Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

Expert: Jodi Arias suffered from PTSD, memory loss

PHOENIX (AP) – Jodi Arias suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and acute memory loss in the months and years after she says she killed her lover in self-defense, a common occurrence after highly stressful events, a defense expert testified Thursday in her Arizona death penalty trial.

Arias is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities say she planned the attack in a jealous rage. Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with the killing then blamed it on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she settled on self-defense.

Trial was set to resume Monday.

Arias testified for 18 days over nearly six weeks during which she described her abusive childhood, cheating boyfriends, dead-end jobs, a shocking sexual relationship with Alexander, and her contention that he had grown physically abusive in the months leading to his death, once even choking her into unconsciousness.

She says she recalls little from the day of the attack.

“A large percentage of individuals who are in such settings do not remember or have cloudy or foggy memories of what has transpired,” psychologist Richard Samuels told jurors Thursday. “We are more concerned with survival.”

Samuels is an Arizona-based expert whose website says he specializes in “sexually violent perpetrator evaluations, psychosexual risk assessments, sexual harassment and gender discrimination matters.”

He said he met with Arias a dozen times over the past three years and that he eventually diagnosed her with PTSD.

Samuels explained how when a person finds themselves in a stressful situation, “the body prepares to fend off harm, to protect itself,” releasing hormones and adrenaline that block the brain’s ability to retain memory.

“It can’t be controlled. It’s part of our built-in protective system,” he said, adding that up to 30 percent of defendants convicted in homicide cases claim to have amnesia at their trial.

“There are many people that never remember the actual events,” Samuels said.

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the head and had his throat slit before Arias dragged his body into his shower.

Arias has said she recalls Alexander attacking her in a fury. She says she ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf and fired in self-defense but has no memory of stabbing him repeatedly.

Arias’ grandparents had reported a .25-caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California home about a week before Alexander’s death – the same caliber used to shoot him – but Arias says she didn’t take it. Authorities believe she brought it with her.

She has acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and leaving the victim a voicemail on his cellphone hours later in an attempt to avoid suspicion. She says she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth.

Since the trial began, none of Arias’ allegations of Alexander’s violence, that he owned a gun and had sexual desires for young boys has been corroborated by witnesses or evidence. She has acknowledged lying repeatedly but insists she is telling the truth now.

Judge Sherry Stephens allowed Samuels to testify Thursday over objections from the prosecution, but only about the brain’s process of memory retention and PTSD. Stephens set a hearing for Friday morning to hear arguments from attorneys before deciding if she would allow Samuels to discuss whether the killing appeared to be premeditated based on his review of crime scene photos and interviews with Arias.

Samuels also testified Thursday that based on a review of Arias’ journals dating back to her teenage years that she is “essentially a pacifist.”

He said she lied initially about her involvement in the killing because she was in denial, “where a person cannot deal with the fact that something they did is so opposite from everything else in their life.”


Source: AP

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Santee says:

Withstanding Perjury?! Arias testified under oath that she believes she was the one who killed Travis based solely on logic, not memory. My question to her on that point would be. What then does she base her affirmation of self defense for the killing of Travis? On memory; or on logic? If memory is the answer; she contradicts herself. Memory of the circumstance leading to the action infers recollection of the action. If logic is the answer; her defense is nullified. A defense is made and constructed on recollection of the circumstance leading to that action. Yet again contradicting her sworn testimony. There is no foundation for either declaration without acknowledging the inseparable relationship of both factors.. Therefore, perjury stands as the only logical conclusion. Catch 22 situation.

Madea3 says:

Hey Rick good to see ya

freebie214 says:

Agreed Rick, great observations. Dr. Samuels is a paid “expert” to jive with the defense. That’s his job, which he does not do very well.

freebie214 says:

Saw stats Rick, only 3 people in 100K have transitional global ptsd, the guy is a snake oil salesman. On Nancy Grace, her producer, Matt found a record for “Dr.” Samuels, he was involved in a divorce custody case, never seeing the wife, counseling her x-husband for psychological services and “expert” testimony in exchange for dental work in New Jersey. Samuels was ordered to pay a fine. I imagine Martinez will jump on it.

freebie214 says:

Jodi suffered from a bad case of FATAL ATTRACTION. There is no doubt Jodi was obsessed with Travis, slitting his tires twice, breaking into his facebook, his bank account, slipping into his house through his doggy door, moving back to Arizona after they broke up etc. etc. etc. Killing Travis was a relief to her, because it eliminated the subject of her obsession and stress. He was addicted to the sex with her, she was addicted to him period.

