HBO Documentary Spurs Missing Wife's Family to Act

Robert Durst 'did it, and we can prove it,' says lawyer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2015 9:05 AM CDT
HBO Documentary Spurs Missing Wife's Family to Act
This March 17, 2015, file photo, shows millionaire Robert Durst.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Until the night of March 15, Jim McCormack had held out hope that his sister, Kathie Durst, was somehow still alive, more than 30 years after she vanished following a fight with her husband. "I know it sounds sophomoric to think that, but she's my baby sister and that's how I felt," he tells New York. Then Robert Durst appeared to confess to murder in the final episode of HBO's The Jinx. "That, sadly, was the closure we've been chasing after for years and years," say McCormack, 70. "We decided it's time to sue." Indeed, criminal lawyer Alex Spiro has filed paperwork to name McCormack as administrator of Kathie's estate in place of their aged mother, with the goal of pursuing "a possible wrongful death action against the decedent's husband, Robert Durst," who's in prison on gun and drug charges and is awaiting trial for the murder of Susan Berman. "He did it, and we can prove it," Spiro says.

Though there's a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful-death suits in New York, new evidence takes precedence. Apart from the apparent confession, Durst admitted on camera that a story he told police repeatedly over decades—that he had spoken to his wife when she reached their New York City apartment after the 1982 fight in South Salem—was a lie. "Anybody can file a lawsuit, but you have to have evidence and there is no evidence" linking Robert Durst to the crime, his lawyer counters, per NBC News. McCormack says any money gained by a potential court victory would go toward creating a foundation to support health care students, since Kathie was months away from graduating medical school when she vanished. But "I'll tell you what we really want," he says. "To know where she is" so she can be given a proper Catholic burial. (More Robert Durst stories.)

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