Robert Durst murder case: Testimony focuses on mysterious 1982 phone call staff KABC logo
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Testimony in Robert Durst case focuses on phone call
Testimony in the Robert Durst murder case on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, focused on a mysterious 1982 phone call.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Real-estate heir Robert Durst, accused of killing a close confidant 17 years ago, returned on Tuesday to a Los Angeles courtroom where testimony focused on a mysterious phone call.

Prosecutors at the Airport Courthouse made their case that the 73-year-old Durst killed his first wife, Kathleen "Kathie" Durst, and then killed a friend, Susan Berman, as part of a cover-up. Berman allegedly knew details of the initial crime.

Kathie Durst disappeared on Jan. 31, 1982. She had been a medical student in New York City and did not show up for an important internship.

In court Tuesday, a former associate dean at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Albert Kuperman, testified that he received a phone call from a woman on Feb. 1, 1982. The woman stated that she was Kathie Durst and would be absent from clinical duties that morning because she was ill.

Cooperman said on the witness stand that he did not know Kathie Durst well and could not be certain it was her on the phone. Prosecutors believe the caller was in fact Susan Berman, posing as Kathie Durst to derail investigators and protect Robert Durst, her multimillionaire friend.

The District Attorney's Office further alleges that Berman, as Robert Durst's confidant, knew too much and that he killed her as well.

On Wednesday, prosecutors are expected to call a so-called mystery witness - another person who was interviewed at the time of Kathie Durst's disappearance.