Robert Durst, millionaire real estate scion, has been charged with the murder of Kathie Durst. This comes just days after he was sentenced in California to life imprisonment for the murder of a confidante.
Authorities in New York City confirmed Friday that they had charged Durst (78), whose lawyers claim he was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19.
A state police investigator filed Tuesday a criminal complaint in Lewisboro, New York against Durst for second-degree murder in connection to the 1982 disappearance of Kathie Durst. In Kathie Durst’s disappearance, he had never been charged before.
After HBO aired a 2015 documentary about the case, which featured an eccentric heir who appeared to confess to killing people, and then he mumbled to himself through a microphone: “Killed all of them, of course.”
Law enforcement officials and Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah didn’t announce the charge against Durst at that time. She recently convened a grand jury to try to indict him. The grand jury is continuing to hear testimony and could ultimately return an indictment.
“The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office confirms that a lawsuit against Robert Durst for the murder of Kathleen Durst has been filed in Lewisboro Town Court, October 19, 2021. “We have no further comments at this time,” Rocah’s office stated in a Friday statement.
Robert Abrams was a lawyer for Kathie Durst and said in a statement that Robert Durst had been officially charged with the murder Kathleen McCormack Durst. This is a very positive development. We will not make any comments at this point until the grand jury process has been completed.
Durst’s lawyers received messages seeking comment.
One-page felony complaint in Lewisboro refers to evidence in the Westchester District Attorney, New York State Police, and Los Angeles district attorneys files, as well “conversations and observations with many witnesses, defendants, recorded interviews, and observations of Mr. Durst’s recorded interviews and court testimony in similar proceedings.”
Kathie Durst, then 29, was in her last months of medical school. She was the last person she saw. Robert Durst was 38 when she died. They had been married for nearly nine years. They lived in South Salem, which is a Lewisboro community. Her body was not found. Her family requested that she be declared legally dead in 2017.
Robert Durst is charged under the name of Joseph Becerra (state police investigator), who reopened this probe in 1999 following a tip regarding Kathie Durst disappearance. Authorities searched the lake and the home of the couple but found little evidence. Becerra described the search as “a needle in the haystack”.
Robert Durst’s California trial in July saw Becerra testify that he wanted the opportunity to interview Susan Berman, Robert Durst’s friend. However, Durst killed Berman in 2000. Los Angeles prosecutors claimed that Robert Durst murdered Berman as she was about to confess to him how he covered up Kathie Durst’s death.
Robert Durst’s criminal complaint was filed on Tuesday in parallel with the grand jury proceedings. These could go on for many more weeks. These filings are often viewed as the first step in criminal proceedings because in New York all felony cases require a grand juror indictment before proceeding to trial, unless a defendant waives this requirement.
Durst, who was a mute woman living at a Galveston apartment, disguised himself as Berman after Berman’s murder. He killed his neighbor and sliced up his body. However, Durst was later acquitted by the jury after claiming that he did it in self defense.
Durst was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 2016, after pleading guilty in 2016 to a federal weapons offense stemming out of a New Orleans 2015 arrest.
Durst’s family has more than 16,000,000 square feet of New York and Philadelphia real estate, including a 10% stake at One World Trade Center, the Manhattan skyscraper that was once known as Freedom Tower. Robert Durst’s share in the business was purchased by his family for $65million in 2006.
Durst admitted to killing people in the HBO documentary “The Jinx” (2015). He also said that he made up details about the time she disappeared, “hoping that it would just make everything disappear.”
Durst, who suffers from multiple medical conditions, was confined to a wheelchair during the California trial. Because he has difficulty hearing, he read the questions of his lawyer from a tablet that gave live transcriptions.
Durst testified in the Los Angeles trial of August and denied that Kathie Durst was killed. Her medical school called her to inform her that she wasn’t attending class. Durst said that he thought she was having fun and that drug use might be to blame.
Durst spoke slowly and raspily, “It hadn’t occurred to me that any had happened to her.” It was more like, “What had Kathie done for Kathie?”