New York real estate heir Robert Durst on Thursday was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a friend more than 20 years ago, in a slaying possibly tied to the killer’s missing wife.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Mark Windham handed down that punishment one month after jurors convicted Durst of first-degree murder for the Dec. 23, 2000, death of Susan Berman, who was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head inside her Benedict Canyon home.
Berman had been scheduled to speak to police about a fake alibi she allegedly gave Durst when his wife disappeared in New York in 1982, prosecutors said.
Kathie Durst has never been found and no charges have ever been brought in connection with her disappearance.
After Berman was killed, Durst fell off the grid and landed in Galveston, Texas, where he assumed the name Dorothy Ciner and regularly wore a woman’s wig, dresses and high heels.
Durst’s neighbor Morris Black was killed and dismembered by Durst in September 2001, but he was acquitted, claiming self-defense.
He went to the bathroom while still wearing a hot microphone, which recorded him whispering to himself: “You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Tim Fitzsimons contributed.