Friend says victim foretold of harm from Durst

Friend says victim foretold of harm from Durst

NY real estate heir Robert Durst's wife was so afraid of him before she disappeared 35 years ago that she climbed out the window of their Manhattan apartment in her pajamas and in through the neighbors' bedroom window, a retired police detective testified.

Durst, the subject of the HBO series "The Jinx", is set to stand trial in Los Angeles for the murder of confidante Susan Berman in 2000.

Barnes says Berman told her: "If anything ever happens to me, Bobby did it".

"I did something today, and I did it for Bobby", Barnes said Berman told her nervously after summoning the social worker to her apartment. Barnes said she did not think seriously about the conversation until after Berman was slain.

Barnes, who is expected to face cross-examination Wednesday, was the second witness at the unusual hearing to record testimony in Los Angeles Superior Court from witnesses who are old, ill or fear for their safety and may not be available at Durst's eventual trial.

Durst, 74, who now is serving an 85-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his longtime friend Susan Berman.

She forgot the statement until Berman's funeral in 2000.

Kathleen told Doyle that Robert had a gun and that she feared he'd murder her, Varian said. "I was petrified. I still am". That was the date Kathie Durst was last seen alive and Robert Durst claimed she took the train from their house in upstate NY to Manhattan.

"Kathie stated Bob had beat her and wanted to kill her", Varian read.

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Wearing just her pajamas, Kathleen Durst climbed out of the window of her Manhattan penthouse and knocked on her neighbor's window more than three decades ago, claiming that Robert was beating her up, retired NYPD Det.

He briefly investigated Kathleen's 1982 disappearance.

He said he did not recall much of what was written in the reports until he reviewed them, but he remembered the account of Anne Doyle, who lived in the 16th-floor penthouse next to the Dursts.

Retired New York police detective James Varian testified that after Kathie Durst's disappearance in 1982, he interviewed neighbors in the couple's Manhattan apartment building.

"Susan said to me, 'Bob killed Kathie, '" testified Chavin, a longtime friend of Robert's.

"She said, 'I need to tell you something but I need you not to ask me any questions, '" Barnes testified. The shaken wife refused to be near any windows and hid in Doyle's bathroom for two hours, according to Varian. Kevin Dolye told Varian he later went over to speak to Durst who said "he was not mad" and denied hurting Kathie. He only said that Kathleen should come back home, Varian said.

Earlier this month, Kathleen, whose body was never found, was officially declared dead after vanishing from the couple's weekend home in Westchester County.

A NY judge finally declared Kathie dead this year. The witnesses were called in Tuesday for conditional testimony due to the possibility that they may not be available to testify at the murder trial now set for 2018 because of their age and health.

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