6:22pm PT by THR staff
HBO's 'The Jinx' Ends on a Startling Note
[Warning: Spoilers if you haven't seen the final episode of HBO's The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.]
Robert A. Durst seemingly made a major confession in the finale of HBO's documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which aired a day after he was arrested in New Orleans over a first-degree murder warrant.
The New York Times recently reported that the Los Angeles County D.A. had reopened its investigation into his role in the death of Susan Berman, a friend of Durst's who was killed around Christmas in 2000.
Durst has been suspected of killing Berman and his wife, Kathie Durst, who disappeared in 1982. He went on trial for the 2001 murder of neighbor Morris Black, whom Durst admitted to dismembering, but he claimed he killed Black in self-defense.
Berman was shot dead execution-style. Although Durst was a suspect in her murder, the police never had definitive evidence placing him in Los Angeles on the day she was killed, the Times explained. He also was suspected of writing an anonymous note to the Beverly Hills Police Department alerting them to a "cadaver" at Berman's house, which was postmarked the day California officials believe the murder occurred. Police previously tried to compare Durst's handwriting with the "cadaver" note and a bullet fired from a gun found in his car with the bullet that killed Berman, but both proved "inconclusive."
However, in the fifth episode of The Jinx, which aired last week, Berman's stepson calls one of the documentary's producers, Marc Smerling, to say he discovered a 1999 letter from Durst to Berman in which the handwriting on the envelope for that letter appears to match the lettering on the "cadaver" note, and Beverly Hills is misspelled as "Beverley" on both notes.
Earlier in Sunday night's episode, a forensic handwriting expert analyzed the two letters, using Durst's handwriting from other documents the filmmakers had, and he seemed to confirm that the two notes were written by the same person. In one scene, the handwriting expert is shown comparing how Durst writes his N's and says that certain features of the handwriting "are unique to one person and only one person."
In the final moments of The Jinx, director Andrew Jarecki presented him with the evidence of the two letters. Durst admitted to writing the first one but not the second "cadaver" letter.
After the interview ended, Durst asked to use the bathroom. He remained miked, however, and off-camera can be heard talking to himself.
"There is it. You're caught. You're right, of course. But you can't imagine. Arrest him," he said, as running water can be heard. "I don't know what's in the house. Oh, I want this. What a disaster." (Pause.) "He was right. I was wrong. And the burping." Durst burped multiple times during the interview. "I'm having difficulty with the question. What the hell did I do?" (Pause.) "Killed them all, of course."
The end credits then rolled without any mention of Saturday's arrest.