Tranny Carved Up His Victim Like a Side of Beef

GALVESTON, Tex. – Real estate heir and cross-dresser Robert Durst was a “cold, calculated murderer” who “carved up [his victim] Morris Black like a side of beef” before dumping his body in Galveston Bay, prosecutors charged yesterday.
But defense attorneys countered that their client accidentally killed his cranky neighbor two years ago in a “violent life-and-death struggle” – and chopped up his corpse during “a descent into madness.”

The dueling murder theories – both offering startling new details – were presented to jurors here yesterday as the long-awaited trial of the cross-dressing New York millionaire kicked off with dramatic opening arguments.

“He severed the bones – right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg. And he severed the head,” District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk told jurors as spectators sat riveted in the jammed courtroom. “It was a bloody, messy business.”

Sistrunk said that after the Sept. 28, 2001, killing, Durst carried out an elaborate plan, “without hesitation, not in an altered state, not in a panic, but with a purpose – to cover up the murder of Morris Black.”

“He knew he couldn’t leave a bloody mess in his apartment,” said Sistrunk. “He expected to escape,” but in the aftermath, “the defendant made mistakes that will haunt him.”

Lead attorney Dick DeGuerin countered that Black, Durst’s 71-year-old neighbor, died after a “violent life-and-death struggle” in the defendant’s apartment.

As the men fought for control of Durst’s .22-caliber pistol, “the gun went off and shot Morris Black in the face.” DeGuerin did not suggest whose finger was on the trigger.

According to DeGuerin, Durst was out jogging when he stopped by his apartment and found Black inside watching TV, uninvited.

Durst went to where he had hidden his pistol, but it was not there. When Durst turned, DeGuerin said, Black came at him, gun in hand.

“As they struggled, Bob’s elbow hit the floor, and as Morris hit the floor with a thud, the gun went off,” the lawyer said.

While Black’s head has not been recovered, DeGuerin said the fatal wound entered his skull near the nose.

As for the cleanup, DeGuerin said, Durst – still under investigation in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathie – panicked.

“Bob thought, ‘Morris is dead. He’s shot in my apartment – that I rented as a woman wearing a wig, because I was hiding from an investigation in New York. They’re never going to believe me,'” the lawyer said.

Durst cut up the body and wrapped it in garbage bags that he dumped in Galveston Bay.

DeGuerin and co-counsel Michael Ramsey explained away the bizarre postkilling behavior, saying Durst has Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism. “He has the kind of personality that runs from trouble,” Ramsey said.

He said Durst’s actions after the shooting was “not insanity, not incompetency, but a descent into madness.”

His state of mind was “like an out-of-body experience, a distortion of memory, like a fog that descends on the mind,” the lawyer added.

Durst sat emotionless during most of the proceeding. He spoke only before opening arguments began, when Judge Susan Criss asked him to enter a plea.

“I’m not guilty, Your Honor. It was self-defense, an accident,” he said.

Sistrunk outlined the government’s case chronologically, starting with Durst moving here in November 2000, posing as a woman. But the prosecutor quickly moved to the killing, which he said occurred in Durst’s kitchen.

He said Durst chopped up Black’s body on a canvas tarp. But Durst cut through the tarp and blood seeped into the linoleum floor, “leaving a big finger pointing at one person, the defendant,” Sistrunk said.

He revealed that a videotape captured Durst buying a money order at a Wal-Mart the day after the murder to pay Black’s October rent, so no one would look for the victim. He said Durst also picked up a pair of eyeglasses in town more than a week later.

“The man wasn’t running in a panic. He was cool and calm,” he said.

DeGuerin described Black as a “cantankerous, dangerous man, prone to violence.”

Durst, on the other hand, was “from an extremely wealthy New York family. They are worth billions – that’s with a B. They own Times Square. They own other buildings around New York City,” DeGuerin said.

He blamed the New York media for causing Durst to move to Galveston, citing stories about Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro’s renewed investigation into Kathie Durst’s disappearance.

He said Durst was being hounded by paparazzi and that the “screaming headlines” were written by tabloids that deal in “Elvis sightings and aliens having babies.”

In fact, the stories were written by the Daily News and The New York Times.

 

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