Andrew Jarecki, who produced and directed “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” — the 2015 documentary miniseries about the real estate scion, who was found guilty of first-degree murder — applauded Durst’s Friday murder conviction on Saturday.
In a statement to TheWrap, Jarecki said, “When we started investigating this story sixteen years ago, we had no idea we would discover evidence that would lead to this prosecution. Bob Durst had been suspected of three murders but never held accountable. In 2010 I interviewed him for over 20 hours for ‘The Jinx’ and he said many incriminating things. When we dug further into the story and found evidence that tied him to the murder of his best friend Susan Berman, we searched for a prosecutor we felt could handle this kind of complex case and found John Lewin, a cold case expert in the LA district attorney’s office and his team. We agreed to share the evidence with them, and today’s verdict is the result of that effort.”
He went on, “Over these years we got to know the families of the victims, including of Durst’s missing wife Kathie McCormack. They are good, honest people who have suffered for 40 years and we are happy to see them get some justice today as Kathie’s murder will now likely also be prosecuted. We applaud the efforts of John Lewin, Habib Balian, Eugene Miata, Ethan Milius and the LA district attorney’s office.“
Durst was charged with murder for the 2000 shooting death of his friend and confidant Susan Berman. During the lengthy trial — which was suspended in spring 2020 for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic — prosecutors argued that Durst killed Berman to prevent her from implicating him in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack.
In the sixth episode of “The Jinx,” Durst was famously recorded saying, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” During his testimony in court in August, Durst called his decision to appear on the 2015 HBO series “The Jinx” a “very, very, very, big mistake.” He went on to say, “I did not kill Susan Berman. But if I had, I would lie about it.”
Durst was not present for the reading of Friday’s verdict, having been forced to isolate after exposure to COVID-19. Superior Court Judge Mark Windham allowed the reading to proceed in his absence, citing the need for expediency given the ongoing pandemic.
“I’m disappointed, but not in the fight we put up,” Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, told TheWrap Friday night. “We came in second in a two horse race.”
Durst was arrested in March 2015 by FBI agents in New Orleans, one day before the finale of HBO’s “The Jinx,” which chronicled Durst’s life and the death of three people close to him — McCormack, Berman and Morris Black, a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, who was shot dead in Durst’s apartment.