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Robert Durst Charged With The Murder Of His First Wife
Fresh off the heels of his conviction for 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman, Robert Durst has been officially charged in the death of his first wife Katherine “Kathie” McCormack Durst, who vanished in 1982.
Convicted murderer and suspected serial killer Robert Durst has now been charged with the murder of his first wife Katherine “Kathie” McCormack Durst, a presumed killing that he has long been linked to.
Authorities in Lewisboro, New York confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday that Durst, 78, was charged with second-degree murder this week for the murder of Kathleen.
“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 Town Court on October 19, 2021. We have no further comment at this time,” Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah said in a statement to the AP on Friday.
The complaint accuses Durst of killing Kathleen, then 29, in their Lewisboro home in late January of 1982. Her remains have never been found but her presumed murder was the apparent catalyst for Durst's murder of his best friend Susan Berman in 2000. He was just sentenced to life in prison in that case. During his trial, prosecutors argued to the jury that Durst shot Berman execution-style in her Los Angeles home because she had information about his wife's disappearance and was prepared to reveal it.
Prosecutors stated during the trial that Durst killed Berman two months after Jeanine Pirro, who was then Westchester's district attorney, announced that she planned to reopen the case of Kathleen’s vanishing.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Durst was on a ventilator in California with COVID-19 and that he was having trouble breathing and speaking. Earlier this week, he was the subject of a grand jury hearing as prosecutors in Westchester County began presenting evidence regarding Kathleen’s disappearance. The medical student was declared dead in 2017.
“Robert Durst has now been formally charged with the murder of Kathleen McCormack Durst,” Robert Abrams, a lawyer for the McCormack family, said in a statement, obtained by the AP. “We are very happy with this development. At this time, however, we will not be making any further comments until the grand jury process is completed.”
Last month, Kathleen's family had asked for charges to be filed against Durst. If convicted of her killing, she would be the third person whose death he is responsible for.
During the Berman trial, Durst testified that he'd fled to Texas after Pirro announced her plans to reopen the case into Kathleen's disappearance. There in the Lone Star State, he bought a wig and hid out in a cheap apartment in Galveston, disguised as a mute woman. Just months after Berman's murder, Durst fatally shot his neighbor, Morris Black, before disposing of his dismembered remains in Galveston Bay. He claimed he shot Black in self-defense; the millionaire scion was acquitted of murder at trial.
Durst was the subject of the popular 2015 HBO docuseries “The Jinx,” a series that played a big role in the recent trial. Durst was arrested in connection with Berman's death just one day before the finale of the series aired.
The docuseries captured Durst on a hot mic while using the bathroom after a contentious interview with the filmmaker, Andrew Jarecki. At that moment, Durst seems to mumble to himself that he was “caught” and that he was having difficulty with the questions. He appeared to have said the phrases “Killed them all, of course” and "What the hell did I do?” While the filmmakers edited his mumblings, they provided the full clip to the police.
That audio played in its entirety for jurors in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown postponed his trial.