Robert Durst had a latex mask, a fake ID and $42,000 cash — mostly in $100 bills packed in small envelopes — in his room at the New Orleans hotel where he was arrested over the weekend, authorities revealed on Wednesday.
The disclosures came in an affidavit filed by Houston police on Tuesday — and made public Wednesday — as they sought a warrant to search Durst’s home there.
Durst, an heir to one of New York City's most powerful real-estate empires, was arrested on Saturday and charged with the 2000 murder of his former spokeswoman, Susan Berman.
The arrest came a day before HBO, in the final episode of a six-part documentary on his life, aired audio of him on an open mic in the bathroom mumbling to himself: "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
Durst was also questioned but never charged in the 1982 disappearance of his wife, and he was acquitted on a self-defense claim after he killed and dismembered his neighbor in Texas.
Police departments handling unsolved murders with connections to Robert Durst have been reaching out to other law-enforcement agencies in cities and towns where the real estate heir lived or visited, according to a law-enforcement source familiar with the investigation. Those agencies, including the LAPD and New York State Police, have encouraged those departments to revisit their old cases to determine whether they were in any way similar, according to the source. Durst lived or owned property in more than a half dozen locations Vermont, Texas and California in addition to New York.
According to the papers made public on Wednesday, the FBI estimated Durst’s net worth at about $100 million at the time of his arrest. He had also begun withdrawing as much as $9,000 per day from his bank account beginning last fall, according to the FBI.
The search of his Houston home turned up bank statements, boxes of court transcripts and copies of three books — "Without a Trace" and both hardback and paperback copies of "A Deadly Secret." Both titles were about Durst.
Arrest warrants had previously identified Durst as a flight risk, but the details contained in the Houston search warrant provide further evidence that perennial murder suspect may have been preparing to flee the country.
He also admitted to agents that a series of numbers scrawled on a piece of paper in his French Quarter hotel room was a UPS tracking number — and that he was expecting a large shipment of cash.
The warrant also references a previously unknown letter sent to the west Los Angeles Police Station from New York on January 9, 2001. The typewritten letter, titled "Possible motive for Susan Berman murder," referred to the disappearance of Durst's wife, Kathleen. It indicated that Susan Berman, who called Durst "dearest Bobby" in letters, suspected Durst of being involved in his wife's disappearance.
And, according to the warrant, on Nov. 4, 2014, forensic document examiner Lloyd Cunningham told prosecutors that he identified Durst as the author of the now-infamous "cadaver" letter, sent from a Marina del Rey post office to Beverly Hills Police on December 23, 2000, the day before the discovery of Berman’s body in her Benedict Canyon home. He compared the letter and envelope to normal writings by Durst and identified him as the author.