From the title alone, you already know about this case. And perhaps if you don’t… then be ready. ‘Cause this case is something else… lemme tell you. But the ending however, was something that no one could have foreseen. This is the case of Travis Alexander’s death by his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Arias.
TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Travis Victor Alexander was born on July 28th, 1977 in Riverside, California to Gary and Pamela Alexander. Upon doing some research for this case, and about Travis’ childhood, I found a blog that Travis wrote himself that went into some detail about his past. In the blog that Travis wrote titled “Raising You”, Travis revealed that he was born into a less than perfect family. Both of his parents were drug addicts. His father was in and out of his life, which meant that he didn’t have much for a father figure. At first, his mother was a good woman, but eventually, some bad decisions alongside getting progressively more involved with drugs meant that she wasn’t capable of taking care of her children. Travis wrote about the frequency in which he (and his siblings) would get beaten if they ever woke their mother up. And because his mother was always either getting high or sleeping it off, Travis and his siblings had to fend for themselves in regards to eating and bathing. In his blog, Travis wrote, “I don’t remember much of this. I can only think of one instance where I found a piece of moldy bread on the side of the fridge which represented the last thing we could eat. I remember being teased by canned food. Knowing full well what was in the can but not knowing how to use a can opener. I remember the filth admittedly caused by us kids that compounded on itself for weeks and months at a time. With that came thousands and thousands of roaches. My sisters and I found some amusement in the fact that an entire colony of albino roaches had broken out so that house looked like a bunch of moving salt and pepper crawling on everything…”
When his father was around, it just meant that his home life escalated in toxicity. In Travis’ blog, he wrote, “I remember my mother emptying a revolver on the car my father was driving and my father subsequently taking an axe to my mother’s belongings and destroying them. I remember being on the other side of the front door when my father kicked it down. The police were called that time along with many others, but I knew what had to be said and knew they would leave us to more of the same…”
If you’ve heard about this case, then you’d know that religion and faith played a major key part. In Travis’ blog he wrote, “I remember the day I came to the conclusion there was a God. I was 6. I screamed as loud as I could all day long for my nearby grandmother to get me and take me for the weekend. I screamed so long and loud that I actually woke up my comatose mother long enough to beat me for waking her up. When she went back to bed I went back to screaming to God. Sure enough that evening she came and picked me up, while my mother slept.” (I’ll say this much… until I did the research, I always thought Travis had the “perfect” upbringing. Rich parents; privileged life. It wasn’t until I read Travis’ blog that I realized that not everything is what it seems. Cheesy, but true.)
Travis Alexander moved in with his paternal grandparents when he was 11 years old. It wasn’t until his father died in July 1997 that his seven other siblings came to live with him and his grandparents. It was during this time that he thrived. Travis had found a place where he was accepted, and loved. He had a support group of friends- and a purpose. He used his negative experiences to propel him into a life of abundance and success by becoming better every day. Travis ended up graduating from Rubidoux High School. But instead of going right into college, Travis went on a mission in Colorado for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After some time, Travis eventually made his way to Arizona, and bought a house- a house that he was proud of. He made his money by being an exceptional salesman and motivational speaker for Pre-Paid Legal Services (PPL).
JODI ARIAS – Jodi Ann Arias was born on July 9th, 1980, in Salinas, California to William and Sandra Arias. Her father is of Mexican ancestry and her mother is of German and English ancestry. She has one older half sister, one younger sister and two younger brothers. At the age of ten, she developed a knack for photography and such interest later led her to pursue it as a profession and take up several part-time jobs as professional photographer.
