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'The Jinx - The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst' on HBO

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Ken H, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    I saw all 6 episode of the HBO series The Jinx several years back & was extremely impressed. This is one of the best true crime documentaries I've ever seen; superb use of old archival footage & pictures, as well as new footage, etc. It appears the newer interview segments were filmed in HD - excellent picture quality here. I've never seen a bad or even average HBO production, and The Jinx is no exception - superb.

    I noticed that when RD was speaking specifically about the crimes he was accused of, he had a strange eye blink/twitch. Anyone else notice this? I'm not psychologist, but it seems that may have meant something. Not sure, though.

    I'm not surprised that he was deemed "innocent" in the Galveston case. His extreme wealth enabled him to hire an extremely expensive lawyer, and because of this he was able to get off scot-free - despite having obviously committed a heinous crime. If he had been poor, he would unquestionably have been convicted & spent the rest of his life in jail - if he hadn't gotten the d. penalty.

    Going along with this, I also feel that if Durst weren't wealthy, he would have been in jail years ago for the death(s) of his first wife & his "friend" in LA. Though they didn't have any real evidence against him at the time these happened, poor people have been convicted on a lot less.
     
  2. Message #122 of 132 Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Another bizarre twist.

    Excerpted from The New York Times

    The New York Times is reporting the producers of The Jinx significantly edited Robert Durst's comments at the end of the series. Rather than being consecutive, the last two sentences Durst is heard to say while off camera in the hotel bathroom where the interview took place (What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.), had been plucked from among the 20 in his rambling remarks, and were presented out of order.

    Mr. Durst’s lawyers are now preparing to cite those edits — they’ll call them manipulations — in an effort to cripple the prosecution as they get ready for the trial to begin in September. They are planning to call the documentary filmmakers as witnesses and to suggest that they cooperated so closely with the police that they became, in effect, “agents for law enforcement.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/arts/television/robert-durst-the-jinx.html
     
    Eric Meske likes this.
  3. Message #123 of 132 May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Latest updates.

    From Radar Online & inTouch Weekly
    A recent motion filed by Durst’s attorneys claim the two well-known handwriting samples, including the infamous “cadaver note”, were illegally obtained, as well as other various pieces of evidence surrounding his arrest in New Orleans in 2015. Durst’s counsel also claims there was a Fourth Amendment violation that would allow for the suppression of the New Orleans evidence and that the search of his hotel room in the French Quarter around the time of the arrest was unlawful.
    On May 8, 2019, LA County prosecutors filed an affidavit replying to the motion. LA County Prosecutor John Lewin said Durst stretches to paint a picture of an elaborate conspiracy between the producers of The Jinx, law enforcement officers, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – a conspiracy Durst alleges was conceived to trick "Defendant into incriminating himself and to time his arrest to maximize media attention and ratings". The prosecutor’s statement continued: “However, Defendant completely fails to acknowledge the most relevant fact leading to his arrest and the subsequent search of his hotel room and damning interview – law enforcement was on notice that Defendant was actively preparing to flee the country right after crucial evidence connecting him to Susan’s (Berman) murder was widely publicized on national television. When viewed in this context, it is readily apparent that the actions taken by law enforcement were more than reasonable – they were absolutely necessary to prevent a murderer, who had already avoided apprehension for more than 30 years, from fleeing the country and evading justice.”
    https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2019/05/prosecutors-slam-robert-durst-in-murder-trial-over-cadaver-note-the-jinx/
    https://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/robert-durst-and-attorneys-try-to-suppress-handwriting-evidence/

    From NY Daily News
    On May 17, 2019, LA County Judge Mark Windham granted Durst's defense team a four month postponement of his murder trial. The trial now has a new start date of Jan.13, 2020. The delay was granted after defense lawyers raised concerns about the volume of evidence in the case and conflicts with attorney schedules. Kathie Durst's brother Jim McCormack said he was disappointed by the trial delay and worried about Durst’s longevity. "I’m just hoping he’s still alive. Our family has been through hell.” Durst has battled esophageal cancer and a buildup of fluid on his brain in recent years and underwent a spinal fusion surgery.
    https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-robert-durst-trial-postponed-january-20190517-6ijauwsxn5bmxhdnibn3lpl5ny-story.html
     
  4. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think these two things can be true simultaneously:

    1. Durst is guilty as hell.

    2. Jarecki is a poor documentarian.
     
  6. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    From the Los Angeles Times

    Handwriting experts to testify about ‘cadaver’ note in Robert Durst’s murder trial

    By Alene Tchekmedyian, July 17, 2019

    A Superior Court judge will allow handwriting experts to testify during the upcoming murder trial of the eccentric real estate scion Robert Durst but will hold an evidentiary hearing to determine how many — and what they can say.

    Their testimony will center on an anonymous note mailed to Beverly Hills police around the time Susan Berman was killed in 2000 that listed her Benedict Canyon address above the word “cadaver.”

