Mr Durst was frail and suffered from numerous health problems, but he was alert during the four-month trial which ended on September 17 with a conviction for first degree murder. Mr. Durst, whose life story inspired a Hollywood film and an HBO documentary, will not be eligible for parole.
The jury that sentenced him in Los Angeles concluded that the prosecution had proved special circumstances: namely, that Mr. Durst shot Susan Berman, a journalist and screenwriter, because he feared she was on. the point of telling investigators what she had learned as a media spokesperson after the disappearance in 1982 of his first wife, Kathie McCormack Durst.
Mr. Durst faces a possible indictment for murder in New York in connection with the disappearance of Kathie Durst. Miriam E. Rocah, the district attorney for Westchester County, NY, reopened the investigation earlier this year and has plans to put numerous witnesses before a grand jury.
Mr Durst admitted to filmmakers that prior to Ms Durst’s disappearance her marriage had had a series of ‘half arguments, brawls, slaps, pushes’ and ‘wrestling’, but he insisted that ‘he hadn’t killed her.