Durst’s ex brother-in-law thanks community

James Galloway

The brother of Kathleen McCormack, the long-missing first wife of real-estate scion Robert Durst, commented online on an article that appeared in the five Blank Slate Media newspapers last week to thank everyone who “continue[s] to offer their support, sympathies and prayers to our family on behalf of Kathy.”

Jim McCormack, whose family moved to New Hyde Park in 1962, continued in the comment on Blank Slate Media’s islandnow.net website to say his family “truly appreciates those expressions of love.”

Kathleen married Durst, an heir to one of New York City’s wealthiest families, in 1973 at age 19. But the relationship soured and became physically abusive, and nine years later, she went missing without a trace.

Durst, who now faces murder charges for the 2000 killing of his close friend Susan Berman and who was acquitted of murder in Texas after admitting to killing and dismembering a neighbor in 2001, has long been suspected in Kathleen’s disappearance.

At the conclusion of the HBO true-crime series “The Jinx,” Durst, upon being confronted with new evidence in the murder of Berman, mutters to himself in the bathroom, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

In his online comment, Jim McCormack said that after his father died in 1967, he assumed a “fathering role” to Kathleen.

Fathering was “something I had no experience doing,” he said. “Fortunately, my three sisters stood in where I was lacking and, together, we helped Kathie mature to young womanhood.”

Kathleen grew up in the New Hyde Park home her parents, James and Ann McCormack, purchased in 1962, according to Long Island Weekly.

Jim McCormack said that his mother is still alive at age 101, but her “abilities to fully process these latest developments in Kathie’s disappearance are compromised.”

McCormack did not respond to an email requesting an interview.

Durst was arrested on March 15 in New Orleans for the murder of Berman, just hours before the finale of “The Jinx,” something the series’ director called coincidental.

McCormack told The Journal News that he hopes Durst will also face charges in Westchester for his sister’s murder.

“If he’s convicted in L.A. and that’s it, I’ll be glad he’s off the streets, but I’ll be disappointed,” he said.

He said he believes Berman was killed because she said she would speak with investigators, who had reopened Kathleen’s case at the time.

“I suspect she had intimate knowledge of what happened (to Kathie),” McCormack said. “Can I say that with 100-percent certainty? No. But in my heart, I’m 99-percent sure.”

He added in the article that he and Berman went on two dates, but he found her to be “self absorbed.”

In addition to the murder charges, Durst faces two felony charges in New Orleans for the possession of a .38-caliber revolver and five ounces of marijuana found in his hotel room. A judge on Monday determined Durst to be a flight risk and ordered him held in prison without bail. In Los Angeles, where he faces the murder charges, Durst would be eligible for the death penalty.    

McCormack told the Today show that he believes Durst is finally ready to confess.

“I believe that Bob will somehow have an epiphany of conscience, contrary to the advice of lawyers,” he said. “I think he’s about ready to say, ‘You know, enough is enough. This is what Kathy would want and this is what I’m going to do.’”

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