Robert Durst’s missing wife ‘testifies’ through mentor at his trial
Robert Durst’s first wife described being badly beaten by him and fearing for her life before she went missing nearly 40 years ago, her medical school mentor testified Thursday at his murder trial.
“She said, ‘Should anything happen to me, you make sure you don’t let the bastard get away with it,’” Dr. Marion Watlington told jurors.
Watlington also said she “had this sick feeling” when she saw Kathie McCormack Durst’s photo illustrating an article in The Post about her disappearance.
But Watlington said she was basically dismissed when she called the cops at a phone number included in the report.
“I will never forget those words,” Watlington testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“They were very quick to say, ‘Yes, yes, we’ve heard from other people about this’ — and hung up on me.”
Watlington’s testimony came on Day Six of Durst’s trial in the murder of his best friend, Susan Berman, whom prosecutors allege he shot execution-style in 2000 to keep her from cooperating with a renewed investigation into his suspected slaying of Kathie.
Watlington — who befriended Kathie at Western Connecticut State University when Kathie studied nursing there, then mentored her when she attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx — said Kathie told her about being so badly hurt by Durst that she needed hospital treatment and had photos taken to document her injuries.
Kathie was preparing to divorce Durst, Watlington said, but “wanted to get paperwork and things like that to justify a proper type of settlement” from the now-76-year-old New York City real estate scion.
His family owns The Durst Organization, which has developed about a dozen Manhattan skyscrapers, including the iconic One World Trade Center, which it co-owns with the Port Authority.
Also testifying Thursday was Kathie’s brother, Jim McCormack, who stared daggers at Durst from the witness stand after testifying in vivid detail about how Durst physically abused her at a family Christmas party.
McCormack also did everything but openly accuse Durst of killing his sister, the youngest of four siblings, on the day she disappeared.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that she died Jan. 31, 1982,” McCormack said while glaring at Durst.
Earlier in his testimony, McCormack recalled a “Christmas gathering at my mom’s house” during which Kathie was enjoying an after-dinner glass of red wine in the living room when Durst “started the process of going home” and got “kind of, like, impatient” because Kathie wanted to continue chatting with relatives.
Durst stormed out but “came back very quickly” and “grabbed Kathie by the top of the head,” McCormack said.
“The way it happened was so spontaneous and unexpected . . . I was literally in shock,” he said.
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