“Jinx” creator Jarecki: Durst family could have helped prevent two murders

Filmmaker blames Durst Organization bosses for covering up evidence against Robert Durst

Andrew Jarecki, Robert Durst and Douglas Durst
From left: Andrew Jarecki, Robert Durst (credit: HBO) and Douglas Durst (credit: Adam Pincus)

Andrew Jarecki, the co-creator of the HBO docu-series “The Jinx” on accused murderer Robert Durst, said that by refusing to cooperate with authorities and share crucial information about Kathleen McCormack’s disappearance, Douglas Durst and his late father Seymour Durst share some responsibility in failing to prevent the deaths of two other individuals. 

“One could argue that had they done anything at the time to get any kind of version of the truth, then Bob might have gotten psychiatric help, might have been incarcerated or whatever, but two other people, Susan Berman and Morris Black, would not be murdered,” Jarecki said during an interview at the New Yorker Festival in Chelsea Friday night.  “This is a big issue. And that is I think one of the reasons why the Dursts are constantly threatening to sue me.”

Asked for a comment on Jarecki’s remarks, Durst spokesperson Jordan Barowitz told The Real Deal by email: “Mr. Jarecki can say anything he wants, but this is hogwash.”

Jarecki was referring to an episode chronicled in his Emmy-winning documentary series “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” which aired this spring.

In 1982, Seymour, patriarch of the Durst Organization, hired a crack private investigator to look into the disappearance of McCormack, Robert’s wife at the time. The investigator, Edward Wright, reported numerous inconsistencies in Robert’s account of the night of  her disappearance. But instead of sharing the findings, Jarecki claims, the Dursts kept the report private. Robert was never charged.

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In 2001 he killed his Texas neighbor Morris Black, but was acquitted after successfully claiming self-defense . “The Jinx” also unearthed damning evidence that Robert murdered his friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000. Following the airing of the series, Robert was arrested in Houston and is now facing murder charges in her death.

“I don’t think they imagined we would have a copy of this privileged document that was just their private information, but what it does tell us is that surely Seymour Durst and maybe others knew at the time of Kathie’s disappearance in 1982 that it was pretty clear Bob had killed her,” he said Friday.

“You could say, well, ‘would you really turn in your brother, or your son or your whatever,’ but I think it’s so clear that what they did was to close ranks.”

Jarecki has long had a contentious relationship with Douglas and the Durst Organization. The company refused to cooperate for the documentary and, according to Jarecki, threatened to sue over his 2010 movie “All Good Things,” a fictionalized account of Robert’s life.

Jarecki said the threat of a lawsuit made Robert, who also has a tense relationship with Douglas, eager to cooperate with the filmmakers. “I realized there was this brother-to-brother relationship that was going to be a very big thing and it was going to be a big motivator for Bob,” he said. “And I think that was really the thing that made him call me, and the lawsuit was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”