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'The Jinx' Director Andrew Jarecki Explains Why True Crime Pays

"You can lead the audience through this labyrinth. You can have twists that are true."

Amelia Krales for Re/code

From "Making a Murderer" to "Serial" to "The Jinx," true-crime documentary series are hot right now. And the guy who made one of those — "Jinx" director Andrew Jarecki — says there’s a reason for that.

Jarecki joined Peter Kafka on the latest episode of "Re/code Decode" to talk about his HBO miniseries, which remains relevant nearly a year after it debuted as its subject, Robert Durst, continues to make headlines.

Jarecki also talked about his history as a tech entrepreneur: He co-founded Moviefone and sold it to AOL at the peak of the dot-com bubble; now he’s trying again with KnowMe, a mobile video editing and sharing app.

Wait a minute. How do you go from getting up close and personal with an accused triple murderer to launching an iPhone app?

"I’ve never had a plan," Jarecki said. "I’ve just got to be open to whatever the next thing is, and the next thing defines itself."

So, why are there so many popular true-crime series coming out now? Jarecki posits that it’s about a shift in how we think about serialized entertainment.

"Series now don’t need to go on for 12 years to be successful. They just have to have a compelling story," he said. "The crime thing has a specialness to it, because you can lead the audience through this labyrinth. You can have twists that are true."

Listen to or download the episode in the player above, or click here to subscribe to "Re/code Decode" on iTunes; you can also find "Re/code Decode" on TuneIn, Stitcher and Clammr.

Kara Swisher will be in this space on Monday to talk with CEO Hadi Partovi, and Peter Kafka will be back next Thursday to talk to New Yorker editor David Remnick.

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