The Brother of Alleged Serial Killer Robert Durst Throws Shade at Donald Trump

Robert Durst is in jail, but Twitter remains free.


Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Before being elected president, thanks to so many variables outside his basic fitness for the office—the Comey letter, racism, the flawed Clinton candidacy, Russian interference, and the infuriatingly unshakable image of success from his role on a TV reality showDonald Trump was a simple New York City real estate developer. In that profession, he made many enemies. One of those enemies was fellow NYC real estate developer Douglas Durst, who has been responsible for the new World Trade Center and the Bank of America Tower among other high profile real estate ventures. Over the years, ever-sensitive to competition, Trump has taken to social media to insult Durst. 

In comparison with what he has tweeted as president, most of these Durst digs are fairly banal insider comments about real estate. Other times they are…uh…decidedly not. 


Douglas Durst’s brother, eh? Who could that be? Lest you have forgotten, he is the infamous criminal and suspected serial killer Robert Durst, who reemerged as a person of note with the 2015 HBO true crime series The Jinx. The series recounted the many deaths Durst has been linked to but never convicted of, including one in 2001, when Robert Durst was tried in Texas for the murder of his elderly neighbor. Prosecutors alleged that he killed him, chopped up the body, and tossed it into Galveston Bay. He was acquitted of the murder charge but pled guilty to chopping up the body. 

The brothers Durst are a study in contrasts. Douglas, a rather low-key, New York billionaire developer, and Robert, a clever, psychopath who successfully avoided facing the consequences of his actions until he literally admitted guilt on HBO. They are not fans of each other. Donald Trump’s preference appears to have been for Robert, who is currently incarcerated in California awaiting trial in an unrelated murder.

But a week after Attorney General Bob Barr told Congress that the president would not face obstruction of justice charges, Douglas Durst took to Twitter to point out a crucial distinction between his brother and the president.  

Robert Durst’s next murder trial is scheduled to begin in September. Twitter remains free.

(h/t Maggie Haberman)


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend