Connect with us

Entertainment

Audio of Durst in Bathroom Could Play 2 Ways in Murder Case

Published

on

In this Tuesday, March 17, 2015, file photo, Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans. The whispered words of Durst recorded in an unguarded moment in a bathroom could come back to haunt him - or help him - as he faces a murder charge. A possible move by prosecutors to introduce the incriminating material from a six-part documentary on his strange life and connection to three killings could back fire as interview footage did in the Michael Jackson molestation trial and the Robert Blake murder case.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

In this Tuesday, March 17, 2015, file photo, Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BRIAN MELLEY, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The whispered words of Robert Durst recorded in an unguarded moment in a bathroom could come back to haunt him — or help him — as he faces a murder charge.

A possible move by prosecutors to introduce the incriminating material from a six-part documentary on his strange life and connection to three killings could backfire as interview footage did in the Michael Jackson molestation trial and the Robert Blake murder case.

In both cases, the defense was allowed under the “doctrine of completeness” to provide segments of interviews that presented their clients favorably without subjecting them to tough cross-examination.

“I submit that Blake didn’t have to testify and Michael Jackson didn’t have to testify because the prosecution foolishly wanted to introduce portions of their interviews,” said attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., who represented both men. “They just got greedy. They were mesmerized by portions they thought could help them.”

In the Jackson case, the defense used unaired footage to counter damage done by “Living With Michael Jackson,” a damning documentary in which Jackson held hands with his accuser and spoke of letting children into his bed.

“I’d slit my wrists before I’d hurt a child,” Jackson said in one outtake shown by the defense, according to Mesereau, who won the performer’s acquittal 10 years ago.

In the Durst case, prosecutors could seek to play portions from “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” that concluded with the eccentric millionaire off camera talking to himself in a bathroom with his wireless microphone still live.

“There it is. You’re caught!” Durst whispered before the sound of water running can be heard. “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

Durst was arrested in New Orleans on Saturday, the day before the final episode aired.

He has been charged in Los Angeles with first-degree murder in the 2000 killing Susan Berman, the daughter a mobster and a close friend who acted as his spokeswoman after his wife disappeared in New York in 1982.

Durst, 71, who is estranged from a family that has a real estate empire worth an estimated $4 billion, has long denied killing Berman and Kathleen Durst, who was declared dead even though her body was never found. Investigators had reopened that case and planned to speak with Berman when she was shot once in the back of her head at her home near Beverly Hills.

After the killing, Durst disguised himself as a mute woman and moved into a cheap Galveston, Texas, boarding house where he killed an elderly neighbor in 2001. He claimed self-defense and was acquitted of murder but convicted of unlawfully disposing of the man’s body, which was found chopped up and floating in Galveston Bay.

While legal experts said Durst’s remarks off-camera and to filmmakers during the production will most likely be admissible, prosecutors will have to decide if they outweigh the possibility that the defense would play other portions of interviews showing him denying any killing.

“I would see this moment of unguarded truth as worth a lot of those denials,” said George Fisher, a former prosecutor and professor at Stanford Law School. “The flat out meaning of the statement is very clear on its face.”

In the case of Blake, prosecutors sought to introduce a portion of a jailhouse interview of the actor discussing his family with Barbara Walters because it contradicted other evidence. The defense then successfully pushed to bring in the rest of the interview.

“It did a great deal both to humanize him and so he wasn’t just seen as a celebrity,” said M. Gerald Schwartzbach, who won Blake’s acquittal on a murder charge involving the killing of his wife. “There was an image projected that a lot of people had about Robert as a difficult person. In this video, he came across as a very sympathetic person.”

Prosecutors are not commenting on the Berman case while Durst is still held in Louisiana, where he also faces firearms charges. A lawyer for Durst did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activism

IN MEMORIAM: Robert Farris Thompson, Renowned Professor of African American Studies

Prolific Professor Robert Farris Thompson truly embodied the term ‘Maestro de Maestros.’ He was an absolute giant in the field of Afro-Atlantic history and art, respected by his peers for his groundbreaking work and multiple major articles and publications, particularly the seminal “Flash of the Spirit” (1984) and “Faces of the Gods” (1993).

Published

on

Robert Farris Thompson. Yale University photo.
Robert Farris Thompson. Yale University photo.

TRIBUTE

By John Santos

We’ve lost a Rosetta Stone.

Prolific Professor Robert Farris Thompson passed in his sleep Monday morning due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease and having been weakened by a bout with COVID-19 at the beginning of the year. He would’ve completed his 89th year on December 30.

Born on Dec. 30, 1932, Thompson was a White Texan who spectacularly disproved the fallacy of White supremacy through his pioneering and tireless elevation and clarification of African art, philosophy and culture. He removed the blinders and changed the way that generations of international students see African art.

A U.S. Army veteran, he went to Yale on a football scholarship and earned a B.A. in 1955. He joined the faculty in 1964 and earned his Ph.D. in 1965. He remained on the faculty until 2015.

‘Master T,’ as his students and friends often referred to him, was the Col. John Trumbull professor of the History of Art and professor of African American Studies at Yale University.

Thompson was also an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

He curated game-changing national exhibitions such as “African Art in Motion,” “The Four Moments of the Sun: Kongo Art in Two Worlds,” and “Faces of the Gods: Art and Altars of Africa and the African Americas.” The latter had a run at U.C. Berkeley in 1995 when local practitioners of African spirituality and musicians — including myself – demonstrated the powerful knowledge of tradition.

