In 1971, 18-year-old Middlebury College student Lynne Schulze disappeared without a trace. Police know that she was last seen on December 10 at a bus stop across the street from a Vermont health-food store called All Good Things.
The store was co-owned by New York City real-estate heir Robert Durst and his wife, Kathleen Durst, who vanished in 1982 after she threatened him with divorce. That case became newly infamous in 2015 by way of the HBO series The Jinx, which led to Robert Durst presently facing murder charges for the 2000 slaying of his friend, Susan Berman. New developments may now link Durst to the earlier disappearance of Lynne Schulze, as well.
On the day in question, first-year student Schulze was traveling with friends at school to take a 1 P.M. final exam. Along the way, she split from the group and returned to her dorm room to retrieve a favorite pen. She never showed up for the exam. Schulze was next sighted at the bus stop eating dried prunes that she’d purchased from the Dursts’s store. Since then — nothing.
Schulze’s friends didn’t think to report her missing for several weeks. Some said she had joked in the past about faking her death and starting over under a new identity, but no one took her seriously. In addition, given the free-wheeling youth climate of the era, college students bolting off campus for various adventures hardly seemed unusual — until this one did.
Authorities found that Schulze had left her ID and checkbook back in her dorm room and surmised that she had no more than $30 cash with her. Although Schulze was reported to be mildly depressed and embarrassed about her severe acne, all indications were that she was not suicidal. The situation became a mystery that remains unsolved. The intervening years brought unconfirmed sightings and people claiming to have been involved in the case, but no final answers.
Following the controversy surrounding Durst in 2015, the FBI had requested that police across the country look into any cold cases from locations where Durst had lived from the times he’d lived there. Some of the locals who knew Schulze were shocked to learn that Durst had resided in their area. Why would a millionaire in real estate from New York own and operate a tiny health-food store in small-town Vermont?
It’s not clear if police have moved Durst from “possible link” to “person of interest” just yet, but the investigation is active and they are very interested in speaking to Robert Durst about anything he might know.
ABC News brings us this report:
Main photo: Lynne Schulze [screenshot from ABC.news]