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Thanks to the success of HBO’s stellar docu-series The Jinx, the ridiculously wealthy real estate heir Robert Durst has been all over the headlines recently, as he’s been arrested for the 2000 murder of friend and colleague Susan Berman. To be expected, even more awful claims about Durst have surfaced, and Durst’s own brother suspects that he committed a series of even more insane acts many years earlier that weren’t discussed on The Jinx. And they had nothing to do with humans.
Douglas Durst provided a rare interview with the New York Times in January, and while the potentially life-threatening sibling rivalry between the two has never been a secret, the younger brother unveiled a particularly sordid theory about what Robert may have been doing with his pet dogs in the year or so before wife Kathie disappeared in 1982. (A case that has never been solved with certainty.) Here’s how he explained it.
Before the disappearance of my sister-in-law, Bob had a series of Alaskan Malamutes, which is like a husky. He had seven of them, and they all died, mysteriously, of different things, within six months of owning them. All of them named Igor. We don’t know how they died, and what happened to the bodies. In retrospect, I now believe he was practicing killing and disposing his wife with those dogs.
Obviously the thought of Robert Durst abusing his pets and killing them as practice for first-degree murder is as repugnant and disgusting as anything else the man was ever accused of doing, but part of me is more bothered by the fact that he named all of his dogs Igor. I guess I’m just used to reading about people doing heinous things to people and animals – for instance, Durst dismembering the body of Morris Black and tossing it into the Galveston Bay – but not about people insanely naming all of their pets the same thing. After all, it was the dogs’ names that clued Douglas in on what his brother may have been doing with them in the first place.
Here’s the chilling way he put two and two together.
When [Robert] was in jail in Pennsylvania, he was recorded saying, ‘I want to Igor Douglas.’
Fuck. That. Shit. That’s the kind of sentence that’s going to completely wreck my sleep cycles for a while. While on The Jinx, Robert Durst denied ever wanting to murder his brother, but Douglas and the rest of the family have never really been keen on believing that, and they’ve filed legal motions to keep him out of their lives and away from them for good. (Robert was also arrested a few years ago for illegally showing up on Douglas’ doorstep.) I suspect if any of them had animals, they were all kept safely indoors.
If these claims about Robert’s dogs are true, then it adds another fascinatingly abhorrent layer to the life of this man who may finally find a permanent home behind bars. We can all probably expect to hear more stories like this in the months to come.