March 16, 2015

"'What the hell did I do?' Mr. Durst whispers to himself in an unguarded moment caught on a microphone he wore during filming."

I'll put the rest after the fold in case you haven't watched the final episode of HBO's 6-part documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."

"'What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course," said Durst who was acquitted in one murder trial and never arrested in 2 other unsolved murder cases. Durst was arrested yesterday, the day the final episode of "Jinx" aired.

That link goes to a NYT article, and there's a second NYT article, a review by Mike Hale, which has this:
It was unusual for focusing on an unsolved collection of cases with a single, living, cooperating subject, and it was hard not to sense a presumption of guilt throughout the series, no matter how even-handed and objective Mr. Jarecki might have tried to be. Nearly everything we saw weighed against Mr. Durst, in terms of evidence, emotions, drama — there wasn’t a credible moment that pointed toward his innocence. We’ve become accustomed to the notion of the Innocence Project that frees the wrongly convicted; “The Jinx” was a guilt project....
Hale mentions "Serial," which, in my view, ran on the energy of our belief that the subject of the documentary was innocent. Of course, when the subject of the documentary is not in prison, the energy comes from thinking he should be. "Serial" and "Jinx" may seem like opposites, but they are the same in that we're drawn in by anxiety about a man who is in the wrong place.

Hale says: "And of course 'The Jinx' would never have happened without Mr. Durst’s desire, against all better judgment, to go on camera and be a part of telling his own story." As long as we're using the old "of course," I've got to say: Of course, Janet Malcolm wrote the book on the murderer's desire to tell his story through a journalist and his blindness to the journalist's divergent interests.

21 comments:

David Hampton said...

Insanity defense in the making as the truth comes out of his subconscious memories?!

Wilbur said...

I couldn't help but think of "I paid for this microphone, Mr. Breen!"

BDNYC said...

My first thought was that he was being sarcastic and angry, having just gone through a terrible experience. Some people use "of course" that way.

He finally realized what a mistake he had made in doing the interview. He was commenting on how it all looked to others, "of course" he killed them.

Laslo Spatula said...

The film-makers should tackle next the task of finding the Real Killers in the OJ Simpson case.



Someone's gotta do it.

I am Laslo.

Roger Sweeny said...

On the first day of college, some authority figure said, "Whenever you read "of course," stop and seriously ask yourself, 'should I believe that?'"

Laslo Spatula said...

"Of course, Janet Malcolm wrote the book on the murderer's desire to tell his story through a journalist and his blindness to the journalist's divergent interests."

"Fatal Justice" -- while perhaps not convincing on the asserted innocence of Jeffrey MacDonald -- does an admirable job of dissecting Joe McGinness (the author in question in Malcolm's work) and his dishonest writing.
From the Review section: "Janet Malcolm, the New Yorker writer who wrote The Journalist and the Murderer (about MacDonald's relationship with McGinniss), called this book "quietly convincing."

I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

Durst has mastered using the defense of confessing to prove that he is innocent. My clients could not get it right.

TCR James said...

Durst? He should have stayed with Limp Bizkit.

rhhardin said...

Unguarded moments are my policy.

William said...

Anyone see the movie "Nightcrawler"?......I'm suspicious that the dramatic confession comes at just the exact point where it will garner the highest ratings for the show......This still doesn't beat the Kardashians. Murder is all very well, but a murderer undergoing a sex change operation is ratings gold.

Anonymous said...

The Innocence Project is a scam.

An easy scam too, because the marks are all dead and gone. The prosecuting attorneys, the police officers, forensic scientists, everyone involved in the original cases don't care anymore.

When the Innocence Project comes along with their new and improved version of events, there isn't anyone who cares to push back. And so you have an adult now, who was 10 at the time, being paid a large sum of money by the Innocence Project to recant their childhood testimony, who you going to believe? If you have a new person coming forward who says, "I did the murder" who wasn't even around at the time, but no one around to tell you that, who you going to believe?

They take advantage of decades of time since the original crime and no one caring anymore.

They are quite the evil group.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Laslo Spatula said...

"The film-makers should tackle next the task of finding the Real Killers in the OJ Simpson case.

"

Not the Real Killers - the Other Conspirators

Who talked OJ into doing this and gave him the plan? (You know he had a built in alibi - the bodies were not supposed to be found until later and then the time of death made afgter he left LA)

Who got rid of the bloody clothes in the abandoned suitcase at LAX airport and/or arranged for that?

Who took the Bronco to the car wash?

Who parked the Bronco outside Rockingham - and when? It wasn't seen by the limo driver when he drove off to take OJ to the airport.

Who left the glove he thought OJ forgot outside of the room where Kato was, but he thought OJ was, so that OJ could pack it up with the rest of the bloody clothes?

The number one suspect (not that there would have been just one other personm) is Robert Kardashian.

Who is responsible for making all the Kardashians rich and famous?

Who arranged for the National Enquirer, before the first jury verdict, to run story after story as to how OJ was innocent, and then turn on a dime immediately after the verdict, and ran story after story as to how OJ did it, but acted entirely alone? without help and without advice?

Sammy Finkelman said...

What was OJ's true motive?

West Town said...

Glad to see that my Alma Mater will have another household name associated with it - like Lee Iacocca!

David said...

OJ's life is over, yet he breathes. Oh to have a window into his thoughts.

Bobby said...

eric,

Where are you getting those facts?

According to the Innocence Project themselves, they have made 325 DNA exonerations against just 8 (eight) non-DNA exonerations -- the scenario that would be more consistent with the process of paying for reversing witness testimonies that you lay out. In fact, one of the criticisms of the Innocence Projects by Left-liberals seems to be that if it's not DNA, then they don't even get involved because they're just chasing the easy stats. Interestingly, during the process of getting the 325 DNA exonerations, the DNA has subsequently led to the identification of 140 "real perpetrators."

Anyways, I'd be interested in hearing from where you got your facts.

Alex said...

Why is any of this our business? The only people that should care are the victims' families and the prosecutors. In a country of 330 million people I just can't have the energy to care about every case that comes along.

damikesc said...

According to the Innocence Project themselves, they have made 325 DNA exonerations against just 8 (eight) non-DNA exonerations -- the scenario that would be more consistent with the process of paying for reversing witness testimonies that you lay out. In fact, one of the criticisms of the Innocence Projects by Left-liberals seems to be that if it's not DNA, then they don't even get involved because they're just chasing the easy stats. Interestingly, during the process of getting the 325 DNA exonerations, the DNA has subsequently led to the identification of 140 "real perpetrators."

Ask Alstory Simon. The Innocence Project fucked him over royally and got a guilty man released.

jeff said...

"Why is any of this our business?" Seriously? How about because people were killed and the killer runs free? Why kind of society are you advocating for where only the victims family should care about the crime?

Bobby said...

damikesc,

Yeah, that's actually an abhorrent story- and that Protess got suspended is a pretty telling sign.

Still, that's one case, and it's an indictment of the individual and not the entire Innocence Project, right? I mean, when two cops beat Kelly Thomas to death and we later learned that several other cops falsified reports to protect them, we called them "bad apples"- we didn't indict the entire Fullerton police force- indeed all cops across the US- because of that one incident, did we? Certainly a few lawyers' criminal malfeasance in the Anthony Porter / Alstory Simon case does not negate the hundreds of DNA exonerations they've secured.

Or maybe it does. I guess it's a matter of perspective.

Aussie Pundit said...

Maybe, having put up with long sessions of innuendo and veiled accusations against him, he was being sarcastic.