The Jinx’s Robert Durst Placed On Ventilator With Covid Days After Receiving Murder Sentence

Robert Durst being interviewed for HBO's The Jinx 2015
(Image credit: HBO)

Robert Durst was sentenced in the murder of Susan Berman last Thursday. He spent the day in court, where various outlets mentioned the 78-year-old star of the true crime documentary The Jinx looked “frail.” Days later, he has been placed on a ventilator following complications from Covid-19. 

Durst was sentenced to life in prison only last Thursday, but by Sunday he had been placed on a ventilator in a hospital bed, according to his lawyer Dick DeGuerin. His lawyer also confirmed previous reports from last week that noted Durst was not looking well, telling TMZ and other outlets, it was the “worst I've ever seen him.” It’s unclear if the convicted murderer tested positive for Covid-19 before or after he was sentenced to life in prison by a judge.

That day in court also involved Robert Durst’s lawyers making an effort to try and reopen up the possibility of an additional trial, to no avail. What did happen was victim impact statements were taken and Judge Mark E. Windham sentenced the wealthy and notorious Jinx headliner to life in prison. 

The case against Robert Durst was reopened after evidence was presented in The Jinx, which first hit HBO back in 2015. In March of that year, he was arrested by the FBI while staying under an alias in New Orleans. Durst was allegedly planning to flee to Cuba, per reports. In the pop culture sphere, Durst is famous for allegedly admitting to killing “them all” when he spoke to himself on a mic that was still live. The moment made it into the documentary. 

The Jinx explores the possibility of Durst murdering his wife Kathy Durst in the 1980s. Then, in 2000, Durst’s close friend Susan Berman was murdered. Durst was also linked to a third murder, that of his neighbor Morris Black. In that case, he was convicted of tampering of evidence and dismembering a body, though he had claimed self-defense and was acquitted of murder. 

Six years after the documentary’s release on the subscription service, Robert Durst began his prison sentence this week. Though he is now on a ventilator with Covid-19, at 78, his health was said to be declining even before the complications from Covid kicked in.

Durst isn’t the first celebrity in prison to have dealt with Covid. Varying reports in 2020 seemed to indicate that disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein had also contracted Covid and was not doing well in prison. He has since recovered from his bout. Phil Spector also died following Covid-19 complications while serving time in prison for the murder of Lana Clarkson in 2003. He died while serving out a 19-year or to life sentence earlier this year.

The Jinx was instrumental in bringing a new wave of true crime documentaries to television. We’ll be sure let you know if and when there are any more updates related to this case.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.