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DA in New York's Westchester County to pursue charges against Robert Durst in 1982 disappearance of his first wife

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 10/8/2021 Larry McShane, New York Daily News
Robert Durst testifies at his murder trial at the Inglewood Courthouse in Inglewood, California, on Aug. 9, 2021. © Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS Robert Durst testifies at his murder trial at the Inglewood Courthouse in Inglewood, California, on Aug. 9, 2021.

NEW YORK — The Westchester County district attorney intends to pursue charges against convicted killer and real estate heir Robert Durst in the long-unsolved 1982 disappearance of his first wife, a source confirmed Friday to the New York Daily News.

District Attorney Mimi Rocah has decided to take the case to a grand jury in the 39-year-old investigation as first reported by News 12 Westchester. The source declined to provide any additional information about the case.

The family of Kathleen McCormack Durst called for a criminal investigation into her disappearance last month after Durst’s California conviction for murdering his best friend and alibi witness in the case.

“The McCormack family is still waiting for justice,” they said in a statement. “Kathie is still waiting for justice.”

Both attorney Robert Abrams, who is representing the McCormack family, and the Westchester DA’s office declined to comment on potential grand jury proceedings. Durst is due back in a Los Angeles courtroom for sentencing next Thursday in the Christmas Eve 2000 killing of pal Susan Berman.

Durst, 78, was convicted last month in Berman’s death, with prosecutors arguing she was murdered to cover up the slaying of Kathie Durst. The wife’s body has never been recovered, and no one was ever charged in the case.

Los Angeles prosecutors alleged that Durst, who admitted to physically and emotionally abusing his wife, took her life inside their South Salem home in 1982.

Berman’s role came one day later when she posed as Durst’s wife for a phone call to the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and told the dean that “Kathie” was too ill to come to class ― giving her friend an alibi in his spouse’s disappearance, authorities said.

Durst killed Berman insider her Benedict Canyon home with a gunshot to the back of her head on Dec. 24, 2000, after authorities in New York reopened their investigation into Kathie Durst’s disappearance and contacted her for an interview about the case.

The convicted killer faces a mandatory life sentence, guaranteeing that Durst will die behind bars. The trial came six years after the HBO documentary series “The Jinx,” where Durst was caught talking to himself on a live microphone inside a bathroom.

“What the hell did I do?” he mused. “Killed them all, of course.”

While Durst was convicted only in the killing of Berman, prosecutors argued he was also responsible for the death of his missing wife and a Texas neighbor who discovered his identity while the wealthy suspect was on the lam from the law.

He spent 15 days on the witness stand, including nine under cross-examination, during the trial where defense attorneys portrayed Durst as a “sick old man.” He testified from a wheelchair, dressed in an oversized prison outfit.

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