    The mysterious letter, written by hand in block lettering, was postmarked the day before Berman’s body was found in her home with a bullet through the back of her head.

    It was a key piece of evidence that ultimately led investigators to Durst, who prosecutors have argued was trying to prevent Berman from reporting what she knew about Durst’s involvement in the 1982 disappearance in New York of his wife, Kathleen.

    L.A. County Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham will allow prosecutors to call at least two experts who concluded that Durst was probably the author of the so-called cadaver note, but he wants them to explain the studies and science they relied on to form their conclusions to decide what is admissible .

    Windham also decided to exclude the analysis of a Los Angeles Police Department handwriting expert who formed conflicting conclusions about who wrote the note within a two-year time frame, and his supervisor, who later admitted that she rubber- stamped his initial report without reading it.

    In February 2001, the LAPD’s William Leaver concluded it was “highly probable” that the cadaver note was written by Berman’s manager, Nyle Brenner. Several months later, in October, Durst was added to the mix, but there was no definitive conclusion.

    “At this point with the limited [exemplars] on Durst, there are more similarities w/Brenner. Need more,” Leaver wrote, according to a defense court filing.

    Investigators soon traveled to Galveston, Texas, to get additional writing samples from Durst. After reviewing those extra samples, prosecutors said, Leaver concluded the following June that Durst probably wrote the note.

    Faced with contradicting theories, Leaver quickly followed his analysis of Durst’s writing with a conclusion that it was now “highly probable” that Brenner had not written the missive to police.

    Windham called Leaver’s conclusion “garbage” and said “it’s truly shocking” that the supervisor signed off on his report without a thorough review.

    It was their disjointed analysis that defense attorneys cited when they sought to block handwriting analysis from the trial, calling it “junk science.” After the hearing, they would not comment on whether Durst was the author of the note.

    The two experts whom prosecutors plan to call during the trial reviewed the case with far more writing samples than Leaver had. Neither knew about Leaver’s analyses or errors and both pointed the finger at Durst, prosecutors said.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-07-17/robert-durst-cadaver-note-murder-trial
     
  7. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely.
     
  8. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    I keep coming back to the same things.

    Short of Durst confessing, which is highly unlikely, I don’t think it will ever be known what really happened. Durst is most likely responsible for all three murders, a variety of felony crimes, and perhaps additional unknown capital crimes.

    The problem is, will there be enough convincing evidence for judge and jury to disregard how The Jinx affected the LA County Prosecutor's decision to indict Durst for Berman's murder?

    After seeing how effective Durst's defense team was in the Morris Black trial, and the type of motions they have filed in this case, it's clear they can call into serious question all the known evidence. The fact an LAPD handwriting expert flip-flopped on who wrote “the cadaver note” will be pounded into the trial.

    Durst will admit the unthinkable, again; the defense team will have him admit he wrote “the cadaver note”. The story will be he went to visit her, found her dead, and wrote the note. He knew he would be suspected but wanted his long time friend to be buried in a timely manner according to Jewish law.

    I don’t believe the known evidence is enough to convict Durst. The discovery part of the case is complete (I think) and everything is on the table for trial, including the fact there are no witnesses, no DNA, no fingerprints, no murder weapon. Nothing.

    At one point after realizing this, I thought the prosecution must have other evidence not yet known. Especially considering that lead prosecutor John Lewin made his name in cold cases.

    I wonder now if Lewin is so convinced Durst is guilty that he believed his own press clippings? I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
     
  9. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    From The New York Post

    Lawsuit accusing Robert Durst of killing his wife thrown out

    By Lia Eustachewich, August 7, 2019

    The wrongful-death lawsuit against Robert Durst accusing him of murdering his wife Kathie in the 1980s has been dismissed.

    Carol Bamonte waited too long to file the suit against her sister’s alleged killer, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Goetz ruled Tuesday.

    Kathie mysteriously disappeared in 1982. Her body has never been found — but an appeals court previously ruled that her date of death is Jan. 31, 1982.

    Under the statute of limitations, Bamonte had two years to sue the kooky real estate scion, whom she accused in her March complaint of killing Kathie because she planned to expose the wealthy family’s illegal business dealings.

    Bamonte and her lawyer argued for an exception to the statute of limitations, noting that Durst was charged in the 2000 murder of his longtime confidant Susan Berman in California — and that her death was the direct result of Kathie’s.

    Prosecutors in the Golden State believe Durst killed Berman to prevent her from going to authorities with information on Kathie’s death.

    But Goetz decided that the two cases have nothing to do with one another.

    “The California criminal action and this action for wrongful death clearly arise from different events,” Goetz wrote.

    He said an exception to the statute of limitations could apply — but only if Durst is criminally charged with Kathie’s murder.

    “We are disappointed but remain encouraged that Robert Durst will eventually be charged and convicted for Kathie’s murder in New York state,” said Bamonte’s lawyer Robert Abrams. “Sometimes it takes four decades to secure justice for a murder victim and her family.”

