GALVESTON, Texas – As jurors deliberated his fate for a fourth day Tuesday, Robert Durst (search), who was later found not guilty of murder, sat at the defense table reading a children's book called "Hurry Home, Candy" (search) about a lost dog who has no one to love him.
But the pooch hangs on in the face of adversity and, at the end of the book, finds a home.
"He had no name and no one to love him," Amazon.com (search) says in describing the book.
"He has only the silent, empty countryside and a few crumbs and bare bones he could pick up. He had only himself, and he was afraid. Along the way, the little dog found a few friends, people who gave him shelter for a while, but always he moved on -- until he found a place he could call home forever."
The book, advertised for children 9 to 12, was written by Meindert DeJong and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, who wrote and illustrated the classic "Where the Wild Things Are."
The story sounds like Durst's life -- or, rather, the way he wanted the eight-woman, four-man jury to view it.
On the witness stand, Durst said he'd been driven from New York to Galveston, Texas, by a frenzy of publicity sparked by the disclosure that Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro had reopened the probe into the disappearance of his first wife, Kathy.
Seeking solace, he rented a $300-a-month efficiency apartment pretending to be a mute woman named Dorothy Ciner.
After his 71-year-old neighbor, Morris Black, died in a struggle for a gun, Durst says, he panicked, chopped up the body and dumped the parts into Galveston Bay, where they surfaced the next day.
Durst went on the lam for six weeks, trying to limit his spending to $200 a day so he could stretch the $37,000 he had. He was busted in Bath, Pa., on Nov. 30, 2001, for shoplifting a $5.99 chicken-salad sandwich.
Durst's story differs with reality, however. When the new probe was revealed, Durst was primarily living in Dallas, not New York. And before that, he spent five years in the northern California town of Eureka.
In fact, he testified that after 1994, "I spent little time in New York."