Robert Durst to Cops: I Want the $161,000 You Seized

Tracy Connor
Real estate heir Robert Durst appears in a New York criminal courtroom on December 10, 2014, for his trial on charges of trespassing on property owned by his estranged family.
Mike Segar | Reuters

Murder suspect Robert Durst — who is worth about $100 million, according to the FBI's estimate — is demanding that authorities return $161,000 seized after his arrest.

In court papers filed Thursday, lawyers for the subject of HBO's "The Jinx" said the cash "is not needed as evidence, is not contraband, and is not subject to forfeiture" and should be returned.

When FBI agents apprehended the real-estate scion at the J.W. Marriott hotel in New Orleans on March 14, they found stacks of hundred-dollar bills totaling more than $44,000. They also found a tracking number for a UPS parcel, which they intercepted; it contained another $117,000. Authorities say they believe Durst, 71, was amassing cash for a life on the run.

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Durst was arrested on a murder warrant out of California, where prosecutors have charged him with the 2000 slaying of his confidant, Susan Berman. After the FBI agents found pot and a gun in his hotel room, Durst was also slapped with state drug and weapons charges — and a federal gun charge was added last week. He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers contend the search was illegal.

At the time of Durst's arrest, HBO was in the midst of airing its documentary series about his bizarre life — including the Berman murder, the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, and the dismemberment of an elderly Texas neighbor who he claimed to have killed in self-defense.

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The finale of the series contained a bombshell: Durst caught on a hot mic seemingly confessing that he had "killed them all."

CORRECTION: Robert Durst is demanding that authorities return $161,000 seized after his arrest, not $161 million.