Documentary Review: The Jinx – The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Sky Crime)

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is a 2015 HBO documentary about New York real estate heir Robert Durst, who, after being acquitted for one murder on the grounds of self-defence, is accused of murdering two others: his first wife, who disappeared in New York in 1982, and his longtime friend, who was killed in California in 2000. He has, however, yet to be convicted of either.

The documentary is directed by Andrew Jarecki who previously directed the Ryan Gosling-led 2010 film All Good Things which was inspired by Durst’s biography. After the film’s release, Durst professed admiration for the film and telephoned Jarecki, offering to be interviewed. Despite having never previously cooperated with any journalist, Durst sat with Jarecki for more than 20 hours over several years. The documentary then gained widespread exposure when Durst was arrested on first-degree murder charges, the day before its finale aired.

Overall Season Rating:

The Jinx is the definition of a groundbreaking documentary in that it goes far beyond relaying facts. It exposes long-buried information, finds new evidence, and even unveils a potential confession, albeit one that was likely to not be admissible in court.

With the filmmakers having spent nearly 10 years researching Durst’s story, they knew the ins and outs of the case before Durst agreed to talk to them. Their meticulous research and investigative efforts not only got Durst, the prime suspect, to finally talk, but it helped to lead to his arrest, ultimately managing to do what law enforcement could not.

I won’t spoil the ending of the documentary for those who may be yet to watch it, but the final moments of dialogue that Jarecki and his team capture are jaw-dropping.

Durst seems to be so careful and calculated throughout, trying to keep control and manipulate whatever he is able to. But it was always obvious that he was going to be his own downfall. Still, I wasn’t expecting that. The Jinx certainly has one of the most dramatic endings to a series that I’ve ever seen.

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