Durst charged with murder of ex-wife, New Hyde Park native

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Durst charged with murder of ex-wife, New Hyde Park native
Robert Durst (right) was charged with the murder of his ex-wife and New Hyde Park native Kathleen McCormack (left) last week, according to multiple reports. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Real estate scion Robert Durst, who was recently sentenced to life in prison for the execution-style slaying of a longtime friend, was charged last week with the murder of his ex-wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, a New Hyde Park native, according to multiple reports.

McCormack, a graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, disappeared in 1982 at the age of 29. In 2001, she was declared legally dead. A criminal complaint filed by New York state police investigator Joseph Becerra charged Durst, 78, with second-degree murder in the McCormack case, according to multiple reports.

Westchester District Attorney Mimi Roach issued a statement on Friday confirming the complaint was submitted.

“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. We have no further comment at this time.”

The one-page complaint filed in Lewisboro refers to evidence from the Westchester district attorney, the state police, the Los Angeles district attorney and various conversations with witnesses, according to multiple reports.

“Robert Durst has now been formally charged with the murder of Kathleen McCormack Durst,” Robert Abrams, a Lake Success-based attorney for McCormack’s family said in a statement. “We are very happy with this development. At this time, however, we will not be making any further comments until the grand jury process is completed.”

Efforts to reach a member of the McCormack family or Durst’s legal team for comment were unavailing.

Durst, who in the 2015 HBO miniseries “The Jinx” had been recorded saying, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course” on a hot microphone, is continuing to deny the allegations. McCormack, the youngest of five children, married Durst in 1971. She was declared dead by a Manhattan court in 2017.

Six years ago, McCormack’s sisters and then-101-year-old mother filed suit in state Supreme Court in Mineola against Durst, alleging that he had murdered McCormack and caused the family “extreme emotional distress, humiliation, mental and physical anguish, as well as economic losses” by keeping her body hidden.

Prosecutors claimed Durst first murdered McCormack, who was looking to divorce him, then shot longtime friend Susan Berman to cover his tracks. Berman, a journalist, was found dead in 2000 on Christmas Eve, lying in a pool of blood after being shot in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home.

After being convicted, Durst was sentenced to life in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham two weeks ago. Following his sentencing, it was reported that Durst had contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized with a ventilator.

Durst was acquitted in the 2001 slaying of Morris Black, his elderly neighbor in Galveston, Texas, whose body was dismembered with an ax and bone saw. Prosecutors have tied the Black murder to alleged attempts by Durst to cover his tracks.

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