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Robert Durst's Former Housekeeper Testifies About Seeing Blood In His Home After Wife's 1982 Disappearance

Real estate heir Robert Durst is on trial in Los Angeles for the murder of his friend, Susan Berman — but the odd things seen in his home after his wife vanished in 1982 were brought up in court this week.

By Kevin Dolak
Robert Durst Ap

A woman who worked as a housekeeper in the early 1980s for accused murderer Robert Durst testified on Thursday in a California court that after his wife disappeared nearly four decades ago from their New York home, she noticed suspicious things — including what looked like blood on the dishwasher.

Durst is on trial in Los Angeles for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman, a close friend of the wealthy real estate empire heir, whose connection to multiple crimes was the focus of the 2015 HBO true-crime docuseries, “The Jinx.” Prosecutors allege that Durst, now 78, killed Berman in her Beverly Hills home because she had information regarding the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack.

On Thursday, Elizabeth Jones told the court that she saw what seemed to be blood in the cottage in South Salem, the Westchester County home where the couple lived when McCormack vanished on Jan. 31, 1982.

“There was something on the dishwasher. … It looked like blood,” she testified, then answered affirmatively when prosecutors asked if it had looked fresh. 

Jones also told the court that back in the winter of 1982 she noticed secret panels in the walls that had been opened. Fingerprints were on the panels, she said. Also inside the house was a massive amount of toilet paper, she recalled.

“I came in another day to clean, and the front hall had hundreds of rolls of toilet paper,” Jones said in court. “It was bags and bags of toilet paper throughout the front hall.”

Durst only took a “couple months” after his wife’s disappearance to dispose of her belongings, Jones said, which she told the court she found odd, as it had taken her much longer to dispose of her own late husband’s belongings. 

New York State troopers did question Jones, she said. However, she told the court that when she recounted all the odd things in the home, the details didn’t seem to resonate. 

“They just came in, looked at what I showed them, and then they left. They didn’t seem interested,” Jones told the court. 

McCormack’s body has never been found and no one has ever been charged in her disappearance; she is presumed dead. Durst has denied having any role in either death.

The closely watched trial picked up in May after a lengthy pause beginning in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic spread, The case has garnered significant public attention after it was profiled in the hit docuseries. In its explosive final moments, filmmakers captured audio of Durst talking to himself in the bathroom as his microphone was still recording.

“There it is. You’re caught,” he said, before muttering “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

Durst has pleaded not guilty to killing Berman. His attorneys contend that he panicked when he came across the body and fled the scene.

In 2001, Durst was also accused of killing his neighbor, Morris Black, dismembering his body, and dumping it in Galveston Bay. He was acquitted at trial after is was successfully argued he killed Black in self-defense.