Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Durst of 'The Jinx' told friend he killed his wife -court testimony

Durst of 'The Jinx' told friend he killed his wife -court testimony

Chavin, a longtime friend of both Durst and Berman, was hustled into court on Wednesday as a "secret witness", flanked by bodyguards.

He was also the former boss of Susan Giordano, a close friend of Durst who testified on Monday morning.

The testimony from Nick Chavin, 72, a NY advertising executive, appeared to buttress the assertions of prosecutors that Durst killed his longtime confidante Susan Berman in December 2000 because of what she knew about his wife's unsolved demise in 1982.

Durst, 73, pleaded not guilty in November past year to charges that he murdered Berman, a journalist and author, on Christmas Eve 2000, by shooting her once in the back of the head.

Prosecutors allege that Durst killed Berman, his confidante, because he feared she was going to talk to detectives about the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen Durst.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents followed Durst to a New Orleans hotel on the eve of the finale of "The Jinx", HBO's six-part documentary about Durst, his wife's disappearance, Berman's death and the death and dismemberment of Durst's neighbor Morris Black in 2001.

Real Estate Heir Robert Durst appears in the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court during a preliminary hearing on December 21, 2016 in Los Angeles. She informed him she couldn't make it to her first day of a clerkship in pediatrics because she had diarrhea.

"In testimony Wednesday, Chavin described a rocky relationship between Durst and his first wife, saying Kathleen Durst told him she was afraid of him".

Giordano said that after Durst was arrested she wrote to him and visited him in jail.

Durst was formally charged with the Berman killing a day after HBO aired the final episode of its series, in which he was recorded muttering to himself off-camera: "What the hell did I do?"

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The doctor said he had personally interacted with Kathleen Durst for about 10 or 15 minutes during her time at the medical school and had never spoken to her on the telephone before.

Kathleen Durst's body was never found, and prosecutors say Durst fatally shot Berman execution-style in her Benedict Canyon home to keep her quiet about the 1982 disappearance of his wife.

Durst, 73, has denied killing the women, and his lawyers have said it's absurd to suggest he could have witnesses knocked off. Deputy District Attorney John Lewin asked.

He said he was in "extreme shock" and "disbelief" after learning that Durst had dismembered his neighbor, Morris Black, in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, because he believed Durst was not capable of such of hands-on violence.

"I began to doubt my own feelings", he said.

"She was having a awful time with her marriage", he said. Prosecutors claim to have evidence that there is a "possible danger" to him, and hope to preserve his testimony in case he dies or is killed.

"That man kills witnesses".

Defense attorneys objected to the early questioning of witnesses, countering that their client does not pose any threat to anyone who might testify in his murder case. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder. But a prosecutor said in court the District Attorney's Office does not plan to seek the death penalty.

The FBI arrested Durst in New Orleans on the cold-case warrant out of Los Angeles. He has been long estranged from his real-estate-rich family, known for ownership of a series of New York City skyscrapers - including an investment in the World Trade Center.

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