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As jaw-dropping as Robert Durst’s “killed them all” confession at the end of HBO docuseries The Jinx was six years ago, the filmmaker behind the award-winning show says he wasn’t shocked when Durst was convicted Friday for the murder of his best friend Susan Berman.
“I can’t say I was surprised because if you watch the trial it was extraordinary,” Jarecki said in an interview on Good Morning America Monday. “Bob admits in the trial that he lied five times and perjured himself in this trial. He also admits that he lied in his prior trial. … You can’t be amazed by it, but at the same time it’s very gratifying because you also know this is a man who’s evaded justice for so long that all you can do is hope for the families of the victims that there are not going to be surprises.”
Durst’s wife, Kathie, disappeared in 1982. He denied killing her and has never been charged with a crime connected with her disappearance, but her body has never been found and she has been declared legally dead. Berman was shot dead in December 2000; she was prepared to tell police how she helped cover up Kathie’s death.
In The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Durst was confronted with incriminating evidence discovered over the course of filming and was caught talking to himself on a live microphone and saying, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
In the trial, Durst, who has said he regretted participating in the docuseries, claimed that his words were taken out of context, but Jarecki points out that the full audio around Durst’s “killed them all” comment disproves his theory.
“It’s pretty clear what he said. He says, ‘killed them all, of course.’ And then in court when he’s asked about it, he says, ‘Well, actually, didn’t hear the part right before that where I said, ‘They’ll think I killed them all, of course.” And then they play the actual recording, and he burps right before he says “killed them all, of course.” So there’s really no moment. … After this strange little burp, he says, “killed them all, of course.”
Durst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, less than 24 hours before The Jinx‘s finale aired, on a warrant for Berman’s murder. While the timing of Durst’s arrest was a shocking turn of events and may have spurred additional interest in the finale, Jarecki and his team have maintained it was merely a coincidence.
“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,” Jarecki said on GMA the day after the Jinx finale aired in 2015.
Jarecki made the rounds after the finale six years ago, and on what was then titled CBS This Morning when asked if he believes that Durst “killed them all,” Jarecki said, “I think that’s certainly what he says, and I have no reason to believe that that’s not the case.”
And speaking to The New York Times with producer Marc Smerling in 2015, the director went further, saying that while he didn’t have a clear opinion one way or the other on Durst’s guilt or innocence before he started working on the doc, “Our opinion now is that he’s guilty. We can’t say that from the standpoint of the law. We can just say that from the standpoint of our opinions.”
The Jinx went on to win two Emmys and a Peabody Award.
As for what’s next for Jarecki and his exploration of Durst’s story — he also directed the 2010 fictional film based on Durst’s life, All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst — the director told GMA on Monday, “I’m always filming all of this. It’s all fascinating to me. I don’t think the story of Bob is over. … But the bigger question is how did this happen and how did it take 40 years for there to be any accountability. That makes it a very interesting story going forward.”
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