In graphic testimony, accused serial killer Robert Durst described to jurors how he dismembered a victim’s body “like a chicken.”
Durst is currently on trial for allegedly killing his friend, Susan Berman, in 2000.
This week prosecutors showed jurors the mutilated corpse of Durst’s 71-year-old neighbor Morris Black. Durst, who was acquitted of murdering Black in 2003 after claiming self-defense, is on tape admitting that he hacked up the body and threw it into Galveston Bay.
According to the New York Daily News, one of the jurors reportedly covered her mouth as prosecutors played a 2015 jail interview of Durst, in which he described how he dismembered his Texas neighbor Morris Black’s body in 2001.
“I’ve been told, um, that a surgeon would cut up a body the same way you do a chicken. You go into the joint. And you, you cut around the joint. You get rid of all the ligaments. And then, the thing comes out,” the 76-year-old said in an excerpt shown to jurors. “You’re not gonna try to cut through the goddamned bone.”
Despite such graphic testimony, Durst was acquitted of Black’s murder after claiming that Black was shot in the face by accident—and in self-defense—during a scuffle. He spent a short time in prison after pleading guilty to tampering with evidence.
In grisly testimony in his own words via the taped interview, the court heard how Durst drove to a hardware store to buy a bow saw and Moseley plastic garbage bags.
“Then I got stoned and drunk and dismembered the corpse,” he said in the video clip.
“I decided I’d wait until night. And then, I’d pick it up and carry it out,’” Durst said of Black’s body.
“And, and then I realized I wasn’t picking up that body and carrying it anywhere.
“I just wasn’t strong enough to do that.”
Durst continued, “I could drag it out. But I just couldn’t see, and then, I thought about putting it in a sleeping bag or something and then, dragging the whole thing out.”
“But, good God, that’s ridiculous.”
He then put the garbage bags containing the body parts into his SUV and drove around till he found a place in Galveston Bay with deep enough water for the bags to sink in.
“But they didn’t sink – they floated,” he added.
The gruesome remains – not including Black’s head, which has never been found – were soon discovered, and it didn’t take long for cops to link Durst to the killing.
While he was never convicted of killing Black, prosecutor John Lewin told the court, that “Bob Durst killed Morris Black intentionally. We are going to provide evidence that it was not self-defense; it was murder.”
Black – whom Durst called ‘cantankerous in the extreme’ – moved in March 2001 into the same Galveston, Texas, appointment complex where Durst was living as a woman, and the two became friends.
Prosecutors claimed that Durst’s actions in Black’s death were an example of his tendency to clear “loose ends” by killing people. The lawyers allege that Durst not only killed Berman and Black but that he killed his wife, Kathie McCormack Durst, in 1982, then killed Berman out of fear that she would meet with officials who were reinvestigating McCormack’s disappearance.
They also claim he killed Black because Black knew that Durst was hiding out in Texas and living undercover.
Prosecutors at the trial this week, also told jurors in Los Angeles that Robert Durst had a “hit list” of people he wanted to kill, including his younger brother, Douglas.
They allege that Robert Durst was angry that Douglas Durst, the chairman of The Durst Organization, was chosen to assume control of the family’s real estate empire.
Durst’s odd life and his involvement in the death of Black and the possible murder of his wife and Berman were the subjects of the 2015 six-part documentary TV series “The Jinx.”
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