Brow Beat

Robert Durst Reveals the Secret of His Mesmerizing Screen Presence in The Jinx: Meth!

Robert Durst, in happier times.

HBO

All the screen greats have their little tricks: Dietrich had butterfly lighting, Brando had Kleenex, and Robert Durst—possible three-time murderer, heir to a real estate fortune, and star of HBO’s documentary series The Jinx—had methamphetamine. The Los Angeles Times reports that in the transcript of a 2015 interview with prosecutors filed in court on Thursday, Durst said he participated in the show—which makes a strong case he is guilty of the murders of his wife Kathleen Durst, his onetime neighbor Morris Black, and his friend Susan Berman—because, in his words, “I was on meth the whole time.” He is currently serving a seven-year sentence for gun charges stemming from his arrest the day before the finale of The Jinx and facing trial in Los Angeles for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman.

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“It should have been obvious,” Durst told prosecutors. “I think the reason I did it had to be because I was swooped, speeding.” The Jinx was structured around interviews he gave to filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, in which he cultivated a screen presence that Slate’s Willa Paskin described as “hella creepy,” “bone-chillingly off,” and “five-alarm stranger danger.” Now we know how he built that image—besides the harder-to-duplicate technique of possibly committing three murders while facing no real consequences, then seemingly admitting it on camera. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtain at the performance that made Robert Durst one of the breakout television stars of 2015.

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