Judge: Durst Dumped a Cat's Head at My Door
She thinks he held grudge over parole hearing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2015 3:34 AM CDT
Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

(Newser) – Eccentric heir Robert Durst is behind bars, and the judge who oversaw his 2003 murder trial says she hopes he stays there. Texas Judge Susan Criss tells the New York Daily News that she believes Durst, holding a grudge after she testified against him at a parole hearing, was the person who placed a cat's severed head on her doorstep three years after the trial. "It was a head with its two front legs, cut right behind the shoulders," she tells the Daily News. Police couldn't find any human DNA on the head, but the judge says she's sure it was Durst, who admitted dismembering neighbor Morris Black in the 2003 case and also allegedly butchered seven pet dogs.

In 2003, the jury decided Durst had killed Black in self-defense, and Criss blames the acquittal on state prosecutors failing to do their homework. With Durst now facing a murder charge in California, "I hope that everyone's got their act together and nobody drops the ball this time," the judge tells People. "There's a lot riding on this." She tells People that Durst's bizarre behavior may come from a desire for publicity, and to torment estranged family members. "He doesn't seem to fit into any sort of stereotype that we have about a serial killer," she says. "He seems to have genuinely cared about the people he killed." (Investigators also want to talk to Durst about two missing teens in California.)