July 19, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

LAPD’s handwriting experts determine Durst as writer of anonymous letter

LAPD
LAPD News

Two forensic handwriting experts working with Los Angeles police concluded that New York City real estate heir Robert Durst wrote an anonymous letter tipping authorities about the killing of his friend and confidant, Susan Berman, according to a search warrant released today.

The opinions of the experts could be the key to the murder charge filed Monday against Durst, 71, who is accused of killing the 55-year-old Berman on Dec. 22 or 23, 2000.

In December 2000, the Beverly Hills Police Department received an anonymous letter, postmarked Dec. 23, 2000, in Marina del Rey. The letter was addressed to “Beverley Hills Police” and the note inside said “1527 Benedict Canyon,” along with the word “cadaver.”

According to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed in Houston — where authorities on Tuesday searched Durst’s home — initial exams of the anonymous note at the time indicated alternatively it may have been penned by Durst or Nyle Brenner, who was Berman’s manager and friend.

In November, however, LAPD cold-case detectives met with forensic document examiner Lloyd Cunningham, who “identified Robert Durst as the author of the questioned documents and eliminated Nyle Brenner as the author of the cadaver letter and note,” according to the affidavit.

Detectives then presented the documents and Cunningham’s report to another expert, Linton Mohammed, who “agreed with Cunningham’s conclusions and also identified Robert Durst and eliminated Nyle Brenner … as the author of the cadaver letter and envelope.”

Police suspect Durst killed Berman because she was about to be interviewed by New York authorities who were taking a fresh look at the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife Kathleen “Kathie” McCormack Durst.

Durst was arrested Saturday at a JW Marriott hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. According to the Houston affidavit, Durst had about $42,630 in cash, mostly in “$100 bills that were packed in small envelopes.” They also found a piece of paper labeled “UPS” and a series of numbers that Durst said “was a tracking number for a shipment of a large sum of cash monies.”

Durst also had a .38-caliber revolver, marijuana, a phony Texas ID in the name “Everette Ward” and a “rubber/latex mask — which would cover an individual’s head and neck,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also notes that LAPD detectives believe Durst has a net worth of about $100 million, and that he had the “means to flee outside of the United States.” Detectives also said Durst had made almost daily withdrawals of $9,000 from his accounts beginning in October of 2014 and continuing for about 35 days.

During the search of Durst’s Houston property, detectives seized numerous CDs, bank statements, credit cards, checks, cell phones, boxes of court documents and three books, including hard-cover and paperback copies of “A Deadly Secret,” which chronicles the disappearance of Kathie Durst.

Durst’s Saturday arrest came hours before the airing of the final episode of HBO’s documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” which examined the disappearance of his wife in 1982, Berman’s execution-style killing and the slaying and dismemberment of Durst’s neighbor in Galveston, Texas.

On the documentary series finale, which aired Sunday, Durst was caught on microphone saying to himself, “Killed them all, of course.”

He also was caught saying, “There it is, you’re caught,” and “What a disaster.”

Durst was also confronted in the episode with the anonymous letter to police, and another letter he wrote to Berman that also contained the misspelling “Beverley.”

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, insisted Tuesday that his client did not kill 55-year-old Susan Berman in late December 2000.

“Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman and he doesn’t know who did,” he said.

He said the warrant for Durst’s arrest in connection with the murder was issued “because of a television show and not because of facts.”

Meanwhile, Durst was transferred to an Orleans Parish jail for mentally ill inmates, with sheriff’s officials saying he is suicidal.

Durst’s name also surfaced Wednesday in connection with the 1997 disappearance of a teenage girl in Eureka. Eureka police Capt. Steve Watson told the Los Angeles Times that investigators want to know what information Durst might have regarding Karen Mitchell’s disappearance, although Durst has not been named a suspect or a person of interest.

In addition to being a suspect in Kathie McCormack’s disappearance and the death of Berman, Durst has admitted to killing and dismembering Morris Black, a man who lived across from him in Galveston, Texas, where Durst fled while authorities were trying to make a case against him in both cases.

Durst went on trial in Black’s death in 2003 — after a nationwide manhunt located him in Pennsylvania — but he was acquitted by a jury that deemed Black’s killing was an act of self-defense.

Robert Durst has been long estranged from his real-estate-rich family, which is best known for a series of New York City skyscrapers — including an investment in the World Trade Center. Durst split with the family when his younger brother was placed in charge of the family business, leading to a drawn- out legal battle.

According to various media reports, Robert Durst ultimately reached a settlement under which the family paid him $60 million to $65 million.

Tags: in Crime, News
Related Posts

(Video) Only One More Saturday Pop Up of Pa’s Biscuitisserie at Cardinale du Vin Left!

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

From 9 am to 2 pm, the best biscuits: their tribute to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits and the best...

(Video) Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three Years at the Motor Avenue Farmers Market With New Coffee Drinks

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Stay cool with Cold Brew Lou’s new creations, orange you curious? Check them out. @centurycitywestwoodnews Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three...

Danny Boy’s Famous Original’s New Location Now Open in Westwood Village

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Acclaimed Chef Daniel Holzman Brings New York-Style Pizza to Westwood Daniel Holzman, celebrated chef and industry veteran, will open the...

New Restaurant Alert: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca to Open in Brentwood on July 26

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Roman-Style Eatery Boasts Unique Pinsa and Italian Specialties, Italian Wines Exciting news for the Westside: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca,...

Beverly Hills Police Deny Online Rumors of Threats Against Jewish Community

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Chief Stainbrook Urges Public to Trust Official Law Enforcement Sources The Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) has addressed rumors on...

Sexual Assault Reported in South Brentwood, Suspect at Large

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

LAPD Confirms Incident, Community Seeks Help to Identify Man A post on Nextdoor this evening reported the shocking news that...

Elon Musk Plans to Move Twitter and SpaceX HQs Out of California

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Move Follows SAFETY Act Being Signed Into Law by Governor  Elon Musk, billionaire and CEO of Twitter, Space X, and...

Judge Issues Final Ruling in Favor of Barrington Plaza Tenants Association

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Decision against Landlord Finds Intent Does Not Meet Ellis Act Standards The final ruling in the case of the Barrington...

Governor Signs Landmark SAFETY Act to Shield LGBTQ+ Students in California Schools

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

New Law Prohibits Forced Outing Policies in Schools to Keep Students Safe The Support Academic Futures & Educators for Today’s...

The Donald Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Week of Events

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

A Musical Performance, Visit From the Reptile Family and Special Reception The Donald Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library is celebrating its...

Covid-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Test Positivity Rates Rise in Latest CDC Reports

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

California’s Wastewater COVID-19 Levels Are Very High; JN.1 Variant Dominates Covid 19 is making a comeback this summer, with infection...

LAPD and Family Seek Public’s Help to Locate Missing 69-Year-Old Woman

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

Beryl Angela Thomas Last Seen in Fairfax Area; May Be Disoriented The family of Beryl Angela Thomas and detectives from...

Two Arrested in Fatal Shooting on Los Angeles Metro Train in West Adams

July 14, 2024

July 14, 2024

Suspects Have Been Charged With Murder in the Death of Juan Garcia Two suspects have been arrested and charged in...

Local Leaders and Law Enforcement React to Trump Assassination Attempt

July 14, 2024

July 14, 2024

Reactions Emphasize the Need for Unity and Safety in Our Nation  After the shocking news of the attempted assassination of...

Beloved Brentwood Monument Destroyed by Vandals on San Vincente Median

July 14, 2024

July 14, 2024

A Symbol of Community History and Dedication Found in Pieces One of Brentwood’s most cherished monuments was callously destroyed by...