‘The Jinx Part 2’ Just Set Its Sights on Robert Durst’s Former Best Friend

the jinx nick chavin
‘The Jinx Part 2’ Set Its Sights on Nick ChavinHBO
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In 2015, The Jinx successfully uncovered evidence that eventually led to the murder conviction of real estate heir Robert Durst. It's a nearly unbelievable story—and a dream for a true-crime docuseries that focuses on unsolved cases. But as crazy as it sounds, Durst's murder of Susan Berman—a journalist and Durst's close friend—is only part of the story.

The Jinx, which orignally premiered in 2015, details Durst's entire life, from the mysterious disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, to Durst's 2003 acquittal in the death and dismemberment of his neighbor, Morris Black. The information uncovered in The Jinx eventually led to Durst's indictment for the murder of Susan Berman, with the final episode capturing an accidental confession. Eight years later, The Jinx: Part Twois here, promising to detail everything that led up to the trial. This includes the introduction of Durst's loyal friends, who tried to protect him after all the information about Susan's murder went public. Some of those friends—like one particular subject in episode 2—eventually turned on him.

Nick "Chinga" Chavin was one of those friends. He was a former country music artist living in Boca Roton, Florida, who wrote an album called Country Porn back in 1976. The record contained lyrics such as "Dry humping in the back of a ford" and song titles including, "Cum Stains on My Pillow." Needless to say, he's a very curious figure.

As the story goes, Susan Berman helped Chavin promote his music in New York City, which is how he first met Robert Durst. According to Chavin, they became inseparably close friends almost immediately. "We were really a two-men brotherhood," Chavin says in The Jinx: Part Two. "He was the Best Man at my wedding."

Even after McCormack's disappearance, Chavin continued to support Durst. Durst got him a job at Miller Advertising Agency in New York, where he worked on real estate advertisements for the wealthy Durst family business. "He gave me my whole career on a platter," Chavin says. "Having the The Durst Organization as your client? They were one of the biggest clients in real estate advertising. [They gave us] a few million dollars a year."

Leading up to the trial, Los Angeles District Attorney John Lewin reached out to Chavin every day. Chavin ignored his calls and refused to answer any of his questions. He wouldn't even talk to Durst's attorneys. "Bob and I had a contempt for the law, society, and the rules," Chavin says. "I didn't want to get involved in this trial."

the jinx nick chavin
After dodging the case, Nick Chavin eventually agrees to testify against Robert Durst.HBO

Eventually, Chavin's wife, Terry Chavin, convinces him to talk. In interviews conducted by The Jinx's crew, she reveals that Chavin is under Durst's spell. He trusted everything Durst told him, even when it was obvious to her that Durst was "manipulating people" with his money. She believed Durst was guilty, hated her husband's music, and despised Durst's second wife, Debrah Charatan.

According to Terry, Charatan once hired her to her real estate agency and tyrannically ruled the office. Charatan demanded impossible hygiene standards from her workers. She alleges that Charatan once made everyone come into her office so that she could smell their armpits. Bizarre.

One evening, Terry tells Lewin that Durst once admitted something important to Chavin about Susan Berman's murder. Chavin continues to protect Durst and keeps what he knows a secret from Lewin. He even claims that his wife is suffering from memory issues, just to sweep it under the rug. However, he eventually changes his mind. "What do you when your best friend kills your other best friend?" Chavin tells the documentary crew. "Loyalty is due to Susan, but it's also due to Bob."

For whatever reason, Chavin sways. He decides that his disloyalty to Susan weighed too heavily on his conscience, even if it meant testifying against Durst. "Friendships die hard," he tells The Jinx. Chavin testifies in 2017 as a secret witness, leading to his former friend's conviction. According to his testimony, Durst once told him that he "had to" murder Berman. "It was her or me. I had no choice." Though Chavin passed away in March 2023, his testimony helped to land Durst behind bars, where the real estate heir also died January 2022. For The Jinx: Part Two's audience, Chavin's shocking testimony will continue next episode.

You Might Also Like