The lawyer who successfully defended Robert Durst in the 2001 killing of Durst's neighbor in Texas appeared on the Today show this morning to slam the HBO docu-series The Jinx, which featured Durst talking to himself in the bathroom and seemingly admitting to the murders of his first wife Kathleen and his friend Susan Berman. Dick DeGuerin said, "There's no question. It's all in the editing. The editing was designed for good television, but it wasn't designed to get to the truth."
Durst, 71 and an heir of the Durst real estate empire, had reached out to filmmaker Andrew Jarecki after Jarecki's film, All Good Things, came out in 2010. The film, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, was inspired by the disappearance of Kathleen Durst and Robert Durst's suspected involvement. Jarecki convinced Durst to be interviewed about that, as well as the death of Berman, his friend who was found shot in the head after she agreed to help Westchester County authorities investigating Kathleen Durst's disappearance; and the death of his neighbor in Texas, Morris Black (a jury acquitted Durst, who had claimed self-defense).
In the final episode of The Jinx, which aired on Sunday, March 15th, Durst enters a bathroom while still wearing a wireless microphone, and is heard muttering off-camera, "There it is. You’re caught. What a disaster," and "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course." Durst was arrested for Berman's murder on March 14th.
DeGuerin told the Today show, "I think he was regretting it in that bathroom conversation. Yes, he didn't take the good advice that he got from lawyers other than me. I didn't talk to him about it, he didn't ask me about it, but he didn't take that advice, and he was tricked as he was told probably would happen." However, Jarecki has said that Durst was told he was being recorded at all times.
The lawyer added, "I believe he's competent. He's not in good health. He's got some very serious health problems, but he's competent. He's not suicidal. Frankly, he's relieved to be able to finally get a chance to get into court on all these rumors that have been swirling around, if we can just get to court in California."
At a hearing yesterday, Durst was denied bail, as prosecutors contended he was a flight risk. When he was arrested, the Post reports, "FBI agents recovered his passport and birth certificate, a fake Texas ID, 446 $100 bills, bags of marijuana and rolled joints, a .38-caliber revolver, — and a map folded to show Louisiana and Cuba, along with a flesh-toned latex mask complete with salt-and-pepper hair... Prosecutors said Durst was also expecting a UPS delivery to his hotel room with shoes, other personal items and another $117,000 in cash. There was also a brand new Nokia cell phone that hadn’t been activated."
Last week, NY State Police removed 60 boxes of Durst's files from an upstate home.