“After all, Watson,” said Holmes, reaching up his hand for his clay pipe, “I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
What exactly do you ingrates want? Is it not enough for The Jinx to be wildly entertaining AND for it to have solved a cold case murder using evidence the police already had in their possession and ignored? Now we’re expecting Television to text the Keystone Kops of the LAPD every four seconds to patiently spoon-feed them their own case? How many cold case murders have you solved, that you think these brilliant, dedicated, MURDER-SOLVING gentlemen should have solved theirs slightly differently? They should bundle everything up and wait for the police to fail to bring a rich white man to justice once more?
But Nicole, what if Robert Durst had killed someone else during the two years or whatever after the filmmakers found the envelope?
(He didn’t, though!)
What if Robert Durst killed someone during the thirty years after the cops failed to catch him? Oh, wait! HE KILLED TWO MORE PEOPLE.
Do you know whose literal job it is to catch murderers? It is the job of the police!
What is the job of Television? It is to entertain us. Once in a very long while, when the shocking and widespread incompetence of the police leaves a meaningful vacuum in the world of jobs, Television is kind and generous enough to do TWO JOBS. Don’t you dare criticize Television for picking up the police’s slack. The police were never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER going to catch Robert Durst. They weren’t even trying anymore.
This is the police, trying to catch Durst without the assistance provided by Television:
No, that’s unfair, because that suggests the police were still trying. This is the police, trying to catch Robert Durst without the assistance provided by Television:
But Nicole, the “confession” doesn’t mean anything!
I have no interest in the confession. The confession was wonderful Television. I will not be bogged down in the swamps of what he meant, or the intricacies of his bizarre bathroom conversation, recreated below by a courtroom artist:
It is irrelevant to the case. What matters? THE ENVELOPE MATTERS. Ed Wright’s report, with Durst’s inconsistent and murder-y accounts of his whereabouts matters. They solved it! It was solved. They solved it via hard work and stick-to-it-iveness. They listened to Gilberte! They listened to WOMEN, women who demonstrated the beauty and resilience of female friendship by tirelessly attempting to bring Durst to the attention of the police. Do you think Kathie’s family watched the documentary and were all TUT TUT IF ONLY THE MORONS WHO FAILED TO BRING THE MAN WHO KILLED OUR DAUGHTER TO JUSTICE WERE INSTANTLY INFORMED OF ALL THE THINGS THEY FAILED TO NOTICE ORIGINALLY?
No. They were not.
But Nicole, what if law enforcement and the justice system fail in their appointed rounds once more, and Robert Durst goes free bc blah blah chain of custody blah blah something?
Television has ensured that we will at least know that Robert Durst is a murderer. That is a great gift! As someone who would prefer not to be murdered, I like knowing that people are murderers, so I can avoid them. Do you remember when the incompetent buffoons of the LAPD failed to put OJ Simpson behind bars? Happily, Television made sure we all knew he was a murderer, and so he has been prevented from murdering anyone else to this very day, however much he may want to. I wouldn’t get into an elevator with OJ Simpson, because of Television. He will not be able to murder me. This will also be the case with Robert Durst.
But Nicole, they played fast and loose with The Timeline!
Here are the only timelines that matter:
The Timeline of The Jinx
1. Filmmakers make a documentary about Robert Durst.
2. During the making of this documentary, they tirelessly pursue evidence ignored or overlooked by the original investigators and manage to solve the case of Susan Berman and almost-solve the case of Kathie Durst while also entertaining the nation in a wildly-enjoyable six part series.
3. Durst is now in jail and unable to murder anyone unless normal law enforcement and the justice system manage to fuck it up again.
The Timeline of Normal Law Enforcement
1. The police fail to stop Robert Durst from murdering anyone and do absolutely nothing for decades and decades.
2. Durst dies of old age, probably having murdered a fourth person along the way, because he’s a murderer.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.