Robert Abrams, an attorney who represents the family of Kathleen McCormack Durst, called on Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah to resign after she cited “missed opportunities” as one of the reasons why it took nearly 40 years to build up a case against Kathleen’s recently-deceased ex-husband and real estate scion Robert Durst.
Rocah, on Wednesday, released an investigative report of Kathleen’s murder on Jan. 31, 1982 attributing “missed opportunities” and “tunnel vision” by various officials as to why it took as long as it did to build up a case against Durst.
“We are able to see now how some missed opportunities by law enforcement officials directing the early stages of the investigation may have contributed to delay in bringing the charges in this case,” Rocah said. “Those of us in law enforcement, who are always seeking to better serve victims, can and should look at how this case was handled and what, if anything, we can learn about the crucial early stages of criminal investigations when individuals with status, wealth and power are implicated.”
Abrams, of the Lake Success-based Abrams Fensterman LLP, said the McCormack family was not aware of Rocah’s press conference until after the fact and called on Rocah to resign after presenting “misrepresentations and omissions” surrounding the case.
“There have been numerous individuals, including members of the Durst family, that have knowingly and intentionally participated in a criminal conspiracy to help Robert Durst avoid prosecution,” Abrams said in a statement. “Today, the Westchester County District Attorney has sanctioned those illegal acts and attempted to explain away how money, power, and influence allowed a killer to escape justice.”
A graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, Kathleen McCormack married Durst in 1971 before she disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982; her body was never found.
Thirty-six years after her disappearance, she was declared dead by a Manhattan court in 2017. Last year, the Westchester County district attorney’s office reopened the cold case investigating Kathleen Durst’s disappearance.
Durst had long been suspected of being responsible for Kathleen Durst’s disappearance, a case he was indicted for last year on charges of second-degree murder. In the 2015 HBO miniseries “The Jinx”, Durst was recorded saying, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course” on a hot microphone, previously denied the allegations.
The California Department of Corrections said Durst, 78, died of natural causes on Jan. 10 while being treated at a hospital. In October, Durst contracted COVID-19, days after being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for killing his longtime friend Susan Berman in 2000.
Abrams’ comments about Rocah came less than a week after he announced that he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Durst’s estate, seeking more than $100 million. Abrams also said he would continue to pursue legal action against those who, he believes, helped cover up Robert Durst’s alleged murder of Kathleen Durst.
Another announcement will be coming from Abrams, he said, on Jan. 31, the 40th anniversary of Kathleen Durst’s death.
“In the interim, 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,” Abrams said.
Efforts to reach Rocah for further comment were unavailing.