Robert Durst is the son of New York real estate mogul Seymour Durst. While he lived a privileged life growing up in Scarsdale, New York, he reportedly witnessed his mother’s apparent suicide (she either fell or jumped from the roof of the family’s mansion) at the age of 7. Durst went on to graduate from Scarsdale High School, Lehigh University and got his masters at UCLA. He followed his father’s footsteps and became a real estate developer but separated himself from the family when his brother Douglas was appointed to run the business.
In 1973, Durst got married to Kathleen McCormack. She disappeared in 1982. Her case remained unsolved for 18 years. And then her girlfriend turned up dead. Durst was questioned in both cases but not charged. He moved to Texas, where in 2001, the body parts of his elderly neighbor were found. Durst was arrested, but then released on bail. He missed his court hearing and was declared “the first billion-dollar fugitive in the US.” Robert was accused of murdering three people over three decades but was never convicted. In 2011, he purchased a townhouse in Harlem. In 2012, Durst contacted filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling (the Oscar nominees behind Capturing the Friedmans) about an interview. HBO is airing their six-part profile of Durst called “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.” It airs February 8 at 8pm.