Robert Durst indicted for homicide of first spouse, 39 years after she disappeared


Robert Durst was indicted Monday for homicide within the loss of life of his first spouse, Kathie Durst, whose disappearance practically 4 a long time in the past has lengthy shadowed the incarcerated millionaire, contributing to what has been described as more and more weird and violent behaviour and resulting in an obvious and notorious on-camera confession.

A grand jury within the New York Metropolis suburbs returned the second-degree homicide indictment simply weeks after an investigator within the case filed a legal criticism on the town courtroom charging the 78-year-old actual property inheritor with homicide, Westchester District Lawyer Mimi Rocah mentioned.

Durst is serving a life sentence in California for killing a confidante who helped him cowl up Kathie Durst’s slaying.

Durst was hospitalized on a ventilator with COVID-19 after his Oct. 14 sentencing within the Los Angeles case and was transferred final week to a state jail hospital. His medical situation was not launched however a mug shot confirmed no signal of a ventilator.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

“When Kathleen Durst disappeared on January 31, 1982, her household and associates had been left with ache, anguish and questions which have contributed to their unfaltering pursuit of justice for the final 39 years,” Rocah mentioned.

She known as the indictment a “enormous step ahead within the pursuit of justice for Kathie Durst, her household and victims of home violence all over the place.”

Kathie Durst’s 1982 disappearance garnered renewed public curiosity after HBO aired a documentary in 2015 by which the eccentric inheritor appeared to confess killing folks, stepping off digital camera and muttering to himself on a reside microphone: “Killed all of them, in fact.”

The grand jury that indicted Durst stored assembly and listening to witnesses even after State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra filed a legal criticism in a city courtroom in Lewisboro, N.Y., on Oct. 19 charging Durst with second-degree homicide.

Physique by no means discovered

Kathie Durst was 29 and in her remaining months of medical faculty when she was final seen. She and Robert Durst, who was 38 on the time, had been married practically 9 years and had been dwelling in South Salem, a group in Lewisboro. Her physique was by no means discovered. On the request of her household, she was declared legally lifeless in 2017.

Robert Durst’s behaviour grew to become more and more erratic as investigators made a number of makes an attempt through the years to shut the case. In 1999, authorities searched a lake and the couple’s dwelling however turned up little proof, with Becerra equating the search to a “a needle in a haystack.”

A lawyer for her household mentioned they had been nonetheless processing the information of the indictment and would converse extra concerning the matter within the coming days.

In December 2000, Durst shot and killed his greatest good friend, Susan Berman, as she was making ready to inform police about her involvement in Kathie Durst’s loss of life. She had instructed associates she offered a phony alibi for him after his spouse vanished, prosecutors mentioned.

On this nonetheless picture taken from the Legislation & Crime Community courtroom video, Durst solutions questions whereas taking the stand throughout his homicide trial on Aug. 31. (Legislation & Crime Community through The Related Press)

Crimes and convictions

After Berman’s loss of life, Durst went into hiding, disguising himself as a mute lady dwelling in an affordable house in Galveston, Texas. There, he killed a neighbour, chopped up his physique and tossed it out to sea. Durst claimed self-defence — that he and Black had been struggling for management of a gun — and was acquitted. He was convicted of destroying proof for discarding the physique elements.

Durst was additionally sentenced in 2016 to over seven years in jail after pleading responsible to a federal weapons cost stemming from a 2015 arrest in New Orleans.

Within the 2015 HBO documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Durst appeared to confess killing folks and admitted he made up particulars about what occurred the night time she disappeared as a result of he was “hoping that might simply make every thing go away.”

Durst, who has quite a few medical points, sat in a wheelchair for a lot of the California trial and sentencing listening to. He learn his lawyer’s questions from a pill giving reside transcriptions as a result of he struggles with listening to.

Testifying within the Los Angeles trial in August, he denied killing Kathie Durst. After her medical faculty known as to report that she hadn’t been going to class, he mentioned he figured she was “out someplace having enjoyable” and advised that maybe drug use was accountable.

“It hadn’t occurred to me that something had occurred to her,” Durst mentioned, talking slowly in a strained, raspy voice. “It was extra like: What had Kathie completed to Kathie?”

Requested if he had any response to the indictment, Durst lawyer Chip Lewis replied in an e mail: “Pretend information!”

Robert Durst’s household owns greater than 16 million sq. toes of actual property in New York and Philadelphia, together with a ten per cent stake in One World Commerce Heart, the Manhattan skyscraper previously often called the Freedom Tower. Members of the family purchased out Robert Durst’s stake within the enterprise for $65 million US in 2006.

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