A housekeeper who cleaned up New York real estate heir Robert Durst’s house in Westchester County recounted seeing something strange on the dishwasher following his wife’s disappearance some four decades ago.
“It looked like blood,” Elizabeth Jones testified on Thursday.
Asked whether the mark appeared recent and fresh, Jones replied: “Yes.”
Jones told a jury that she cleaned the house weekly, and she would have noticed the stain before had it been there earlier.
Questioned about what else she saw, Jones described finding “hidden panels above a closet” in the dining room. “And I noticed fingerprints on them,” she said, adding that she did not previously realize that the panels were there.
In 1982, Durst’s wife Kathie Durst (née McCormack) disappeared and would later be presumed dead. Robert Durst’s murder trial, now in its 10th day, is not about his wife’s death but the government’s claim that he killed his former friend Susan Berman some two decades later to cover up what she knew.
The year that Berman died in 2000, New York State troopers questioned Jones about what she knew about Kathie Durst’s disappearance. Jones claims she told authorities about the blood on the dishwasher story—and about finding a giant stack of toilet paper.
“I came in another day to clean, and the front hall had hundreds of rolls of toilet paper,” Jones recounted, estimating that they were packed into somewhere between 50 and 100 bags.
Asked to describe the prodigious pile, Jones replied: “It was bags and bags of toilet paper throughout the front hall.”
Then, the following week, they were gone, Jones claimed.
Jones recounted being interviewed by authorities a total of three times since 2000, roughly increments of five years, but she said that she was never questioned when Kathie Durst disappeared.
Even decades later, Jones claimed, the troopers seemed uninterested in her account.
The housekeeper also recalled feeling surprised by how quickly Robert Durst disposed of his wife’s belongings after her disappearance.
“So I kind of felt like it was Christmas because I’m just going through the stuff,” Jones testified. “I can’t believe throwing all this stuff out who would throw all this stuff out. He threw everything out.”
As Jones recalled it, this happened a “couple months” after Kathie Durst’s disappearance, which the housekeeper said now strikes her as odd because “my husband died and it took me many years to throw those things out.”
California prosecutors have called multiple witnesses about their suspicions of domestic abuse in the Durst household, a bucolic lakefront home in South Salem, New York. An emergency room doctor previously testified that Kathie Durst had a mysterious black eye roughly a month before she disappeared. Another witness was the sister of Gilberte Najamy, the last person to see Kathie Durst alive.
Speaking of her encounter with Gilberte Najamy, Jones said: “She asked me to save the garbage from Bob’s house,” adding that she was “suspicious” of the real estate heir. Jones said that she did save the garbage.
(Screenshot from the Law&Crime Network)
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