I was supposed to spend Monday morning interviewing The Jinx filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling for a Daily Beast Q&A about Sunday’s unbelievable finale, and those stunning final moments, in which Robert Durst is recording saying, “There it is. You’re caught. …What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” The ending left me floored — I’d never seen anything like that on television before — and I was still shaking an hour later.
The next morning, I received word that my interview had been delayed an hour. That rescheduled time came and went, and I heard nothing. “We’re running being schedule,” says a rep. Meanwhile, some of their earliest interviews from the morning had begun trickling out, revealing that the filmmakers were being curiously evasive about basic questions regarding The Jinx’s timeline: when the final episode’s “second interview” was filmed, when they discovered the bathroom audio and when they shared their discoveries with law enforcement.
Soon after, I was notified that my interview — along with all the other interviews scheduled for Monday — had been canceled. Instead, the filmmakers released the following statement: “Given that we are likely to be called as witnesses in any case law enforcement may decide to bring against Robert Durst, it is not appropriate for us to comment further on these pending matters.”
As I wrote at The Daily Beast, I’m not buying it:
That excuse holds about as much water as many of Durst’s overt dodges within the show. Jarecki has been giving interviews about The Jinx and Durst for several months now, and had already completed a few interviews early Monday—including one with CBS This Morning in which Jarecki said he had shared their findings with authorities long ago and expected Durst would be “arrested as soon as possible” and that “we were sort of amazed ourselves that he hadn’t been arrested for so long. But the authorities were never communicating with us other than in their normal cordial way. They were going through their investigation.”
So if they’d expected Durst to be arrested—which would likely lead to them being called as witnesses—why choose this morning to cease talking? Instead, the sudden media silence seems to be at least in part to deflect further questioning about the timeline, which increasingly seems to have been fudged by the series.
I pointed out later in the story,
If anyone should understand the importance of a clear timeline, it’s Jarecki and Smerling. After all, they spent much of Jinx’s six episodes poking holes in the various timelines Durst had offered around the murders. They proved he had ample time to get from Northern California in December 2000 to Los Angeles and back again, just in time to catch a flight out of San Francisco. And they also unearthed several inconsistencies about his whereabouts the night that his wife disappeared in 1982. In the finale, Jarecki’s crew caught Durst lying about his location to evade that finale interview. (Durst had said he was in Madrid or Barcelona, but he later told an associate he was in Los Angeles the whole time.)
But now that the tables have turned, The Jinx’s creators have proven to be just as elusive as their interview subject.
Monday should have been a triumphant day for the filmmakers, especially in light of Robert Durst’s arrest on Saturday, as a result of evidence they’d shared with L.A. law enforcement. But instead of taking their victory lap, the duo has blunted the impact of their amazing achievement with their evasiveness — and subsequent media blackout.
To be clear, I still love The Jinx and think the show is one of the best TV achievements of 2015. I just wish the filmmakers weren’t suddenly acting like they have something to hide.