From the evidence: Jodi began stabbing Travis in the back while in the shower, dropping the camera taking the picture of the ceiling, he then staggered out of the shower, started vomiting blood in the bathroom sink, he tried to stumble down the hall where she ambushed him and proceeded to stab him in the chest and upper torso, slitting his throat from ear to ear and lastly shooting him in the face, dragging his body back to the shower. The absence of vast amounts of blood in the hallway from the head wound is evident Travis was close to death or dead when she shot him. Furthermore, the .25 caliber shell was found atop a small pile of blood in the hallway.

This was a premeditated aggravated homicide, there was nothing for her to defend herself from. She killed him using the element of surprise. The Jodi version of events is totally concocted, and her loss of memory is nothing but a convenient defense. Jodi will be convicted of murder 1, while she deserves the death penalty, I don’t feel this jury will delivery it.

freebie214 says:

Thanks Rick, it seems so obvious that Jodi knew exactly what she was doing. The robbery of the .25 caliber handgun a week prior to the murder at the grandparent’s home, where incidentally, only a few items like $20.00 in cash from Jodi’s room and some odds ends were stolen is rather coincidental. The woman is a devious and dangerous Fatal Attraction, who is taking bits and pieces of her tale from movies.

thatguy says:

yea, but how sure were you about casey anthony

freebie214 says:

In the Casey Anthony case there was little or no forensic evidence, little Kaylee was too degraded. Only evidence was the tape on that poor baby’s face. Although it is obvious who was responsible for Kaylee’s death, it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a crying shame.

Ana S. says:

Is it true that the esteemed Dr. Samuels gave J.A., what is, basically the ‘short form’ test for PTSD or what combo of conditions he diagnosed her with, and no other tests? I thought he said that it was a 70 question test, which I recall thinking at the time, *was* a fairly short form/test for doing anything more than a basic evaluation. As in, one of the initial rounds of testing they do in order to get an idea of the direction to follow, *not* a test to definatively diagnose a serious medical condition.

Also, I was put off intensly with his comparison, or using of other cases in which the patient was a soldier or a police officer who shot and killed someone, either by accident on personal time, or in the line of duty. I actually know, very well, both a police officer and a soldier who served in Iraq. They both have killed people in the line of duty. Neither of them act anything like J.A. and the comparison between these men, who have put their own lives in jeopardy for the sake of our country, in their own way, and J.A., sickens me. I believe one of the jurors, because of the wording in some of the jury questions, has an in-depth knowledge of firearms and very well could be currently/or retired, law enforcement or military. If so, I doubt they took to any of that very well.

Lastly, I don’t recall hearing anything being spoken about that pointed to J.A.’s mental state PREVIOUS to the killing. So, I frankly don’t care what sort of mental issues she has due to the fact that she brutall butchered a man. I’m sure she has some issues, but many of the points he stated, like the ‘flat affect’ were apparently, according to others who knew her before the killing, things she exhibited before the killing. Many of the points could also point to a person being a sociopath. So, what came 1st? The chicken or the egg?

I guess this expert really didn’t change any of my thoughts regarding J.A., nor did it illicit any sort of sympathy towards her.

robert santana says:

Miss Arias’ astuteness and ability to manipulate the facts and embossing lies, makes her a highly possible candidate for empathy. This leads to the possibility of swaying at least one juror to inconclusiveness and therefore a mistrial.

robert santana says:

Jay…your version of self defense is very good and in line with the devils advocate style. Lanie’s version of the events of that gruesome day is more in line with the evidence and reasonable conclusive train of thought in criminal analysis.

