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The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst

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The show takes its time, but I'm not minding it.

 

I'm going to try to see if Durst blinks after every lie. Anytime someone says, "I have no idea what happened to her" they are lying. I watch too many of these shows. Wasn't he throwing out Kathy's stuff in the last episode? Don't you keep her stuff for awhile if she's still missing?

 

Random thought:  the opening titles are blatantly trying to rip off True Detective.

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Scott Glenn = perfect Bob casting

 

I don't mind this show taking its time. Still not completely won over to the flashback/reenactments; the getting shot/falling down one from this episode brought me up short. On the other hand, I like the representation of the crime scenes (Berman's rental house/apartment was interesting). Still intrigued, but what's really irritating me now is having to see Jarecki during the interviews. This is one of my documentary pet peeves. Actually, it makes me want to put quotes around documentary, because, in my mind at least, serious documentarians (think Errol Morris) don't put themselves on camera. Why do I need to see you, Jarecki? You remind me too much of goatee-era TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, and that's distracting, not to mention that it reeks of vanity/ego. Did he put himself on camera in Capturing the Friedmans? I can't remember; if he did, it didn't bother me in that project. In this one, however, it really irks.

I like that theory. When Vanity Fair Confidential featured Durst's story last month, one intriguing fact about the Texas guy was recently uncovered:

turns out he worked for the Durst Organization at the time Kathie was murdered.

Wow, chilling. Wonder if it'll come up later in the series.

 

Speaking to the MetroNorth train discussion from last episode, I noticed the interior train shots from this one were correctly vintage.

 

 

WHO SAYS "BODY PARTS"??? Wouldn't you say, "A body"???

 

Ha! Exactly.

Edited by spaceghostess
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[W]hat's really irritating me now is having to see Jarecki during the interviews. This is one of my documentary pet peeves. Actually, it makes me want to put quotes around documentary, because, in my mind at least, serious documentarians (think Errol Morris) don't put themselves on camera. Why do I need to see you, Jarecki? You remind me too much of goatee-era TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, and that's distracting, not to mention that it reeks of vanity/ego. Did he put himself on camera in Capturing the Friedmans? I can't remember; if he did, it didn't bother me in that project. In this one, however, it really irks.

 

Yeah, seeing that guy really bothers me. I start wondering, "who should play him in the Saturday Night Live parody?" and suddenly I've missed whatever Durst is blinking about now.

 

Bill Hader could've been a good Durst.

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Scott Glenn = perfect Bob casting

 

I don't mind this show taking its time. Still not completely won over to the flashback/reenactments; the getting shot/falling down one from this episode brought me up short. On the other hand, I like the representation of the crime scenes (Berman's rental house/apartment was interesting). Still intrigued, but what's really irritating me now is having to see Jarecki during the interviews. This is one of my documentary pet peeves. Actually, it makes me want to put quotes around documentary, because, in my mind at least, serious documentarians (think Errol Morris) don't put themselves on camera. Why do I need to see you, Jarecki? You remind me too much of goatee-era TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, and that's distracting, not to mention that it reeks of vanity/ego. Did he put himself on camera in Capturing the Friedmans? I can't remember; if he did, it didn't bother me in that project. In this one, however, it really irks.

 

I don't really recall a good argument for my total dislike of Jarecki but it's real.  first of all, any attempt to humanize piles of shit don't just strike me as naive or misguided but deeply narcissistic. But what throws me with Jarecki is whether he's actually trying to do that or lure Durst by seeming impressionable/favourably biased. OK, so if Jarecki does use this posture as sociopath-bait, I get that, but it also strikes me as grandiose and, again, as the voyeur's way of exposing himself: So, yes, agreed. It is suspect that Jarecki needs to be on camera. 

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I totally get giving the side eye to Jarecki for featuring himself but kudos to him for getting this show done. I watched "All Good Things" and thought it was great. This is so much more than that. From start to finish, this situation is FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition for those who don't know). One question, if it was previously a missing persons case, and the police are now watching this and now they know that Durst lied to get them to leave him alone, can they reopen it as a homicide? Thoughts?

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I keep forgetting that this documentary began with revealing that Durst was crossdressing/disguised as a woman before killing Black. Not that that is the most disturbing thing about Durst's story but does anyone know what reason he gives for the disguise?

