state prison officials announced Monday that real estate heir and convicted murderer Robert Durst has died at age 78 while serving a life sentence.  According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Durst died of natural causes early Monday while being treated at an outside hospital.

Durst was sentenced in Los Angeles County last year for first-degree murder in the 2000 death of Susan Berman. He had been housed at the California Health Care Facility, a state prison for ailing inmates in Stockton, Calif.  Durst died at San Joaquin, Calif., General Hospital; he had been put on a ventilator in October after contracting COVID-19.

Durst was sentenced to life imprisonment for the slaying of Berman, his best friend. Prosecutors accused him of killing Berman to stop her from talking about aiding him in the death of his first wife, Kathleen Durst, who disappeared in 1982 at the age of 29. Kathleen Durst’s body has never been found, but in November authorities in Westchester County, N.Y., charged Durst with second-degree murder in connection with her disappearance. Kathleen Durst’s murder case remained unsolved for decades, and made Durst the subject of a Hollywood film and an HBO documentary.  In 2015, he participated and handed over personal recordings for the HBO documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. The tapes were played in California court during his trial for Berman’s death.

Editorial credit: kittirat roekburi / Shutterstock.com

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