The Jinx Season 2 has proven true crime fans wrong

The Jinx Season 2 has proven true crime fans wrong

Following the premiere of The Jinx Season 2, it’s clear that Andrew Jarecki has proven true crime fans (myself included) wrong. 

Though there are plenty of true crime documentary films and series to get stuck into this month, none are as highly anticipated as The Jinx: Part Two. With that excitement, though, came a level of trepidation. Outside of anthologies, second seasons aren’t so common in the true crime world, and the slightest whiff of exploitation will often lead to backlash (just take a look at Quiet on Set’s bonus Episode 5). 

It doesn’t help that The Jinx Season 1, centering on the life and crimes of real estate heir Robert “Bob” Durst, is widely considered to be one of the best true crime docuseries ever made. 

Then there’s that twist ending — topping it is no mean feat. And let’s not forget Durst died in prison in 2022. All of this had me wondering: is Season 2 going to pale in comparison to its predecessor? Significantly, does this story need a follow-up? Well… I was wrong. 

The Jinx Season 2 gives true crime fans new information 

The first episode of The Jinx Season 2 alone has already uncovered a wealth of new information beyond the confines of the courtroom. Notably, one of the biggest Bob Durst mysteries is solved early on: why he was arrested the night before the finale aired in 2015. As is explained in a title card, Jarecki and his crew handed the evidence to the police while they were interviewing Durst in 2013, long before The Jinx Season 1 was released. 

There are also exclusive interviews with LA District Attorney John Lewin, who explains why they went after Durst for the 2000 killing of Susan Berman. Although Durst was a suspect in the 2001 Morris Black case and the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathie McCormack, the former had been dealt with years prior, and they didn’t have enough evidence for the latter. 

We’re also introduced to Charles Bagli, who covered the case for The New York Times and was a trusted source of Durst’s. So much so that as The Jinx Season 1 aired, Durst would call Bagli on the phone after each episode to share his thoughts. It wasn’t until Episode 5 aired that Durst became “nervous.” 


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These personal insights, which illustrate Durst’s mindset at the time, are followed up with CCTV footage of what happened next: Chris Lovell, the juror who controversially supported Durst, helping him to pack up his things and go on the run. 

The Jinx Season 2 has proven true crime fans wrong

CCTV footage showed Chris Lovell and his wife Donna helping Robert Durst pack up his belongings

We learn that the multi-millionaire was planning on fleeing to Cuba, we see his interrogation tape immediately after he was caught, and there’s footage of his interactions with his second wife, Debrah Lee Charatan. Rather than delving too deep into their relationship, having already been explored in Season 1, their conversation speaks for itself. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the couple joke about Durst’s orange prison jumpsuit and casually talk about flogging a $20 million property to cover his legal fees. 

This just scratches the surface of what viewers are shown in Episode 1, proving my concerns about Season 2 were completely wrong. 

The fallout of The Jinx finale raises the stakes once more

There’s another major reason my concerns about The Jinx Season 2 were wrong: by showing the fallout of the Season 1 finale, it’s like watching it all over again. At present, we know that in real life, Durst was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Berman. And it’s this knowledge that renders these new details all the more compelling.

A prime example is the opening scene, consisting of an audio recording of Durst’s first prison call, which he made to his lawyer, Steven Rabinowitz. As he relays the facts – he’s been arrested in New Orleans with a revolver, $80,000 in cash, and a fake ID – Rabinowitz’s response is almost comical; he appears lost for words, other than the occasional, “Oh boy.”

In any other true crime case, this conversation might not carry much weight. But because of the groundwork laid in Season 1, and everything that happened in the following years, it provides a sense of justice. Durst’s finally at the end of the road (and his lawyer’s got his work cut out for him). 

If you’re a true crime fan, chances are you savored the scene in which Kathie’s surviving family members and attorneys involved in the case huddled together to watch the Season 1 finale. Notably, they all laugh as former Westchester County district attorney Jeanine Pirro spots the similarities in the letters from Durst and Berman’s killer, declaring, “Son of a b*tch.” Although Durst died before he could go on trial for Kathie’s murder, at least they could enjoy this “got him” moment together. 

The Jinx Season 2 has proven true crime fans wrong

Jeanine Pirro and Jim McCormack watched in silence as the finale reached its tense climax

Taking viewers to the exact events as they unfolded in 2015 was nothing short of a masterstroke. Rather than trying to top that twist ending, it makes it relevant again. Jarecki joked about this idea in a conversation with The Daily Beast, stating, “Rather than trying to live up to that, we’re just going to replay the ending from the first season because many people will get a lot out of seeing it for the second time!”

But this is far from the only ground covered in Season 2. As Jarecki went on to say, “The truth is that this season – and I don’t even want to call it a season, because it’s part two of a thing that I think has a beginning, a middle, and an end – is really about something different, thematically. It needed to have an ending that was more in keeping with the theme. 

“The big Bob moment was much less relevant, not only because it had already happened but also because the story of Part Two is so different. It’s really an accumulation of surprises as opposed to everything hinging on one moment.”

All of this has culminated in an impeccable return, with The Jinx Season 2 demonstrating how true crime follow-ups should be done. Many agree with this sentiment, as echoed by one viewer writing on Reddit: “Having watched the whole trial and seeing every show related to this case, I thought that Jarecki couldn’t tell me something new. Boy, was I wrong! The first episode was great! So many new details.”

Another said, “My heart is racing watching everyone on the Jinx Season 2 premiere watching the last episode of Season 1. I had the same feeling I did when I watched it back in 2015.” As did I, and this is only just the beginning of what’s to come. 

The Jinx Season 2 Episode 1 is streaming on Max now, while new episodes drop Sundays at 7pm PT/10pm ET on HBO and Max until the finale on May 26. You can read about where Robert’s brother Douglas Durst is now here.

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