Dateline Finds Witness in Eureka
I worked with NBC's Dateline program, which did a good job advancing the Durst story that aired on June 19. One thing I was particularly happy about was the interview with Randy Gomes. He was the eyewitness who years ago gave police in Eureka that startling composite of the man last seen with Karen Mitchell that looked remarkably like Robert Durst. Gomes had fled to Idaho after giving police that composite but recently returned to the Eureka area. I passed along Gomes name to NBC, who tracked him down and, on camera, he ID'd Durst. Great stuff.
DeGuerin Denies Durst Concerns About Karen Mitchell
The other eye opening segment on Dateline was Durst attorney Dick DeGuerin's denial of the story I relayed during the program about how Durst had expressed deep concern that he would be charged in the Karen Mitchell case.
Just before Durst's 2003 trial, I had reported that police were looking at Durst in the Mitchell case along with the disappearance of Kristen Modaferri from San Francisco. At that time I had been hired by CBS to consult on a Durst program. I took them to Eureka, but they weren't interested (years later after The Jinx aired, Inside Edition, ABC's 20/20 and of course Dateline all ran with the story, with special kudos to Dateline for tracking down Gomes).
The CBS producer that hired me pulled me aside back then and said she was told that Durst wasn't concerned about Modaferri, but was so concerned about Karen Mitchell he asked DeGuerin what they would do. DeGuerin's response was to deal with one case at a time. I believed the story because the producer had been close to Durst's defense team. I thought she was just a good reporter, so you don't have to imagine my reaction when I read a NY Post report in 2004 that said she was and had been romantically involved with Chip Lewis, Durst's other attorney. They eventually married. I was floored.
I don't know if Durst is involved in Mitchell's disappearance or not. But if DeGuerin has a problem with that Mitchell story, he should have a talk with his c0-counsel.
Jeanine Pirro to Pen a Book About Durst
You knew there would be other books rising from the Durst story. Former Galveston judge Susan Criss is working on one (which I'd read when published). I heard six weeks ago that Pirro was looking for a publisher, and as of last week she found one with a book due this fall.
She doesn't come off well in A Deadly Secret (probably one of the worst public officials I've ever come across). She later subpoenaed my publisher, sought to have NY State Police Detective Joe Becerra fired (he started the Durst case) in a snit over who was getting more credit, and was despised by every other police jurisdiction with her incessant craving for publicity (one cop, Galveston's Cody Cazalas is the lone exception, but that's a whole other story).
I'm assuming her publisher will assign several fact checkers on this project.
Matt Birkbeck's Blogspot