We’re at the point where I have to say it. A troubled childhood is a commonality shared by many murderers. Some believe it’s a part of making them who they are-an early conditioning that flips a necessary switch in a killer’s programming. All in all, it looks like this future killer of Travis Alexander had a fairly normal childhood, but that could just be because no one has much evidence to the contrary. When you come across Jodi’s’ young life in an interview, it’s always a snippet that provides little to no information. (Like the above small paragraph.) There was nothing odd about her that really stood out; she was a “good girl,” according to Tina Ross, a close friend from high school (via Insider). Jodi herself even told ABC that she had an “almost ideal” childhood. But was it really? As HuffPost pointed out in an article, Jodi claims things weren’t quite so ideal behind closed doors. During early testimony, Jodi made claims about the abusive nature of her parents- saying the abuse became increasingly frequent and the beatings became more intense the older she got. At one point, she even claims that her mother carried around a wooden spoon in her purse so there’d always be an instrument of punishment should the need arise. Her parents, of course, haven’t admitted to these accusations. “I am a mom — just like any other mom. I did the best job I could raising my children,” Sandy Arias told Feminine Collective. It’s possible that Jodi Arias may have suffered from the invisible affliction of undiagnosed mental illness during childhood or, at least, adolescence. According to Insider, Jodi dropped out of high school during her junior year. (She would later obtain a GED.) From there, she moved out of her parent’s house as well and moved in with a boyfriend. Jodi’s parents claim, according to ABC, that after she left their home, she became mentally unwell, to the point that her friends would call Jodi’s mother at night to inform her that she needed to get her daughter some “help.” They also stated that Jodi would “freak out all the time” and that she has mental problems. If her parents’ assessment of Jodi’s mental health struggles are indeed true, it’s possible that she may have suffered from mental illness when she was a child. We have no way of knowing for sure. That being said, her parents still claim she was mentally unhealthy during her late teens.
After Jodi moved out of her parents house and in with her boyfriend, Bobby, Jodi began working to support herself and her boyfriend. It’s noted in the Discovery+ documentary titled, ‘If I Can’t Have You: The Jodi Arias Story’, that they lived in a mobile home with no electricity and no running water. Jodi had fallen in love with Bobby and was willing to do whatever it took to make the relationship last. For over a year, she lived with him, working as a waitress at Denny’s to make ends meet while Bobby refused to work. She tailored her life to be with Bobby (and this is important because this will go on to become a common theme for Jodi.) If he was happy, she was happy. However, it wasn’t enough. Bobby ended up cheating on Jodi with another woman/women, which prompted Jodi to leave. It was after this time that Jodi began to really hate herself. In her mind, she didn’t feel like she was enough for anyone. Not for her family, or for her boyfriend.
In 2001, Jodi began to work at a resort and spa in Big Sur, California. From what customers and co-workers have said, Jodi was a pleasure to be around. Soon thereafter, Jodi started a relationship with Darryl Brewer in 2003. (Darryl was the resort’s restaurant’s manager.) Darryl had a son from a previous relationship, and from what I’ve heard or read, Jodi was an amazing role model for Darryl’s son. Eventually, Jodi and Darryl bought a house together in California’s Palm Desert and decided to pay $2800 (each) per month as mortgage payment. It was during this time frame that she was thriving. Good job, stable relationship, a good home. What more could she want?
Passion. She didn’t have passion in her relationship with Darryl. Even though Jodi yearned for marriage and children of her own, she started to see her relationship with Darryl as more of a business partnership rather than an intimate one. It also didn’t help that Darryl told Jodi that he wasn’t interested in having any more children. This made Jodi’s decision even more clear. But, the security that Darryl provided for Jodi stopped her from moving out and moving on.
She started working for Pre-paid Legal Services, or PPL (presently ‘LegalShield’) in February 2006 while still serving at the resort/restaurant. As her association with PPL increased, her relationship with Darryl started deteriorating. She also started defaulting on the financial obligations agreed with Darryl on the house they shared. The two parted ways in December 2006, although kept in touch as friends.
