The FBI is asking detectives across the country to review their cold cases for any connection to Robert Durst.  Durst, the focus of the HBO documentary series The Jinx was charged with first-degree murder last week in the 2000 murder of longtime friend and true crime novelist Susan Berman.  The FBI is asking detectives to examine their cold cases in locations near where Durst lived over the last 50 years, these include Vermont, New York, and California.

“They seem to be going to such great lengths to pin something else on him,” Durst’s attorney Dick DeGuerin said. “They must not have much of a case to begin with.”

Durst who has a net worth of $100 million was first suspected in his wife’s disappearance in 1982.  Kathleen McCormack Durst went missing and Durst said he last saw her when he dropped her off at the train station.  Her case has never been solved.  In 2001, Durst admitted to killing his next door neighbor and dismembering him.  He was acquitted at trial in 2003 after arguing self-defense.  Berman was killed in 2000.  Durst had traveled to the area the week she died.

Authorities are zeroing in on the cold case disappearance of Lynne Schulze.  Shulze was a college student that went missing in 1971.

“We are aware of the connection between the disappearance of Lynne Schulze and Robert Durst,” Middlebury Police Capt. Thomas Hanley said, “We have been aware of this connection for several years and have been working with various outside agencies as we follow this lead.”

Durst lived in Middlebury in 1971 and he and his wife owned a health food store.  The name of the health food store, All Good Things, was the title of a 2010 film starring Ryan Gosling that was loosely based upon the Dursts. After the film’s release, Durst reached out to Andrew Jarecki, the director, and asked him to interview him.  The interviews became the basis for the HBO series.

In Eureka, California, 20 miles south of a place Durst loved to visit, investigators are searching out any connection to the disappearance of Karen Mitchell.  Mitchell, then 16, disappeared in 1997.

“We are certainly interested in any information that may or may not come out of interviews with Mr. Durst,” Police Chief Andy Mills said, “If information comes to us that allows us to further our investigation, then we will certainly take the opportunity to do that.”

Mitchell was last seen leaning into a light blue car.  A witness gave a description of the driver, a gray-haired man with glasses that journalist Matt Birkbeck says looks like Durst. Birkbeck is the author of A Deadly Secret, about Durst’s run-ins with the law.

“Durst apparently knew Karen Mitchell. Karen had volunteered at a homeless shelter in Eureka, which Durst had frequented, which he had a habit of doing…” Birkbeck said.

The former lead investigator on Mitchell’s case, Dave Parris, told The Journal News in 2003 that the composite sketch and Durst had similarities.

Parris told the newspaper, “and with all the information we’ve learned about him, I’m not fully comfortable that I can eliminate him from our investigation at this point.”


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