WHITE PLAINS, NY (CBS New York) – The Westchester County prosecutor says red flags were ignored and leads were not pursued in the 1982 disappearance of Kathleen McCormack Durst.
On Wednesday, District Attorney Mimi Rocah presented the evidence against notorious killer Robert Durst, who died in jail nine days ago, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
READ MORE: Kathie Durst’s family demand answers over alleged cover-up after Robert Durst indicted decades later
“The initial investigation into this case demonstrates the danger of so-called ‘tunnel vision,'” Rocah said.
She explained why it took almost 40 years to accuse real estate millionaire Durst of the murder of his wife, Kathleen.
The case is the focus of the HBO documentary “The Jinx.”
As Kathleen’s 1982 disappearance grabbed headlines, Rocah said it was clear the cops could have done sooner to link Durst to the crime.
“The focus of the investigation remained guided by Durst’s version of events, which was that he had driven her to the train for New York the night she disappeared,” Rocah said.
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Rocah said the Manhattan-focused investigation meant the Dursts’ home in south Salem was not thoroughly searched. Her office released a summary, revealing the housekeeper found blood in the kitchen after Kathleen disappeared.
The summary says evidence that Durst abused Kathleen, including threatening her with a gun, was brushed aside when he denied it, and a mysterious phone call giving the impression that Kathleen was still alive n has not been carefully examined.
“Many years later, evidence has been developed which shows that this call was in fact a ruse that Durst orchestrated, using his friend Susan Berman,” Rocah said.
Last year in California, Durst was convicted of Berman’s 2000 murder, after learning she planned to speak to investigators about the cold case.
“I guess the biggest disappointment is not knowing Kathie’s whereabouts, just so we can give final closure to her family,” said retired New State Police investigator Joe Becerra. York.
The report states that Durst’s “wealth (and) status” may have contributed to the deference shown to him.
There is little doubt that the evidence was there to convict Durst, had he lived to stand trial.
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After the report was released, an attorney for Kathleen Durst’s surviving brother again claimed that a massive cover-up protected Durst. Attorney Robert Abrams said the family will speak on January 31, the 40th anniversary of Kathleen’s disappearance.