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Goodness, this show is like watching a train wreck in slow motion spread out over 30 years. I still do not understand how the legal system has let this guy slip through not once, not twice, but three times. And who knows how many more? I just don't get it. No one thought to confirm the doorman/dean calls? No one thought to check where Durst was when Berman was murdered? I just do NOT get it.

 

I told my husband when we watched this episode that it's like watching Serial on TV but with a totally different twist. There's no question this guy is guilty (to me, at least)--the mystery is how the hell he's gotten away with it for so long.

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I just don't get it. No one thought to confirm the doorman/dean calls? No one thought to check where Durst was when Berman was murdered? I just do NOT get it.

That's what confounds me about the title of the series. It shouldn't be called Jinxed, it should be called, LUCKY.

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That's what confounds me about the title of the series. It shouldn't be called Jinxed, it should be called, LUCKY.

 

It's called The Jinx—as in "steer well clear of this guy."

Edited by editorgrrl
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And while we're at it, can we talk about the use of the word "cadaver" in the note re Susan Berman? Talk about dehumanizing someone...

It was the use of this word that made me think the police were incorrect in their assessment that it meant it was sent by someone who cared about Susan and wanted her found before she decomposed. It makes more sense to me that it was someone who wanted to make sure she was discovered so he could enjoy the media circus as soon as possible. (or maybe, due to some of the early speculation, to prove to his client that the deed was done). I read too many mysteries...

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I had never heard of the Dursts, so this is all wtf for me, and I'm hooked.

 

I'm troubled that Durst's voice and accent remind me of Burt Wolf, the travel show guy. Burt seems like a nice person so I hope I don't start thinking of him as a murderer on the lamb.  At the same time, I keep hearing Burt when Durst talks, so I keep expecting him to tell me about the best place to get ribs in Texas.

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It's called The Jinx—as in "steer well clear of this guy."

Yep. I believe when Durst was talking about how Kathy changed after he made her get an abortion, he stressed how much he didn't want children because he'd be an awful dad. He said he'd jinx any kids he had. I dare say, he may have been correct in this assessment.

As far as the blinking goes...I find he does pretty regularly. But when I think he's lying, like when he was describing when Kathy got on the train to NY, he diverts his eyes downward at an angle, which I believe I read was the mark of a liar. Honestly, at this point, why does he even lie? I feel like he could just come out with it and still wouldn't go to jail. American justice, my foot.

 

Also, the whole mention of the Pine Barrens made me think of the Sopranos. I wonder if the Russian "Interior Designer" is still stuck up in a tree there.

Edited by myname2use4now
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Hm. To me, the dramatic tension doesn't come from "did he do it?"-- oh, he so obviously did-- but "Is he acting up a storm or has he talked himself into his own bullshit?"

Dude, this is right on.  And I'm gonna go one further and say that not only does Durst's innocence not even matter, his belief in his own innocence is also weirdly irrelevant.  I think that's why Jarecki's presence in the doc is so disconcerting. Like a fuck-you shared exhibitionism. Two perverts staging a conversation around real crimes without a real criminal. Because that's not what's at stake anymore.  This leads me to believe that the remaining object in question is who is willing to keep watching. Me. Totally.

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"Goodness, this show is like watching a train wreck in slow motion spread out over 30 years. I still do not understand how the legal system has let this guy slip through not once, not twice, but three times. And who knows how many more? I just don't get it. No one thought to confirm the doorman/dean calls? No one thought to check where Durst was when Berman was murdered? I just do NOT get it."

 

 

I've got an answer for you: Money. Money. & Money. 

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I keep going back to Durst's friendship/mentorship/whatever the hell with Susan Berman's common-law stepson. Can't figure out if this guy is a remarkably bad judge of character or just super-shady. His padding of the college tuition numbers indicates he's a class-A opportunist, at the very least (even though Durst only covered half, heh.) But the whole thing about Durst not showing up that time...what an odd reaction, like: "Arrested for murder again? [chuckle, chuckle] That's just so 'Bob'!"

