The Slatest

Infamous Murder Suspect Robert Durst Arrested on Eve of HBO’s The Jinx Finale

Robert Durst is pictured in this booking photo taken March 14, 2015 and provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Reuters/Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office/Handout

Robert Durst was arrested in New Orleans late Saturday night on murder charges. His attorney made the arrest public on Sunday hours before the finale of HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst was scheduled to air. The documentary series is what has brought the 71-year-old real estate heir back in the spotlight, and he was being held Sunday on an extradition warrant out of Los Angeles, reports local ABC affiliate KTRK. His lawyer said that Durst will not fight extradition to Los Angeles and hopes his client will be able to see a judge in New Orleans on Monday. He has then vowed to fight the charges in Los Angeles.

“All reports are that he was polite and cooperative as always,” said Durst’s attorney, Chip Lewis. Houston NBC affiliate KPRC asked Lewis about the timing of the arrest: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s happening on the eve of the series finale.”

Durst has made news over more than three decades because he has been a person of interest in three deaths since 1982. “The arrest comes as authorities were interviewing new witnesses in the 2000 slaying of a Los Angeles writer, Susan Berman,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Berman was friends with Durst, who at the time of her death was also suspected in the disappearance of his wife in 1982. Then less than a year after Berman’s death, Durst was arrested for the killing of Morris Black, his neighbor in Texas. He jumped bail before the trial but was caught in Pennsylvania for shoplifting. He admitted killing Black but said it was in self-defense and was found not guilty.

Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) on November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas.  

In a look at what has made The Jinx such an interesting documentary series, the Atlantic’s David Sims notes that Durst “agreed to speak to [director Andrew] Jarecki for reasons that are hard to fully fathom” but that “perhaps the most compelling thing about The Jinx is that it’s set the wheels of justice in motion again.”

Read all Slate’s coverage of The Jinx.