Kathie Durst, disappeared 1982


In 1982, Robert Durst reported that his wife Kathie had suddenly disappeared from their cottage in South Salem, New York. No one was ever charged. According to The New York Times, she’s been declared legally dead.

Durst said the last time he saw he was when he left her at a train station in New York. She was heading back to medical school in the city, he said. Durst quietly divorced her in 1990.

Kathie Durst’s family has long suspected Robert Durst is behind her disappearance.


From the new Robert Durst interviews:

On meeting Kathie McCormack in 1972:

“She thought I was good looking in my little way, cute or whatever it was. She was very outgoing and social and got along with people real good. It was perfect because I don’t get along with people. Most people don’t get along with me.”

On the dynamic between him and Kathie:

“I was the dominant one in the relationship. I was making all the decisions. Calling all the shots, as she would say. She went along with that for a while and then she got tired of it. She said she wants her independence. She doesn’t want me to be controlling her all the time.”

Kathie started changing when Robert forced her to have an abortion in 1976:

“I said, ‘I told you from the beginning I didn’t want children. You agreed we wouldn’t have children. Now you’re telling me you’re pregnant, which you’re in charge of that stuff not me. And you want to keep the baby. Well, you keep the baby you’re gonna get divorced from me. Period.’ I just didn’t want kids around. I didn’t want to raise children. Somehow I thought I would be a jinx. … I knew I wasn’t going to be a good father.”

Five years later the relationship had all but unraveled:

“By 1981, our life was half arguments, fighting, slapping, pushing, wrestling. It deteriorated from there on. It never got better. It got worse and worse.”

What Robert Durst said about his wife Kathie’s disappearance has changed from 1982 to today:

Then: He dropped Kathie off at the Katonah train station then stopped in at a neighbor’s house for a drink.

Now: “I just took her to the train station, went home and went to sleep.”

Then: He called Kathie, reaching her at their Riverside Avenue apartment.

Now: He never did speak with Kathie by phone that night.