Robert Durst laughs during murder trial over whiskey bottle

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Robert Durst laughs during murder trial over whiskey bottle
Robert Durst faces life in prison if convicted of the murder of Susan Berman. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Robert Durst, the heir to the Durst Organization, a multimillion-dollar real estate group based in Manhattan, was acquitted in 2001 in the murder of Morris Black. Durst has long claimed that before killing his elderly neighbor in Galveston, Texas, and dismembering his body with an ax and bone saw, he drank an entire bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. 

On Monday, during his testimony in the trial for the murder of Susan Berman, he laughed about it to prosecutors. 

According to the New York Daily News, Durst, 78, testified that he weighed 150 pounds when he drank the entire bottle of whiskey before Black’s murder, which he claimed was self-defense.

Prosecutors raised questions about the likelihood of drinking that much alcohol before killing someone, chopping his body up and traveling to a nearby bay to dump the remains. 

Durst then responded with what the report describes as an “awkward giggle” before saying to the jury, “That is my testimony.”

The Monday testimony follows what appears to be Durst’s new line of defense. According to the Daily News, Durst said last week he is “autistic and not normal” when prosecutors asked why he wouldn’t call the family of his wife, New Hyde Park resident Kathie McCormack, when she was missing. In 2003, during the Morris Black trial, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

The Scarsdale native is currently on trial for the alleged murder of his friend Berman. The journalist was found dead in 2000 on Christmas Eve, in what appeared to be an execution-style murder with a handgun in her Los Angeles home. 

Prosecutors claim Durst first murdered McCormack, who was looking to divorce him, then shot Berman to cover his tracks. Kathie McCormack disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982; her body was never found. Thirty-six years after her disappearance, McCormack was declared dead by a Manhattan court in 2017. 

At the conclusion of the HBO true-crime series “The Jinx” by filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, Durst, upon being confronted with new evidence in the murder of Berman, mutters to himself in the bathroom, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

If convicted, Durst would be eligible for the death penalty.

Efforts to reach the McCormack family were unavailing. 

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