• This week, Robert Durst was charged with second-degree murder by New York Prosecutors at Lewisboro Town Court.
  • Kathie Durst vanished on Jan. 31, 1982 after an argument with her husband. Her remains have never been discovered.
  • Robert Durst was hospitalized last weekend with COVID-19 after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his 2000 murder of Susan Berman (his best friend).

Robert Durst was a real estate magnate who has been suspected for many decades of being responsible for his wife’s disappearance in 1982. He is now facing murder charges in New York.

According to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, a criminal case against Scarsdale’s native of Scarsdale was filed at Lewisboro Town Court Tuesday.

The sentence came just five days after Durst, his friend and best friend in Los Angeles, was handed down to life imprisonment with no parole. Prosecutors there had convinced jurors that Durst killed Berman to silence her because she knew he had killed Kathie Durst nearly two decades earlier.

Kathie Durst has not been found. She disappeared on the night of Jan. 31, 1982, following an argument with her husband in their South Salem cottage. Durst maintained for decades that he had dropped her at Katonah station to allow her return to their Manhattan apartment. 

The next morning, a woman believed to be Berman posing as Kathie Durst called a dean at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine – where Kathie was in her last semester – to say she was too ill to attend her first day of a pediatric clerkship.

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Durst claimed that Kathie called him by telephone after she got to Manhattan. He admitted that he had lied to Kathie only recently, and first, to HBO’s “The Jinx” documentary and later, as a witness in Durst’s Los Angeles trial.

The Westchester charges were first reported Friday morning by The New York Times.

The case was being presented to the grand jury by Westchester prosecutors. The unusual move of filing a criminal case while they were working was likely due to the fear Durst could be in serious health problems and could have died if any charges are brought against him. 

New York real estate heir Robert Durst, seated with attorney Dick DeGuerin, is sentenced to life without possibility of parole for the killing of Susan Berman on Oct. 14, 2021, at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles.

Durst lawyers were not available for comment immediately. Durst hasn’t provided any updates on his medical situation since Dick DeGuerin revealed that he was suffering from COVID-19.

Robert Abrams is a lawyer for Kathie’s families and said only that Kathie was pleased with the criminal case. Because the case was still before the grand jury, he stated that there would not be any further comments. Some or all of her four siblings have either testified already or are expected to testify.

Robert Durst’s cruel treatment of their sister, and the desire for them to divorce him have been described by her brother. Their brother recalled a Christmas party that Durst held Kathie at the head as he made them leave.

Berman was shot to death just prior Christmas 2000. It happened less than a week after the news that Joseph Becerra (New York State police investigator) had restarted an investigation into Kathie Durst disappearance.

The criminal complaint in Lewisboro was filed by Becerra, who had known nothing about the Dursts when he got a tip about Kathie’s disappearance in 1999.  

Durst is accused of deliberately killing his wife near or at the cottage, but there are no specific details about how it happened.

Becerra wrote that the charge was based on law enforcement files of police and prosecutors in New York and Los Angeles, witness interviews and Robert Durst’s own words in recorded interviews and court testimony.

The interviews included the hours Durst spent with the producers of “The Jinx”, a move criticized by his own lawyers.

Durst was captured in the bathroom and heard on a microphone saying, “What’s the heck did I do?” He replied, “Killed everyone of course!” This footage was not edited. However, the phrase “Killed them all” is taken to mean that Black was also responsible for Berman and Berman’s deaths. 

Twitter @jonbandler

Source: USAToday.com

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