When Robert Durst confessed to murdering three people in the explosive conclusion of HBO’s recent docuseries The Jinx, one person wasn’t surprised at all: Jeanine Pirro. A former district attorney who in 2000 reopened the case of Durst’s wife Kathleen’s disappearance 18 years prior, Jeanine had the Manhattan real estate heir pegged from the beginning; she just didn’t have the evidence to prove it. Her new book, He Killed Them All (out Nov. 3) traces her tireless pursuit of the alleged killer and sheds new light on the bungled investigations that allowed him to roam free.
What made you reopen Kathie Durst’s case?
Pirro: She was someone I related to. Kathie was in medical school, fighting to become a doctor at a time when women were not doctors. This was not a woman who was going to fall off the face of the earth. I was very determined to find out what happened to her.
Durst waited five days to report his wife missing. Why weren’t all eyes on him?
Pirro: The case was badly investigated. It happened in Westchester [N.Y.], but he was able to make people believe it was a New York City case. The NYPD said she ran off with another man. There was no evidence of that.
How satisfying was Durst’s confession in The Jinx for you?
Pirro: I didn’t need The Jinx to vindicate me, but let me tell you something: My life has been about the underdog. My chosen field is settling scores. And Kathie Durst’s score was not settled. I always knew in my fut what happened. For some reason—money, power, corruption—he was able to mislead everyone. He was not able to mislead me.