Jinx–Robert Durst: Stranger than Fiction

At the end of Sunday night’s final episode of HBO documentary series The Jinx, its subject, accused murderer Robert Durst, confesses off camera to criminal behavior.

In audio that played in the show’s final moments — recorded while Durst was using the bathroom, with his microphone still on — Durst, talking to himself, says, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

The shocking remark was just the latest jaw-dropping moment in the series and occurred less than 24 hours after Durst was arrested in New Orleans on a warrant for the murder of his friend and former spokeswoman Susan Berman, who was shot dead, execution-style, in December 2000.

The series’ director Andrew Jarecki made the rounds on the morning talk shows on Monday, appearing on CBS This Morning and Good Morning America. On CBS, when asked if he believes that Durst “killed them all,” Jarecki says, “I think that’s certainly what he says, and I have no reason to believe that that’s not the case.”

Jarecki explained that, as The Jinx seems to illustrate, they conducted two interviews with Durst — one for three days in 2010 and another a couple of years later to show him new evidence that they had discovered, specifically a letter written to Berman before she died in which the lettering and misspelling of the word “Beverly” seem to match a note sent the day Berman died, alerting the police to a dead body in her house, which Durst has been suspected of writing.

It was after this interview that Durst made his off-camera remarks. Jarecki says Durst, who has a habit of talking to himself, knew that they kept his microphone on.

“We always leave the microphone on him. He knows that,” Jarecki added on CBS. But he explained on both CBS and GMA that it wasn’t until “months later” that they discovered the bathroom audio.

His small crew didn’t have a chance to check every audio and video clip. One of the extra editors tasked with double-checking the audio discovered Durst’s confession.

“One of the editors came back and said, ‘I think I found something,’ ” Jarecki said on GMA. He called the experience of listening to it “chilling” and “disturbing.”

“I sat there in the edit room with my partners, [Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier], and we just sort of shook our heads, and it took a while to really understand the impact of it. It was so chilling to hear it. It’s disturbing to hear it. It makes you very uncomfortable to hear it,” Jarecki explained.

The filmmaker added on CBS that authorities have had that audio “for months” and that his team gave it to them “long before” the finale.

The team behind The Jinx also didn’t coordinate with law enforcement on the timing of Durst’s arrest, Jarecki said.

“We don’t have that kind of power. We’re not in charge of the arrest timing, and we had no idea of the arrest timing,” he revealed on GMA.

On CBS This Morning he added, “The truth is we hoped that Robert Durst would be arrested as soon as possible, and we were sort of amazed ourselves that he hadn’t been arrested for so long. But the authorities were never communicating with us other than in their normal cordial way. They were going through their investigation.”

Also on CBS, when asked if Durst is “crazy” or if a psychiatrist has examined him to that effect, Jarecki said, “Whether he’s crazy or not, he’s a very, very well-organized, well-financed person.”

Durst has an extradition hearing on Monday.