The Jinx is Up: Update on the Chilling. . .

Posted by Jessica Travis in Criminal Law Blog











 The Jinx is Up: Update on the Chilling Tale of Robert Durst

By Jessica Travis on Monday, August 12, 2015

It may seem a bit strange to mention the 2015 Emmy Awards nominations in an article forum dedicated to criminal law matters. However, the program acknowledging excellence in television broadcasting, which airs on September 20, will highlight the real life criminal story of billionaire murder suspect Robert Durst in this year’s recording. In events that appeared to be stranger than fiction, the 72 year-old real estate tycoon heir seemed to confess to murdering three victims over the past three decades.

In the HBO documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst”, directors Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling attempt to unravel the mysterious disappearance of Robert Dursts’ wife, who has been missing since 1982 and examine the murders of Roberts Durst’ elderly neighbor, Morris Black, and longtime friend, Susan Berman. While documenting the details and investigations behind these mysteries,

the team behind the documentary began to discover mounting evidence connecting Robert Durst to the murders of his friend, neighbor, and wife.

In the final episode of the six part series, he made a chilling statement to the camera, stating that he in fact, “[k]illed them all, of course.”

In the immediate days following the airing of the final episodes, the Los Angeles Police Department obtained a first-degree murder warrant for Durst’s arrest. He was then tracked down and found at a Marriot hotel, where he was questioned about the deaths and subsequently charged with the first-degree murder of Susan Berman. Susan Berman was found murdered by being shot in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home in 2000, days before she was planning to speak with authorities about Robert Durst’s connection to the disappearance of his wife. Although Robert Durst’s trial for the murder charge has not been set yet, he may be looking at the death penalty.
While the evidence is escalating against Robert Durst, thanks in great

part to the documentary, Durst has beaten a first-degree murder charge before. In fact, Durst was charged and tried for murdering his neighbor, Morris Black in Galveston, Texas back in 2001 after Black’s body was discovered dismembered, floating down the Galveston Bay. At trial, Durst claimed he shot and killed Black in self-defense, later mutilating his body and disposing of the parts in the river. With little evidence presented by the State to dismiss Durst’s self-defense claim, a jury acquitted the Durst of the murder.

Although Durst became a free man after beating the murder charge in Galveston, he now awaits trial for another first degree murder charge. Based on the evidence uncovered through the documentary series, the charge may be harder to beat this time. In a decision that still has

Durst’s legal team scratching their heads, he willing opted to be part of the documentary and even gave the filmmakers unrestricted access to his all his personal files. Among these files, the filmmakers uncovered a note that appeared to be written by Durst himself notifying the LA authorities about the murder of Susan Berman.

Along with the confessional made by Durst at the conclusion of the series, the evidence against Robert Durst is piling up. While it is uncertain which evidence will be used against the alleged killer and what strategy the prosecution will take, the media and the legal community will watch the fate of Mr. Durst unravel when his trial commences.

In the meantime, it is important to reflect on the legal aspect that brought these charges against Robert Durst. If Robert Durst had not opened himself up to the limelight and confessed on camera to a world of onlookers, he may not have been arrested and charged with the murder of Susan Berman. Your words and actions can be used against you in court of law. Therefore, if you are dealing with a criminal charge and have any questions about self-incrimination, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are being upheld under the law.

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