In September 2006 (so officially before she separated from Darryl), Jodi attended a PPL conference in Las Vegas. It was during this weekend-long conference that she met Travis Alexander. (These were huge conventions, hosting between 10-15,000 people, so it’s a miracle in of itself that Travis and Jodi even met.) The initial first day of the conference, Jodi and Travis met in the hotel of where the conference was to take place. Jodi and Travis hung out together all throughout the day and into the night- until 4am. They had an instantaneous connection, something you’d only find in Disney fairy tales. Travis liked the fact that Jodi was into “personal development” and how she was interested in building a business at PPL. Travis loved talking to Jodi. For Jodi, she was immediately smitten by Travis, falling absolutely head-over-heels. (It’s important to note, that at this point in Travis’ life, he was successful at PPL. Travis had different streams of income coming in from all areas because he was great at his job. He had the home that I’ve already previously mentioned, but on top of that, he had a luxury car, and closet full of tailored suits and high-end fashion clothes. It wasn’t uncommon to see women throwing themselves at Travis.) So, when Jodi met Travis, he was already on some sort of pedestal. From the moment she met him, she understood that he was an outstanding, successful and gregarious man. Thus, making it even easier for her to fall in love. And that same outstanding, successful and gregarious man was interested in Jodi. To remind you, Jodi lived in California while Travis lived in Arizona. So it wasn’t an ideal partnership for either of them. But while not with each other every day, they stayed in touch through daily phone calls and email exchanges.
It was through Travis’ friends (Sky and then-husband Chris) who owned a home between Palm Desert, California, and Mesa, Arizona that Travis and Jodi were able to meet up. It was during these meetings between the two that Travis realized that he really liked Jodi, and was interested in seeing if she was gonna be it. It being his wife. Jodi and Travis also began to do a lot of travelling together, visiting other states and going on vacations. Jodi too, was taking this time to try and figure out if Travis was going to be husband material. They both seemed to be on the same path; in the same head space.
Arias and Alexander developed an immediate attraction towards each other very quickly. And both knew that this was a problem due to Travis’ faith. Also, because of that, Travis told Jodi that it’s encouraged that he marry within his faith. So, Jodi being the ever faithful, willing-to-do-anything-for-a-man girlfriend, she was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 26th, 2006 in a ceremony in Southern California. According to Jodi, she took this step to be closer to Travis, and saw this as a clear explanation that she was in love with him, and wanted to be with him. Travis was the one who baptized her, and it was a moving experience for Jodi.
In February 2007, Jodi moved from California to Mesa, Arizona to be closer to Travis physically. But after four or five months into their relationship, Sky and Chris began to notice that something wasn’t quite right… with Jodi. According to Sky, Chris and other friends, Jodi began showing disturbing behavior. For example, following him to the bathroom all the time, and listening in on conversations that Travis had with others. One one occasion, Jodi went into Travis’ email, and forwarded everything that was to or from a girl, to her own email, thus allowing her to see conversations with other women.
Everything came to a head when Travis and Jodi were staying with Sky and Chris for a weekend. While Jodi was sleeping in her room, Travis was told by Sky and Chris everything that they had noticed about Jodi’s seemingly obsessive behavior. But it was during that same conversation between Travis and his friends that Jodi was listening in on. Travis yanked open the door and found Jodi standing there, staring back at him. From what Sky Lovingier Hughes claims in the Discovery+ documentary, is that Jodi asked Travis if there was a problem that she needed to know about. Obviously, this frustrated and angered Travis, and he responded that yes, there was in fact a very big problem and told her to go downstairs so they could talk. Immediately thereafter, Sky told Travis that Jodi scared her, and prophesied that Jodi would kill him. Travis shook off the warning, and followed Jodi downstairs. They eventually left the Hughes household together.
Travis (kind of) broke up with Jodi in June of 2007. He described to her how he was turned off by her obsessiveness and almost stalker-ish behavior. Jodi was heartbroken once Travis broke it off with her, and immediately went back into the mindset that she wasn’t ever going to be good enough for someone. And all of this was compounded because she still attended events where he was at, sometimes at Travis’ home. One one such occasion, Travis was trying to socialize with others while Jodi was hugging and hanging all over him. He did not reciprocate and kept talking to people.
However, even though he ended things with Jodi, the couple continued to have periodic sexual encounters over the course of some several months. However, the same way that Travis treated Jodi when they were in a relationship vs after they broke up was completely different, which left Jodi confused and almost shell-shocked.
By December 2007, Travis had begun dating another woman, Lisa Andrews. He allegedly told friends that Jodi was so jealous that she slashed the tires on his vehicle twice. After those incidents, Lisa received a harassing email from a “John Doe.” Travis suspected that Jodi was responsible.
