Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Robert Durst: Sibling Rivalry & Birth Order
The multi-millionaire firstborn son of the real-estate developer
Seymour Durst has been a suspect to the disappearance of his
wife Kathleen and linked to the death of Susan Berman
daughter of a mafia boss. He was arrested in Galveston Texas
after body parts of his elderly neighbor were found in the Bay.
He was acquitted of his murder. Cross dressing, shop lifting
and urinating in public are but a few of the obvious signs of
his anti-social behavior.
Sibling rivalry is a natural occurrence especially between the
first two siblings. This happens in nature all the time, the first
born being stronger pushes the younger siblings aside to get
more of the food. Be they birds, foxes, or humans, moving to
the top or defending your position on the “throne” is a never
ending job. When the first born comes into the world he has
no competition and little understanding of the fight that is
about to come when the second sibling arrives. If he loses
this fight and his position, he may completely drop out. Many
times there is no competition and usually is the result of
gender. Oldest boy with younger sister is an example. When
the genders are the same more rivalry is possible. The Bible
tells the story of the brothers Cain and Able the first to take
this natural rivalry to the next level, murder!
Robert was born in 1943 #1
Douglas 1944 #2
Wendy Susan 1947 #3
Thomas Gregory 1950 #4
There is less than 2 years between the first two boys. When
Robert was 7 their mother died falling from the roof of their
home, a possible suicide in 1950. Robert said he witnessed this
but others deny he did. Seymour, his father, never remarried
so it is safe to assume the children had plenty of time to sort
things out themselves with hired help doing much of the
parenting. It is the interaction between siblings that account
for much of a child’s personality development.
As the boys grew up it was obvious to all that they were acting
out or going beyond simple sibling rivalry. The same year their
mother died Robert shoved his brother Douglas onto the ice
at a skating rink and broke his wrist. This was just the beginning
as fights were always breaking out between them. His father
sought the advice of counselors to help solve the problem.
Douglas remembers fighting with Robert until an incident when
he was 14yrs old and he was now bigger than Robert. That he
says was their last physical fight. Robert seemed to drop out,
his high school year book shows only his picture with no
mention of extracurricular activities.
Adults Rivalry Continues
The boys finished college and took positions in their
father’s real-estate company. In college Robert took
a counter cultural path. Drugs and meditation were
his interests. He did come back and take a position with
the company and at times could be very charming, and
a seemingly normal person. There was always tension in
the office between the boys. Douglas kept a piece of pipe
on his desk as Robert kept a sharpened plumber’s wrench.
It was in 1994 after a number of incidents at the office
where Robert had urinated in his brother’s and uncles
waste baskets that the family decided to have Douglas
succeed Seymour as the head of the family business.
Robert knew what was about to happened and had moved
out of the office. He never showed up for the meeting that
would officially dethrone him.
A Continuing Problem
Both of Robert’s brothers fear for their lives as Robert said,
“I have a score to settle”. They have both given the police
evidence of his stalking their homes. This expression of
sibling rivalry rising to the level of pathology can happen.
A little competition between siblings is good as it prepares
them for life in the real world. Unresolved dethroning
of a firstborn can be lethal to everyone.
For more information on Birth order and its ability to
Unmask personalities you can find the information in my
book, Life’s Fingerprint: How Birth Order Affects Your Path
Throughout Life, by Dr. Robert V.V. Hurst