Robert Durst Indicted in 1982 Murder of Wife Kathie Durst

3 weeks ago 23

NEW YORK—Robert Durst was indicted Monday for execution successful the decease of his archetypal wife, Kathie Durst, whose disappearance astir 4 decades agone has agelong shadowed the incarcerated millionaire, contributing to his progressively bizarre and convulsive behaviour and starring to an infamous on-camera confession.

A expansive assemblage successful the New York City suburbs returned the second-degree execution indictment conscionable weeks aft an researcher successful the lawsuit filed a transgression ailment successful municipality tribunal charging the 78-year-old existent property heir with murder, Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah said.

Durst is serving a beingness condemnation successful California for sidesplitting a confidante who helped him screen up Kathie Durst’s slaying. Durst was hospitalized connected a ventilator with COVID-19 aft his Oct. 14 sentencing successful the Los Angeles lawsuit and was transferred past week to a authorities situation hospital. His aesculapian information was not released but a mug changeable showed nary motion of a ventilator.

Rocah said a warrant has been issued for Durst’s apprehension successful the New York case.

“When Kathleen Durst disappeared connected January 31, 1982, her household and friends were near with pain, anguish and questions that person contributed to their unfaltering pursuit of justness for the past 39 years,” Rocah said successful a connection announcing the indictment.

Rocah said her bureau “reinvigorated its investigation” into Robert Durst erstwhile she took bureau successful January, launching a acold lawsuit portion and dedicating indispensable accomplishment and resources. She decided to instrumentality the lawsuit to a expansive assemblage successful aboriginal October. Rocah said Durst’s indictment is simply a “huge measurement guardant successful the pursuit of justness for Kathie Durst, her household and victims of home unit everywhere.”

Asked by a newsman if helium had immoderate absorption to the indictment, Durst lawyer Chip Lewis replied successful an email: “Fake news!” Asked successful a consequent email if he’ll beryllium representing Durst successful the New York lawsuit and whether determination are concerns astir moving him to New York, fixed his wellness issues, Lewis responded, “Not definite helium volition marque it. But if helium does, I’ll fto you know.”

A lawyer for Kathie Durst’s household said they were inactive processing the quality of the indictment and would talk much astir the substance successful the coming days.

Kathie Durst’s 1982 disappearance garnered renewed nationalist involvement aft HBO aired a documentary successful 2015 successful which the eccentric Durst appeared to admit sidesplitting people, stepping disconnected camera and muttering to himself connected a unrecorded microphone: “Killed them all, of course.”

The expansive assemblage that indicted Durst kept gathering and proceeding witnesses adjacent aft State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra filed a transgression ailment successful a municipality tribunal successful Lewisboro, New York, connected Oct. 19 charging Durst with second-degree murder. He had ne'er antecedently been charged successful her disappearance.

Such filings are often seen arsenic a archetypal measurement successful the transgression process because, successful New York, each felony cases necessitate a expansive assemblage indictment to proceed to proceedings unless a suspect waives that requirement.

Kathie Durst was 29 and successful her last months of aesculapian schoolhouse erstwhile she was past seen. She and Robert Durst, who was 38 astatine the time, had been joined astir 9 years and were surviving successful South Salem, a assemblage successful Lewisboro. Her assemblage was ne'er found. Robert Durst divorced her successful 1990 citing abandonment. At the petition of her family, she was declared legally dormant successful 2017.

Robert Durst’s behaviour became progressively erratic arsenic investigators made respective attempts implicit the years to adjacent the case. In 1999, authorities searched a water and the couple’s location but turned up small evidence, with Becerra equating the hunt to a “a needle successful a haystack.”

In December 2000, Durst changeable and killed his champion friend, Susan Berman, arsenic she was preparing to archer constabulary astir her engagement successful Kathie Durst’s death. She had told friends she provided a phony alibi for him aft his woman vanished, prosecutors said.

Durst was convicted successful September of sidesplitting Berman. Afterward, Los Angeles authoritative John Lewin described him arsenic a “narcissistic psychopath,” saying Durst “killed his woman and past helium had to support sidesplitting to screen it up.”

After Berman’s death, Durst went into hiding, disguising himself arsenic a mute pistillate surviving successful a inexpensive flat successful Galveston, Texas. There, helium killed a neighbor, chopped up his assemblage and tossed it retired to sea. Durst claimed self-defense—that helium and Black were struggling for power of a gun—and was acquitted. He was convicted of destroying grounds for discarding the assemblage parts.

Durst was besides sentenced successful 2016 to implicit 7 years successful situation aft pleading blameworthy to a national weapons complaint stemming from a 2015 apprehension successful New Orleans.

Robert Durst’s household owns much than 16 cardinal quadrate feet of existent property successful New York and Philadelphia, including a 10% involvement successful One World Trade Center, the Manhattan skyscraper formerly known arsenic the Freedom Tower. Family members bought retired Robert Durst’s involvement successful the concern for $65 cardinal successful 2006.

In the 2015 HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” Durst appeared to admit sidesplitting radical and admitted helium made up details astir what happened the nighttime she disappeared due to the fact that helium was “hoping that would conscionable marque everything spell away.”

Durst, who has galore aesculapian issues, sat successful a wheelchair for overmuch of the California proceedings and sentencing hearing. He work his lawyer’s questions from a tablet giving unrecorded transcriptions due to the fact that helium struggles with hearing.

Durst, testifying successful the Los Angeles proceedings successful August, denied sidesplitting Kathie Durst. After her aesculapian schoolhouse called to study that she hadn’t been going to class, helium said helium figured she was “out someplace having fun” and suggested that possibly cause usage was to blame.

“It hadn’t occurred to maine that thing had happened to her,” Durst said, speaking dilatory successful a strained, raspy voice. “It was much like: What had Kathie done to Kathie?”

By Michael Sisak

The Associated Press


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