For those who watched the HBO’s “The Jinx: the Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” it’s hard to forget its final scene: The real estate heir/murder suspect, still wearing a mic from an interview scene, mutters to himself that he “killed them all, of course.”
The attorneys for Durst, soon to be on trial in Los Angeles for the murder of friend Susan Berman 19 years ago, now plan to challenge the six-episode documentary series, according to The New York Times.
Durst’s stunning remarks — “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” — apparently were put together out of order, according to the Times. Durst’s lawyers plan to use those edits, or what they say are “manipulations,” as part of Durst’s defense once the trial kicks off later this year. They also want all the evidence unearthed by the film to be thrown out.
The film’s documentarians, Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier, have defended their edits, according to the outlet.
But others also have raised issues. “The editing is problematic,” Mark Harris, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and a professor at the University of California, told the Times. “They put those lines together in a way that’s very damning. But it is definitely more ambiguous in the transcript.”
Durst’s lawyers also have said that the filmmakers and investigators coordinated their timing, as Durst was arrested as the final episode aired, according to the Times. Investigators said the timing was coincidence; Durst was arrested in New Orleans on weapons charges.
A year after the filmmakers finished interviewing Durst, they gave the raw footage of the interviews to investigators, the Times reported. The filmmakers said it was not until later that they discovered the shocking remarks.
Durst, 76, has been sitting in jail in Los Angeles for the past several years over the 2000 murder of one of his best friends, Berman, who was found with a gunshot wound in the back of her head. Authorities say he killed her over concerns that she would implicate him in the murder of his wife, Kathie, who disappeared in 1982. He has not been charged in that case but also has long been suspected of killing her.
Durst is son of Seymour Durst and the older brother of Douglas Durst, chairman of New York City, family-run real estate firm the Durst Organization. The brothers are estranged, and Douglas has said that he believes his brother plotted to kill him. Kathie’s sister, Carol Bamonte, recently filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging that Robert Durst murdered Kathie and that his family covered it up. [NYT] — Mary Diduch