A millionaire from a famous New York family has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a bizarre confession on the HBO series The Jinx.
Robert Durst, who inherited a New York real estate fortune and whose stranger-than-fiction life story has baffled the FBI and private investigators for over three decades, was taken into custody shortly before the last episode of the documentary was aired on Sunday night.
Authorities suspect Durst, 71, was involved in the disappearance of his wife Kathie, who went missing after spending the weekend at their country home in New York State, and the murder of one of his oldest friends, Susan Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas gangster.
He was also tried and acquitted for a murder in Galveston, Texas in 2003, after successfully arguing that the killing was made in self-defense. Durst was disguised as a mute woman when he shot dead his elderly neighbor, Morris Black, dismembered his body, placed it in garbage bags, and dumped it in Galveston Bay.
HBO series The Jinx is a six-part examination of the reclusive millionaire who has been at the heart of all three killings. The sensational 'confession' heard on Sunday's show was made as Durst talked to himself while alone in the bathroom. In the chilling footage, he can be heard whispering,
"There it is, you're caught...
It then sounds like Durst weeps, before saying,
"What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
The makers of the documentary had just confronted Durst with a letter that he had sent to Susan Berman which bore a striking resemblance to an anonymous letter sent to her on the day of her murder. Both letters used block capitals in a similar style and both had misspelled the word 'Beverly' as 'Beverley.' He initially showed no surprise, remarking,
“The writing looks similar and the spelling is the same so I can see the conclusion the police would draw,”
But shortly after the interview was wrapped up, Durst headed to the hotel bathroom and appeared to confess to the murders. He had no idea the mic was still switched on.
Listen to the shocking moment Robert Durst seemingly admits to having "killed them all."
Susan Berman was killed, execution-style, with a single bullet to the back of the head at a tiny, ramshackle house she rented in the Hollywood Hills. Durst was one of her closest friends. Just before her murder he had loaned her $50,000 to help out with her financial difficulties.
Mr. Durst's estranged family, estimated to be worth $4 billion, said they were "relieved and also grateful to everyone who assisted" in his arrest.
In a statement quoted by the AP news agency, his brother, Douglas, said,
"We hope he will finally be held accountable for all he has done."
The New York Times has reported that police have reopened the case. It is not yet known whether Durst was speaking sincerely.