mollyblack (mollyblack) wrote,

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Forensics: The Graphology of the Robert Durst Case

This slight essay has taken some working - I had it written and it looked good, and then I lost it all because my iPad LJ app didn't save it. And so far in re-writing it I feel that I lost the solid work put in. But here's another attempt to at least mark the territory.

I feel like I came late to this media circus. I discovered Jinx! during a day when I happened to get on my laptop, see I had people messaging me on FaceBook, and whilst there saw the trending side note and clicked on it, not expecting much.

I certainly can appreciate the brouhaha the program generated. I watched all six episodes that afternoon and evening. Like the producer/director I started out feeling ambivalent about the case against Robert Durst and by the end I felt he had hung himself. The feeling comes and goes as I follow the case and the points against him.

Until they find Morris Black's head, if they ever can, defense (especially in Texas) would always be a go-to in defense. And when you can pay over $1,800,00.00 in defense lawyers fees, you're likely to get a jury talked around to seeing your side in a fight. A gun wound to the back of the head would have counteracted any chance they had of that, but with just a dismembered body, of course he could try to claim self-defense. Though why he would have panicked and run? It's hard to say, but it seems fairly certain the head has a shot to the back and not the front (which would be more likely to show self-defense).

The story fascinatea me as a history of plausible deniability; a veritable mountain of circumstantial evidence. But then episode five brings in the found letter to Suzy Berman in her packed boxes and matches the writing not just to the "cadaver" letter to the police. They show it next to at least a dozen more instances of his known handwriting. Leases signed, notes written, legal documents all sharing that distinct N and L he used when writing in block letters.

The misspelling of Beverly as Beverley could be fought successfully with a good enough lawyer. But the forensics of the writing on all those documents seems to bring this home to him. Depending on whether you believe that graphology is a pseudoscience, or an actual currently working forensic science in the updating of the points of it.

His family came forward before the documentary in order, it seems, to protect the family name by acknowledging belief in Robert Durst's "psychopathic behavior" and their belief in the likelihood Douglas Durst's sister-in-law had been killed by Robert. Which Douglas updated later this month to say he thinks his brother is in fact a serial killer.

I want to follow this story strictly from a forensics and circumstantial evidence side, whilst trying to maintain a journalistic objectivity. But I do find it difficult.
Tags: graphology, jinx!

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