At this point, Jodi alleges that Travis was physically violent towards her. In a journal entry that she kept up on, on January 22nd, 2008, Jodi wrote about being pushed and kicked by Travis, and how he broke her finger because she wouldn’t lend him $200. Over the course of the following weeks, Jodi kept note about how often she was lending Travis money. In her journal entry for January 28th, Jodi referred to how she loaned Travis $250. The following day, January 29th, Jodi wrote, “Travis called me after work. He needs money again. … I gave him $220 to put toward his gigantic mortgage!”
By February 2008, Jodi was spent. Emotionally, physically, mentally. She wrote in her journal, “I’m trying really hard to not be in the state of blame right now. But if it weren’t for Travis borrowing all of my money, I’d be in San Diego right tonight. I’ve spend $40 on two super Saturday tickets to see Jeff Olson and visit with my friends that I miss very much. But I’ve been squeezed dry and then some because of him. I’ve drained my checking account to put money into his, and then I was hit hard with a ton of fees. Fees that he isn’t going to pay. 96$ worth. And he has the nerve to tell me to balance my checkbook. Nay, he didn’t just tell me, he screamed at me, and then proceeded to say he would get a gun and put it to his head and pull the trigger. I was crying because it distresses me to see him like that, and because I know all too well first hand, what it is like to be where he is. So it was with great compassion that I calmly, sweetly, and to the best of my ability soothingly told him that everything was going to be alright, that, like always, this too shall pass, that I promise everything will be worth it in the end. I want to soothe away his worries. He was under more stress than I have ever seen him. He was really despairing today. I lended him another $80. I went back to the bank and deposited it into his account since he said he doesn’t want to step foot back into that bank today. By the time we had parted, things seemed a little better.”
By the middle-to-end of February, Travis and his girlfriend Lisa mutually broke up. Travis began to sext Jodi, to which she responded. However, Travis was already (kind of) dating another woman, Mimi Hall. Jodi emailed Travis on February 29th, “There are times I am overwhelmed about things to tell you. I just want you to know that I haven’t forgotten what I said more than a year ago; that no matter what happened, we’ll always have our friendship. … I fell deeply in love with you.. I sort of knew deep down you weren’t the one. …. When I think of you now I have radiating feelings of warmth. I know it’s unconditional love. U know love w/o conditions is an interesting thing…We are each destined for extraordinary things…I wish I could wave a wand and make things right for you….This wish stems from unconditional love… our path is something to be cherished and remembered I love you, Jodi” Travis responded to her email stating, “Wow, that kind of choked me up a little and I know our path hasn’t always been roses but I am grateful for the time we have had and the amazing experiences we have had together as well. I’ve had more noteworthy things happen with you than with anyone. I’m not talking about the places I’ve been but the journey of the heart…I just missed a call from you so I’m going to call you now.”
During the month of March, Travis and Jodi’s relationship teeter-tottered. It was almost like watching a back-and-forth tennis match. He kept dangling the fruit of hope of a future in front of her face, while at the same time telling her that he didn’t see a long-lasting future with her. It was also at this point in time that the two took a trip together, further just confusing Jodi more. In a journal entry dated around this time, Jodi claims that when she told Travis about thinking of moving back to California, he got violent with her by slapping her in the face.
By mid-March, Jodi met Ryan Burns at a PPL conference. Although numbers were exchanged, no contact was made between Jodi and Ryan until a month later. But, Jodi was quickly back in contact with Travis- and seemingly, back in his bed.
Like the flip of a dime, Jodi alleges in an April entry that Travis body slammed her and choked her into unconsciousness. This was all due to Jodi telling Travis about a kiss that she had with another man back when they were dating. A week later, on April 7th, Travis texted Jodi, “Do Not call me. And do not text me anything.” Further into the text message, he accused Jodi of spreading rumors about him and his relationships to other people. To him, it was tarnishing and ruining his reputation. In the days following, Travis continued to text Jodi, telling her that she brings too much drama into his life and that he’s over it. He’s done.
