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Robert Durst could face charges over 1982 disappearance of wife Kathie: DA to convene grand jury

Robert Durst could soon face charges over the 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathie Durst as the Westchester District Attorney plans to convene a grand jury in the case, according to a report. 

Two sources close to the investigation told News12 that DA Mimi Rocah has decided to pursue charges against the convicted murderer, now 78, almost four decades on from when Kathie was last seen alive.

Kathie – previously Kathie McCormack – vanished without a trace in New York in 1982 and her family has long maintained that she was murdered by her husband – the rich heir of one of the most powerful real estate companies in the Big Apple.  

She and Durst were said to be having marital problems at the time and their relationship was marred by domestic violence.

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Durst’s version of events repeatedly changed over the years about the last time he spoke to his wife.

Kathie’s body has never been found and no one has ever been charged.  

Robert Durst could soon face charges over the 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathie Durst, according to a report. Durst is pictured in LA court last month during his trial for the murder of Susan Berman

Sources said the Westchester District Attorney plans to convene a grand jury in the case and pursue charges against the convicted murderer almost four decades on from when Kathie was last seen alive. Kathie and Robert Durst pictured together

Sources said the Westchester District Attorney plans to convene a grand jury in the case and pursue charges against the convicted murderer almost four decades on from when Kathie was last seen alive. Kathie and Robert Durst pictured together 

The decision to move forward with a possible prosecution in the case now comes just weeks after Durst was convicted of murdering his best friend Susan Berman in a gangland-execution style murder in her Los Angeles home in 2000.

Durst was accused of shooting Berman point-blank in the back of her head after New York authorities reopened the investigation into Kathie’s disappearance and wanted to speak to her as a long-time confidante of his.

Prosecutors said Berman knew too much about what happened to Kathie and so she was silenced. 

Berman is thought to have helped Durst cover his tracks after his wife’s disappearance, posing as Kathie to phone her medical school to say she was sick on the morning after she was last seen alive. 

This led investigators to believe Durst’s version of events that he saw her board a train to New York City on the night of January 31 1982 after they spent the weekend at their home in South Salem, Westchester County.

He claimed he spoke to his wife when she arrived at their Manhattan penthouse and had cocktails with his neighbor later that night. 

Investigators later found no evidence of Kathie ever boarding the train or arriving into New York and Durst later confessed to lying about their phone call and his drinks with a neighbor. 

During the trial, prosecutors also said Durst had killed Kathie despite him never facing charges. 

The decision to move forward with a possible prosecution in the case now comes just weeks after Durst was convicted of murdering his best friend Susan Berman (pictured together) in a gangland-execution style murder in her Los Angeles home in 2000

The decision to move forward with a possible prosecution in the case now comes just weeks after Durst was convicted of murdering his best friend Susan Berman (pictured together) in a gangland-execution style murder in her Los Angeles home in 2000

Durst was also charged – and acquitted at a 2005 trial – of the 2001 murder of his neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas, despite admitting to chopping his body up into multiple pieces with an ax and a bow saw.

Durst had claimed he accidentally shot Black in the head when they were both wrestling over Durst’s firearm which Black had gotten hold of. 

He dismembered his body and dumped it in the sea in plastic bags which were discovered by authorities.

The only body part never found was Black’s head – making Durst’s version of events difficult to disprove.  

The real estate scion had wound up being neighbors with Black when he was reportedly hiding from New York authorities in the small town in Texas. 

Prosecutors during his trial for Berman’s murder argued Durst murdered Black when he discovered his true identity as the man suspected of killing his wife in New York.

Durst was also charged - and acquitted in 2005 - of the 2001 murder of Morris Black (above) who he admitted dismembering

Durst was also charged – and acquitted in 2005 – of the 2001 murder of Morris Black (above) who he admitted dismembering

DA Rocah reopened the investigation back in May into Kathie’s disappearance – a case that has plagued the DA’s office for decades. 

The original investigation was only ever launched as a missing persons case and no search of the Durst’s home was carried out.

In 2000, then-DA Jeanine Pirro reopened the case into Kathie’s disappearance at a time when Berman’s death was being investigated in LA and Durst was facing charges over Black’s death in Texas. 

But, once again, no charges were brought. 

Rocah said authorities today have a different perspective of domestic violence to those who investigated back in 1982. 

Following Durst’s conviction in LA last month, Kathie’s family pleaded with Westchester prosecutors to bring charges against him over her disappearance and death.

‘Not a single day goes by that we do not think about our beautiful, smart, and kind sister, Kathleen. Today, more than ever before, it is clear that she was murdered by Robert Durst in Westchester County, New York on January 31, 1982. 

‘The evidence is overwhelming,’ the McCormack family said in a statement. 

‘Although Durst has now been rightly convicted of killing Susan Berman, who helped him conceal the truth about Kathie’s death, the McCormack family is still waiting for justice. Kathie is still waiting for justice.’  

The family said they had waited almost four decades to get answers over her disappearance.  

Kathie and Robert together. Prosecutors at Durst's trial for Berman's murder said he had killed Kathie despite him never facing charges

Kathie and Robert together. Prosecutors at Durst’s trial for Berman’s murder said he had killed Kathie despite him never facing charges

‘The justice system in Los Angeles has finally served the Berman family. It is now time for Westchester to do the same for the McCormack family and charge Durst for the murder of his wife, Kathie, which occurred almost forty years ago,’ the statement read.

‘Westchester DA Rocah has assembled a team of cold case prosecutors and investigators every bit the equal of those in Los Angeles. It is time for Westchester to finally do the right thing.’  

Kathie was legally declared dead in 2017. Her husband is the sole suspect in her disappearance.

Despite long being suspected of all three murders, Durst evaded prosecution and was only brought to justice for Berman’s murder last month.

As the Durst Organization heir, his entanglement in the disappearance of his wife, death and dismemberment of his neighbor, and execution of his best friend has hit headlines for years.  

His downfall came about following his interview in the documentary The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst.

The jury last month were shown a letter sent to the LAPD alerting them to Berman's dead body with Beverly Hills spelled incorrectly. Documentary makers found another letter from Durst to Berman which spelled Beverly Hills the same way

The jury last month were shown a letter sent to the LAPD alerting them to Berman’s dead body with Beverly Hills spelled incorrectly. Documentary makers found another letter from Durst to Berman which spelled Beverly Hills the same way

Real estate heir (pictured in August at his trial) Durst is the lead suspect in Kathie's 1982 disappearance

Real estate heir (pictured in August at his trial) Durst is the lead suspect in Kathie’s 1982 disappearance 

In the show, a hot mic picks up Durst saying he ‘killed them all, of course.’ 

Documentary makers also compared a letter sent by the killer to the LAPD alerting them to Berman’s dead body in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve 2000.

The letter told cops there was a ‘cadaver’ at the address and Beverly Hills was spelled incorrectly.

Documentary makers found another letter from Durst to Berman which spelled Beverly Hills the same way. 

This comparison was presented at Durst’s trial, with prosecutors crediting the documentary makers for unearthing it.

Durst finally admitted at trial to sending the letter but claimed he did so when he found his friend’s body – but that he wasn’t the one who killed her.   

Durst pleaded not guilty to Berman’s murder at his trial last month, where he appeared frail and in a wheelchair. 

He faces life in prison without parole at his sentencing for Berman’s murder on October 18.

Durst (in court in March) faces life in prison without parole at his sentencing for Berman's murder on October 18

Durst (in court in March) faces life in prison without parole at his sentencing for Berman’s murder on October 18 


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