The Jinx: HBO Series About a Millionaire Murderer

Posted on February 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Copyright 2015 HBO
Copyright 2015 HBO
Robert Durst, heir to a vast fortune from New York real estate, has had a life has been punctuated by tragedy. When he was seven years old, his mother was killed when she fell off the roof of their home, a possible suicide. He says he saw it happen, but as with much of what he says, it is not clear whether that is true. The other tragic deaths around him may have been murders he committed, though he has only admitted to one and for that one he was found not guilty by a jury.

Durst’s beautiful young wife, a medical student, disappeared in 1982, and her body has never been found. Eighteen years later, the case was reopened but the key witness was murdered. That case has never been solved. In 2000, Durst moved to Texas and began dressing as a woman, apparently not to transition but just as a disguise. The following year, his neighbor in Texas, an elderly man named Morris Black, was murdered, cut into pieces, and thrown into the bay. Durst, who was later found to have the neighbor’s drivers license, was tried for murder. He acknowledged that he had In 2003, used a paring knife, two saws and an axe to dismember Black’s body before dumping his remains in Galveston Bay, but said he had killed the man in self-defense. The jury found him not guilty.

The Jinx” is a new HBO documentary series from director Andrew Jarecki (“Capturing the Friedmans”) about the strange and murderous, probably multi-murderous, life of Durst, who was played by Ryan Gosling in All Good Things, also from Jarecki, who spoke to me about making the film. “If people say, ‘Why did you have her do that?’ We can say, ‘It actually happened.’ If they say, ‘It isn’t realistic,’ I say, ‘It happened. What’s your definition of realistic?’”

“The Jinx” is Jarecki’s documentary version of the story, with first-time interviews of Durst and his brother. It premieres tonight, February 8, 2015.

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Crime Documentary Television