Utterly broken, and like Travis, completely exhausted over the back and forth of their relationship, Jodi moved back to California, more specifically, Yreka- moving in with her grandparents. By the third week of April, Ryan Burns began to call and text Jodi. At first it started off with just a half hour phone call, but by the end of the month, the two were speaking anywhere between 3-5 days a week, usually beginning later at night and lasting into the early morning.
However, Travis just couldn’t let Jodi go. He continued to text her, even asking for a nude picture.
On April 26th, Mimi cancelled a date with Travis because she was ill. In turn, Travis made a get well basket, and followed up with a text message that read, “Listen, I had no ulterior motive in doing the basket thing. I think when someone is sick, it helps to have stuff like this to make you better just like chicken soup. However, it is no secret that I am interested in you. I have no idea if the feeling is mutual. You are a hard one to read. But, I need to know if I am going to ask you out again, because I don’t want awkwardness when I ask if you want to go out. I don’t want you to feel obligated and I don’t want to waste either of our time. So I need to know if you are at all interested or curious. If you are we will reschedule, if you’re not, that’s totally cool.” Mimi responded that she too was interested and curious as to what would become of their relationship, but not quite sure as to how much. She needed more time. Travis obliged, but a few days later, Travis messaged Jodi on her myspace. (Remember when that was relevant!?) Travis wrote, “Those branches make you look like a hot Medusa” ; “I’d like to take a picture of you in the forest” ; “I wonder how much you raise the hotness level of Yreka all by yourself, factoring in its per capita hot stats before you came, I am sure it raised exponentially.”
By May 1st, Travis seemingly made up his mind about Mimi- and Jodi. Travis invited Mimi to Cancun (a work trip planned for mid-June) and she happily accepted. Afterward, Travis contacted the trip planner and asked to remove Jodi’s name and change it to Mimi. Instead of telling Jodi the truth as to why he was no longer bringing her on his trip, Travis told Jodi he gave his guest spot to pay off a debt to a friend so they could bring their babysitter along to watch the kids. Jodi understood, but suppressed her feelings of anger and disappointment.
However, on May 10th, Travis told Jodi that he still loved her. And this was also when a sex tape between Jodi and Travis was allegedly made.
On May 15th, Mimi told Travis that she couldn’t see a future with him, but wanted to remain friends. Travis agreed, and told Mimi that he still wanted her to accompany him to Cancun.
On May 19th, Travis texted his friend Taylor that, “I think I want Lisa back. I need to figure out a plan”
Towards the end of May, Travis realized that Jodi hacked into his facebook account. He messaged her, explaining that he felt like she stabbed him in the back. During this conversation, Travis accused Jodi of breaking into his computer and deleting an email that he intended to send Lisa. He accused her (again) of being the one that slashed his tires and the one who stole his journals. Travis called her a whore, and claimed that she was evil and even said that knowing her made him want to commit suicide. Jodi replied that she might be a whore, she might be all the things he called her, but she denied (again) that she ever slashed his tires or stole his journals. She goes on to note that he’s all what’s good in the world, while she’s all that’s bad. She responds to Travis, explaining that she knew that he never really loved her, but he was just using her for sex and how she wasn’t strong enough to stand up to him. She just couldn’t help herself. She further continued that despite all the pain he’s put her through, she can’t help her feelings and that she’ll always love him.
On May 26th, Jodi sent Travis an email titled, “Two things your wrong about.” The email itself read, “I did not slash your tires and I did not steal your journals”
On June 2nd, between 1am and 3am, Jodi called Travis four times but did not appear to get through to him, since the longest of the calls was seventeen seconds. After 3am, Travis called Jodi twice- the first time for eighteen minutes, the second time for 41 minutes. At 4:03 am, Jodi called Travis back, and the call lasted two minutes, 48 seconds. At 5:39 am, Jodi set out to drive south to rent a car for a long trip to Utah, as later shown by evidence of a gasoline purchase in Yreka.
At 8:04 am, Jodi rented a car in Redding, California. She indicated she would return the car in Redding. Jodi visited friends in southern California on her way to Utah (for a PPL work conference and to also meet with Ryan Burns.) By late evening on June 3rd, Jodi apparently set out for Salt Lake City.
