Robert Durst Came From an Incredibly Wealthy Family — Was His Net Worth Just as Impressive?

Robert Durst was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He was also a convicted murderer. People are complicated.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 23 2024, Published 1:59 p.m. ET

Robert Durst at his trial
Source: Getty Images

One of the most shocking moments in true-crime history was when Robert Durst admitted to being a killer in his own documentary. Durst's numerous crimes were revealed in HBO's The Jinx, which was propelled further into infamy when he confessed to murder while still wearing a microphone.

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Before his death in January 2022, Durst would be found guilty of murdering Morris Black. However, he was suspected of killing both McCormack and Susan Berman, a family friend. Berman provided Durst's alibi for the day McCormack disappeared and therefore was the only person who might have known what happened to her. Throughout all this, Durst had access to massive amounts of money by way of his wealthy family. What was his net worth? Here's what we know.

Robert Durst at his trial
Source: Getty Images
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What was Robert Durst's net worth at his death, and who inherited all of his money?

The Los Angeles Times reported that when Durst was arrested in connection with Black's death in 2015, his net worth was valued at $100 million. It's possible this was an increase from the $65 million he had in 2006 after his family "bought him out of his stake in the family business," per the New York Post.

Robert Alan Durst


Net worth: $100 million

Robert Durst was one of the heirs to the Durst Organization real estate fortune. He was bought out of his shares in 2006, and was later convicted of murder.

  • Birth date: April 12, 1943
  • Birth place: New York, N.Y.
  • Birth name: Robert Alan Durst
  • Father: Seymour Durst
  • Mother: Bernice Herstein
  • Marriages: Kathie McCormack Durst (m. 1973; disappeared 1982)​; Debrah Charatan ​(m. 2000)
  • Education: Scarsdale High School; Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Lehigh University
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According to News 12 Westchester, Durst bequeathed his millions to his second wife Debrah Lee Charatan. Durst and Charatan were married in December 2000, a mere eight days before Berman was killed in her Los Angeles home, reports the New York Times. When Durst was arrested for the murder of Black, Charatan was his first call and "served as his de facto banker with access to his financial accounts and visited him in prison in Texas."

In January 2022, the family of Durst's first wife decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit against his estate and renewed "legal actions against others he has claimed helped cover up the killing of Kathie McCormack Durst four decades ago," via NBC New York. "We’re not about to let Debrah Charatan dissolve the trust and get tens of millions of dollars more," said an attorney for McCormack's family. "You don’t get tens of millions of dollars in America for covering up a murder."

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Debrah Lee Charatan attends the 2014 Healthy Child Healthy World Luncheon on Aug. 21, 2014
Source: Getty Images

How did Robert Durst make his money?

By all accounts, Durst's money all came from his family's wealth. Forbes reported that in December 2020, the Durst family was worth $8.1 billion. They also owned over "16 million square foot of real estate in New York and Philadelphia, including a 10 percent stake in One World Trade Center."

Per The Durst Organization's website, Durst's grandfather Joseph Durst immigrated from Poland in 1902 and came to America with $3.00 in his pocket. He was a tailor who 11 years later, became a partner in the Durst & Rubin dress manufacturing business. This enabled Joseph to buy his first piece of real estate, the Century Building, at One West 34th Street, in 1915. From there, he continued purchasing properties in and around New York City.

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