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Durst was found guilty of the 2000 murder of his confidante Susan Berman on Friday. The conviction came after a long and delayed trial in which prosecutors argued that Durst shot Berman execution-style because she had information about the 1982 disappearance of Durst's wife, Kathleen “Kathie” McCormack. It also came after years of Durst largely dodging the law despite being connected to three deaths.
“I can’t say I was surprised because if you watch the trial it was extraordinary,” “The Jinx” filmmaker Andrew Jarecki told “Good Morning America” on Monday. “Bob admits in the trial that he lied five times and perjured himself in this trial. He also admits that he lied in his prior trial.”
The HBO docuseries played a significant role in the recent trial. The disgraced real estate heir testified during it that he regretted his decision to participate in the series that became central to the public’s perception of him.
It was in 2015 that Durst was arrested at a New Orleans hotel in connection with Berman's death — just one day before the finale of "The Jinx" aired. The docuseries captured Durst on a hot mic while using the bathroom after a contentious interview with Jarecki. At that moment, Durst seems to mumble to himself that he was “caught” and that he was having difficulty with the questions. He appeared to have said the phrases “Killed them all, of course” and "What the hell did I do?” While the filmmakers edited his mumblings, they provided the full clip to the police. That audio played in its entirety for jurors in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown postponed his trial.
On the stand, Durst admitted to several fabrications: he lied to police in 1982 about his wife calling him from her Manhattan apartment the night she was last seen alive, a fact that would have suggested that she was unharmed after leaving their residence that night. He told the court that the lie was meant to get detectives off his back. Furthermore, Durst admitted to previously lying about the so-called "cadaver note" sent to the LAPD informing them of Berman's death. He had long denied penning the note, including during "The Jinx," but admitted on the stand that he had in fact written it.
“You can’t be amazed by it, but at the same time it’s very gratifying because you also know this is a man who’s evaded justice for so long that all you can do is hope for the families of the victims that there are not going to be surprises,” Jarecki told “Good Morning America.”
In 2000, months after Berman's death, Durst was hiding out in Galveston, Texas, posing as a mute woman when he killed his neighbor Morris Black; prosecutors alleged it was because Black had discovered Durst's true identity. While he admitted to killing and dismembering Black, then discarding his remains in Galveston Bay, Durst claimed he shot him in self-defense. He was acquitted of that murder in 2003.
Durst is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 18.
“The Jinx” won an Emmy and a Peabody.
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