Robert Durst Charged With 1982 Murder Of His Wife In Westchester


Robert Durst, the estranged member of the Durst real estate dynasty, has been charged with the 1982 murder of his wife Kathleen Durst

The Westchester District Attorney's office confirmed "that a complaint charging Robert Durst with the murder of Kathleen Durst was filed in Lewisboro Town Court on October 19, 2021." The office offered no further comment. The AP reported a grand jury had been convened last week.

Last month, Durst, 78, was convicted of killing Susan Berman by a Los Angeles jury and was sentenced to life in prison. Berman, a longtime friend, was found dead in her Benedict Canyon home in 2000, and prosecutors said Durst killed her when New York prosecutors were reportedly looking into reopening the Kathleen Durst case.

According to the LA Times, prosecutors posited "Durst killed his wife years ago and enlisted Berman’s help with an alibi, asking her to pose as Kathleen in a phone call to her medical school dean that made it appear she was still alive."

Interest was renewed in Berman's murder after Durst cooperated with filmmaker Andrew Jarecki for a 2015 documentary miniseries, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, about his life and the rumors surrounding murders around him. Durst had reached out to Jarecki after Jarecki made a film, All the Good Things, inspired by Kathleen Durst's disappearance. During the miniseries, in an apparently unguarded moment, Durst said to himself, "What the hell did I do?... Killed them all, of course.”

Kathleen Durst vanished in early 1982, and Durst claimed he last saw her at a train station in Katonah. In 2017, Dr. Albert Kupferman, a former associate dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, testified that he received a call from someone who said she was Kathie Durst and said she wouldn't be able to begin a clerkship on February 1, 1982, because she had diarrhea. While Durst was questioned, he was never charged with any crime. Kathleen's body was never found.

After Berman's 2000 death, Durst fled Los Angeles and lived in Galveston, Texas, sometimes posing as a mute woman. In 2001, Durst killed a Texas neighbor, Morris Black, and dismembered his body. He was arrested, but then fled Texas and was the subject of a manhunt before being found in Pennsylvania where he was arrested for shoplifting; his head and eyebrows were shaved when he tried to steal a bandage and a sandwich.

Durst was eventually acquitted in the murder of Black after claiming self-defense in 2003.

During his recent trial, Durst claimed that Kathleen had a cocaine problem and claimed he wasn't initially concerned when he hadn't heard from her for days because their marriage was deteriorating. When her disappearance became alarming, Durst said that his family didn't want him to contact the police, "Dad said he could see the headline in the New York Post."

Durst's lawyers announced shortly after his conviction last month that he had COVID-19 and was on a ventilator.