    The 76-year-old oddball heir to the Durst Organization is currently behind bars, awaiting trial in California.

    He was arrested in 2015 shortly after the HBO documentary “The Jinx” aired in which he was caught on a hot mic muttering to himself, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

    In 2003, Durst was acquitted in the murder of his neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas — despite admitting to chopping up Black’s body and tossing the parts into a nearby bay. His lawyers said he acted in self-defense.

    Durst’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a message.

    https://nypost.com/2019/08/07/lawsuit-accusing-robert-durst-of-killing-his-wife-thrown-out/
     
  11. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    From Reuters
    August 9, 2019

    Robert Durst's attorneys take aim at filmmakers behind 'The Jinx' in murder case
    LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for real estate scion Robert Durst, charged in Los Angeles with murdering his confidante Susan Berman in 2000, have asked a judge to declare that prosecutors had a very close working relationship with filmmakers behind an HBO documentary series who uncovered key evidence in the case.

    Durst’s attorneys on July 31 filed legal papers, which have not been publicly disclosed but were seen by Reuters, asking a judge to rule that the filmmakers are not entitled to legal rights that shield journalists from having to reveal their sources and information.

    Without such protections, the filmmakers could be forced to disclose information they came across in filming “The Jinx” to Durst’s attorneys that could aid in his defense, legal experts said.

    The legal papers filed by Durst’s attorneys do not seek to suppress any evidence uncovered for “The Jinx” that could be used at trial, saying they were not at this point asserting the collaboration between filmmakers and prosecutors violated his constitutional rights.

    Durst, 76, the multimillionaire grandson of a New York real estate tycoon, has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

    The filmmakers, according to the defense motion, “consulted, coordinated and collaborated” with authorities as far back as 2011 – four years before the documentary aired. They presented prosecutors with a PowerPoint presentation of their findings before Durst was arrested in 2015 and charged with murdering Berman, it said.

    “‘The Jinx’ was not the work of journalists,” Durst’s attorneys wrote in the motion. “It was ratings-seeking filmmakers engaging in police work.”

    Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, in an email would not discuss the motion in detail. “I decline to publicly discuss our strategy,” he said

    Victor Kovner, an attorney representing “The Jinx” director Andrew Jarecki, said the filmmakers reached out to authorities as responsible citizens only after they finished all their interviews because they had discovered evidence.

    “At no time did any of the journalists receive or respond in any way to any direction by the prosecution, and we’ll be making that clear in (court) papers that will be public in a couple weeks,” Kovner said in a phone interview

    A spokesman for prosecutors declined to discuss the motion, saying in an email that any response would come in the form of their own court filing.

    The motion from Durst’s attorneys is among the issues expected to be discussed at a court hearing on Sept. 3.

    HOT MIC STATEMENT
    Authorities arrested Durst in New Orleans on March 14, 2015, one day before the airing of the finale of “The Jinx” in which Durst could be heard muttering to himself off-camera in the bathroom, “There it is, you’re caught” and “Killed them all, of course,” after the filmmakers confronted him with potential evidence. Prosecutors contended he killed Berman because she knew too much about the 1982 disappearance of his wife.

    Although the legal papers filed by Durst’s attorneys do not seek to suppress any evidence uncovered for “The Jinx” that could be used at trial, criminal defense experts said suppressing evidence, such as Durst’s hot mic statements, may be the attorneys’ ultimate strategy.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Windham, at a hearing last year in which he ordered Durst to stand trial on a charge of murdering Berman, said of the hot mic recording, “without explanation from the defendant, it operates as a succinct confession.”

    The judge would be unlikely to agree to suppress evidence from “The Jinx” if defense attorneys requested it be excluded from the trial, legal experts said.

    “The fact that they (the filmmakers) had a recording which they got, there’s nothing wrong with sharing that with law enforcement, it’s evidence in a murder case,” said Steve Cron, a defense attorney not associated with the case and a university lecturer.

    But Durst’s attorneys, if they succeed in their goal of having a judge require the filmmakers share information, could discover evidence that helps their case, legal experts said.

    “It enables them to do discovery work and uncover the entire scope of what (the filmmakers) did and perhaps they could find some misconduct,” said Dmitry Gorin, another defense attorney not associated with the case and a university lecturer.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-durst-exclusive/exclusive-robert-dursts-attorneys-take-aim-at-filmmakers-behind-the-jinx-in-murder-case-idUSKCN1V000B
     
  12. Ken H

    Ken H Stunt Coordinator

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    NBC's Dateline did an hour last night on Durst and the upcoming trial. Basically a rehash, but they did have unseen footage of some of the conditional testimony collected by John Lewin, the Los Angeles DA in charge of the case. The major items of interest were one of Durst's friends saying Durst told them he was in LA at the time of the Susan Berman murder, and another saying Durst told him 'it was her (Berman) or me'.
     

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