Real estate millionaire Robert Durst had it all – money, power, and privilege. But behind closed doors, the New York-born heir-turned-murder suspect was a sinister character.
In true crime net Investigation Discovery’s latest installment of its ‘Murder Mystery’ franchise, produced by American Media and Jupiter Entertainment, Robert Durst: An ID Murder Mystery will delve into the twisted world of one of New York’s most infamous real estate heirs.
The two-part special will examine the decades-long saga surrounding Durst, from the suspicious disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen, to the savage murder of his friend, Susan Berman, and finally the brutal killing of his neighbor, Morris Black.
Allison Wallach, Tim McConville, David Pecker, and Dylan Howard serve as executive producers. For Investigation Discovery, Pamela Deutsch is senior executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry S. Schleiff is group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.
Robert Durst: An ID Murder Mystery premieres today (Jan. 21) and Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Investigation Discovery.
Realscreen spoke with ID’s Pamela Deutsch ahead of the premiere of the special to learn more about the project.
Why did you choose to spotlight the Robert Durst case for ID’s ‘Murder Mystery’ franchise?
Robert Durst’s story was a natural fit for the ID ‘Murder Mystery’ series. It’s big, twisted and full of intrigue. It has played out over the course of many years. In some ways, Durst is the gift to true crime that keeps on giving. I’ve covered this story before at ID, but the story continues to evolve in very compelling ways. On the eve of his trial for the murder of Susan Berman, there are still loads of unanswered questions, so it made sense to re-examine the story based on what we now know.
What are you trying to convey through this special?
We are really hoping to provide a soup to nuts version of this unbelievable story and give our audience the most up-to-date information on the case. In many ways, this story picked up steam after new revelations made in 2015 led to Durst’s arrest in New Orleans. The fate of Kathy Durst remains a great mystery, and through new information, we hope to shed light on how all these murders are connected, and what might have motivated Durst’s actions.
The Robert Durst case was profiled in the 2015 HBO true crime series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. What does Robert Durst: An ID Murder Mystery bring to the table that hasn’t been done before?
In many ways, our story picks up where The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst left off. Much has happened since that fateful moment when after uttering those words “killed them all of course” and Durst was arrested for the murder of Susan Berman. We hope to answer lingering questions and present some new theories that very much call into question the verdict of the Morris Black trial. Finally, we introduce compelling new information that suggests that Durst has many more skeletons in his closet. In fact, he may well be a serial killer.
Did you have any production challenges while shooting Robert Durst: An ID Murder Mystery?
I would say that because of the timeliness of this story and the impending trial, certain people were reticent to talk, but we’re thrilled with the interview roster and with the amount of never-before-seen archive. Viewers will have plenty of new material and new theories to sink their teeth into.
How did you go about accessing and securing exclusive interviews with those profiled in the special?
Our fantastic team at Jupiter Entertainment always goes the extra mile to bring in the people intimately involved in the stories we cover. In this case, we are spanning decades and three or more crimes in different jurisdictions across the country. So, we have a large cast of characters from law enforcement, to family members and intimate friends speaking about each sordid chapter in Durst’s life. We also rely on our terrific roster of crime journalists, Diane Dimond, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Beth Karas, to bring the story to life and connect the dots.