What HBO Thinks About Robert Durst & His Arrest Shows The Network Has Both Reporting Chops & Public Influence
By now, you've heard the story of how real estate mogul Robert Durst, focus of HBO's The Jinx, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000. According to The New York Times, investigators in Los Angeles reopened the case after the producers of The Jinx contacted them, saying they had discovered new evidence while working on the series. Durst was found not guilty in 2001 of the murder of his neighbor, Morris Black, even though he admitted to dismembering Black and disposing of his body. And Durst's wife Kathleen is missing and presumed dead. Knowing all of this and having commissioned the show, what does HBO think about Durst's arrest?
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, the network praised the hard work by director Andrew Jarecki and producer Marc Smerling. HBO wrote:
We simply cannot say enough about the brilliant job that Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling did in producing 'The Jinx.' Years in the making, their thorough research and dogged reporting reignited interest in Robert Durst's story with the public and law enforcement.
Jarecki told the Los Angeles Times in an interview last month that he thought he knew what had actually happened in the mysterious deaths Durst was connected to, but that he wanted the audience to arrive at its own conclusions.
The Jinx is not the first time Jarecki has told Durst's story; it was the subject of the 2010 movie All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling as Durst. In fact, Jarecki told the Los Angeles Times that Durst reached out to him to participate in The Jinx after seeing All Good Things, even though it cast doubts on his innocence. Jarecki has a theory about why Durst would feel such a strong connection to All Good Things: the fact that he's "played by one of the most appealing actors in the history of the world, Ryan Gosling."
The final installation of The Jinx is set to air on HBO on Sunday night, and it will be fascinating to see if Jarecki and company make any predictions about Durst's ultimate fate. His family, for their part, is apparently glad Durst has been arrested, according to The New York Times. A statement from Douglas Durst, Durst's brother, read:
[The family is] relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted in the arrest of Robert Durst. We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done.
Durst's lawyer Chip Lewis said they would be waiving extradition, in order to get back to Los Angeles and fight the charges, The New York Times reported.
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