Made to Testify, Durst's Brother Speaks: 'He'd Like to Murder Me'

Douglas Durst fears his brother 'may have the means to do so,' despite being locked up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2021 10:30 AM CDT
Brother at Robert Durst's Trial: 'He'd Like to Murder Me'
Real estate heir Robert Durst watches as his defense attorney presents a new round of opening statements in the murder case against Durst after a 14-month recess due to the coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Inglewood, Calif., on May 19, 2021.   (Law&Crime Network via AP, Pool, File)

The estranged brother of Robert Durst, the real estate heir on trial in his best friend's slaying, testified under threat of subpoena Monday that the two never got along and he feared his oldest sibling would kill him. "He'd like to murder me," Douglas Durst bluntly told jurors in Los Angeles County Superior Court, per the AP, noting he'd flown to California with a security detail. "I have a fear that my brother has threatened to kill me, and I fear that he may have the means to do so," said the chairman of the Durst Organization, one of New York's largest commercial real-estate firms. He said his brother, whom he last spoke to in 1999, was angry and bitter over an acrimonious inheritance settlement for tens of millions of dollars. Douglas Durst also described bad blood dating back to childhood. Yet he said "there are other places I'd much rather be" than testifying against his brother, who's on trial on charges of fatally shooting Susan Berman in 2000 at her Los Angeles home.

Prosecutors say Berman provided an alibi for Robert Durst after he killed his first wife, Kathie, in 1982, and that he silenced his friend after she decided to tell police what she knew about the disappearance. Douglas Durst said Kathie Durst had told him she planned to seek a divorce. He added there was "no great anxiety" in his brother's tone when he later claimed his wife vanished three days after he put her on a train to New York City from their lakeside house in Westchester County, NY, in 1982. Robert Durst, who has pleaded not guilty to Berman's murder, said that was the last time he saw his wife. Douglas Durst said his brother told him he suspected a drug dealer. But he also disputed that $50,000 in checks that Robert Durst gave to Berman were out of generosity, saying everything had an ulterior motive. Prosecutors argue the killings of Berman and Morris Black, whom Robert Durst was found to have killed in self-defense in 2001, were part of a cover-up.

(More Robert Durst stories.)

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