Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 17th, 2015 14:53 EST
Why Did Robert Durst Have to Murder Susan Berman, to Begin With?

Why Did Robert Durst Have to Murder Susan Berman, to Begin With?

By John G. Kays

Part 5 - Family Values (of HBO`s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst) is where I enter the picture; it`s unfortunate I got in on this story late, after my sister mentioned how great the 6 part documentary was (with Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling at the helm), over the weekend. Alright, so I`m often the last to hear about a good thing! 

But it`s not too late; I`m recording all 6 parts tonight (on Saint Patrick`s Day - 3/17/2015)! Moreover, I`ve already recorded the last half of Part 4, Part 5, and the Finale, which is sending everybody on the planet into outer space! 

The 3 murders cover a large time-span, and there`s considerable ground covered in the 6 parts, so I decided to proceed in a rational way, breaking it down into small pieces (not body pieces, please!)

This is working for me so far; this morning I just watched Part 5 - Family Values 3 times through, taking notes, then printing out 3 or 4 substantial newspaper articles, buttressing the HBO special, so I could begin to digest what happened, or better, what I think happened *(or to begin in assessing what these two documentarians accomplished).

Well, actually, that`s an easy one; Jarecki and Smerling knocked the ball out of the park with a grand slam! The quality of the story is so good, they couldn`t help but win; this is not to say they didn`t transcend these levels of perfection, taking it to the summit of the Show Biz Peak, `cuz the HBO dudes did accomplish this. 

For now, I`m looking beyond what was achieved with The Jinx, returning rather to the component parts, the nuts and bolts (the factual narrative) of what is told compellingly! The quality of print news coverage is equally good; as such, I`m reading over many pieces I`m finding on the internet, in an effort to catch-up on the progression of dramatic events, highlighting the strange behavior and suspicious doings of Robert Durst! 

Dating from sometime in 1982, Kathleen Durst (Robert`s first wife) suddenly and mysteriously disappeared! I shouldn`t use an exclamation point on every sentence, yet a weird force is pushing my button to do so (I`m just obeying an inner demon); I need to chew on smaller bites, that will help a lot. 

With this new philosophy informing my every thought, I watched Part 5 once again, only paying close attention to The Susan Berman Murder *(I repeated this process with print news, and it`s really helping). I started off with a simple question: why would Bob Durst (in late December of 2000) go to all the trouble of visiting Trinidad, a small coastal town in Northern California? Well, I should point out, he owned a beach house here and would often visit, just to get away from New York for a while. Not a bad plan!

 As such, I surmised, Bob could use Trinidad as an operation post of sorts, and as a cover for his clever scheme to casually ramble south to Los Angeles, in order to get rid of Susan Berman (who resided in luxurious Beverly Hills). Why did he need to eliminate her, and why in this particular point in time? 

From what I could tell, and although I`m still very early in my research, it looks like Susan was about to RAT on Bob! You know what that`s about; at some point in time, Bob probably spilled the beans to Susan, confessing to the murder of his first wife, Kathleen Durst (this would have to include the ingenious way he managed to eliminate every speck of evidence, which for the most part, entails ridding his apartment of her body!). 

Well, Susan was about to get him busted, by talking to the LA DA, so in his mind (and what a demented one it was), SB had to go! This point as to motive, is pretty clear to me now. The mailing of the Cadaver Letter confounds me, however; it`s like Bob wanted to get caught, but at the same time, not so much. 

I`ll have to think on this a little more. One area where I want to do more research is the part about Susan Berman`s family being Mafia connected. This fascinates me, yet I haven`t gotten this far along; this makes me wonder whether Bob had any fear of Susan`s Connected Family. There`s an irony here; let me play with this a bit and I`ll get back with you.