After Decades of Suspicion, Robert Durst Faces Justice

The subject of HBO’s “The Jinx” goes on trial this week, accused of killing a dear friend. But the case will reach deep into his past, to the unsolved disappearance of his first wife.

“VANISHES! Search for beautiful wife of developer” screamed the headline in The New York Post. That developer was Robert A. Durst, heir to a real estate empire whose towers helped shape the Manhattan skyline. His wife, a 29-year-old medical student, had disappeared the night of Jan. 31, Mr. Durst told the paper (in an interview arranged by his friend and publicist, Susan Berman), and he desperately wanted to find her.

Married in 1973, the couple partied at Studio 54, sailed the Mediterranean and traveled to Thailand. They split time between a lakeside cottage 50 miles north of Manhattan and a penthouse apartment on Riverside Drive. But their relationship grew fraught, friends would later say, after Mr. Durst pressed his wife to have an abortion.

Five days after her disappearance, Mr. Durst walked into a police precinct station house to report her missing. Family and friends immediately suspected him. “I think he killed her,” Ms. Durst’s sister, Mary McCormack Hughes, recalled telling her husband after Mr. Durst called to say that she was missing. Her body has never been found, and Mr. Durst insists that he doesn’t know what happened to her.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/article/robert-durst-trial.html

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March 4, 2020 at 08:33AM