3 books found in Robert Durst's apartment: What do they tell us about his case?

Are three books found in Durst's apartment evidence of his preoccupation with the murders of his wife, friend, and neighbor – or are they simply background reading for HBO's "The Jinx"?

Gerald Herbert/AP
Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans.

If you are what you read, then the crime-related books found inside the Houston apartment of real estate millionaire Robert Durst, who was arrested and charged Sunday for the murder of his friend in 2000, may be revelatory.

According to reports, police found three books in the Houston apartment of the 71-year-old who made headlines when an HBO miniseries about his life, "The Jinx," appeared to inadvertently reopen investigations into three related deaths. Among them: One copy of "Without a Trace" by Marion Collins, and two copies of another one, "A Deadly Secret" by Matt Birkbeck, both of which detail Durst's life and the mysterious connection between the deaths of three people tied to him.

The books may be used as evidence in the case of Durst, who was arrested on Sunday in New Orleans and charged for the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman, who was found dead in her apartment in Los Angeles.

Durst was also "a person of interest" in the disappearance and search for Kathie Durst, his first wife, who went missing in 1982 and was declared dead in 2001 even though her body was never found.

Durst was previously acquitted of killing his neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas in 2001, even though he admitted to dismembering his body and dumping the parts in garbage bags in Galveston Bay. Durst said he shot Black in self-defense.

The books found in Durst's apartment chronicle his life and specifically the three deaths related to him. What's not yet clear is what they reveal about his case and his involvement, if any, in the deaths of his first wife, friend, and neighbor. 

The books may indicate Durst's preoccupation with these deaths – or they may simply be background reading for his role in HBO's "The Jinx," a mini-series about his life and the mystery surrounding the three deaths linked to him, for which he cooperated.

But that's not all authorities found in Durst's apartment.

When Durst was arrested in New Orleans Sunday, FBI agents also found nearly $43,000 in cash, a full-face rubber mask, a fake Texas ID card under the name "Everette Ward," a real passport, a gun, and marijuana.

The makings, we think, for another book – or dozen – about the Durst case.

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