(NEW YORK) — The family of Robert Durst’s first wife, Kathleen, is thanking prosecutors for charging the real estate heir for her murder, but is questioning why it took nearly 40 years.
“It is important to ask why it took so long to get to this point,” Kathleen Durst’s brother, James McCormack, said at a news conference Tuesday. “My family and I have serious questions and we deserve answers.”
Kathleen Durst, 29, disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982 in South Salem, New York. Her body has never been found.
A grand jury indicted Robert Durst on a second-degree murder charge last week.
Westchester County prosecutors charged Robert Durst with his wife’s murder last month, shortly after he was sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman. Robert Durst allegedly killed Berman because he feared she would disclose details of Kathleen Durst’s death, according to investigators.
McCormack questioned whether prosecutors protected the Durst family, whether the police conducted a proper investigation and why Durst was allowed to stand trial in Los Angeles for Berman’s slaying before standing trial for Kathleen Durst’s murder.
Robert Abrams, attorney for Kathleen Durst’s family, took aim at the Durst family.
“All they cared about was money. They didn’t care about Kathie,” Abrams said, promising to present evidence next month against people the family believes participated in a “cover-up” of Kathleen Durst’s murder.
Abrams took particular aim at former Westchester District Attorney Judge Jeanine Pirro, who he claimed held a “clandestine, private meeting” with Robert Durst’s brother, Douglas Durst, after which she allegedly told her staff to stand down. Abrams called on prosecutors to investigate whether Douglas Durst’s $400,000 political donation to former New York Gov. George Pataki, whom Abrams described as Pirro’s mentor, was a quid pro quo.
“As much as we appreciate what [Westchester County] District Attorney [Miriam] Rocah has done by indicting Robert Durst for Kathie’s murder … what she did is what her job requires her to do,” Abrams said. “Kudos to her because that was not done for the past 40 years.”
A Durst family spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of Douglas Durst and the Durst Organization, “Abrams has a long history of leveling hollow, baseless attacks without ever providing a single shred of documentation to substantiate his wild claims. In the last two years, Abrams has named the Durst Organization or Douglas Durst more than 30 times in court filings. Time and time again, these accusations have been summarily dismissed and thrown out by the courts.”
A spokeswoman for Rocah had no comment but Rocah has previously said she is prioritizing the needs of crime victims.
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