Robert Durst passed away only months after he was convicted of murdering confidante Susan Berman. He’s been dead barely two months, and the floodgates of litigation seem to have opened. His first wife was Kathie McCormack Durst, and many suspect he killed her too. Now, Kathie’s family has coincidentally chosen to sue Durst’s second wife — who will likely inherit millions from the real estate mogul.
The lawsuit posits that Debrah Lee Charatan, Durst’s second wife, was complicit in helping him escape the lawman for the murder of the first wife — something authorities could never prove.
Charatan’s lawyer, Scott Epstein, said, “The plaintiffs’ claims are at best an example of the most extreme form of speculation and at worst nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to publicly embarrass and extort money from Mr. Charatan, an innocent party, who is perceived by the plaintiffs as a deep pocket.”
He added that the rumors of Kathie’s death were “more suitable for a work of fiction.”
It’s worth noting that the burden of proof falls on the plaintiffs in a civil trial, much as the burden of proof would fall to the prosecution in a criminal trial. The difference, however, is that the plaintiffs don’t need to meet the burden of proving their case “beyond reasonable doubt.” All they need to do is convince a jury that their case is more likely true than not true (or convince the second wife to settle out of course, which we feel is almost as likely).
A previous lawsuit was filed in 2019 and subsequently dismissed by a judge because Durst had never faced criminal charges. He promised to breathe new life into the case should Durst ever be tried for murder — and now he has. It’s too early to know whether or not anything will come from these newly revisited allegations.