Travis missed an important conference call on the evening of June 4th. The following day, Jodi met up with Ryan Burns in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan, Utah, and attended business meetings for the conference. Ryan later said he noticed Jodi’s formerly blonde hair was now dark brown, and she had cuts on her hands.
On June 6th, Jodi left Salt Lake City and drove west towards California. She called Travis several times and left several voicemail messages for him. She also accessed his cell phone voice mail system.
When Jodi returned the car on June 7th, it had been driven about 2,800 miles. The rental clerk testified that the car was missing its floor mats and had red stains on its front and rear seats. It could not be verified that the car had floor mats when Jodi picked it up, and any stains could not be verified since the car was cleaned before police could examine it.
On June 9th, having been unable to reach Travis, a concerned group of friends went to his home. His roommates had not seen him for several days, but they believed he was out of town and thus did not think anything was amiss. After finding a key to Travis’ master bedroom, his friends entered and found large pools of blood in the hallway to the master bathroom. They followed the pools of blood to the master bathroom where they discovered his body in the shower. In the 9-1-1 call, the dispatcher asked if Travis had been suicidal or if anyone was angry enough to hurt him. Travis’ friends specifically mentioned Jodi as a possible suspect, stating that Travis had said she was stalking him, accessing his Facebook account, and slashing his car’s tires.
While searching Travis’ home, police found his recently purchased digital camera damaged in the washing machine. Police were able to recover deleted images showing Jodi and Travis in sexually suggestive poses, taken at approximately 1:40 pm on June 4th. The final photograph of Travis alive, showing him in the shower, was taken at 5:29 pm that day. Photos taken moments later show an individual believed to be Travis “profusely bleeding” on the bathroom floor. A bloody palm print was discovered along the wall in the bathroom hallway. It contained DNA from both Jodi and Travis. Travis’ death was brutal. It was vicious. Travis’ body had around 27 to 29 stab wounds, a gunshot wound to the head and his throat was slit from ear to ear. Blood was all over the bathroom and hallway of his master bedroom. Photographic evidence showed blood spattered on the sink, walls, and floors.
Exactly one month later, on July 9th, Jodi was indicted by a grand jury in Maricopa County, Arizona, for the first-degree murder of Travis. She was arrested at her home six days later and extradited to Arizona on September 5th. Jodi pleaded not guilty on September 11th. During this time, she gave several different accounts about her involvement in Travis’ death. She originally told police that she had not been in Mesa on the day of the murder and had last seen Travis in March 2008. Jodi later however, told police that two intruders had broken into Travis’ home, murdered him and attacked her. Two years after her arrest, Jodi told police that she killed Travis in self-defense, claiming that she had been a victim of domestic violence.
In opening arguments on January 2nd, 2013, Prosecutor Martinez sought the death penalty. Jodi was represented by appointed counsel L. Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott, who argued that Travis’ death was a justifiable homicide committed in self-defense.
Ryan Burns testified that when Jodi visited him in Utah, (this is after Travis’ murder) the two had spent several hours hugging and kissing on a large bean bag chair. She told him she had cut her hands on broken glass while working at a restaurant called Margaritaville. A detective testified no restaurant by that name had ever existed in the Yreka area. Later, the prosecution argued that since a .25 caliber round was found near Travis’ body and that a gun of the same caliber was stolen from Arias’s residence in Yreka the week before, she had staged the burglary and used the gun to kill Travis. Martinez claimed Jodi had stalked Travis and had slashed his tires twice. In addition, in the final days before his death, Travis had called her a “sociopath” and “the worst thing that ever happened to me”, and stated he was afraid of her.
Jodi took the stand in her own defense on February 4th, 2013, testifying for a total of eighteen days. On the first day of her testimony, Jodi told of being violently abused by her parents beginning when she was approximately seven years old. She testified that she rented a car in Redding because Budget’s website gave her two options, one to the north and one to the south, and her brother lived in Redding. On her second day on the stand, she said that her sex life with Travis included oral and anal sex; she said the anal sex was painful for her the first time they experienced it together, and that while she considered these forms of sex to be real sex, Travis did not as they were (supposedly) not against Mormon rules concerning vaginal intercourse. Jodi said that they eventually had intercourse, but less often. A phone sex tape was played for the jury in which Travis said he wanted to zip tie Jodi to a tree and have anal sex with her while she was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, which Jodi seemed to respond to enthusiastically. Jodi had recorded this phone sex session without Travis’ knowledge or consent, apparently hoping to use it to embarrass Travis to his Mormon peers. Jodi also testified that Travis had secretly found young boys and girls sexually attractive and that she tried to help him with these urges. Forensic experts testified that an examination of Travis’ computer found no evidence of pornographic material.
