Authorities are investigating a report that accused killer Robert Durst was living in a secret apartment in New Orleans shortly before going on the lam. A landlord in the Big Easy says a man posing as a woman rented an apartment in February and then vanished last month, around the time Durst became a fugitive. The gender ruse was the same one Durst, a Manhattan real-estate heir, apparently used to lease an apartment in Galveston, Tex., where he is charged with murdering his elderly neighbor. Durst is accused of dismembering Morris Black, 71, whose headless torso was found floating in Galveston Bay on Sept. 30. In New Orleans, the tenant left behind a videotape of a television news special on the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, said Robert Ogden, the brother of landlord Michael Ogden. The landlord recognized his cross-dressing tenant as Durst last weekend after spotting a mug shot in a news magazine, the brother said. Durst was believed to have been in New Orleans last month. When he was arrested Oct. 9, authorities said he had a receipt from a New Orleans dry cleaning store. On Oct. 12, while Durst was free on bail, he gave a New Orleans telephone number while trying to lease an apartment in Dallas over the phone. A private investigator working for a Durst trust fund reported to authorities that Durst made a another phone call Oct. 17 from a pay phone at a New Orleans hospital. If the tenant turns out to have been Durst, the report adds another twist to an already baffling case. Authorities don’t have a motive for the Galveston slaying and don’t know of any ties between Durst and his victim, other than their relationship as neighbors. Galveston authorities asked New Orleans police to retrieve items the landlord said the tenant left behind. “I can’t tell you we’re sure about the validity of the report,” said Kurt Sistrunk, Galveston’s first assistant district attorney. “But we’re checking it out.
” According to the landlord’s brother, the tenant left behind a hand-written note that stated, “My plans have changed suddenly and I am leaving N.O. I will not be back.
” The tenant also left keys to a Honda, the brother said. Durst was driving a Honda CRV when he was arrested.