 

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I am fairly proficient in Spanish, and decided to practice by watching this episode on HBOLE today. The actor that dubs Durst absolutely fuckin' nails it. I highly encourage those who can to check it out-- the rhetorical resemblance is uncanny.

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His padding of the college tuition numbers indicates he's a class-A opportunist, at the very least (even though Durst only covered half, heh.)

Agreed. And while Durst may be able to outrun the law, he's not going to be able to outrun the Grim Reaper. Stepson knows that and I'm sure he's hoping by continuing to buddy up to Durst, Durst will remember him kindly in his will.

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OK - you've all sent me off to watch "The Staircase".  I'm 3 1/2 hours into it. Comparing and contrasting Michael Peterson with Robert Durst.  Peterson - not guilty.  Durst - OMG, how did this guy not get charged?  How?

 

I'm from Durham originally and I called Mom and Dad to ask them what they remember about the Peterson case.  They didn't know the Petersons but Dad has a couple of mutual friends.  Put it this way - none of Michael Peterson's friends or family have hired bodyguards now that he's out of jail awaiting a new trial.  

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Robert Durst goes on trial in 2003 in Texas for the murder of his neighbor, Morris Black, but the defendant's legal team comes up with an unusual plea.

 

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Also, the whole mention of the Pine Barrens made me think of the Sopranos. I wonder if the Russian "Interior Designer" is still stuck up in a tree there.

 

Anytime I hear The Barrens, I think of IT.

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Ok, so did I make up that moment in the interview when Jarecki asks why he shaves his eyebrows and Durst almost trips up and says "to look more like a wom -  or something of the sort?

Jarecki: Did you shave your eyebrows?

Durst: Everything.

Jarecki: Why?

Durst: It looked more like a - less like me.

It almost sounded like he started a "w" sound, but I think he was just dragging out his vocal while his thought was changing from "a" (pronounced "uh") to "less". 

 

 

Scott Glenn = perfect Bob casting

 

 

Yeah, seeing that guy really bothers me. I start wondering, "who should play him in the Saturday Night Live parody?" and suddenly I've missed whatever Durst is blinking about now.

 

Bill Hader could've been a good Durst.

Gilbert Gottfried. Face, voice, accent/inflection, even the Tourettes-like squint/tic. Just change the hair.

Edited by Lone Wolf
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Yep. I believe when Durst was talking about how Kathy changed after he made her get an abortion, he stressed how much he didn't want children because he'd be an awful dad. He said he'd jinx any kids he had. I dare say, he may have been correct in this assessment.

Also, the whole mention of the Pine Barrens made me think of the Sopranos. I wonder if the Russian "Interior Designer" is still stuck up in a tree there.

Interior Decorator.

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As far as the blinking goes...I find he does pretty regularly.

I think this guy is lying with every word he speaks but I don't give too much credence to the blinking because I get the impression this guy is heavily medicated.  I don't know for sure but his speech and facial ticks reminds me of someone who is likely on some pretty stong antipsychotics.  He's obviously off in a lot of ways but I think some of his mannerisms are due to strong medication. 

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I might be giving Seymour a little too much credit, but I thought maybe he brought little Robert to the window so Mom would see him and decide not to jump. An attempt to give her something to live for.

Actually, my suspicion was correct about that story: not only was Durst not awoken by his father to see his mother on the roof, it turns out Durst wasn't even in the house that night, according to his brother.

Douglas told me that Robert was not at the family’s house on the night in 1950 when Bernice Durst died, but rather at a neighbor’s house, along with Douglas and two other siblings.

http://nypost.com/2015/02/05/the-durst-case-scenario-for-hbos-new-documentary/

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Seriously.  I don't know where this is going, although Jarecki has promised a resolution of sorts, but no way I'm missing the last two episodes.  It's not often you see a (most likely) sociopath being interviewed. 

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Great episode. I was riveted when I followed this on CourtTV. He is guilty of at least manslaughter, but I understand why he was found not guilty. I've read interviews with the jurors, and just going by what was reported on the trial, the prosecution did not prove their case. His defense stuck to the same story from day one, which the jurors appreciated, while the prosecution had a "throw everything to the wall and see what sticks" kind of case. If I was on that jury, I wouldn't have convicted based on that case and that evidence either, since you convict based on what was presented at trial, not your gut feelings. But those last five miniutes, what the hell was that about? We're they talking about his present lawyers or his trial lawyers? Are they paranoid of perjury? It was so weird!

