Robert Durst: 'The Jinx' star charged with 1982 murder of wife Kathie Durst

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Real estate heir Robert Durst has been charged with the death of his former wife who vanished in 1982, US police have said.

A state police investigator filed a criminal complaint on Tuesday at a New York court, accusing the 78-year-old of second-degree murder of Kathie Durst.

Last week, Durst was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering his best friend Susan Berman, whom prosecutors say helped him cover up Kathie's killing.

The trial - which began in March last year but was adjourned for 14 months due to the coronavirus pandemic - came six years after Durst's apparent confession to multiple killings in the HBO TV series The Jinx.

Prosecutors said that Ms Berman had helped him provide a false alibi in relation to the disappearance of his wife.

They say Durst shot Susan Berman in 2000 in the back of the head at her home as she was preparing to confess her role to police.

Durst, a cancer survivor who uses a wheelchair, spent 15 days testifying during the trial, claiming he had found his friend's body when he went to visit her.

He now has a host of medical issues, and in the days since the sentencing hearing has been hospitalised on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19, one of his lawyers said.

Kathie Durst was 29 when she vanished on 31 January 1982.

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