-- When police closed in to arrest Robert Durst on a murder charge in New Orleans over the weekend, they say they found a full-face latex mask, more than $42,000 in cash, mostly in hundreds, enough pot for about 300 joints, a fake ID, a real passport and a .38 special revolver with four live rounds.
The new glimpse into Durst’s alleged life before his arrest in a plush New Orleans hotel room Sunday was detailed in a search warrant that also included items authorities say they found when they searched Durst’s luxury condominium in Houston Tuesday.
There, authorities discovered bank statements indicating Durst withdrew $315,000 in cash in barely a month, according to the warrant. Authorities also say they found two books, “A Deadly Secret” and “Without a Trace,” which chronicle the mysterious deaths Durst reflected upon in the six-part HBO series, “The Jinx,” which aired its concluding episode Sunday hours after Durst’s arrest.
This morning, Durst is on suicide watch in a Louisiana detention center that houses inmates believed to have psychiatric issues.
Durst, 71, faces gun and drug charges in Louisiana related to the items allegedly found when he was arrested, and those charges, in combination with past convictions, could keep Durst locked up for the rest of his life.
"Just for those gun charges here in Louisiana, he could face up to life in prison," Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said, referring to prior cases that could influence sentencing.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles want access to Durst, too, and Durst has agreed to be extradited on a charge of capital murder in the 2000 killing of his best friend, Susan Berman. Durst's attorneys have maintained he is innocent of the murder charge.
Berman's death was a main focal point of "The Jinx," and observers have credited the series with potentially cracking the case wide open by uncovering a letter from Durst that seemed to be a near-perfect handwriting match to an anonymous note police believe Berman's killer sent to police telling them where to find her body.
But this morning, it seems that revelation may not have been such a bombshell after all. Police documents reveal the Los Angeles Police Department first compared the so-called cadaver letter to samples of Durst's handwriting years ago and determined they were a match, but it wasn't until recently that they ruled out another possible author.