Lanie Blackmon says:

Jay, I disagree with you. I believe there was no rope to tie her up. She had to think of something for her story as to why there was a knife so close for her to use. I believe she invited herself over to his house. They had a heated fight like 4-5 days before he was killed and he had stated to her to leave him alone and that she was nuts and he didn’t want to be with her anymore. She had already made up her mind that he had to die because she couldn’t have him, and he had already told Jodi that MiMi was marriage material and he was interested in her. Jodi then finds out MiMi was going to Cancun instead of the babysitter Travis told Jodi over a year ago, to pay back a debt. Little did Jodi know that MiMi had already told Travis she was not romantically interested in Travis and if he wanted to invite someone else to Cancun he could but she was still going as a friend only. Jodi found this out after she killed Travis.

Anyway, I believe Jodi went there with gramps gun to kill Travis. She couldn’t just blow him away when he opened the door because he had room mates and didn’t know who was home or coming home. So as they slept and then woke up in afternoon, she got him to have his picture taken when she knew he didn’t like his picture taken. She got him to sit down in the shower when I believe she took out the gun and was pointing it at him when he was down on the shower floor. (The picture of him staring into the camera is haunting to me) after that picture I believe she shot him in the head, dropped the camera where it took the picture of the ceiling, and Jodi was going to finish him off but the gun jammed. He gets up from shower and goes to the sink spitting up all the blood that is coming from his gun shot wound. Jodi has already gone to get a knife since the gun jammed and comes back and starts stabbing him in the upper back while he is at the sink bending forward over the sink. You’ll notice how she stabbed in between the shoulder bladed a lot because he was bending over sink. He turns around to fight her off and starts to grab for the knife and then tries to get away from her by getting to the hallway but Jodi is stabbing him in the head, the back, and little stabs on his lower legs to where he is sliding along the wall trying to get away and might of turned around to try to stop her again and she stabs him in the chest. He falls to his knees and is screaming and in pain just like Jodi described it when she made up story about 2 robbers, and Jodi just wanted him dead, out of pain and to stop screaming, so she grabbed his hair while he was on his knees or all four like she said when “Robbers” shot him, and Jodi grabbed his hair, lifted his head and with all her might slit his throat so it would all stop and be silent.
She was cut from the fighting & knife and her blood is dripping on his body and so she drags his body into the shower and turns on the water & washes him off so her blood is washed off him. She threw the sheets in the washer not knowing the camera was mixed in with the sheets and she took the gun, took the knife and tried to clean up scene knowing his room mate comes home from work at like 6:30p it was reported and she leaves. As she is driving, she realizes she doesn’t have the camera and can’t turn around for it so hopes she doesn’t get busted.
But stupid Jodi calls the police after travis was found 5 days later and asks if she could be of service to them or help in any way . she was trying to see if they were on to her yet.
She had this all planned. She was no way abused and sexually, I believe she was the one bringing up these kinky sex fantasies since Travis was a virgin or had been a reformed virgin. Travis thought he died and went to heaven when hooking up with Jodi and how sexual she was but in time, it got old and she knew she would never marry him and he didn’t want to marry a slut and she knew sex was the only reason he wanted her around. He continued to tell her to leave him alone but she always came back with sex on her mind and talked him into it. If she couldn’t have him, no one could and she was going to see to that by killing him. She is a crazy wacko lying slut that killed a good man because she was jealous of his interest in MiMi or any other woman for that matter.

HALEE says:

very good, that’s almost exactly as I thought this happened to. I think a lot of what she sais in her interrogation interview with d.flores has hints of truth to it. even though the ME says the gun shot came last, I still think she shot him first. that’s a very small caliber gun almost worthless for self defense. she didn’t know this b/c she has no knowledge of guns. she probably figured that would do the trick. when travis was at the mirror coughing up blood, I do believe he was saying get help, as she said in her intruder story, and that’s when she left to get the knife. I don’t think she intended to do all the stabbing but like you said the roommates could be home, and he just wasn’t dying. she stated this in her interview too. that interview was very chilling to me because I think out of all of her bs, that is the closest we’ll ever get to knowing what really happened that day. there is a lot of truth in that peppered in with her lies. when she says she “chickened out like a little bitch” I wonder is she meant that she planned to kill herself.

