Leave it to Hollywood.
The industry so adept at fictional cliffhangers has produced one in real life -- with a main character so eccentric and a series of events so bizarre not even Tinseltown's most creative minds could have dreamed it all up.
We're talking about Robert Durst, of course. The wealthy Manhattan real estate scion was arrested on a murder charge -- on the eve of the end of a HBO documentary series on his possible connections to several deaths.CartoonDavies' latest cartoon: Transition of powerCommentSubmit your letterReader essaysGet published in Newsday
True-crime TV reconstructions normally sum up the twists and turns of a case. But the HBO series, "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," is now one of those twists -- it appears to have played a role in the investigation that led to the FBI nabbing him in New Orleans after years of prosecutors being unable to pin anything on him.
Durst seems bound for Los Angeles, where officials say they have new evidence linking him to the 2000 slaying of Susan Berman, a writer, friend, sometime spokeswoman and a mobster's daughter. Berman was shot just before she was to be questioned by New York investigators in the unsolved 1982 disappearance of Durst's wife in Westchester.
A year later, while living as a mute woman in a Texas boardinghouse, Durst was arrested after a neighbor's dismembered body was found in Galveston Bay. Durst fled, but was caught in Pennsylvania shoplifting a chicken sandwich -- with $500 in his pocket and $37,000 in his rented car. He admitted killing and cutting up the man in Texas, but was acquitted after claiming self-defense.
HBO's comparison of handwriting on two letters seems to link Durst to Berman's killing. But the most chilling piece of evidence in the documentary was the moment in Sunday night's finale when Durst, heard off-camera in a bathroom with his microphone still live, mutters, "There it is, you're caught." And then, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
Will life continue to imitate art? Will justice prevail in the final frame? Give credit to Hollywood for moving the saga forward, but remember that real life doesn't always stay on script.