OTR Interviews

Judge Jeanine Pirro: 'Now they have a good case' against Durst

Pirro, who investigated the 1982 disappearance of the wife of eccentric real estate heir, sounds off on the alleged 'hot mic' confession during HBO's documentay that led to his arrest in a 2001 Calif. murder case

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, in 2000, then Westchester County D.A. and my now Fox News colleague, Jeanine Pirro, reopened the cold case, the 1982 disappearance of Durst's wife and that pretty much set the ball rolling. Joining us from New York, host of Justice with Judge Jeanine," Jeanine Pirro.

Jeanine, I said in the teasers that he must hate you, I mean, but for the fact that you reopened that cold case from 1982 in 2000, he probably wouldn't be in New Orleans tonight in the jail.

JEANINE PIRRO, "JUSTICE WITH JUDGE JEANINE" HOST: Well, I'm certainly not one of his favorite people but I could care less to be honest with you. Here is a guy whose wife disappeared in 1982, and although I was not the D.A. at the time, when I became the D.A., this case came to us on a tip. I reopened it when it was 17 years old and I realized that he was married to a fourth-year medical student who had every reason to live. She disappears off the face of the earth. You open the file and there is virtually no investigation in Westchester, which is where she was last seen. And that is when the ball started rolling, and I did not believe for one minute that this was a woman who would run off. She was a woman who said she was afraid of Robert Durst to a friend that night and that if anything happened to her, you know, check Bobby.

And you know, Robert Durst didn't report her missing for five days and on and on. And then you fast forward, I have my investigator scheduled to talk to Susan Berman in California because Susan Berman, the good friend of Robert Durst, was his spokesperson when his first wife went missing and then it turns out before we get to her she is shot in the back of the head execution style. We were coordinating with L.A. at the time. We believed that Robert Durst was responsible.

But as with all cases, you've got to put your evidence where your allegations are. And an L.A. handwriting your -- in the package was not written by Robert Durst. Well, lo and behold, Andrew Jarecki and Marc Sperling, they do this docu-drama on "The Jinx." They unearth this note clearly written by Robert Durst with the same misspelling of Beverly, with the same block letters as only Durst admits only the killer could have written and here we are today. Kudos to those guys, Jarecki and Sperling. And now, they've a good case.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, kudos to you because if you hadn't reopened that one, none of this would have unfolded. But I'm curious, you know, so many people in New York knows -- know who Robert Durst is. Where did he get all this money and how much -- do you have any idea what his net worth is?

PIRRO: I'm sure he is worth a few hundred million dollars. I mean the Durst organization worth, they say, over a billion dollars. They're responsible for the skyline -- a lot of the skyline in New York City. They are a major, major, major money family in New York. And to this day, I have to tell you, Greta, I believe that the reason Robert Durst tried so hard to convince everyone that his wife made it into New York was because he felt maybe if she got into the city, where they have power and influence, you know, we might be able to cover it up. But that is confirmed by the fact that Kathleen -- his first wife's family has said that the Durst family did not help them when Kathleen went missing that they were virtually thrown out of the Durst family's apartment.

And that is in the docu-drama. So there is a lot to unearth in this. But make no mistake, Greta, this guy got away with murder before. He got away with a murder and the dismemberment of his next door neighbor because he had $2 million and he bought a defense team that made me into this admittedly mythical character as they say in The Jinx that scared him out of New York so he had to chop up the body. Let's just hope that the L.A. jury is a little smarter and let's hope he gets to L.A. I mean this news with New Orleans.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know New Orleans would be crazy to hold him for a 10-year offense. I mean, typically, what's what happens if one state has 10 year offense and another one is an open murder, they look at the strength of the two cases and if they have got a strong murder they don't pursue the 10 year one. They send the person off to face the murder one.

PIRRO: Yes. I have been in the middle of these obviously as the D.A. myself. Look. That murder case needs to be tried. He needs to be charged and face a jury on the death of his good friend, by the way, whom he walked down the aisle, Susan Berman.

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, yes. That's right. He walked her down the aisle. Oh brother. One quick question: Is that statement that he is caught on mic in the bathroom admissible?

PIRRO: I believe so, but you and I both know, Greta, depends on the judge. Look, he was not in custody. He was not being interrogated. He signed waivers every time he sat down. He had a hot mic and hot mic before and his attorney warned him on "The Jinx" you have got a hot mic stop talking.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We have actually -- I'm just being told, Jeanine, breaking news that the L.A. County has officially charged Durst with the murder. And so, it's official right now. And so, the question is whether Louisiana will give up him up right away or not, but we'll wait and see on that.

PIRRO: Well, that will be interesting.

VAN SUSTEREN: Jeanine, thank you.

PIRRO: Good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Jeanine, I got to tell you, I know why he hates you.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: But, anyway, so.

PIRRO: Hey, you know what? I wasn't in the business of people liking me, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know every prosecutor tonight is tipping his hat to you.

PIRRO: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Good night, Jeanine. Nice to talk to you.

PIRRO: Thank you.