Robert Durst charged with the 1982 murder of his wife Kathie Durst.
Almost 40 years after his disappearance, Robert Durst has been charged with the death of his wife Kathleen McCormack Durst, just days after the billionaire heir was sentenced to life in prison for killing a friend.
The 78-year-old man, suspected of being involved in a series of murders in the United States over four decades, is charged with second-degree murder. McCormack, then 29, disappeared on January 31, 1982, and his body was never found. A New York State Police investigator filed the complaint Tuesday, shortly after a grand jury began in Westchester County hear testimony Yes.
“The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office can confirm that a complaint charging Robert Durst with the murder of Kathleen Durst was filed in Lewisboro City Court on October 19, 2021. We have no further comment at this time “the office said in a statement Friday.
The charge comes six years after the documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst brought the billionaire into the spotlight. The series chronicles the disappearance of McCormack, the murder of Susan Berman in 2000, and the death in 2001 of a neighbor in Texas, where Durst was hiding, disguised as a deaf-mute woman. In the final episode of the series, he appeared to confess to the murders and said to himself, “What the hell did I do? … He killed them all, of course. “
A Los Angeles jury recently found Durst guilty of the murder of Berman, his best friend, and confidant and charges for his wife’s disappearance were widely anticipated.
The felony complaint filed against Durst in Lewisboro cites evidence in the files of the Westchester District Attorney, the New York State Police, and the Los Angeles District Attorney, and “conversations with numerous witnesses and observations of the defendants, recorded interviews and observations of the recordings of interviews and judicial testimonies of the man in related processes.”
The Westchester County grand jury recently began hearing witness testimony, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press this week, a process that is expected to take several weeks and could lead to an indictment.
Last week, Durst was sentenced to life in prison for the Berman murder. Prosecutors argued that he had shot Berman point-blank at his home because he was willing to tell police how he helped cover up McCormack’s murder.
Berman, who had allegedly told friends that he had provided Durst with a false alibi, probably did not know he was covering up a murder, prosecutors said last week, and had instead been trying to help his friend.
After Berman’s murder, Durst went into hiding in Galveston, where the heir tried to pose as a mute woman named Dorothy Ciner. But Morris Black, Durst’s neighbor, did not purchase the costume and was shot and dismembered, prosecutors said. Durst argued that he had killed Black in self-defense and was acquitted.
Durst, who has numerous medical problems, sat in a wheelchair during last week’s sentencing hearing and has since been hospitalized and hooked up to a ventilator after testing positive for Covid-19, one of his attorneys said.
At last week’s hearing, Berman’s relative pleaded with Durst to tell the McCormack family where he buried his first wife’s body.
“Any hope of any kind of redemption you can find is to let them know where to find Kathie,” said Sareb Kaufman, Berman’s stepson.
McCormack was declared legally dead in 2017 at the request of her family. Durst divorced McCormack in 1990, citing abandonment, and had never been charged in connection with her disappearance despite multiple efforts over the years to close the case. In 1999, authorities reopened the case, searching a lake and the couple’s home.
Thirst has denied killing McCormack. After medical school called her to report that she hadn’t been to class, Durst said he thought she was “somewhere having fun” and suggested that drug use might have been the culprit.
“It hadn’t occurred to me that something had happened to him,” Durst testified in August. “It was more like: what had Kathie done to Kathie?”