Robert Thurst, heir apparent to real estate, convicted of murder and dies at 78

To all the garish headlines about his wife going missing and Mr. Black attending the brutal murder, Miss. It was Berman’s murder that finally put an end to the case of a rich man who was one of America’s longest living real-life crime thrillers. Used nicknames in books, movies, TV dramas, and avalanches of online commentary.

For many years, Ms. Berman, a journalist, was involved in clashes with reporters and his wife’s family and friends after his disappearance. Turstin was a spokesman and a staunch defender. In a retrial of his murder, which still took place 15 years ago, in 2015 Mr. Mr. Durst was charged late.

Since Ms. Thurst wanted to tell investigators that the disappearance was a hoax, he said he actually killed his wife and disposed of her body.

Mr. Thurst has always denied involvement in his wife’s disappearance and Ms. Berman’s murder. After his arrest in the German case, he was not tried for almost six years. He was taken into custody at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for esophageal cancer and fluid in the brain.

The long-delayed trial finally began in Los Angeles in early 2020, but after arbitration and opening reports, it was postponed again to March, this time due to a corona virus infection. The trial resumed in May 2021, and, as strange as everything in the Turst story, jurors spread throughout the courtroom gallery, with lawyers occupying the jury box and everyone, including the judge, wearing a precautionary mask against Covit-19. .

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During the trial, the family’s $ 8 billion real estate empire was overseen by Mr. Durstin’s brother Douglas and Mr. Both Durstin’s longtime friend Nick Chawin were witnesses to the trial. In a 2014 pavement conversation in New York, Mr. Mr. Thurst admitted that he had killed Berman. Death testified: “It was her or me. I had no choice.

Prosecutors called 80 witnesses and introduced nearly 300 exhibits. But after his arrest in 2015, in an interview with a deputy attorney, John Levine, as he asked the jury for a series of recorded confessions, Mr. The most damaging evidence came from Turst’s own mouth; In hundreds of prison phone calls; And Mr. In a 20-hour interview with the producer of the documentary about Turst.

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