In the year 2015, the American public was gifted with tons of amazing documentaries which showed, in painstaking detail, some of the most absurd stories of our generation. But only one of these documentaries was so effective that it ignited public outrage and lead to a real-life indictment. You need to watch what I believe is the most outrageous and shocking documentary of 2015. Here are some reasons you need to watch HBO’s The Jinx.
ROBERT DURST HAS EVADED CHARGES IN 3 HOMICIDES
Either real estate heir Robert Durst is super unlucky, or he’s a serial murderer. The irony of this documentary’s title “The Jinx” is that most likely, he’s the latter. This HBO documentary does a fantastic job of documenting Robert Durst’s life from birth to present, sparing no detail or murder in between, and attempting to explain the psychology of one of America’s most notorious alleged serial murderers. Durst has been linked to one disappearance and two murders, but has never been brought to justice. Yep, you’ve read that right. Never.
THE OUTRAGEOUS MYSTERY SPANS 4 DECADES
The story begins when Durst’s wife Kathleen McCormack Durst disappears on the evening of January 31, 1982, never to be seen again. Durst has always been the primary suspect for her disappearance, due to the couple’s history of domestic violence, and McCormack’s confiding in her family members and friends that she was scared of Robert.
But, alas, the case went cold and Kathleen’s remains were never found.
The next shocking development in the Durst saga is the murder of Durst’s longtime friend Susan Berman, on December 24, 2000.
Back in 1982, when Durst’s wife disappeared, Berman took on the role of his spokesperson, and she helped him vehemently deny any involvement in Kathleen’s disappearance. Berman was the daughter of famous Las Vegas mobster David Berman, and she was allegedly the only person who knew for a fact what happened to Kathleen. The show speculates that she may have helped Durst dispose of the body.
When Berman’s career as an aspiring screenwriter in Hollywood didn’t get off the ground, she was in dire financial straights. It is popularly believed that Berman blackmailed Robert Durst with her knowledge about Kathleen’s disappearance in exchange for some money, and as a result, lost her life.
It is also worth noting that Berman was scheduled to do an interview about Kathleen’s disappearance the week after she was found dead. Yet again, there was not enough physical evidence to charge Durst, even when it was proven that Durst, a New Yorker, was also in California at the time of Berman’s murder.
Just when the story couldn’t get more scandalous or crazy, Durst went off the grid after Susan Berman’s body was found and was hiding out in the town of Galveston, Texas.
On October 9, 2001, the body of Morris Black was found in Galveston Bay. Black was Robert Durst’s neighbor in Galveston, and allegedly lost his life because he recognized then-fugitive Durst, and may have been blackmailing him. Durst was charged with this murder, but in a shocking twist, was acquitted after his expensive legal counsel convinced the jury it was self defense.
THE DOCUMENTARY MAKES A CRITICAL BREAK IN THE CASE
The slow burn of this documentary ignites and explodes when Robert Durst becomes involved in the production, and unknowingly incriminates himself. When the filmmakers of the documentary contacted Durst to be interviewed, he obliged. You’d think someone who has allegedly gotten away with three murders would keep to themselves, but Durst takes delight in his infamy. This very vanity leads to Durst’s downfall in the final minutes of the documentary.
When confronted with some damning evidence, a letter written in his handwriting to the Los Angeles Police Department announcing the death of Susan Berman, Durst starts uncontrollably burping. A lot has been made of this burping, and it has been lampooned widely. Was this a tell-tale sign that Durst’s past was bubbling up to the surface?
Then, the climax of the entire documentary occurs, and leads to an avalanche of real life implications. During a bathroom break on the set, Durst forgot he had a microphone on, and to himself in a stall he says, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
This statement, shown on the documentary, was enough in itself for Robert Durst to get arrested in connection with the murder of Susan Berman, to which he is still awaiting trial.
Better late than never!