Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

In lurid Ariz. case, woman describes victim as liar

PHOENIX (AP) — Jodi Arias has been on the witness stand for more than a week, recounting one intimate detail of her life after another. Salacious revelations of sexual antics. Tales of deviance, betrayal and bad decisions. An abusive childhood. Dead-end restaurant jobs, high school boyfriends, movies and cooking.

But after six days, she still hasn’t mentioned the killing of her one-time boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008, how she repeatedly stabbed and slashed him, slit his throat, then shot in him the head. And for good reason, experts say.

Defense attorneys want to elicit sympathy from jurors in hopes they spare Arias a first-degree murder conviction that could lead to the death penalty. At the same time, they are working to portray Alexander as a philanderer and hypocrite who in public led friends and family to believe he was a devout Mormon saving himself for marriage while simultaneously having sex with multiple women.

So while the seemingly redundant and irrelevant testimony may be lost on the casual observer, veteran criminal defense lawyer Michael Cardoza says there’s a reason: Make the jury feel sorry for Arias and disgusted by the victim’s antics.

“They’re making it very difficult for the jury to put her to death because they’re getting to know her,” Cardoza said. “The job of the defense at this point isn’t to walk her out of the courtroom. Their job is to keep her from getting the death penalty.”

The result has been a provocative courtroom drama made for tabloid headlines as the public watches the trial through real time web feeds that have seen huge spikes in traffic, especially on a day when jurors heard a lurid phone sex chat between Arias and Alexander.

“It really taxed our servers. We got an incredible amount of traffic that day,” said Michael Williams, chief technology officer at, a website and mobile app devoted to criminal trial coverage.

Arias, 32, claims Alexander battered her into submission, and finally, forced her to fight for her life in self-defense. Prosecutors say she killed Alexander in a jealous rage.

In graphic detail, Arias has described for jurors instances of physical abuse at the hands of Alexander. She said he belittled her and admitted to having sexual desires for young boys. She has spent an equal amount of time detailing her own troubled life, from an abusive childhood to her religious beliefs to the minutia of ex-boyfriends and car problems.

She broke down in tears, her head slumped over, as she sat on the witness stand and listened to the hour-long phone sex recording played for jurors in open court, as Alexander’s family winced in the gallery and her own mother sat emotionless across the room. The judge warned observers of the explicit nature of the tape prior to playing it, and offered everyone a chance to leave. No one did.

Cardoza said he’s never heard anything so salacious in a courtroom.

“This tops it all, absolutely tops it all,” he said.

The trial has been crawling along as each day is interrupted by multiple objections and private bench conferences, something experts say is by design as Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens, a former Arizona assistant attorney general, wants to be certain the record is clean of anything that could be used on appeal.

“The ferocity of the killing is just so staggering,” said Phoenix defense attorney Mel McDonald, a former judge and federal prosecutor. “It’s just so poisonous, the acts of the killing, that I think the judge is doing everything to give Jodi Arias’ attorneys great latitude, and I think it’s an absolutely savvy decision. … The state is asking for the ultimate penalty of death, after all.”

But as Arias demonizes the victim, there’s been little more than her words to back up anything.

She never called police or went to a hospital for injuries she claims she suffered at Alexander’s hands, and jurors have yet to hear from any witnesses or view any evidence establishing a history of the victim’s violence or supposed interest in child pornography. She is likely to face a withering cross-examination from the prosecution next week.

The trial began in early January with the prosecution making quick work of its case, a seamless and largely chronological story laid out for jurors in simple detail: Arias is a murderer, a jilted lover who planned the attack on Alexander in a jealous rage. She stabbed and slashed him 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head in a final salvo of savagery.

The sheer brutality of the attack is difficult enough for defense lawyers to explain away in a case where the defendant claims self-defense. There are also the lies. Arias initially told authorities she wasn’t there. She later blamed it on masked intruders. Eventually, she settled on self-defense, claiming Alexander attacked her in his suburban Phoenix home.

Investigators also say Alexander was shot in the head with a .25 caliber gun, the same caliber Arias’ grandparents reported stolen from their Northern California home about a week before the killing. No weapons have been recovered, and Arias hasn’t explained what she did with them.

“She can say whatever she wants, but Travis isn’t here to speak for himself,” said Julie Haslem, a friend of Alexander who has been watching the trial. “It’s bad enough that she took his life. Now she’s trying to take his reputation, too.”

Testimony resumes Tuesday.


Source: AP

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

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mommy1977 says:

