Robert Durst – Trial Day 2 [Analysis]

The marathon opening statement of the prosecutor, Deputy District attorney John Lewin, continued for a second day yesterday. It was difficult not to get a sense that Lewin was landing a series of knockout blows that Durst – and DeGuerin – would simply never recover from. One of the devastating blows included never-before-seen crime scene images of Durst’s neighbor’s dismembered remains. WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES.

Incredibly, Durst disposed of Morris Black in bags filled with the receipts he used to buy them, as well as a newspaper identifying the residence where Black had lived – an astoundingly daft error by the eldest son of the Durst Dynasty. It was the sort of dumb ass thing we’d associate with Chris Watts leaving the bedsheet out in plain sight after going to the trouble to dispose of his daughters in oil tanks at a remote well site.

As crazy cases go, the Durst case is one of the weirdest and most gruesome. Durst himself seems to be a combination of feckless and enterprising. The murder of Morris Black, Durst’s neighbor, is a prime example. While Durst showed some skill with his surgical amputation of his neighbor’s limbs, cutting him up at the joints, like a chicken, he stupidly tossed the severed limbs in black garbage bags in Galveston Bay, and these simply washed back ashore almost immediately. All this against a background of marijuana smoking and Durst himself dressing in drag.

Durst is a fascinating character, fascinatingly disturbing as both the architect of what may be multiple murders, and the developer of his own demise. His reckless snarkiness, which is arguably the reason he is who is in the first place, is why he is where is, and having to account right now for his sins. John Lewin at one point describes Durst describing how he cut up Morris Black’s cadaver, and instantly referring to the man as an object, a thing, an it. After Lewin’s statement, it will be difficult for the jury not to feel the same way about the repulsive, reptilian creature blinking black-eyed in front of them.

Durst’s rich, rolicking rollercoaster ride feels like it’s over at long last, doesn’t it? But let’s not be premature. The defense still have to present their opening statements. That’s next.

5 thoughts on “Robert Durst – Trial Day 2 [Analysis]

  1. Durst doesn’t seem to kill out of any sense of self-preservation. He seems to just like to kill for the sake of it. There he is though, fighting to stay out of jail. I don’t know if anyone has seen “All Good Things”, but there was also a suspicion that he killed one family dog after another. He didn’t care about his marriage, he didn’t care about friendship, he didn’t care about the family business, or his family. One has to wonder when he “switched off.” I suspect when his mother died.


  2. Yes, you are right. After I thought about it a bit I’ll reverse what I said, it does seem to be out of self-preservation. He gets threatened in some way. It’s what he doesn’t want exposed that’s so cold and terrifying, which is who he really is – some kind of cold creature. On the other hand he doesn’t seem to care , he can just throw money at it.


  3. I like the way you hold several cases in the air at one time, like a masterful juggler – Van Gogh, Chris Watts, and Robert Durst. I’m sure it’s work, but it’s work that you love doing, which makes it fun and not work. Artists create, writers write, musicians play, constantly thinking and improving on their craft. One point here. I don’t necessarily think Durst did a dumb thing throwing Morris Black’s body parts in the sea. Not in the way Watts was so rushed he left trash bags and a bedsheet near the burial site. Durst got away with Kathleen’s murder. Durst may have done the same thing with Kathleen – thrown her body parts in the lake – and they didn’t wash up so he figured the same thing might happen with poor old Morris. But he is incredibly brazen. Durst’s wig washed up in the same location, which indicates when he removed Morris Black from his apartment he must have gone out the door as Dorothy Ciner. That was incredibly dumb as it puts Durst at his own special burial area much like Scott Peterson’s boat at the Berkeley Marina. Durst was also seen on store video footage shoplifting while the police wanted him for questioning in the disappearance of Kathleen. He just doesn’t give a flying you know what.


  4. I thought when Robert Durst’s brother screamed out what Bob said to him regarding giving Kathy money on the stand was appropriately terrifying, but screaming about being shoved out of the revolving glass door onto the streets of Manhattan was a little over the top. I’m sure it did terrify him though, but since both brothers seem prone to screaming one has to wonder if they didn’t get screamed at periodically by the elder Durst, or listen to their father yell at business competitors from the high rise buildings of New York. Screaming and barking orders may have been the Durst family way of exerting control.


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