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Why is Robert Durst smiling?
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By Andrea Peyser
April 3, 2015

Why is Robert Durst smiling?

He’s creepy and as cuddly as a mangy puppy. Demented Robert Durst, 71, charged with murder in Los Angeles, has fierce lawyers on retainer, a devoted wife and more money than he could ever burn.

He’s also got a younger brother who’s scared to death of him.

“I think if he got to trial in Los Angeles, he would get off,’’ Douglas Durst, the 70-year-old chairman of the Durst Organization, his family’s multibillion-dollar New York City-based real-estate empire, told me.

“Why did OJ get off ?’’ he said, referring to OJ Simpson, who infamously was acquitted of double murder in a 1995 La La Land trial.

“Everybody thinks that it’s so strange that I’m scared of him, this man who tried to kill me, who’s twice tried to kill me,’’ said Douglas.

Asked if he was confident that his bro, who’s worth an estimated $100 million, will finally be brought to justice, he replied, “No, no, no!’

“I’m not confident. I’m hoping.’’

In my humble opinion, Robert Durst stands a good chance of walking free. Again.

He’s under suspicion — but has never been charged — in the presumed death of his first wife, Kathleen, who vanished from the couple’s Westchester County home in 1982. Then, in 2003, he was acquitted of a murder charge in Galveston, Texas, after admitting that, while posing as a mute woman, he shot to death his neighbor Morris Black, cut up his body, and tossed the parts into Galveston Bay. Moronic jurors bought his tale that he killed Black in self-defense!

Is Robert’s Teflon coating finally wearing off?

Last month, he was charged with first-degree murder in the 2000 slaying in Los Angeles of his pal Susan Berman. If he’s convicted — a big if — he could be sentenced to death.

But now, he’s being held in a psychiatric facility outside New Orleans without bond and under observation as a suicide risk after being nabbed by FBI agents in a Big Easy hotel room last month. At the time, he had more than five ounces of marijuana and a .38-caliber revolver in his possession. This could mean trouble.

You see, Robert Durst is a felon.

He pleaded guilty to charges of bond-jumping, evidence-tampering and taking a gun across state lines in relation to the Galveston case. So in Louisiana, he’s charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, plus possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.

If convicted of the gun charges, he could spend “decades in prison, effectively a life sentence,’’ The Guardian newspaper reported this week. This helps explain why his lead defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, and his team may be fighting to have the gun charges tossed, and Robert immediately extradited to California.

Here are the top three reasons that, I believe, Durst will skate away from trouble, like an elderly, pot-loving hockey player:

  • He’s craftier than he looks. Robert Durst charmed Galveston jurors when he testified, sickeningly, about killing Black in a struggle over a gun, then slicing up and disposing of his body. He could spin his magic again.
  • His wife is a hellion. Robert has been married since 2000 to cutthroat New York-based real-estate broker Deborah Lee Charatan, 58, who lives with one of his male lawyers. She’s the “mastermind’’ behind the oddball couple, and Robert listens to her every word, a source told The Post. Although The New York Times reported that Charatan has stepped back from her relationship with Durst and speculated that she might waive spousal privilege and tell authorities what she knows of the man, I don’t see that happening.
  • The evidence against him could be garbage.

In the final episode that aired last month of the six-part HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,’’ Robert was heard in a bathroom seeming to mutter a confession:

“What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.’’

To me, It sounded like the ramblings of an unhinged man. It may not be admissable in a court of law.

He’s also been connected to a note sent to Los Angeles police, alerting them to the presence of Susan Berman’s “cadaver’’ inside her house — even misspelling Beverly Hills as “Beverley Hills,’’ as Robert did in another letter he admits having written. Durst denies that he wrote the cadaver note.

This doesn’t prove that he committed murder. That is, if the murder case ever gets to trial.

Douglas Durst has reason to worry.

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