Jodi testified that her relationship with Travis became increasingly physically and emotionally abusive. She said that Travis shook her while saying, “I’m fucking sick of you”, then began “screaming at me”, after which he “body slammed me on the floor at the foot of his bed” and taunted her, saying “don’t act like that hurts”, before he called her a “bitch” and kicked her in the ribs. Afterward, Jodi said “he went to kick me again, and I put my hand out.” Jodi held up her left hand in the courtroom, showing that her ring finger was crooked. According to Jodi, the dysfunction of their relationship reached its climax when she killed him in self-defense after he became enraged when she dropped his camera, forcing her to fight for her life. This was the third differing account of Travis’ death given by Jodi, which both prosecutors, courtroom observers, and later jurors felt severely damaged her credibility. Rebuttal witnesses from the prosecution included several of Travis’ other girlfriends, who stated he never exhibited any problems with anger or violence.
Jodi addressed comments she made in a September 2008 interview with Inside Edition, which had been played earlier in the trial. In the interview, she said: “No jury is going to convict me … because I am innocent. You can mark my words on that.” Discussing the statement during her testimony, Jodi said, “At the time [of the interview], I had plans to commit suicide. So I was extremely confident that no jury would convict me, because I didn’t expect any of you to be here.” At the close of his cross-examination of Jodi, Martinez replayed the video and prompted Jodi to affirm that she had said during the interview that she would not be convicted because she was innocent. When being questioned by Martinez, Jodi was initially combative and flippant, but after several days, Martinez was able to highlight the numerous lies and inconsistencies in her testimony and she admitted to stabbing and shooting Travis despite her earlier claims of a lapse in her memory. The jury’s foreman, William Zervakos, later expressed an opinion common to both jurors and observers when he told ABC’s Good Morning America that Jodi’s testimony did not do her any good: “I think eighteen days hurt her. I think she was not a good witness.”
Psychologist Richard Samuels testified for the defense for nearly six days. He said Jodi was likely suffering from acute stress at the time of the murder, sending her body into a “fight or flight” mode to defend herself, which caused her brain to stop retaining memory. In response to a juror’s question asking whether this scenario could occur even if this was a premeditated murder, as the prosecution contended, he responded: “Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? No.” Samuels also diagnosed Jodi with PTSD. Martinez attacked Samuels’ credibility, accusing him of forming a relationship with Jodi and being biased; Samuels had previously testified he had compassion for Jodi. Alyce LaViolette, a psychotherapist who specializes in domestic violence, testified that Jodi was a victim of domestic abuse, and that most victims do not tell anyone about abuse because they feel ashamed and humiliated.
Clinical psychologist Janeen DeMarte testified for the prosecution, stating that she found no evidence Travis had abused Jodi, and no evidence of PTSD or amnesia in Jodi. Furthermore, Jodi’s claims of total memory loss for long stretches of time was inconsistent with traumatic amnesia associated with PTSD which manifests as much shorter gaps in memory. Instead, DeMarte said Jodi suffered from borderline personality disorder, showing signs of immaturity and an “unstable sense of identity.” People who suffer from such a disorder “have a terrified feeling of being abandoned by others”, DeMarte told jurors. The final defense witness was psychologist Robert Geffner, who said that DeMarte’s borderline diagnosis was “not appropriate” and that all tests taken by Jodi since her arrest pointed toward an anxiety disorder stemming from trauma. He also said the tests indicated that she answered questions honestly, without lying. Following Geffner’s testimony, the state recalled Horn, who testified further on the gunshot wound, and called Jill Hayes, a forensic neuro-psychologist, who disputed Geffner’s testimony.
