“The Jinx” Director Andrew Jarecki Silent After Robert Durst’s Arrest

Robert Durst
Real estate heir Robert Durst leaves for a lunch break after appearing in a criminal courtroom for his trial on charges of trespassing on property owned by his estranged family, in New York December 10, 2014. Mike Segar/Reuters

After HBO on Sunday night aired the final episode of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, in which Durst seemingly confesses to multiple murders, the documentary’s director Andrew Jarecki went on a media tour early Monday, speaking to CBS, Good Morning America and The New York Times and setting up an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.

Then the director suddenly stopped the tour, sending multiple media outlets this statement around noon on Monday: “Given that we are likely to be called as witnesses in any case law enforcement may decide to bring against Robert Durst, it is not appropriate for us to comment further on these pending matters. We can confirm that evidence (including the envelope and the washroom recording) was turned over to authorities months ago.” He also canceled scheduled appearances.

The statement came after the Times published an interview with Jarecki that made the timeline of The Jinx seem fuzzy.

The filmmakers set up two separate interviews with Durst, and it is in the second that the director presents Durst with evidence linking him to Susan Berman’s December 2000 murder. After that interview, a microphone catches him in the bathroom saying he “killed them all.”

In the final episode of The Jinx, it appears the second interview takes place after Durst had been arrested for trespassing on the property of Douglas Durst, whose spokesman told Newsweek the incident occurred the week of August 16, 2013. If the portrayal in The Jinx is accurate, it would mean the interview took place sometime after that date.

However, in the interview with the Times, Jarecki said he found the damning audio bite on June 12, 2014 and the Times claims it was filmed in April 2012. “More than two years passed after the interview before the filmmakers found the audio,” says a different Times report, co-written by Charles Bagli, a knowledgeable reporter on the Durst family. By this logic, Jarecki would have recorded the second interview before the trespass occurred in 2013, shaking the timeline established by The Jinx.

When a Times reporter asked, “I’m just trying to clarify if the arrest for being on Douglas Durst’s property happened after the second interview,” Jarecki replied: “Yeah, I think I’ve got to get back to you with a proper response on that.” When asked by CBS how much time had passed, he said, “months, many months.”

According to the filmmakers, they provided the evidence to authorities “months ago,” but officials issued the arrest warrant for Durst only recently. “We based our actions based on the investigation and the evidence. We didn’t base anything we did on the HBO series,” LAPD deputy chief Kirk Albanese told the Los Angeles Times. “The arrest was made as a result of the investigative efforts and at a time that we believe it was needed.”

Although the film’s timeline may be in question, the arrest could not have come at a better-timed moment for the filmmakers: Durst was taken into custody on the eve of the finale’s airing.

And the authorities may have caught up with Durst just in time. An FBI spokeswoman told Newsweek the agency was considering the possibility that Durst was in New Orleans seeking an escape route from the United States, possibly to Cuba.