Robert Durst admits to perjury in ‘longest cross-examination ever’

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Robert Durst acknowledges lying during extended cross-examination

What did you miss?

Robert Durst in The Jinx: Part Two
sourceRobert Durst admitted to falsifying information during the cross-examination in his 2020 trial for the murder of Susan Berman in 2000, as revealed in The Jinx: Part Two. The documentary highlighted moments when LA district attorney John Lewin questioned Durst about Berman’s death, the incriminating Cadaver note from The Jinx: Part One, and the disappearance of his first wife Kathie in 1982.

During the trial, the judge overseeing the case dubbed Lewin’s examination as the “longest cross-examination ever seen” and had to impose time restrictions on the prosecutor.

What, how, and why?

Robert Durst accused of killing Susan Berman
Robert Durst faced an extensive nine-day cross-examination by Lewin, criticized by the presiding judge as being overly excessive. The judge, Mark Windham, explained his decision to limit the questioning, noting that the grilling lasted over a week and surpassed any previous records for cross-examination duration.

During the prolonged questioning, Durst admitted to perjury, confessing to lying about critical aspects in court. He stumbled several times, mistakenly referring to his missing wife Kathie as “buried” and expressing readiness to deceive about Berman’s murder.

Robert Durst questioning in The Jinx: Part Two

During The Jinx: Part Two, district attorney John Lewin extensively questioned Robert Durst, leading to what was described as the longest cross-examination in court history. (Sky)

In The Jinx: Part One, Durst was heard on a recording saying, “I killed them all, of course.” When pressed by Lewin in Part Two, Durst was unable to convincingly explain or deny this statement, prompting Lewin to challenge him to drop the act and provide the truth to the world.

Durst responded by denying specific knowledge about what happened to his wife Susan or the whereabouts of his missing wife Kathie. Lewin seized on this inconsistency and probed further, questioning Durst’s certainty about Kathie being buried without concrete evidence.

Durst’s defense team later acknowledged their efforts to remove him from the stand due to his deteriorating performance. In another instance, Durst contradicted himself by admitting he would lie to support his case after claiming he would be completely truthful. He also made a perplexing statement suggesting he would lie if he had killed Berman but then denied killing her, further complicating his testimony.

Robert Durst faced several setbacks during his trial, such as erroneously mentioning the burial of his missing wife Kathie. (Sky)Robert Durst faced several setbacks during his trial, such as erroneously mentioning the burial of his missing wife Kathie. (Sky)
Robert Durst faced several setbacks during his trial, such as erroneously mentioning the burial of his missing wife Kathie. (Sky)

During the examination, Durst admitted to committing perjury multiple times and even specified that he had lied five times. When questioned about the impact of these lies on his credibility, Durst downplayed their significance, claiming that most of what he said was true and suggesting his lies were insignificant.

In a documentary scene, Lewin commented on Durst’s escalating lies to cover previous falsehoods, likening them to a snowball effect where lies grow larger and more outlandish over time, eventually becoming insurmountable.

The latest episode of The Jinx witnessed Robert Durst being convicted of murder. (Sky)

During his trial, Durst’s defense team initially questioned him about childhood memories, including his mother’s death and their shared moments. However, under Lewin’s scrutiny, these recollections were challenged as false due to historical inaccuracies, such as referencing items that were not invented during Durst’s claimed timeline.

Durst eventually confessed to fabricating the note about Berman’s death, a detail he had previously denied, citing his shock upon discovering her deceased as the reason for the false statement.

Despite testifying in his own defense, Durst’s admission did not sway the court, leading to his conviction for Berman’s murder. Previously acquitted of Morris Black’s murder in 2001, Durst’s past claims of self-defense were not enough to mitigate his latest legal troubles.

Durst received a life sentence with no chance of parole in October 2021. While awaiting trial for Kathie’s suspected wrongful death, Durst passed away before facing justice in that case.

The Jinx: Part Two airs on Mondays at 3am and 9pm on Sky Documentaries.

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