Debrah Lee Charatan, the estranged wife of accused killer Robert Durst, agreed and conspired to “conceal the whereabouts” of Kathie Durst’s body, according to a lawsuit filed this week in New York State Supreme Court.
Kathie Durst’s three sisters, Carol Mamonte, Mary Hughes and Virginia McKeon, filed the $100 million suit, the New York Times reported. It contends that Durst murdered Kathie, and that along with Charatan and others he violated Kathie’s family’s right to sepulcher, which is the legally protected right for a family to immediately obtain a relative’s body for burial.
Charatan, who manages Durst’s finances and is the chief beneficiary of his will and estate worth an estimated $100 million, is described in the documents as a “cold-blooded opportunist.”
Last month, Kathie Durst was officially declared deceased by a Manhattan judge. She disappeared in 1982 and her body has never been found. Durst has never been charged in connection to her death, but remains the only suspect in the case. He is currently facing trial for the 2000 murder of his confidante Susan Berman, who prosecutors say he killed to stop her from helping police. In 2015, HBO docu-drama “the Jinx” showed Robert muttering what appeared to be a murder confession.
Durst received a $65 million payout in 2007 in exchange for cutting ties with his family (with Charatan reportedly receiving $20 million), and is currently serving a seven-year prison term for possession of a firearm. He was acquitted of murdering his neighbor Morris Black in Texas in 2003.
Charatan, who heads BCB Property Management with her son Bennat Burger, filed a $10 million defamation suit in February against tenants who set up websites calling her and her son “abusive landlords” and Durst a “murderous and animal-decapitating sociopath.” [NYT] — Miriam Hall