In response to previous testimony given by Jodi about buying a five-gallon gas can from a Walmart store in Salinas on June 3rd, 2008, that she returned on the same day, the prosecution called Amanda Webb, an employee from the only Walmart in Salinas, to the stand. Webb said that according to Walmart’s records, no one returned a five-gallon gas can on that date, and that Jodi returned the gas can a week later rather than on June 3rd. The gas can evidence was seen as important in establishing premeditation, as the prosecutor argued that Jodi was trying to avoid being recorded on gas station security cameras as she drove to Mesa.
In closing arguments, Jodi’s defense argued that the premeditation theory did not make sense. “What happened in that moment in time? The relationship, the relationship of chaos, that ended in chaos as well. There is nothing about what happened on June 4th in that bathroom that looks planned … Couldn’t it also be that after everything they went through in that relationship, that she simply snapped? … Ultimately, if Miss Arias is guilty of any crime at all, it is the crime of manslaughter and nothing more.” In rebuttal, Martinez described the extent and variety of Travis’ wounds. “There is no evidence that he ever laid a hand on her, ever. Nothing indicates that this is anything less than a slaughter. There was no way to appease this woman who just wouldn’t leave him alone,” he said.
On May 7th, 2013, after fifteen hours of deliberation, Jodi was found guilty of first-degree murder. Out of twelve jurors, five jurors found her guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, and seven jurors found her guilty of both first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder. As the guilty verdict was read, Travis’ family smiled and hugged each other. People outside the courtroom began cheering and chanting.
The aggravation phase of the trial started on May 15th, 2013. Following the conviction, the prosecution was required to convince the jury that the murder was “cruel, heinous, or depraved” in order for them to determine that Jodi was eligible for the death penalty. The only witness was the medical examiner who performed the autopsy. Jodi’s attorneys, who had repeatedly asked to step down from the case, gave only brief opening statements and closing arguments, in which they said the adrenaline rushing through Travis’ body may have prevented him from feeling much pain during his death. Prosecutor Martinez showed photos of the corpse and crime scene to the jury, then paused for two minutes of silence to illustrate how long it took for Travis to die at Jodi’ hands. After less than three hours of consideration, the jury determined that Jodi was eligible for the death penalty.
The penalty phase began on May 16th, 2013, when prosecutors called Travis’ family members to offer victim impact statements, in an effort to convince the jury that Jodi’s crime merited a death sentence.
On May 21st, 2013, Jodi offered an allocution, during which she pleaded for a life sentence. Jodi acknowledged that her plea for life was a reversal of remarks she made to a TV reporter shortly after her conviction, when she said she preferred the death penalty. “Each time I said that, I meant it, but I lacked perspective,” she said. “Until very recently, I could not imagine standing before you and asking you to give me life.” She said she changed her mind to avoid bringing more pain to members of her family, who were in the courtroom. At one point, she held up a white T-shirt with the word “survivor” written across it, telling the jurors that she would sell the clothing and donate all proceeds to victims of domestic abuse. She also said she would donate her hair to Locks of Love while in prison, and had already done so three times while in jail.
On May 23rd, 2013, the sentencing phase of Jodi’s trial resulted in a hung jury, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial for that phase. The jury had reached an 8–4 decision in favor of the death penalty.
On April 13th, 2015, Jodi was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
In June 2015, following a restitution hearing, Jodi was ordered to pay more than $32,000 to Travis’ siblings. Her attorney stated this was about one third of the amount requested.
Despite moving facilities several times since her sentencing in 2013, as of January 2020, Jodi is doing her time in the Perryville prison located in Goodyear, Arizona. Goodyear is less than an hour from Travis Alexander’s hometown- Mesa, Arizona. To this day and to public knowledge, Jodi has never been clinically diagnosed with any illnesses of any kind.
Pictures of Jodi and Travis during their relationship.
The following images are the last images of Travis Alexander alive. Jodi Arias took a series of photos of Travis in the shower. In a span of only 10 minutes (first shot was taken at 5:22, the last taken at 5:33) something occurred between Travis and Jodi that resulted in Jodi murdering Travis. These are not all the pictures she took.