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Robert Durst Gets Jinxed

HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst’s ratings  have skyrocketed the past few weeks as star Robert Durst jinxed himself into getting arrested in New Orleans, LA on first-degree murder charges days before the season finale aired.

The Jinx is a series created by director Andrew Jarecki that was inspired by the life of the mysterious Durst who beat three murder charges. Jarecki originally took interest in Durst back in 1982 when the case of his wife, Kathy Durst, dominated news stations and airways all over the country with her unsolved disappearance. Apparently Kathy was last seen arguing with her husband before heading home, never to be heard from again. 

Following the 1982 case,  the 2000 execution-style killing of Durst’s good friend Susan Berman put ‘the Jinx’ right back in the news headlines in California. Then, only a few months later in 2001, the death and dismemberment of Durst’s apparently good friend Morris Black came about and was the only case that had Durst see a trial. 

After all these murders seemed to link Durst as a common theme, Jarecki became interested in Durst and wanted to make a movie that he could sit and watch and possibly draw emotion from. Jarecki went on in 2010 to direct a Durst-inspired film called All Good Things starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. The movie did its job and triggered something in Durst, who, soon after the film’s release, called up Jarecki with profound admiration of the picture and decided to work with him on a new project, an HBO miniseries titled The Jinx

Durst would ultimately sit down with Jarecki for over 20 hours throughout a multi-year period, having never before cooperated with journalistic media. The series investigates deeper into the unsolved 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathy, the 2000 execution-style killing of Susan Berman, as well as the 2001 death and dismemberment of Morris Black, who was neighbors with Durst in Galveston, TX, although no one in the town had ever seen the two together. 

The series uses a variety of existing footage including news, security and archival footage, and police evidence, as well as interviews with friends and family of the victim and Durst. The series also focuses on the peculiar relationship and interview process that Jarecki had to undergo with Durst, as well as some ground-breaking evidence that was dug up while filming, leading to Durst’s arrest just days before the finale aired on HBO. Between the editing and narrative style, the series gives the viewer a real inside look at the life of Robert Durst as well as the murders that he allegedly committed. 

The Jinx also focuses on Durst’s early life and how he got to where he is now. Talk about poor little rich boy; Durst grew up as the son of one of New York’s wealthiest real estate moguls, Seymour Durst, who is the founder of the Durst Organization. Durst watched his mother commit suicide when he was just seven-years-old, leading to what was only the beginning of troubling times for the boy. The show focuses on him dealing with that and how it affected his relationship with his other family members, most of whom he does not speak to.

With his arrest on March 14, 2015 in New Orleans signed by a Los Angeles judge, Durst is looking at the death penalty on “special circumstances of murder of a witness and lying in wait.” Durst was recorded in a public restroom, talking to himself with his microphone for the show still on, muttering, “What did you do? I killed them all, of course.” Chills were sent across America, and ratings drastically increased for HBO after the 6 episode series came to an end in mid-March. 

Through the years, Durst has spent millions of dollars on lawyers and extensive training on how to properly answer questions with the police while being interrogated. The show has done substantial research on the cases and trial and dug up key evidence, which has landed Durst in jail today, still facing ongoing charges.