Edited by Mindy McIndy
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So am I to expect Bob Durst, the Bob Durst who found even Kathie's family beneath him, befriended a crotchety, poor loner like Morris Black and suddenly they were like two bestest buddies who hung out together watching Wall Street Week (I'm sure Morris Black never missed that show) and grabbing coffees at the corner store? And he felt comfortable enough with his chum Morris Black to tell him about his mute-lady disguise only to have Black, who would yell at random strangers for smoking on their own property, think that was totally normal and cool? That's a level of WTF-ery that cannot even be measured by modern science.

 

Jarecki's "let's take a break" moment seemed pretty staged but the aftermath was worth the stagecraft of it all.

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Whenever the PA office think they have a "slam dunk" you know they are going to lose.  Why did they only charge him with 1st degree murder and nothing else?  Cocky much?  They have no one to blame but themselves for being so short sighted as not to know that Bob Durst has MILLIONS of Dollars to spend for a defense.  I just don't get them thinking they had in the bag.  Lazy lazy work done on the PAs part.

 

The defense team did a great job.  They did exactly what they were suppose to do.  There was no evidence of 1st degree murder.  Manslaughter maybe but nothing suggested he planned on killing Morris.  I think the PA figured the jury would be so shocked at what Bob did to the body that they would convict him. 

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The end of this episode (when Durst was talking to himself & then the lawyer) was haunting.

Slightly O/T but does anyone happen to know where in New Orleans Durst's apartment was? I keep reading in articles he rented a small apartment in NO near Tulane University, which is where I did my undergrad. Some articles give the landlord's name but I can't find anything specific as far as the street/block it was on. I'd just be interested to find out if anyone knows where it was since I was attending Tulane around the time he had the apartment in NO & I also lived near the university.

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So am I to expect Bob Durst, the Bob Durst who found even Kathie's family beneath him, befriended a crotchety, poor loner like Morris Black and suddenly they were like two bestest buddies who hung out together watching Wall Street Week (I'm sure Morris Black never missed that show) and grabbing coffees at the corner store? And he felt comfortable enough with his chum Morris Black to tell him about his mute-lady disguise only to have Black, who would yell at random strangers for smoking on their own property, think that was totally normal and cool? That's a level of WTF-ery that cannot even be measured by modern science.

 

Jarecki's "let's take a break" moment seemed pretty staged but the aftermath was worth the stagecraft of it all.

Plus one to all of the above.

 

Whenever the PA office think they have a "slam dunk" you know they are going to lose.  Why did they only charge him with 1st degree murder and nothing else?  Cocky much?  They have no one to blame but themselves for being so short sighted as not to know that Bob Durst has MILLIONS of Dollars to spend for a defense.  I just don't get them thinking they had in the bag.  Lazy lazy work done on the PAs part.

 

The defense team did a great job.  They did exactly what they were suppose to do.  There was no evidence of 1st degree murder.  Manslaughter maybe but nothing suggested he planned on killing Morris.  I think the PA figured the jury would be so shocked at what Bob did to the body that they would convict him. 

Seriously. Although I did really feel for that detective (?) when he started to cry. I wonder how much input someone like he had in crafting the case to present. I totally agree that the PAs thought the shocking nature of the dismemberment alone would win for them.

 

I wonder why they didn't bring up the missing head and how it was obviously cut out of the bag? 

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Seriously. Although I did really feel for that detective (?) when he started to cry. I wonder how much input someone like he had in crafting the case to present. I totally agree that the PAs thought the shocking nature of the dismemberment alone would win for them.

I felt bad for him too. He did his damnedest in that investigation, and tried to get justice for Morris Black and put Durst behind bars. It's not his fault that the prosecution overshot with the charges and completely botched the case. He did his part, and it wasn't his fault. I remember him from when the case was going on, and he seemed like a pretty solid guy. I can see how that can really mess with your head, even all of these years later.

