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The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

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The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is a new HBO miniseries directed by Andrew Jarecki, who previously made Capturing the Freidmans; a documentary that uncovered the dirty secrets of a seemingly normal family, and proved rather undeniably that the world is a dark and horrible place. Similarly uplifting, The Jinx opens with a dismembered body found in a lake in Galveston Texas and an old man with a bow saw in his trunk who turns out to be an heir to a multi-million dollar New York real estate fortune. Questions abound, not least of which being; where did he put the head?


I'm 5 episodes into this (though all six have aired, and apparently, the ending is a real hum-dinger) and so far, The Jinx works as a character study, an examination of a legal system where money buys talent, and a hard look at the "whole truth," whatever that is. The show is making headlines ever since Durst was rearrested days before the premiere of the finale, but I would highly recommend watching it, even if you have read about it, or consider yourself "spoiled" from a few Facebook headlines. Durst is a very interesting and bizarre character. He is simultaneously every cranky old man from New York you ever met, and a completely unknowable sociopath. Anyways, I'd like to know what you folks think of it, and I had a few questions as I go into the last episode.




Now that True Crime is seeing huge successes in this and Amy Koenig's Serial, how ethical is the use of these stories as entertainment product? Much true crime that I know about is based on people who are long dead. When the people involved are alive, I think the question is worth asking. I enjoyed Serial, but I found it a little problematic that it was made entirely without the consent and cooperation of the victim's family. Investigating a crime or a potential innocent person in prison is all well and good, but at the end of the day, Koenig was sitting on a pile of money, and the victim's family has a bunch of bloggers and news outlets and shit at their door dragging up the worst part of their lives.


The Jinx is a different case. The friends and family of the victims as well as the alleged killer cooperated fully. The filmmakers, however, had to juggle keeping a relationship with a possible killer, while hopefully keeping in mind that any new evidence they find on the case should be turned in to the authorities. As the arrest of Durst came right before the final episode of the show, there have been questions as to how much information Jarecki gave the police and when he gave it to them. These guys could be trying to be ethical as they can, but the bottom line is they're filmmakers first, and journalists second.


THIS SHIT IS SPOILER CENTRAL. SRSLY But interesting article nonetheless



First Trial


How fucked was the trial he was indicted for? I know some folks who think the Jury was insane, and that any guy who would cut a body up, did not kill someone in self defense. I however, think that as presented, the defense actually had a story that made more sort of sense, while the prosecution had nothing! I think Durst's (very expensive) lawyers had a great story that included the only element the prosecution had evidence for; namely cutting up the body. While I don't think the prosecution was criminally negligent or anything like that, I think it really shows that a huge problem with our legal system is that all lawyers are not created equal. So, do you think the Jury was nuts? Or would you also have acquitted having seen the same trial?

Edited by JunkerSeed
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