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Robert Durst Murder Investigation Expands to Other Cities

Los Angeles and New York police have asked other agencies to see if they have any cold cases that could be linked to the real estate millionaire.
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The investigation into millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst is going national as police hunt for evidence — and other victims.

The agencies handling unsolved murders that have links to the eccentric real-estate heir have reached out to their counterparts in cities where he lived or visited and asked them to dust off old case files to look for patterns.

Durst — who is worth an estimated $100 million, according to authorities — has resided or owned property in at least a half-dozen places, including Vermont, Texas, California and New York.

One California police department has already said it's looking into a possible connection between Durst and the 1997 disappearance of teenager Karen Mitchell in Eureka, though it cautioned it had no evidence showing a direct link.

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Durst, 71, is under suicide watch at a Louisiana prison after being arrested in New Orleans earlier this week on a warrant out of Los Angeles, where he was charged in the 2000 murder of his confidant, Susan Berman.

He was busted on the same day that HBO aired the finale of "The Jinx," its documentary series about Durst. The series cover the 1982 disappearance of his first wife in New York, his acquittal for the dismemberment death of a neighbor in Texas and Berman's slaying.

Durst, who cooperated with the production, was caught on a live microphone in the men's room murmuring that he "killed them all."

But his lawyers deny it.

"Bob Durst did not kill Susan Berman. He doesn't know who did," defense attorney Dick DeGuerin told reporters after his arrest.

A search warrant affidavit for three Houston apartments where Durst lived outlines some of the evidence amassed since Berman's disappearance:

  • A forensic expert determined that Durst "probably" wrote the anonymous letter — containing an address and the word "cadaver" — which led Los Angeles police to Berman's body. Another expert had tied the letter to Berman's manager.
  • A 2001 type-written letter postmarked from New York, entitled "Possible motive for Susan Berman murder," suggested that Berman suspected Durst was involved with his first wife Kathie's disappearance.

SImilarities between the "cadaver" letter and a 1999 letter Durst sent to Berman which was featured in the HBO documentary. The city Beverly Hills was misspelled in both and the handwriting appeared to be the same.

Investigators believe Durst was preparing to go on the lam before they arrested him. A latex mask, a fake ID and $42,000 cash — mostly in $100 bills packed in small envelopes — were found in his room in New Orleans. He had withdrawn $9,000 a day from his accounts for a month in the fall.

Police also found a small amount of marijuana and a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver — with one spent shell casing and four live rounds — in the hotel room, documents show.