The Exact Timeline of Robert Durst's Conviction Is Complicated, So We're Breaking It Down

There have been a lot of updates about Robert Durst lately, but how long has he been in jail? Details on the killer’s complicated timeline.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Nov. 2 2021, Published 12:18 p.m. ET

Robert Durst mugshot
Source: Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office

The infamous real estate heir Robert Durst is finally getting his comeuppance. A household name only for the murders that have been following him for years, he’s finally sentenced to life in prison. However, he has been in and out of court in the years preceding this final trial, and it’s possible there could be more trials to come.

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In addition, many have believed Durst to be guilty for decades, but he’s always somehow evaded the law. So when exactly did he commit the crimes he’s now behind bars for and how long has he been in jail?

Robert Durst in 'The Jinx'
Source: HBO
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Robert Durst has been in jail since 2015.

Despite committing crimes likely as early as 1982, Durst has only been officially in jail since 2015. Basically, after The Jinx, a docuseries about and featuring Durst himself, was released on HBO in 2015, new evidence was brought to light that further incriminated Durst in the murder of his friend Susan Berman.

Prior to that, there was a trial regarding her death, but there was never enough evidence to convict Durst.

Susan Berman was killed in her Benedict Canyon, Calif., home shortly before Christmas in 2000, many years before Durst would finally be arrested. He was a suspect of interest, mostly because of motive.

It was believed that Berman was working with authorities during an investigation into the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathie McCormack. Berman and Durst had a close relationship; he even walked her down the aisle at her wedding, but he always maintained his innocence.

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Robert Durst and Susan Berman
Source: HBO

Susan Berman and Robert Durst

However, once Durst basically confessed in The Jinx, his days as a free man were numbered. He was arrested on an out-of-state murder warrant for Berman’s death.

At the time of his arrest, the LAPD revealed, "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.”

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Durst got himself into a lot of hot water when he was arrested in 2015. He was carrying a .38-caliber revolver, marijuana, $42,000 in cash, a latex mask, a fake I.D., and maps of Cuba when authorities finally caught up with him. This led to several other charges, including a firearms charge, which led to an easy seven years in prison.

Robert Durst has finally been sentenced to life in jail, and could be sentenced to even more.

Despite being arrested in 2015 with a 2016 trial, authorities were still unable to prove Durst’s guilt in murdering Berman. However, in October 2021, Durst was finally sentenced to life in prison for unequivocally murdering Berman. But justice still hasn’t been served. There are still a lot of questions about what happened to Durst’s first wife, and authorities are ready to finally get some answers.

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Robert Durst and Kathie McCormack
Source: HBO

Kathie McCormack and Robert Durst

Hopefully, because Durst is already sentenced to spending the rest of his life behind bars, he’ll finally disclose what happened to her in 1982. A new conviction comes from White Plains, N.Y., where McCormack disappeared at only 29 years old, just months before becoming a doctor. Now, Durst will be spending even more time in court in the state of New York, and could face further sentences.

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