After HBO’s The Jinx aired its final episode, in which Robert Durst says on a hot mic that he “killed them all” after being questioned about the disappearance of his friend Susan Berman, the show’s editing was immediately called into question.
In reality, The Jinx’s editors took two sentences (“What the hell did I do?” and “I killed them all”) from a longer rambling Durst made. The New York Times reports that now Durst’s lawyers will use The Jinx’s editing as a major part of their defense—citing the show as manipulating his confession—when his trial for the murder of Susan Berman begins this September. The filmmakers have repeatedly defended their editing. Durst’s defense will reportedly call in the documentary’s filmmakers as witnesses and will claim that the filmmakers were “agents for law enforcement” because of their cooperation with the police, in an attempt to get the The Jinx’s evidence thrown out entirely.
In addition to the editing of dialogue in the confession itself, the confession took place in 2012, but the show didn’t air until 2015, after which Durst was arrested. The question of whether or not the The Jinx’s creators should have handed that evidence over to the police sooner also calls the show’s ethics into question, though the filmmakers say they didn’t know the taped confession existed until 2014 and alerted investigators to the new evidence.