Murder suspect Robert Durst says he was on meth when The Jinx was filmed
Real estate heir blamed drugs for his confession in true crime documentary that explored friend's murder
New York real estate heir Robert Durst knew he was suspected in the Los Angeles killing of his best friend, but he never fled when he had the chance because years had passed and he didn't think police would come after him, according to court documents released Friday.
He also blamed drugs for his revelatory remarks about the murder in the documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.
Durst was asked why he didn't split after filmmakers confronted him in 2012 with a letter anonymously sent to police in 2000 tipping them to the location of Susan Berman's body that matched handwriting on a letter he had sent her years before.
Never expected arrest
"You saw the envelopes. How come you didn't ... leave then?" Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin asked. "It's mind-boggling to me."
"I guess inertia," Durst replied. "I just didn't really, really, really think that I was gonna end up arrested."
The comment was one of several that hinted at his involvement in three suspected killings chronicled in The Jinx but Durst stopped short of confessing to any of them.
Blamed meth for confession in documentary
Durst, 73, told Lewin that he took meth during his interviews with the filmmakers and had smoked pot every day of his life.
I was the worst fugitive the world has ever met.-Real estate heir and murder suspect Robert Durst
His arrest came the day the final installment of the six-part series aired on HBO. After being confronted with the two identical-looking envelopes, the documentary ended with Durst going into a bathroom where his live microphone captured him muttering to himself: "There it is. You're caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
The documents detail his interrogation by Los Angeles prosecutors while he was in custody in New Orleans after his arrest March 15 last year on a charge of murder in Berman's death.
Durst acknowledged he was in the process of fleeing when he was arrested. He was found in a hotel with a false Texas ID, stacks of $100 bills, bags of marijuana, a .38-caliber revolver, a map folded to show Louisiana and Cuba, and a flesh-toned latex mask with salt-and-pepper hair.
"I was the worst fugitive the world has ever met," he said.
The series traced the mysterious disappearance of his wife, Kathleen Durst, in New York in 1982, his acquittal on murder charges in the 2001 dismemberment killing of a neighbor Galveston, Texas, and the killing of Berman in Los Angeles as she was about to speak with prosecutors investigating his wife's suspected slaying.
Thought filmmakers would be sympathetic
When asked why he cooperated with the makers of The Jinx, Durst said he felt filmmaker Andrew Jarecki had been sympathetic toward him in a feature-length film, All Good Things, about his wife's disappearance. He gave Jarecki and his partner, Marc Smerling, two lengthy interviews and provided access to boxes of documents so they would get the full picture of his life.
"I wanted them to see the whole thing," Durst said. "That they would see me as an acceptable human being, as opposed to all this other stuff."
The 110-page transcript of his interrogation was included to bolster a motion filed by prosecutors asking a judge to appoint a "special master" to sort through the boxes of seized documents to separate material that might be protected by lawyer-client confidentiality.
Defence lawyers would not comment. But the motion filed by prosecutors said the defence claims the interview with Durst after his arrest was improper, his statements were not voluntary and prosecutors knew he had lawyers and should not have interviewed him.