Robert Durst: DA says investigators are ‘guided’ by false account of husband searching for missing wife Kathie

Police investigating the 1982 disappearance of Kathleen McCormack Durst had ‘tunnel vision’ which led to ‘missed opportunities’ in their search for answers, including tailoring their quest for answers based on an account provided by the husband of the victim, the real estate now deceased. heir Robert Durst, New York officials said Wednesday.

Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah told a Wednesday afternoon news conference that investigators were “guided by Durst’s version of events.” She made the revelation by announcing that her office would release the investigative report related to McCormack Durst’s disappearance.

Conspicuously absent from the event were McCormack Durst’s family, who openly demanded justice for Kathleen, known as “Kathie”.

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The Cold Case Bureau of the U.S. Attorney’s Office took over the investigation into McCormack Durst’s disappearance when Rocah took office last January and a grand jury returned an indictment against her husband, heir to Durst’s real estate fortune. , in November 2021.

Rocah said the office released the report following Durst’s death earlier this month, “because a public trial is no longer possible.”

“The report summarizes the facts not subject to grand jury secrecy that were gathered during the investigation into the disappearance of Kathie Durst, and explains why it took nearly 40 years to indict Robert Durst for her murder,” said Rocah said.

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The district attorney went on to explain that Durst made “a number of statements” to authorities that investigators and evidence later debunked. She said law enforcement received multiple reports of Robert Durst’s alleged violence against his wife – “including with a gun” – and obtained physical evidence from the couple’s home in Salem, New York. . She said investigators had found “overwhelming evidence” that Kathie McCormack Durst had been the victim of domestic abuse.

Investigators had also obtained witness statements that contradicted Durst’s own explanations of his wife’s whereabouts.

Rocah described how an eyewitness report, which said McCormack Durst was in Manhattan – and “erroneously suggested she was alive” – ​​was debunked 20 years later when a new investigator took a fresh look at the case.

“That call was actually a ruse Durst orchestrated using his friend, Susan Berman,” she said.

TO PROVE ROBERT DURST KILLED 1, PROSECUTORS PRESENT EVIDENCE OF 3

Rocah said she “doesn’t lay blame anywhere,” but said the case demonstrated “the danger of tunnel vision.”

Kathie McCormack Durst, left; Robert Durst, right
(Reuters/Getty Images)

“Some missed opportunities by law enforcement officials leading the early stages of the investigation may have contributed to delays in bringing charges in this case,” she said. “We can and should learn from these surveys.”

After Rocah’s press conference, an attorney representing McCormack Durst’s family said his clients “were not invited” to — or even informed about Wednesday’s event.

“There is no doubt that Robert Durst murdered Kathie in South Salem, New York on January 31, 1981,” attorney Robert Abrams said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital. “The evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt has been available for nearly forty (40) years.”

Statement by Attorney Robert Abrams on behalf of the family of Kathie McCormack Durst

Statement by Attorney Robert Abrams on behalf of the family of Kathie McCormack Durst

Abrams then accused several people, including some unspecified members of Durst’s family, of being involved in “a criminal conspiracy to help Robert Durst avoid prosecution”.

“Today the Westchester County District Attorney sanctioned these unlawful acts and attempted to explain how money, power and influence enabled a killer to escape justice,” Abrams wrote.

He further called on Rocah to resign.

Abrams later added: “We ask the public to consider why the current Westchester prosecutor and his predecessors are still unwilling to tell the truth about why it took nearly forty years for Robert Durst to be charged. “

Prosecutors share a photo of Robert Durst (left), Susan Berman (middle) and Kathie Durst (right) during Robert Durst's murder trial on August 11.  (FoxNews)

Prosecutors share a photo of Robert Durst (left), Susan Berman (middle) and Kathie Durst (right) during Robert Durst’s murder trial on August 11. (FoxNews)
(FoxNews)

Robert Durst was convicted in September of killing Berman, his longtime best friend, at his Los Angeles home in 2000. McCormack Durst’s case was a frequent talking point for prosecutors, who argued that he had killed Berman for fear he would incriminate the woman. in the death of his wife.

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Durst’s attorneys were appealing his conviction when he died. Durst was also charged – but ultimately acquitted – in the death of a man in Texas.

McCormack Durst’s remains have never been found.

Brandon D. James