“We simply cannot say enough about the brilliant job that Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling did in producing The Jinx. Years in the making, their thorough research and dogged reporting reignited interest in Robert Durst’s story with the public and law enforcement.” – HBO Statement
“I did not kill my best friend. I did dismember him.” – Robert Durst
“We are relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted in the arrest of Robert Durst,” Durst’s brother Douglas said in a statement to ABC News. “We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done.”
Did an HBO series and one documentary filmmaker ensure that justice was served – finally – for three murdered people?
Sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got…lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. – “Quint” from film JAWS 1975
Robert Durst was arrested in New Orleans on Saturday on a warrant issued in a homicide investigation issued by Los Angeles County. The news was first reported by The New York Times.
Durst, who is currently the subject of Andrew Jarecki’s haunting HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” is the prime suspect in the unsolved death of Susan Berman in Beverly Hills 15 years ago. Berman was shot execution style, a single bullet to the brain from behind, in her house in Benedict Canyon on Christmas Eve, 2000. Numerous questions have been raised about how much Durst knew about her death. Vulture.com explored the case in detail back in 2001:
The case took a more macabre twist when Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro announced that Berman had been on her short list of witnesses to interview in yet another eerie case, a coast away from Susan’s struggles. Nineteen years ago, Kathie Durst, the estranged wife of real-estate heir Bobby Durst — whose family’s Durst Organization owns more than $650 million worth of Manhattan real estate — had vanished in New York without a trace. For nearly two decades — as the pretty medical student’s friends spoke out about an abusive marriage and battles over money — investigators had their sights on the now-reclusive Bobby, who happened to have been extremely close to Susan Berman, going back to their days at UCLA in the late ’60s. Susan referred to Durst, who declined New York‘s request for an interview, as her brother; the dedications in her books invariably began with his name. “It was always ‘Bobby this, Bobby that, wonderful Bobby,'” a friend recalls. Yet when Susan tried to reach him last summer to borrow money, she was irked to find he’d changed his phone number. So she wrote to him in care of the Durst Organization. The letter reached its target: In the months before her death, she had cashed two $25,000 checks from Bobby. In fact, Susan borrowed a lot of money from a lot of people over the years and always tried to pay it back. In this case, however, she was touched, one friend says, that Bobby had told her the $50,000 was a gift.
This of course is dog-piled on the mysteries of his first wife Kathie’s disappearance in 1982 (her family believes he had part in it and that she is dead) and this was how he first came to be on Jeanine Pirro’s radar. It was the macabre killing and dismemberment of Durst’s neighbor in Galveston, Texas in 2001 that put a larger spotlight on Durst, who masqueraded as a woman in a tiny hovel of an apartment that disguised not only his gender, but his dynastic wealth and power of his real estate rich family. The lack of a head being found and the vilification of Pirro had impeded evidence in the case where a Texas jury found him “not guilty.” Durst spent millions on two of Texas’ best defense attorneys: Dick DeGuerin and Chip Lewis.
Pirro has made no bones about her vehemence of Durst’s absolute guilt:
One of the many interesting things about Jarecki’s interviews with Durst is his unwillingness (or inability) to make real eye contact with Jarecki. His seemingly black eyes dart every which way.
Durst, 71, was being held without bond.
Don’t miss the shocking conclusion. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst finale Sunday at 8PM, only on HBO.