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Will Robert Durst Finally Go to Prison?


Robert Durst, subject of HBO’S The Jinx and heir to one of New York City’s wealthiest real estate families, has been arrested for multiple murders. Durst, 71, allegedly killed his former wife in 1982, Susan Berman in 2000, and Morris Black in 2001.

robert durstThe arrest came just one day before the series finale of the documentary, in which audio is played of Durst seemingly confessing to the crime. After he was shown two letters that revealed evidence linked to the crimes by director Andrew Jarecki, he took a bathroom break in which he still had the microphone attached to him. While in the bathroom, Durst is heard on the audio saying, “There it is. You’re caught…what the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

This seems like pretty damning evidence. But, many questions concerning the audio’s legitimacy to use as evidence arise.

First, the question of reasonable expectation of privacy comes up. Did Durst know he was being recorded while in the bathroom? If he expected privacy, when one usually does when in the bathroom, could the evidence by deemed as faulty? Most likely, this reasoning will not be upheld in court. Durst was well aware he was wearing a microphone, and did not request for it to be taken off before going into the restroom.

A second defense Durst could use is that the film crew for the HBO series acted as agents of law enforcement, therefore violating the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions on proper search and seizure procedures. Jarecki said he handed over the audio evidence of Durst to authorities months ago. The arrest did come suspiciously close to the series finale that showcased his supposed confession though. But, any type of evidence found by citizens and handed over to authorities may be used as liable evidence. Therefore, this argument will not work either.

A third question comes up. The audio recording of Durst occurred in April 2012. Jarecki and his team did not find the recording until June 2014. Who knows if Jarecki is telling the truth. In a two year time period, the audio could have been tampered with or altered. Although not likely, the court could find the recording insufficient because of the amount of time the recording was in Jarecki’s hands.

A final and fourth possible defense is uncovered. The recording could be perceived as a type of monologue. Durst could have been fantasizing, or wondering out loud what he will say to the camera. These do not count as confessions, and in turn could be a valid defense for Durst’s legal team. But again, this argument is rather unlikely to succeed in court.

The written evidence and audio recording will absolutely be used in court to finally land Durst in jail. He has been escaping the law ever since 1982, and it’s about time he’s put in prison for good.


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