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The Jinx: The life and deaths of Robert Durst

Jackie Merck, Staff writer

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Robert Durst is a 73-year-old man, who is the heir of a multimillion real estate company and the brother of Douglas Durst, the head of the Durst Company.

As a young man whose father, Seymour Durst, was a brilliant mind and businessman, Robert Durst lived in a rich house and grew up in Scarsdale, New York with his three siblings.

But Robert Durst in now currently in jail for the murder of Susan Berman, a famous author who wrote Easy Street, which told the story of her later-in-life discovery of her father’s relations to the mob.

This is also not the only crime that he may have committed, as he was also found to be related to the disappearance of his first wife in 1982, Kathleen McCormack Durst, and the murder of his neighbor in 2001, Morris Black, who he lived next to while he was on the run from the press when his wife’s case was reopened.

In the HBO documentary miniseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, written by Marc Smerling, Andrew Jarecki, and Zachary Stuart-Pontier, many of the details of this sordid case are revealed.

A Robert Durst mug shot.

A Robert Durst mug shot.

The miniseries ran on television from February 8th to March 15th, 2015 with 6 episodes.

The Jinx starts off telling the story of the murder and the court trial of Morris Black and then expands on it to talk about the other crimes that Robert Durst had been involved or connected to. The miniseries also includes interviews with a large number of people who were involved in the cases, such as family members of the victims, police investigators, detectives, and even Robert Durst himself, and includes their telling and memories of the various crimes that Robert was a part of.

As the documentary introduces more information about the cases, however, it also starts to reveal more about Robert Durst and his personality and how he may have been more involved in the murders and disappearances than what he says that he was.

The most interesting part of the show, however, is its telling of the court cases and how, even though sometimes a large amount of evidence was stacked against him, Robert Durst was able to get away with murder and how the court system was used in order to allow him to do so.

While this is in the same vein as other true crime documentaries, such as Making of a Murderer, the documentary uses this info to also show the viewer how Robert Durst’s financial position was able to help him get out of trouble with ease.

The documentary’s storytelling and use of the interviews that they were able to do provide a very ample amount of interesting information for the view to digest.

Accused murderer Robert Hurst with filmmaker Andrew Jarecki.

Accused murderer Robert Hurst with filmmaker Andrew Jarecki.

While some of this information is not very apparent in the beginning of the miniseries, the ending ties up all of the info in a clean package for people to understand and form their own opinions of the cases.

The writing and interviews, however, may be one of the only real shining parts of the documentary, as the camera work uses very strange angles and cuts, which may make sense in a storytelling and technical standpoint, that become very jarring to a casual viewer.

There is also a large amount of reused footage and retelling of events, which also causes the documentary to become somewhat of a drag to go through, but it is a well written experience that has some flaws, but the information that it provides makes the experience all the better.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is available on Youtube and on HBO’s official site.

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The Jinx: The life and deaths of Robert Durst