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Analyzing the case against real estate mogul/documentary subject/murder suspect Robert Durst




GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black.  (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)
GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)
James Nielsen/Getty Images

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Real estate mogul and subject of HBO’s documentary series ‘The Jinx,’ Robert Durst, was arrested in New Orleans on Sunday after law enforcement officials discovered new evidence that they say links him to the 2000 killing of his friend and former spokeswoman, Susan Berman.

Durst will be extradited back here to Los Angeles.

As luck would have it, his arrest came on the same day as HBO aired the final episode of the six-part series, which included what some are calling a confession at the very end of the episode. In the scene, Durst gets up to use the restroom after an interview with the filmmakers. Unaware that his microphone hasn’t been turned off, Durst can be heard muttering some very incriminating things to himself, though he never directly references a specific person or event.

Durst has also been previously implicated in the disappearance of his wife in 1982 and the murder of his neighbor, shortly after Susan Berman’s body was found. He was never tried for his wife’s appearance but was charged with and eventually acquitted of murder in his neighbor’s death.

What does the evidence show about Robert Durst’s guilt? What do you think the final scene of the documentary says about him and his guilt? How does one go about defending Durst in this case?

Guest:

Nina Seavey, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker for “A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America”  in 1998. She also directs The Documentary Center at The George Washington University in DC

Tom Roston, Blogs about documentaries for PBS POV

Harland Braun, a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. He successfully defended filmmakers John Landis and George Folsey in the Twilight Zone manslaughter trial in the 1980s.