Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Tycoon Robert Durst held after possible murder confession on TV

Robert Durst, the eccentric scion of a New York property dynasty, spent decades under suspicion for three separate killings. Over the weekend, he appeared to confess to the crimes at the climax of an HBO documentary about his life.

The final episode of the six-part series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst was broadcast in the US on Sunday. After filmmaker Andrew Jarecki confronted him in an interview with evidence that potentially placed him at the scene of the killing of his friend Susan Berman in 2000, Mr Durst retreated to a bathroom with his microphone still on.

"There it is. You're caught," he muttered to himself. "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

Mr Durst (71) was arrested in New Orleans on Saturday in connection with the murder of Ms Berman. He is the eldest son of billionaire property mogul Seymour Durst. The Durst organisation owns 11 major Manhattan office buildings, and oversees the lease and maintenance of One World Trade Centre.

In 1982, Robert's first wife, medical student Kathleen Durst, went missing from their rural home outside New York. She had threatened to seek a divorce and many of her friends and family believed Mr Durst killed her, but he maintained his innocence and her body was never found.

At the time, Mr Durst was close to Ms Berman, a writer who acted as his unofficial spokesperson following his wife's disappearance. By 2000, however, Ms Berman had relocated to Los Angeles, where Mr Durst sent her a cheque for $50,000 (£34,000) to cure her ailing finances.

Ms Berman was shot dead at her Beverly Hills home after it emerged that she was to be interviewed by police, who had re-opened the Kathleen Durst investigation.

A year later, Mr Durst was living incognito in Galveston, Texas, disguised as a mute woman, when the dismembered body parts of elderly neighbour, Morris Black, were discovered. Mr Durst confessed to disposing of Black's body, but convinced a Texas jury that the victim was shot accidentally as they struggled over a gun. He was acquitted, and spent two years in jail for jumping bail and tampering with a corpse.

Met Police abuse ‘cover-up’ probed

London: The police watchdog is investigating claims that Scotland Yard covered up child sex offences because of the involvement of MPs and police officers.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it is investigating 14 referrals with details of alleged corruption in the Metropolitan Police relating to child sex offences from the 1970s to the 2000s.

The claims, which were referred to the IPCC by the Met Police, include that the force suppressed evidence, hindered or halted investigations and covered up offences because MPs and police officers were involved. Sarah Green, the deputy chair of the IPCC, said: “These allegations are of historic, high level corruption of the most serious nature.”

The IPCC will now manage an investigation already being conducted by the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards into alleged police corruption.

Among the 14 referrals is a claim that a Houses of Parliament document found at a child sex offender’s address linked a number of “highly prominent individuals” including MPs and senior police officers to a paedophile ring, but no further action was taken.

Miliband rules out SNP coalition

West Yorkshire: Ed Miliband has attempted to quash weeks of Tory jibes that he will try to “crawl” into Downing Street with SNP backing by ruling out a formal coalition with the nationalists.

The Labour leader insisted there will be no power-sharing deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s party and he would not lead a government that included SNP ministers. “It will not happen,” he said at a campaign event in Guiseley, West Yorkshire.

“Labour will not go into coalition government with the SNP. There will be no SNP ministers in any government I lead.”

The intervention followed growing concerns about the damage being inflicted by repeated refusals to rule out a coalition. At Prime Minister’s Questions last week, David Cameron lambasted Mr Miliband as “weak and despicable” for considering a deal with “people who want to break up our country”.

While Mr Miliband made clear there would be no coalition with the SNP, he would not be drawn on any looser arrangements that could arise after May 7.

Monster cyclone has set island nation back years

Vanuatu: The Pacific island nation has lost years of development progress and must “start anew” following a powerful cyclone that destroyed or damaged 90% of the buildings in the capital of Port Vila, the country’s president said.

Speaking from a disaster conference held in Australia, Baldwin Lonsdale said that the limited information he was able to get from home showed six people confirmed dead, and 30 injured and taken to hospital on Port Vila after the Category 5 typhoon smashed across the Vanuatu archipelago.

Saddam’s tomb smashed in battle to control Tikrit

Iraq: Saddam Hussein’s tomb has been virtually levelled in heavy clashes between Islamic State (IS) militants and Iraqi forces in a fight for control of the city of Tikrit.

All that remains of Hussein’s once-lavish tomb in the village of Ouja are the support columns that held up the roof.

Poster-sized pictures of Saddam, which once covered the mausoleum, are now nowhere to be seen amid the mountains of concrete rubble. Instead, Shiite militia flags and photos of militia leaders mark the predominantly Sunni village.

Putin appears alive and well after rumours over absence

Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin has resurfaced and is looking healthy after a 10-day absence from public view.

The 62-year-old was last seen in public on March 5, when he hosted Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The Kremlin insisted he was fine and released video of Mr Putin at meetings on national TV, but Russian media suggested the images were shot much earlier.

Mr Putin abruptly postponed a trip to Kazakhstan last week, fuelling speculation that he was unwell — claims the Kremlin denied. Yesterday, Mr Putin met Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atanbayev in St Petersburg’s ornate Konstantin Palace. There was nothing in his appearance that indicated any obvious health problems.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph