Robert Durst Arrested For Murder As Finale Of HBO’s ‘The Jinx’ Documentary Airs
Robert Durst, the infamous murder suspect and subject of HBO’s The Jinx, has been arrested for murder.
Robert Durst Arrested For The 2000 Murder Of Susan Berman
Durst, 71, was arrested by the FBI on Saturday, March 14, in New Orleans. Los Angeles law enforcement believe that they have new evidence against Durst, linking him to the murder of Susan Berman.
Durst has been plagued with suspicions since 1982, when his wife, Kathleen, disappeared. Kathleen’s family believed that Durst was responsible for his wife’s disappearance, but no charges were ever filed against him, and the case remains unsolved. Kathleen was later declared legally dead. At the time of Kathleen’s disappearance, Berman, Durst’s friend from graduate school, defended him publicly, becoming his spokeswoman.
Berman was about to be questioned by New York authorities about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen, when she died. Berman was killed in 2000, shot in her home. And while there was some gossip that Durst was behind the murder, he was never arrested for the crime. He was, however, arrested and charged with the murder of Morris Black, a man who was found dismembered in Texas, in the early 2000s. He was acquitted of the charge after testifying that he and Morris had been fighting over a gun when it accidentally went off, killing Black.
Durst is currently being held without bail in New Orleans and the judge will hold a hearing to determine Durst’s extradition on Monday.
How The Jinx Contributed To Robert Durst’s Arrest
The timing of the arrest is intriguing, as it coincided with the airing of the finale of HBO’s documentary series investigating Durst. In the finale, filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling confronted Durst with what could be very damning evidence: an envelope of a letter from Durst to Berman, the address written in the same fashion as the anonymous letter written to the police that tipped them off to Berman’s murder.
A forensic document examiner confirmed that the two letters were written by the same person, creating a new dilemma for Jarecki and Smerling. According to the filmmakers, their lawyers advised them to be careful moving forward, and they reached out to the LAPD in early 2013.
After being presented with this evidence, Durst excused himself mid-interview and, apparently forgetting he was still wearing his microphone, mumbled to himself, “There it is. You’re caught…What the hell did I do? Killed them all of course.”
According to reports, the filmmakers did not find this audio until a few years after the interview took place, and it’s unclear whether or not the recording could be used as evidence in court.
“Do I think this is a coincidence? Hell, no. There has been rumor, innuendo and speculation for a number of years, and now we’re going to get our day in court on this,” said Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin.
The Jinx filmmakers have not commented on the timing of the arrest. And the LAPD simply cited the discovery of new evidence as the reasoning for the arrest. “As a result of investigative leads and additional evidence that has come to light in the past year, investigators have identified Robert Durst as the person responsible for Ms. Berman’s death,” said the LAPD in a statement.
However, the production of The Jinx and Durst’s participation in the documentary reportedly prompted the LAPD to reopen their investigation into Beman’s killing. And former Westchester County district attorney, Jeanine F. Pirro, who investigated the disappearance of Durst’s first wife, appeared to credit the filmmakers with contributing to his arrest, saying, “These two producers did what law enforecement in three states could not do in 30 years. Kudos to them. They were meticulous. They were focused. They were clear.”
Durst’s estranged family released a statement, thanking authorities and expressing their hope that justice is done. “We are relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted in the arrest of Robert Durst. We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done,” said his brother Douglas Durst.
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