Robert Alan Durst is the heir to one of America's biggest and oldest family-run commercial and residential real estate companies – The Durst Organization. However, this isn't the only astonishing fact about the real estate icon. He is also a crucial suspect in not one, not two but a series of three unsolved murder mysteries spread over three different states.
Robert Durst is suspected for the alleged murder of his first wife – Kathleen McCormack, who disappeared in 1982 in New York; his longtime friend Susan Berman, who was reportedly murdered in 2000 in California; and his neighbour Morris Black, who was killed in 2001, in Texas. Even though Durst was the subject of a manhunt, it was only in March 2015 that he was arrested in New Orleans, almost a month after the airing of The Jinx began in the USA.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, as the name suggests is a 2015 documentary miniseries written by Oscar nominees Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling and edited by Zachary Stuart-Pontier. The trio has also successfully backed two Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The series examines the yet to be solved disappearance of Kathleen, followed by the killings of Berman and Black – all that Durst is suspected of!
Gripping and extremely insightful, The Jinx does not only tell Durst's story and the murders he allegedly committed but also uses actual archive footage, security footage, some reenactment and interviews with the people involved, bringing the audience face to face with Robert Durst himself.
The series is not only co-written but also directed by Andrew Jarecki, who is also the director of All Good Things – a Ryan Gosling starrer 2010 feature fictional film inspired by Durst's biography.
While Durst had never cooperated with any journalist in the past, it was after the release of All Good Things in 2010 that Durst reached out to Andrew. Robert did not only express his appreciation for the film but also offered to be interviewed. He reportedly spent more than 20 hours with Andrew over many years, all of which was recorded and made a part of this documentary.
Douglas Durst, Robert's brother and CEO of the Durst Organization, was very nervous about the family's portrayal in the film. So much so that he even petitioned Andrew to reveal his sources in the NY Supreme Court closer to the release of the film. However, Andrew attempted to justify some of Robert's behaviour by portraying him most humanely but he never made a promise for his film to defend the convict's innocence.
As the episodes of the documentary rolled out, new evidence was revealed which led to Robert being arrested by the FBI on a first-degree murder warrant in connection to Berman's death on the eve of the final episode airing, in March 2015. Now, Durst who is currently in prison comes centre-stage, as he awaits his final verdict after the much controversial ending to the documentary that got Durst to unintentionally confess to his crimes.
If serial killings and murders get your adrenaline high, The Jinx is made just for you. The miniseries was first aired on HBO in 2015 but it is coming to India for the first time. You can stream The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst on August 11 on Star World.