CD Exclusive: He Lived at the Centrum – Dallas Realtor Recalls Showing Robert Durst Oak Lawn Condos

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Robert Durst, the New York Real Estate scion who may finally be charged with at least three murders, lived in Dallas for at least a year at The Centrum in Oak Lawn.

Durst was “the oldest son and heir apparent to a real estate magnate father, and grew up in privilege outside New York City, according to the New York Times. He was passed over for the presidency of the Durst Organization in 1994 in favor of his younger brother Douglas, but he remained a wealthy real estate mogul.”

Douglas Durst, estranged for years from Robert, described his brother to the New York Times as brilliant, disturbed and dangerous. He said his brother had come to his house with guns and wanted to kill him. He also said Robert was removed from the line of succession after urinating in a wastebasket.

Durst  was arrested in New Orleans last week and extradited Monday — looks like justice may finally be coming after the airing of a documentary on Durst:Centrum 3

The LAPD re-opened the unsolved case of author Susan Berman over the last week in the wake of new evidence gained by The Jinx filmmakers.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst chronicled three mysterious deaths during the life of the real-estate heir.

Durst’s wife Kathleen first disappeared in 1982 and has never been found. Later, Durst’s long-time friend and press spokesperson Berman was shot and killed in her Los Angeles home in another unsolved case.

In 2003, he was acquitted in the killing of his neighbor Morris Black on the grounds of self-defense.

That killing took place in Galveston after his year in Dallas. Self-defense, eh? He cut up Black’s body cleanly, yet a sharp attorney got him off.

The judge who presided over the case, former Texas District Court Judge Susan Criss, now an attorney in private practice, says she found the cleanly severed head of a cat on her doorstep shortly after the trial. She also believes Durst “practiced dismemberment techniques on his the seven dogs he owned, all of which were Malamutes named “Igor.”

Well, turns out Durst lived in Dallas in the late 1990’s at the Centrum on Oak Lawn. Dallas Realtor Jill Crowder Lucas showed him around town. This was in March of 1998 BEFORE the Black murder:

“In March 1998, I showed residential high rises to a new lease client from New York. After driving him around in my car, for 2 days, and showing him 8 plus high rise buildings… he chose a unit at the Centrum on Oak Lawn in Dallas & signed a one year lease. That client is now on every TV news channel in the world & featured on a HBO Special….the infamous accused murderer Robert Durst. Obviously…. I met him after he fled New York & before he moved to Galveston! Kinda’ gives me chills!

Centrum 4 Centrum 5No kidding!

I called Jill and she told me Durst was very quiet —

“I bet he never said more than 40 words in 2 days,” she said.

He was very nice, polite, and looked old even then, she said.

“I showed him every high rise in town,” recalls Jill. “He stayed at the Adolphus. He was very insistent that I pick him up, but he wanted me to pick him up at an old office building at Central and Fitzhugh, kind of in a parking lot. Still, I never got any bad vibes,” she says.

She showed him all up and down Turtle Creek Boulevard, including units at The Warrington, but Durst ended up at The Centrum, where he had a one year lease and may have extended it in 1999. Lucas said he lived in Dallas until moving to Galveston.

“I thought of him as a nice little old man,” says Jill.

Will Terry was the manager of the Centrum at the time, and the building was undergoing a renovation with new carpet placed in many of the units. After hearing that Durst had been arrested, Jill called Terry who recalled how Durst said he didn’t want carpet in one of the rooms because he said he “deals with a lot of chemicals.”

“A couple years after the Galveston case, I was on a plane to California reading PEOPLE Magazine and it said that Durst had leased a luxurious Dallas high rises,” says Jill. “So I have kept his file.”

She also said Durst had  4 or 5 phone numbers, including one that was a San Francisco number that turned out to belong to a hotel.

“I guess he is a cold-blooded murderer,” says Jill. “As a Realtor, you just never know who’ve got in your car!”Centrum1 Centrum 2



Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature, and, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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