 

The thing with the missing head was quite strange. But with the bodies in the bags, with no weights attached to them, him not paying attention to when the tides came in and out, kind of showed that Durst was no criminal genius in this instance. That's why I can totally see this as a manslaughter and panic situation. And why I think he had help with killing/disposing of Kathy, likely the help of his own family. Durst is smart, and he likes to think he's the smartest guy in the room, but I don't think he's a genius. I think there are a lot of skeletons in the Durst family closet, and that they helped him out when his divorce was going south and he didn't have a pre-nup. Still not convinced he had Susan Berman killed though.

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The thing with the missing head was quite strange. But with the bodies in the bags, with no weights attached to them, him not paying attention to when the tides came in and out, kind of showed that Durst was no criminal genius in this instance.

No, he sure wasn't. And I would bet a million dollars that his lawyer advised him to go back and get that head/evidence. 

 

And MAYBE I could chalk up the murder to some panic situation -- if it had been anyone other than Durst. He is a pathological liar. He had no relationship with Black, neighbors heard TWO gunshots that day -- one that Durst ascribed to Black "shooting his eviction notice" the day before (oddly enough no one heard that gunshot) not to mention that Durst had a habit of having inconvenient people in his life (Kathie, Susan) end up murdered. His own brother was quoted recently as saying he is afraid that Robert would kill him if he had the chance. (Unlikely since the brother employs round-the-clock bodyguards.)

 

While the prosecution may have failed to present a case to a jury that resulted in a conviction, that doesn't mean Durst is an innocent man. He is only legally "not guilty."

 

I am also a little surprised that this documentary (series?) failed to mention that Durst plead to evidence tampering and did time post murder trial. He was sentenced to five years, given credit for time served, and was out in two years, I believe. He was then re-incarcerated after he violated probation when he went back to the boarding house the murder had been committed in.

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Durst's "I told the truth, and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth" rap reminded me of OJ Simpson's book, "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer". They both effectively admitted to murder and both got away with it. Payback ultimately caught up with OJ; it will be interesting to see if karma, fate, God, or whatever you believe in is finished with Durst.

Nice to finally hear "Galveston" over the ending credits - that song has become an earworm for me every time the city's been mentioned.

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But those last five miniutes, what the hell was that about? We're they talking about his present lawyers or his trial lawyers? Are they paranoid of perjury? It was so weird!

 

They were talking about his trial lawyers, Jarecki mentioned Dick DeGuerin by name.

 

Since there are still two more episodes, I imagine that they will deal with his subsequent arrests and time spent in jail during those two episodes.

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Jarecki's "let's take a break" moment seemed pretty staged but the aftermath was worth the stagecraft of it all.

Oh, totally staged. 

Makes me wonder-- was Bob muttering to himself between takes like that all through the shoot? If so-- kudos to the set-up. 

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And why I think he had help with killing/disposing of Kathy, likely the help of his own family.

 

Hmm so far given what Jarecki has set up and implied it seems like Susan's mob connections were far more likely. His family clearly helped him after the fact and closed ranks though, since the other not Douglas brother told their dad to STFU when talking to Kathie's friends/family.

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so far given what Jarecki has set up and implied it seems like Susan's mob connections were far more likely.

 

Susan's dad died when she was 12, her mother a year or two later, by the time Kathy died her "mob connections" were basically a self-aggranized mythology designed to help her sell a memoir.

 

I don't think anyone needed to help Durst cover up Kathy's death, the difference was basically an amazingly sloppy NYC investigation, the fact that there were competing jurisdications because no one knew if/when/where an actual crime had been committed or if she had just run off; versus the fact he most likely literally believed that no one would give a shit about a missing Black versus Kathy's friends and family and that he still had a cover story going where he was a female deaf mute and had already gotten away with murder twice so he thought he was invinceable.

Edited by biakbiak
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I don't think anyone needed to help Durst cover up Kathy's death, the difference was basically an amazingly sloppy NYC investigation, the fact that there were competing jurisdications because no one knew if/when/where an actual crime had been committed or if she had just run off; versus the fact he most likely literally believed that no one would give a shit about a missing Black versus Kathy's friends and family and that he still had a cover story going where he was a female deaf mute and had already gotten away with murder twice so he thought he was invinceable.

And the Durst family was local (NYC) and, I'm sure, significantly influential and powerful.

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