News & Culture

Robert Durst charged with murder in wife’s 1982 disappearance

NEW YORK — Real estate heir Robert Durst has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 29-year-old first wife, who disappeared in 1982.

“The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office can confirm that a complaint charging Robert Durst with the murder of Kathleen Durst was filed in Lewisboro Town Court on October 19, 2021,” Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah told the Associated Press in a release Friday. “We have no further comment at this time.”

Durst, 78, is already sentenced to life in prison for killing Susan Berman, a woman authorities say helped him cover up his wife’s murder. He was sentenced in Los Angeles last week.

Kathie Durst went missing Jan. 31, 1982. She has never been found and was declared dead in 2017. Prosecutors say Berman provided a false alibi for Durst in Kathie’s death and was about to confess to police when she was shot in the head back in 2000.

Killing of Morris Black

Durst was arrested in Texas on Oct. 9, 2001, after body parts belonging to his 71-year-old neighbor, Morris Black, where found floating in Galveston Bay. The multimillionaire posted a $250,000 bond and went on the lam.

He was arrested in November 2001 after he attempted to shoplift various items from a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania supermarket. He was also in possession of Black’s driver’s license.

Durst, who spend part of his time on the run disguised as a mute, elderly woman, was extradited to Texas and stood trial for Black’s killing. He was acquitted of murder but pleaded guilty to bail jumping and tampering with evidence for dismembering Black’s body. He was sentenced to five years plus time served, which equated to three years behind bars. He was paroled on July 15, 2005 but was sent back to prison for violating his parole. He was released in 2006.

Durst is reportedly suffering from a myriad of health issues, including COVID-19. He is the older brother of Douglas Durst, chairman of The Durst Organization, a New York real estate company founded by their grandfather, Joseph Durst.

The killings of Morris Black and Susan Berman, along with the disappearance of Kathie Durst and Robert Durst’s association with all three, is chronicled in the 2015 HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”