HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is a compelling new true crime documentary series

It starts with the torso of Morris Black found in Galveston Bay, Texas, September 2001 and by the end of the first part of HBO’s new documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst things have already gotten bizarre.

I highly recommend the show to fans of two other series which found huge fanbases last year, the fictional True Detective and the true crime podcast Serial. The Jinx is about Robert Durst, a man who has been caught up in several mysteries, a man who is part of a wealthy family, a man who in normal circumstances would probably be considered eccentric but instead comes across as something more sinister.

Whereas with Serial you are kind of hoping and longing Adnan Syed is innocent and will find a way out of prison, with The Jinx it feels less a question of whether Durst has committed the crimes he is associated with and more a case of how he hell does he keep getting away with it?  He is really as unlucky and as cursed as the title of the documentary suggests or is he mastermind of manipulation and actually incredibly lucky to have escaped justice for so long? Of course there is every possibility that someone else watching it will feel the opposite way, how can one man have such a run of bad luck and why do the media insist on portraying him as this psychopath?

Its too early to tell yet what actually happened and whether we will ever know and of course there is a certain sense of unease getting involved with true crime stories, after all these events happened and real people continue to be affected by them. The Jinx is fascinating though, it takes its time to tell the complex story and by having the man of the centre of the storm involved it could provide a more balanced account.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst airs on HBO, Sundays.


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