Friend of Robert Durst’s first wife discusses allegations

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WESTON-- Ellen Strauss is "happy" now that Robert Durst is facing charges.

Strauss was one of Kathie Durst's best friends in the 1970s. The two attended college together at what's now called Western Connecticut State University.

"I'm happy because they got Bob Durst and I'm hoping they won't let him go, I think everybody knows that he's a dangerous man," said Strauss at her Weston home on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, police in Vermont announced they are looking into a possible connection between Robert Durst and the disappearance of Lynne Schulze in 1971 from Middlebury, Vermont. Schulze was a freshman at Middlebury College and was from Simsbury, Connecticut.

Police said Schulze was last seen near the health food store "All Good Things," which was owned by Robert Durst.

According to Strauss, the time period of Schulze's disappearance was before Kathie Durst had moved to Vermont. "She (Lynne) was in Bob's store -- All Good Things-- his health food store, around the time she disappeared, I think that day," said Strauss.

Strauss was interviewed in the HBO Documentary "The Jinx," in which Durst's life and ties to multiple disappearances were examined.

"It was really lonely at the beginning," Strauss told Fox Connecticut. For her, the beginning was the early 1980s when Kathie Durst went missing.

Kathie's best friends, including Ellen Strauss, believed Kathie's husband, Bob Durst, had killed her. But, as detailed in the documentary, Durst evaded charges.

More than 30 years later, he's now believed to have killed his friend, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles in year 2000 because she may have known something about Kathie's disappearance.

He also admitted to killing and dismembering his neighbor in Texas. However, Durst was acquitted of murder charges in that case, after his defense team argued self-defense.

Durst's alleged connection to Schulze's disappearance marks the fourth disappearance or death he is suspected of being connected to.

Strauss was involved early on after Kathie's disappearance by digging up clues and even finding Durst's private notes in his garbage, before handing them over to police. She was passionate about finding the truth about what happened to her good friend.

"Kathy was just spunky, she was full of fun, she was just lovely... I only met Bob once and I would say that he wasn't exactly a friendly fellow," said Strauss.

Despite decades of amateur detective work, police and prosecutors largely ignored Ellen's clues. She even pointed them to Susan Berman in the year 2000, who was murdered five weeks later. Durst is now under arrest for that killing.

He might still be walking free were it not for HBO's Documentary, "The Jinx," in which Durst appeared to confess to three of the killings in the bathroom after an interview, while his wireless microphone was still turned on.

"It means a lot to me that this has happened, because you have to remember, back at the time, I'm sure people thought, what do these ladies know from Connecticut?" said Strauss.

She now works as an attorney in Weston but said she's continued investigating Kathie's case ever since the day she went missing. "Well, it has been a bumpy ride, an incredible journey it really has," said Strauss.

With yet another death now possibly linked to Durst, that journey might not be over, but it's at least reached a point where Strauss says she can finally feel happy, for the first time in 33 years.

"I'm happy because they got Bob Durst and I'm hoping they won't let him go, I think everybody knows that he's a dangerous man."