DA: Robert Durst Investigators Blew Possibilities To Construct A Case As a result of Of ‘Tunnel Imaginative and prescient’


NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities a long time in the past blew possibilities to construct a case towards multimillionaire Robert Durst within the demise of his first spouse, a suburban New York prosecutor stated Wednesday after Durst’s demise final week in a California hospital lockup quashed a case that took almost 40 years to carry.

Westchester District Legal professional Mimi Rocah cited “tunnel vision” — and underscored that she wasn’t “putting blame anywhere” — for investigative shortcomings she recapped in a report on her workplace’s current re-investigation of the 1982 disappearance of Kathie McCormack Durst. The renewed probe led to a murder indictment this previous fall towards her incarcerated former husband.

Noting that grand jury secrecy legal guidelines forestall divulging a few of what investigators realized, the report primarily recaps information that already had emerged publicly.

“Some missed opportunities by law enforcement officials directing the early stages of the investigation may have contributed to delays in bringing the charges in this case,” Rocah stated.

Authorities now “can and must learn from this,” she stated, notably for future investigations involving wealthy, highly effective and high-profile folks.

An lawyer for Kathie Durst’s household blasted the DA’s remarks as an try “to explain away how money, power, and influence allowed a killer to escape justice” and known as on Rocah to resign.

“We ask the public to consider why the current Westchester DA and her predecessors remain unwilling to tell the truth about why it took nearly forty years for Robert Durst to be charged,” the lawyer, Robert Abrams, stated in an announcement.

Durst has at all times maintained that he final noticed his then-wife when he dropped her off in Westchester County for a prepare to New York Metropolis, the place they’d an house and she or he was in medical college.

Investigators initially let themselves be “guided by Durst’s version of events” regardless of inconsistencies, Rocah stated.

For instance, though Durst stated the 2 weren’t having marital issues, one in all their Manhattan neighbors instructed police that his spouse had stated he had overwhelmed her and repeatedly sought shelter from him within the neighbor’s house, as soon as climbing over through their adjoining balconies.

In the meantime, neighbors he stated he had visited in Westchester after dropping her on the prepare denied that he came to visit, and a cleaner on the Dursts’ weekend house observed some uncommon issues — together with what she believed was blood on the dishwasher — and stated he had instructed her to eliminate a lot of his spouse’s possessions shortly after she vanished.

However police didn’t completely search the Westchester house. The investigation remained targeted in Manhattan, the place a number of witnesses reported they’d seen Kathie Durst on the evening of her disappearance and the dean at her medical college stated he had gotten a cellphone name from her the subsequent day.

A re-investigation that the New York State Police and the DA’s workplace started in 1999 frayed each these threads of proof. The witnesses stated they had been mistaken or unsure, and proof developed that the medical college caller who stated she was Kathie Durst was truly Susan Berman, a author who was Robert Durst’s finest pal.

Berman was discovered slain in her house in her Los Angeles in December 2000, earlier than a state police investigator might comply with by on plans to interview her.

Durst was convicted in September of killing her, with prosecutors arguing he did so to maintain her from incriminating him. Rocah stated the Los Angeles case paved the authorized manner for the New York fees.

Kathie Durst was declared legally useless in 2017, however her physique has by no means been discovered.


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