HBO to air Andrew Jarecki’s Robert Durst series

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (pictured), a six-part series about the life and unsolved crimes surrounding the son of a billionaire New York real estate mogul, will air on HBO in February.
December 2, 2014

HBO is to air Andrew Jarecki’s documentary about Robert Durst as a six-part series next year.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (pictured), which was directed and produced by Jarecki, and produced and shot by Marc Smerling, will premiere on the U.S. cable network in February.

The series will expose “long-buried information” discovered during the filmmakers’ “seven-year investigation into a series of unsolved crimes, and the man suspected of being at its center – Robert Durst,” the network said in a statement.

Durst, the 71-year-old son of a billionaire New York real estate mogul, was arrested and later acquitted for murdering and dismembering his neighbor, years after his wife Kathleen’s mysterious disappearance in 1982. The doc series was produced with his full cooperation and marks the first time he has spoken publicly about the cases.

The director announced the project at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Doc Conference last year. During a conversation with TIFF doc programmer Thom Powers, Jarecki explained that the Durst case formed the basis for his 2010 scripted feature All Good Things. The reclusive Durst did not participate in the making of that film but later phoned the filmmaker out of the blue and volunteered to partake in an interview.

Jarecki told Powers that the project – at the time titled The Unusual – would be similar in nature to his landmark 2003 doc Capturing The Friedmans in that it explores subjectivity, truth and the filmmaker’s role in presenting truth.

The Jinx follows Jarecki as he develops a relationship with Durst, unearths hidden documents, police files, key witnesses, never-before-seen footage and private prison recordings. It covers the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife in New York, the 2000 murder of key witnesses in the case in Beverly Hills, and the murder and dismemberment of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. Durst has continued to maintain his innocence in connection with the cases.

“What occurs in this series is so unique, there is no home for it other than HBO,” said Jarecki in a statement. “Over the seven years in which we pursued the story through all its unexpected revelations, uncovering the truth became an obsession. Now the audience can watch it unfold in front of them as it did for us.”

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst was coproduced and edited by Zac Stuart-Pontier and exec produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.