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Law Enforcement Lapses Delayed Murder Charges for Robert Durst in Presumed Death of Wife Kathie Durst: D.A.

A New York district attorney released details of a renewed, yearlong investigation of Robert Durst in the disappearance and presumed murder of his wife Kathie Durst, missing since 1982.

Durst died in prison earlier this month, after he was convicted in the 2000 murder of his close friend, Susan Berman. As CTPost reports, Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah released a report detailing the Westchester DA Cold Case Bureau investigation into Kathie Durst’s presumed death. While Robert Durst has long been considered the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance, police did not formally name him a suspect for decades, and Durst was not charged in the case until last month, News 12 reports.

Durst died in custody at age 78 before he could be brought to trial.

According to the News 12 report, the investigation found that detectives did not follow through on potential evidence in the case, including apparent contradictions Durst made to police at the time about prior domestic incidents involving his wife. Investigators also found that it took 20 years for detectives to determine that witness accounts claiming to see Kathie Durst in Manhattan after her disappearance were not reliable.

According to a producer for Law & Crime, Rocah said investigators never interviewed Berman about Kathie’s disappearance.

Durst was convicted of Berman’s murder after prosecutors successfully argued that he killed her because she had incriminating information about his wife’s disappearance. It is not clear why detectives never interviewed Berman in the 18 years between Kathie Durst’s disappearance and Berman’s murder at her Los Angeles home.

As News 12 notes, January 31 will be the 40th anniversary of Kathie Durst’s disappearance.

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