Liz Prado says:

To Lanie Blackmon
Wow, that was very good description of probably the way it all happened. You should be a prosceutor.


How could Arias slash Alexanders throat? That was the question searing in my mind for this whole trial. How a small little girl, could slash this guys throat from ear to ear ? It just didn’t seem plausible, yet it was/is a FACT. SHE DID SLASH HIS THROAT EAR TO EAR. Period.
I’ve been vexed by this from the beginning, but please hear me out, I believe the fact that she slashed his throat ear to ear, is actally the key to “proving”, her claim to self defense.

Here we go.
Arias is taking pictures and drops the camera, Travis comes out of the shower, and because he’s an ex wrestler, body slams her with no trouble.
Arias rolls over and runs away, Travis yelling “f!@#$%g kill you bitch”, ringing in her ears.
Travis gets up, kicking the camera down the hall, as he chases Arias in a blind rage.
Arias, making it to the closet, and the gun , grabs the gun and retreats once again to the bathroom.

At this point Travis comes charging out of the closet door like a raging bull and somehow, the gun goes off.
Both Travis and Arias collapse in the bathroom and once again Arias takes flight down the hall (possibly kicking the camera FURTHER down the hall).
She grabs the knife from the bedroom, turns around, and Travis is on his way.
Arias begins flailing wildly with the knife, stabbing Travis a multitude of times to his frontal area.
Travis falls/slips to the floor, and at this point the camera is kicked/triggered, and takes the photo of Travis on the floor with Arias’ foot in the shot.
She is standing over him.
Now, HERE is the KEY.
Travis once again gets up (probably yelling some obsenities) .But instead of turning to confront Arias, HE GOES FOR THE GUN!!!! (I’M GONNA BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF YOU F!@#$%G BITCH !!!)
Arias realizing the danger, begins to chase Travis back into the bathroom stabbing him repeatedly in the back and head as he runs for the gun. But nothing is stopping him. He’s going to make it to the gun !!

Travis still mobile and running for the gun had to BEND DOWN TO PICK IT UP. That is when Arias, realizing even the stabbings weren’t stopping him, did the only thing left to do. Jump on his back, and cut his throat from ear to ear, to make sure, he stopped.
The reason Arias was able to slit Travis’ throat from ear to ear is because at the time he had his throat sliced, his back was turned to Arias, because he was BENDING OVER, reaching to pick up the gun that was still on the bathroom floor, IN AN ATTEMP TO KILL HER.
That explains the photo with her foot in it 62 seconds after the bathroom photos, why he had stab wounds to his head and back, and how she could have possibly gotten behind him and had the height leverage, to slit his throat.
If she just wanted to kill the guy all of a sudden after they were having sex and taking photos, it wold have been way easier just to blow his head off while he was sitting in the shower.

Arias is innocent.

HALEE says:

I think she slit his throat as he was attempting to crawl down the hall to escape. At this point he’d already suffered a non fatal bullet to the head, chest wound, and multiple stab wounds to his back and head as he crawled away. At some point when he was on the ground he must have turned on his back to fend her off because of the defense wounds on his feet and legs, but I believe, he just wasn’t dying as easy as she’d thought, I believe her lack of knowledge on guns led her to believe a tiny 25 caliber pistol would do the trick in killing a large man right away, and when this failed to happen she panicked and went into her frenzy. I think the neck wound was the coup de gras in the killing, she was standing over him, he is weak and on his stomach, she pulls his head up by his hair and slits. She would have the strength to do that in this position.

freebie214 says:

Jay, you are watching the wrong case my friend. All these assumptions of your’s totally misrepresents the evidence at the crime scene. I can see you have never been in law enforcement nor do you have any grip on reality.

freebie214 says:

Jay? Too much NYPD blue for you, hopefully you will never sit on a jury.

freebie214 says:

Amen Rick, I agree. No doubt poor Travis was reeled in for cheap sex, hook, line and sinker by that succubus. Jodi as she stated in her journal and to Travis’s friends, ” she was completely and thoroughly in love with Travis.” Although she stated to her attorney, that she loved Travis, but wasn’t in love, under oath.


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