'Jinx' filmmakers debated when to share Robert Durst evidence with LAPD

Robert Durst volunteered for "The Jinx," which ultimately featured his confession. Photo courtesy of HBO
1 of 5 | Robert Durst volunteered for "The Jinx," which ultimately featured his confession. Photo courtesy of HBO

LOS ANGELES, April 19 (UPI) -- The Jinx Part Two, premiering Sunday on HBO, further explores the case of Robert Durst. Durst died in prison in 2022 awaiting trial for the murder of his wife, Kathleen, in 1982.

Durst was already convicted in 2021 of the 2000 murder of Susan Berman based on evidence uncovered in the first season of The Jinx.


Because the show was instrumental in charging and prosecuting Durst, the second season explores how director Andrew Jarecki and producer Zac Stuart-Pontier shared evidence with the Los Angeles Police Department.

"There was no version of this where we weren't going to bring the material to law enforcement even if it put the film at risk," Jarecki said in a Los Angeles press conference. "If there was ever going to be a murder trial, we thought Bob would be convicted based on that evidence."


That evidence included a note delivered to the Beverly Hills police with the word "cadaver" and address of Berman's body, plus a confession the Jinx production recorded.

Stuart-Pontier said Season 1 could have ended with the filmmakers "turning over the evidence to the LAPD" had they not captured Durst's confession. Stuart-Pontier said some footage of the filmmakers communicating with the LAPD was filmed for Part 1 but ended up being used in the new Part Two.

The "cadaver note" misspelled Beverly as "Beverley." The filmmakers found another note Durst had signed, which matched the handwriting on the "cadaver note" and also addressed it to "Beverley Hills."

In the season finale of The Jinx, Jarecki presented the two letters to Durst, By the time it aired on March 15, 2015, Jarecki had turned the evidence over to LAPD.

Police arrested Durst on March 14 before the finale aired on HBO.

Jarecki said he consulted prosecutor Marcia Clark for advice on how to handle the evidence obtained while filming.

Jarecki said Clark advised him to complete filming first. Were Jarecki to interview Durst after consulting LAPD, Clark warned defense lawyers could say he should have disclosed to Durst he was working with law enforcement.


Durst volunteered for The Jinx, Jarecki reminded reporters. Durst had seen Jarecki's fictional film All Good Things which was inspired by the death of Durst's first wife.

Berman was Durst's alibi when Kathleen went missing in 1982. In deposition, Durst admitted that Berman was going to cooperate with LAPD in 2000 when they wanted to question her again about Kathleen.

Durst was found not guilty in the 2003 death of his neighbor, Morris Black. In The Jinx, on an open microphone, Durst said, "killed them all of course."

"When Bob called me to begin with, he knew he had killed three people," Jarecki said. "He really thought to himself, 'I am being mistreated because I've never been convicted of murder.'"

The Jinx Part Two follows the trial and includes phone calls with Durst from prison. In addition to the conviction and second trial, before which Durst died, Jarecki said he was interested in exploring Durst and accomplices' justifications for their actions.

"When he died, I still felt sad even though I knew what happened to him had to happen," Jarecki said. "I maybe have an overdeveloped sense of empathy. I want to understand people who do bad things."


Jarecki said he tried to visit Durst in prison but Durst declined to see him. Yet, Stuart-Pontier said the production was able to hear Durst's reaction to Jarecki's visitation request.

"Later we get all his prison phone calls and he says, 'You'll never guess who came to see me today,'" Stuart-Pontier said.

Because the first season was instrumental in arresting and convicting Durst, Stuart-Pontier said Part Two has added complexity.

"It's almost like the whole story has folded onto itself," Stuart-Pontier said. "Part 1 is a character in Part Two."

The Jinx airs at 10 p.m. EDT Sundays.

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