Robert A. Durst, the former heir to a vast Manhattan real estate empire who was convicted of one murder and suspected in two others over four decades, died early Monday of cardiac arrest at a hospital in Stockton, Calif., according to his lawyer.
Mr. Durst, 78, was serving a life sentence at the California Health Care Facility, a prison in Stockton, for killing his longtime confidante, Susan Berman. He died at nearby San Joaquin General Hospital where he had been taken for testing. After he went into cardiac arrest, his lawyers said, doctors were unable to revive him.
Shortly after his conviction on the murder charge in Los Angeles in September, Mr. Durst tested positive for the coronavirus and was briefly on a ventilator. The virus exacerbated the many medical problems he had, his lawyers said.
“Mr. Durst passed away early this morning while in the custody of California’s Department of Corrections,” said Chip Lewis, a trial lawyer for Mr. Durst. “We understand that his death was due to natural causes associated with a litany of medical issues we had repeatedly reported to the court over the last couple of years.”
For Mr. Durst, who became a national sensation after the broadcast of a 2015 HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” the conviction was a legal reckoning that had long loomed over him.
His first wife, Kathie McCormack Durst, vanished in 1982 under mysterious circumstances. In November, the district attorney in Westchester County, N.Y., Miriam E. Rocah, indicted Mr. Durst for murder Ms. Durst’s death.