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Murder Investigation Reopened As HBO Airs Robert Durst Documentary 'The Jinx'

Series brings new attention to the real estate heir once suspected in 3 deaths.

ByABC News
March 10, 2015, 4:59 PM

— -- A murder investigation that could link Robert Durst to the disappearance of his first wife was reopened as HBO airs its six part documentary on the New York real estate scion.

Durst -- who was interviewed extensively for the HBO series “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” -- has made national headlines as a suspect in three deaths since 1982. The 71-year-old now faces a reopened investigation in Los Angeles into the 2000 death of his former friend Susan Berman, an investigation that could be bolstered by the show itself.

The series features a never-before-seen letter discovered by Berman's stepson Sareb Kaufman. Kaufman says the letter, which he believes Durst sent to Berman a year before her death, carries similarities to an anonymous note sent to police the day Berman died, a letter authorities say only Berman’s killer could have written.

Durst denies killing Berman, but police have long believed he had a motive, allegedly wanting to silence Berman about the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen, another alleged crime he has long been suspected of but never been charged.

Kathleen is now declared dead, and Durst says he has no idea what happened to her either.

Durst was also charged in the 2001 killing of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, but he claimed self-defense and was later acquitted.

HBO told ABC News it's proud of the series and "equally fascinated to see what impact it may have."

Durst – who participated in 25 hours of interviews for the HBO series – declined to comment.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams called Durst’s cooperation for the documentary "astounding."

Durst dismissed concerns raised by his legal counsel, director Andrew Jarecki told "Good Morning America" recounting a meeting he had with Durst prior to "The Jinx" interview process.

“[His lawyer] listed a whole bunch of things about what we weren’t going to be able to talk about, and Bob interrupted him and said, ‘I don’t care if he puts it in a billboard in Times Square, let him do what he wants,’” Jarecki said in the February interview.

Abrams said Durst has been audacious for a long time. "It was reckless of him to flee to Texas where he killed that man,” Abrams said. “It was beyond reckless for him to cooperate with this documentary."

By cooperating Durst not only put the case back in the national spotlight, but also gave investigators more opportunity to find possible evidence to bolster their case against him, Abrams noted.