The State Commission on Judicial Conduct may be mounting an investigation into the ethics of the Manhattan judge who is overseeing the estate of Robert Durst’s long-missing wife, Kathie.
Kathie Durst’s sister, Carol Bamonte’s lawyer Bob Abrams has reported Surrogate’s Court Judge Nora Anderson to the commission for her refusal to look into their claims of conflict-of-interest.
Kathie Durst was the first wife of the Durst, allege murderer and heir to a New York City real estate empire.
According to The Post, “She vanished from the couple’s Westchester weekend home in 1982. Her former husband remains the only suspect in her disappearance and is currently awaiting a murder trial in Los Angeles over a friend’s 2000 death.”
On Tuesday, April 11, Abrams sent a letter to the commission that said that lawyer Charles Capetanakis was appointed by Anderson as guardian to represent and protect the interests of Kathie in a proceeding to have her declared dead.
The declaration is needed in order for the family to file a $100 million wrongful-death suit against Robert Durst.
The Post reports, “Capetanakis issued a report last month recommending that Kathie’s date of death be set at Jan. 31, 1987 — five years after she disappeared. Attorneys for Robert had argued for the same time frame. Abrams countered that the date should be Jan. 31, 1982 — when Kathie was last seen leaving the country home she shared with her husband. That date would boost the family’s claim that her husband killed her.
Anderson ultimately ruled the date of Kathie’s death to be Jan. 31, 1987. Abrams grew suspicious of the report and learned that Capetanakis had ties to Stephen Holm, an attorney for Robert Durst who runs a foundation with Robert’s second wife, Debrah Lee Charatan, his letter says.Capetanakis’ firm and Holm were co-defendants in a $10 million legal malpractice lawsuit that was dismissed in 2015.”
Durst was recently in the headlines last month. The Jewish Voice previously reported: According to a new lawsuit, murderer and heir to real estate empire Robert Durst owes $130,000 to private investigators that he hired to look into his arrest in March 2015 for the murder of his friend Susan Berman.
Berman was killed in 2000, and her alleged murderer is now in a Los Angeles jail awaiting trial.
Prosecutors say that Durst killed Berman out of fear that she would implicate him in the death of his wife, Kathy, who disappeared in 1982.
The 73-year-old “black sheep” of the Durst Family, who have a real estate empire in New York City, starred in an HBO documentary about his life called “The Jinx.” Information that came out during the filming of the show contributed to him now being on trial for Bermans’s murder.
The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court says, two weeks after his arrest in 2015, Durst obtained the services of New York- based T&M Protection Resources. A $25,000 retainer was paid by Durst, then close to 500 hours were spent by the firm’s private eyes conducting field work and digital research into the events around his arrest, according to court papers.
By Hannah Hayes