Thompson truly embodied the term ‘Maestro de Maestros.’ He was an absolute giant in the field of Afro-Atlantic history and art, respected by his peers for his groundbreaking work and multiple major articles and publications, particularly the seminal “Flash of the Spirit” (1984) and “Faces of the Gods” (1993). If he did not coin, he certainly standardized the term ‘Black Atlantic.’ He was a brilliant presenter, writer and teacher. But unlike many if not most academicians, he was also loved, revered and respected by the musicians, artists and communities about whom he wrote.

Initiated in Africa to Erinle, the deity of deep, still water, Thompson was hip, quirky and totally immersed in African and African-based music, dance, language, art and history. His lifetime of research, immersion and visionary work formed a bridge between Black America and her African roots.

Countless trips to Africa, the Southern U.S., the Caribbean and Central and South America informed his passionate work. He wrote about sculpture, painting, architecture, dance, music, language, poetry, food, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, African history, stolen antiquities, African spirituality, African retention, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, Black Argentina, New York, México, mambo, tango, jazz, spirit possession and so much more. He recorded African drumming. He befriended giants of African diaspora music such as Julito Collazo, Babatunde Olatunji and Mongo Santamaría.

I first saw his writing around 1970 on the back of the classic red vinyl 1961 Mongo Santamaria LP, Arriba! La Pachanga (Fantasy 3324). They are inarguably among the deepest liner notes ever written.

He told me that he used our 1984 recording, Bárbara Milagrosa, by the Orquesta Batachanga, to demonstrate danzón-mambo to his students. I nearly burst into tears when he invited me and Omar Sosa to address and perform for his students at Yale, his alma mater, where he was a rock star. It was an unforgettable occasion for me.

He wrote wonderful liner notes on our 2002 Grammy-nominated production SF Bay, by the Machete Ensemble. He went out of his way to support and encourage countless students and followers like me. I was highly honored to count him as a friend as well as mentor.

He will be missed.

John Santos is a seven-time Grammy-nominated percussionist and former director of Orquesta Batachanga and Machete Ensemble and current director of the John Santos Sextet.

Continue Reading

Art

Poet Laureates Provides Poetry That Heals the Soul

The City of Richmond’s 2021– 2023 Poet Laureate, David Flores was joined by fellow poet laureates including Eevelyn Mitchell of El Cerrito, Jeremy Snyder of Vallejo, Ayodele Nzinga of Oakland and Tongo Eisen-Martin of San Francisco to celebrate Flores’ installation. Each poet shared some of their work with the audience. A laureate is a person who has been honored for achieving distinction in a particular field.

Published

on

The poet laureates are not connected as a group but are part of a community that supports each other with our craft.
The poet laureates are not connected as a group but are part of a community that supports each other with our craft.

By Clifford L. Williams

Poetry is a universal language…it’s the song of the heart that feeds the soul.

That was the message shared by five poet laureates from the Bay Area last week at a gathering to introduce the City of Richmond’s 2021– 2023 Poet Laureate, David Flores, during an Open Mic event at CoBiz Richmond, in collaboration with Richmond’s Arts and Cultural Commission.

Flores was joined by fellow poet laureates including Eevelyn Mitchell of El Cerrito, Jeremy Snyder of Vallejo, Ayodele Nzinga of Oakland and Tongo Eisen-Martin of San Francisco to celebrate Flores’ installation. Each poet shared some of their work with the audience. A laureate is a person who has been honored for achieving distinction in a particular field.

Flores, an 11-year former schoolteacher for the Richmond Unified School District, submitted a few poems and some of his writings to a panel of commissioners last May, who reviewed his work and eventually selected him as the city’s newest poet laureate.

“To me, this is an opportunity to really highlight poetry as an art form accessible to everyone in our city,” said Flores. “I will use this appointment to actively engage young people and adults to allow them the opportunity to not only hear art but to also inspire them to share their work.”

Flores said that since COVID 19, people have been disconnected and now need community bonding to express themselves through art and poetry. “As a poet laureate, I want to grow as an artist and share my work,” said Flores. “It’s fulfilling as a shared humanity to connect and inspire people and a way to spark communication with one another. Once you have that experience, you feel confidence and there’s no going back.”

The poet laureates are not connected as a group but are part of a community that supports each other with our craft. Laureates help to bring awareness of poetry and literacy through the arts to their respective communities during their two-year appointments. Each laureate goes through a process involving several steps, outlined by a panel of commissioners, who make the final selections.

“One of the main things we do as poet laureates is to encourage unity within our community through the arts,” said Mitchell. “Our specific responsibilities are to highlight poetry as an outlet to allow people to express themselves.

“As poet laureate, we put on events to encourage our community to become more involved and aware, and to be more unified in bringing awareness, unity, respect and love within the community. Because of the pandemic, we are all trying to figure out our new norm.

“With everything that has been going on for the past two years, I firmly believe it’s important that we as a community, and I as a poet laureate, need to bring harmony back into our lives,” she said. “It is my quest and priority to promote that. We are neighbors, we are friends, we are a community, and we need each other to survive.”

The general public can learn more about their city’s poet laureate events and activities by contacting their Arts and Cultural Commission.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Skyline High Girls Volleyball Team Makes History

The team played in Orange County, taking on Santa Clarita Christian School in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5 CIF State Championship match.

Published

on

The Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team
The Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team.

As the season comes to a close for the Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team, the members are celebrating that they went farther than any Skyline or OUSD/OAL volleyball team ever has. On the final day, November 19, the team played in Orange County, taking on Santa Clarita Christian School in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5 CIF State Championship match. Skyline fell short 3 games to 1, coming in as runner-up. The photo above shows the team posing with their trophy after the match.

 

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending