Mr Durst has never been charged with his wife’s disappearance despite investigations by the New York Police Department, State Police and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. His lawyers pointed out that there were no weapons, fingerprints or fibers linking him to his disappearance and death.
After the verdict was announced, the family of Mr Durst’s wife released a statement on Friday calling on prosecutors to pursue the case of his death as well. “Although Durst has now been rightly convicted of the murder of Susan Berman, which helped him hide the truth about Kathie’s death, the McCormack family are still awaiting justice,” the statement read. “Kathie is still waiting for justice.”
Kathie McCormack married Mr. Durst in 1973 after a whirlwind romance.
But the relationship had turned into arguments, pushing and pushing, Mr Durst acknowledged in interviews with filmmakers. Amid escalating marriage violence, Kathie McCormack Durst suddenly disappeared on January 31, 1982.
Ms Berman, a reporter, served as Mr Durst’s media liaison during the tabloid frenzy that followed. Prosecutors said he confided in Ms Berman, who helped him escape authorities. It was Ms Berman, prosecutors said, who made a critical phone call posing as Mr Durst’s wife that gave the impression that she was still alive and kept detectives away from the crime scene.
The disappearance of Kathie McCormack Durst has long been both the background and the heart of this case against Mr. Durst.
During the trial, evidence was presented which placed Mr. Durst with Ms. Berman in December 2000. For nearly 20 years, Mr. Durst denied that he was even in Los Angeles at the time of his murder. . He also denied being the author of an anonymous note sent to the police department alerting officers to the presence of a “corpse” at Ms. Berman’s home, on the edge of Beverly Hills.
In the pre-trial hearings, counsel for Mr. Durst vigorously contested the evidence of the document examiners who identified Mr. Durst as the author of this note. But a friend of Mr Durst’s, Emily Altman, who was acutely questioned by Mr Lewin, blurted out that Mr Durst had told her he was in Beverly Hills at the time of Ms Berman’s death.