Jurors Will Hear Evidence Robert Durst Made Wife Kathleen Durst Have an Abortion

Murder defendant Robert Durst is set to stand trial for allegedly killing his friend Susan Berman, but the case is indelibly tied to the 1982 disappearance of wife Kathleen Durst. A new ruling ties the two cases even closer together.

Judge Mark E. Windham in Los Angeles County, California announced jurors can hear evidence he “coerced” Kathleen Durst to have an abortion before she went missing, according to The New York Daily News. It was relevant to show the alleged motive in both the disappearance and the slaying, the judge said.

Of course, this gives prosecutors more leverage in this high-profile case. The defendant has never been charged in his wife’s disappearance, but he’s been publicly suspected of being responsible. Authorities say Durst killed Berman in 2000 because she knew he did something to Kathleen Durst.

Authorities have long alleged that Robert Durst physically and emotionally abused his wife. They say he didn’t even report her missing until after five days.

Kathleen Durst’s brother Jim McCormack said in 2017 that he saw Robert Durst drag his sister out of a Christmas party by her hair.

“Just as quickly as I’m telling this story, they were already to the door,” he said. “I didn’t react quickly. People ask why I didn’t beat him up. I go, ‘You don’t understand. It happened so suddenly.’ Who goes over to someone and pulls them by the hair to get them to leave?”

[Image via MARK BOSTER/AFP via Getty Images]

More Stories About This Trial


Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.

  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. Law & Crime
  5. AmboTV