UPDATE: Robert Durst has officially been charged with first-degree murder in the 2000 death of Susan Berman. Durst will be eligible for the death penalty.
HBO’s true-crime documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst ended on Sunday night with an even bigger bang than its fans might have expected. On Saturday, March 14th, the subject of the show was arrested in New Orleans by the FBI on a first-degree murder warrant as a result of new evidence presented in the miniseries. And then, in the sixth and final installment of The Jinx, Durst seemed to confess to the three murders at the heart of the series. “What the hell did I do?” he was caught mumbling to himself on a live microphone as he went to the bathroom. “Killed them all, of course.”
Series director Andrew Jarecki appeared on Good Morning America Monday to discuss the strange turn of events that concluded the series. He says that the apparent confession wasn’t discovered for more than two years after it was recorded. When he finally had enough staff to go through the stray audio-only material, one of the editors turned up the recording.
“I sat there in the edit room with my partners Mark and Zach, and we just sort of shook our heads, Jarecki said (via Mediaite), recalling the discovery. “And it took a while to really understand the impact of it. It was so chilling to hear it. It was disturbing.”
While the timing of the arrest might seem suspiciously convenient with regards to the broadcast of the series finale, Jarecki insists that he and his team made no deals with the authorities. “Of course not,” he said. “We don’t have that kind of power. We’re not in charge of the arrest timing, and we had no idea of the arrest timing.
“In fact, we were very nervous about it,” he continued. “I was on the phone with our main contact in law enforcement at 4 o’clock in the morning two nights before, and I was saying, ‘I’m uncomfortable, I have security, my family’s uncomfortable, and I feel that this arrest should be made, but I understand that you need to what you need to do. But tell me where we are.’ I didn’t get any color on it.”
Jarecki also explained that his team had brought the evidence they gathered to law enforcement months ago, after they were able to get Durst in for a second interview where they confronted him with what they found.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Kirk Albanese also denied any connection between the arrest timing and the TV broadcast. “The HBO series had nothing to do with his arrest,” Albanese said. “We do police work based on the facts and evidence, not based on the HBO series. I know there’s lots of speculation about that. It had nothing to do with the show.”