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L.A. prosecutors charge millionaire Robert Durst with murder

An independent filmmaker may have accomplished what investigators in New York, Texas and California had failed to do: get enough evidence to charge an eccentric member of a prominent real estate family with murder

LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors have charged real estate heir Robert Durst with the murder of longtime friend Susan Berman. If he is convicted, the charge could result in the death penalty.

Durst was arrested on a murder warrant just before Sunday evening's showing of an HBO serial documentary about his links to three sensational killings -- Berman, his friend in Los Angeles; his wife in New York, Kathleen Durst; and Morris Black, an elderly neighbor in Texas.

Durst agreed Monday to face the murder charge in Los Angeles in the shooting 15 years ago of a mobster's daughter who vouched for him after his wife disappeared. But one of his lawyers said the trip may be delayed by possible new charges in Louisiana.

The heir to a New York real estate fortune had a revolver on him when he was arrested, according to a police report. On Monday, he shuffled into a courtroom with his hands shackled at his waist, wearing sandals and an orange jumpsuit. He appeared to fall asleep before the hearing, and later turned to the gallery and smiled. He answered "yes" to a judge's questions about waiving extradition.

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Durst's story began in 1982 when 29-year-old Kathleen Durst disappeared from her home in New York. 18 years later, Susan Berman was found shot dead in her home in Los Angeles. The following year the body of Morris Black was found in the Galveston Bay, dismembered and in plastic bags. All three victims had one connection, a man named Robert Durst, the son of a powerful New York real estate mogul.

Durst is the main suspect but until Monday night has never been formally charged in the disappearance of his wife Kathleen or the execution-style murder of Berman.

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Robert Durst is facing murder charges in the death of his friend Susan Berman. CBS News

He was eventually charged with the murder and dismemberment of his neighbor, Morris Black,but told the jury it was self-defense. They believed him.

Then, in early 2011, Durst decided to talk publicly and reached out to Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki. .

Jarecki' s six part documentary, "The Jinx" has been airing on HBO. In the series finale, which aired Sunday night, the filmmaker confronted Durst with evidence that he may have been Susan Berman's killer.

Author weighs in on the new murder charge against Robert Durst

A letter Durst wrote to Susan Berman that seemed to match the handwriting on an anonymous letter telling police where to find her body.

When the interview was over, a shaken Durst went to the bathroom, still wearing his microphone and could be heard muttering to himself about the interview.

"What a disaster," he said. "What the hell did I do? I killed them all, of course."

On Saturday, the day before the country heard Durst's admissions on television, authorities arrested Robert Durst in New Orleans and charged him with the murder of Susan Berman.

On Monday Durst's attorney said he's innocent and vowed to fight the charges.