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Robert Durst: Yes, I Wrote the Infamous 'Cadaver Note'

Admits it's 'difficult to believe' he wrote tipoff note but didn't kill Susan Berman
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2021 10:10 AM CDT
Robert Durst: Yes, I Wrote the Infamous 'Cadaver Note'
Robert Durst answers questions at the Inglewood Courthouse on Aug. 9 in Inglewood, Calif.   (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – Murder suspect Robert Durst admitted for the first time Monday something that those following the case probably already knew—he wrote what has come to be known as the "cadaver note." The note has long been a key piece of evidence in the case of Susan Berman, a friend of Durst's who was slain in her home in 2000, reports the Los Angeles Times. Police found her body after receiving a note that read "cadaver," along with her address. Durst, 78, denied writing that note for years, even after the makers of the documentary film The Jinx confronted him, showing not only that the handwriting was identical to his own but that the note misspelled "Beverly" as "Beverley" as Durst did. In the film, Durst retreats to a bathroom after the interview and mutters, "killed them all, of course," to himself, which is seen as a "gotcha moment" against him, per the AP.

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In court on Monday, Durst finally admitted he authored the note, but he continued to insist that he didn't kill Berman. "I mean, I have difficulty believing it myself," he testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court. "It's very difficult to believe, to accept, that I wrote the letter and did not kill Susan Berman." Durst said he discovered her body when he went to visit, then opted to inform police in an anonymous note rather than in person. Prosecutors say he killed Berman because he feared she would implicate him in the still-unsolved disappearance of his wife in 1982. They also have introduced evidence suggesting that his fatal 2001 shooting of a neighbor wasn't accidental, even though he was acquitted of murder charges. (Durst's lawyers previously acknowledged that their client wrote the note, but Monday was the first time Durst said so in court.)

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