ok first of all, this woman is a psycho!!! She knew exactly what she was doing from the get go!!! Travis might not of been a “saint” but he sure as hell didnt deserve this!!! Ok lets go back a little bit here, she claims she walked in on him “pleasuring” himself to pics of little boys!!! C’mon seriously? She walks in on him doing that and dosent report it? Are you kidding me? I do not care how in love with someone i was if i saw my man doing that id call the police immediatly!!!! I sure the hell wouldnt be talking to him about it, or having sex with him for that matter!!! She was obsessed with that man to the point that if she couldnt have him than nobody was going to have him!!!! She killed him because he was going to Cancun with another lady!! Jelousy!! Thays was her motivation!!! She faked a robbery at her grandparents, stole their gun, borrowed gas cans from darrel, drove to travis house!!! Ok here is what i think happened!! I honestly do not beleive travis knew she was coming that day!!! I think she just showed up like her stalker a** always did!!! She came into the house and he was probally pissed, i would be too!!! I do not beleive he hit her or anything!! I beleive she was sweet talking him and probally said well im here lets have sex!!! So he did as any cold blooded american male with a heartbeat would, she got him to have se with her hoping hed change his mind about taking another girl to cacun, he got up went to the shower, she was PISSED OFF!!!! She got dressed went down to the kitchen while he was in the shower, got a knife came back upstairs she had the gun and knife went in the bathroom to say SHE wanted to take pics of his body so she can pleasure herself to them while he was in cancun, and as soon as he turned his back she stabbed that poor man and kept stabbing him, he tried to defend himself u can tell by the wounds on his hands!!! He got out of the shower and tried to get away, but she got in front of him and kept stabbing more!!! He fell to the ground , she dragged him back in the bathroom and that is where the pic of her pant leg comes in thats when she slit his throat, and then she shot him to make sure he was dead!!! She then started to clean up!!! Thatss my opinion as to how this murder went down!!! And she is a lying B, she remembers how she did it!!! And whoever beleives this is a battered woman is a fool, i was beat by my ex husband badly but i would never ever hurt anyone!!! Travis didnt abuse her or stalk her she was the abuser and stalker

Janelle says:

I’m not sure how they can allow emails and text messages it court due to the simple fact that Jodi knew passwords and there is no way they can prove that any of these message were actually written by’Travis’ . Would put it past her to have sent these emails herself.

Deborah says:

Jodi came to the home of Travis unknowing to him know telling how long she was inside the home the house was large she layed back heard phone conversation that he was planing she knew he was leaving with the other lady she been trying toget him to either ask her are leave the lady and he was on the up with her she meet him now she turn him on when they met gave him a head job he was turn him because check this out they never had. Sexy before so like anyman she no that trun him out thats why she was’nt and that shower with him she caught him off gaurd in he turn around to her without a chance toget out the tub. Wiyh his back turn she tip in started stabing that chid all that ora sex she was the agresorn

D says:

funny she never text and says anything about little boys. She always says she talks to him. Maybe because It wasn’t true. Just another lie.

ZX12R says:

I don’t care what her treatment from Travis was. She sliced his throat all the way to his spine, she gave him 26 or 27 stab wounds, and she shot him in the head. There is no way that a self defense claim can undo that. She murdered him. End of story.

CuriousCourt says:

I agree, from what we know so far, it does not sound like self defense. Maybe there is more to the story that we do not know about that will support that claim. I am patiently waiting. I doubt they will get to June 4th anytime soon at the rate they are going, I hope I am wrong. To me, it was a crime of passion which in Arizona it is considered manslaughter/second degree murder, with a weapon and a first offense it carries a 7/10/21 year sentence. Travis was just as obsessed with Jodi as she was with him. The evidence supports that so claiming she is a stalker is false. You don’t invite your stalker to clean your house on a regular basis and makes plans to go see your stalker when you get back from the trip to Cancun. These are facts that are actually part of the evidence from Travis, not claims that Jodi is making without proof,.

ZX12R says:

Good arguments, curious. I have had a problem with this self defense claim, from the very get go. The wounds he sustained, precludes any possibility of it being self defense. You cannot justify killing someone just because you think someone might hurt you. She has to prove that Travis did something that was a direct threat to her life or a threat of serious bodily harm. The fact that he was naked in the shower, and the wounds he sustained, precludes those possibilities, in my opinion. Her entire defense has to simply be a strategy to soften the jury and attempt to get them to feel for her enough, that they will spare her the death penalty.

CuriousCourt says:

I want to know not only how she did all that by herself in 98 seconds but how she did it all and only come away with a few minor cuts on her fingers? I am smelling more than a dead body here, something smells fishy, rrrrrreally fishy. And if this was premeditated, why would she use a credit card to rent the car, buy gas and buy food and other items along the way?

CuriousCourt says:

She didn’t need to use the credit card, she had just deposited close to $1000 in her bank account.

Amber says:

I am a victim of unfathomable abuse and yet I could never bring myself to kill another human being. Am I wrong? I’m hot. I have everything going for me and yet my spirit is gone. Abuse did that to me. But I would never kill my ABUSERS. She hasn’t been abused. A woman has a special intuition to other women that have been abused and this pathetic woman is making a mockery of us who have really been through hell on earth!!

ZX12R says:

That’s a very interesting supposition, concerning how she did such incredible damage so quickly. I wonder, could there be more to this case than anyone is aware of?

ZX12R says:

Didn’t Jodi, in one of her other stories, say that there were two intruders? A man and a woman? Maybe there was a man and a woman, Jodi was the woman., and the man was an unknown accomplice that came with her to do the deed.

Lanie Blackmon says:

How do you know he asked her to clean the house? It can be one of her made up stories like all the other stories. You can not even believe anything this crazy woman says. When her lips are moving, she’s lying!!!. As you can tell, she makes up something to cover something or evidence. Her stories change daily whether it be adding to a story or changing what she originally said, blaming it on her crying and not being able to understand her. She quick, she’s a liar, she’s evil, and she is going to hell.

mike says:

I’m one of many that finds this whole episode/trial, etc. riveting. Sorry, ladies, but like many others, i find Jodi very attractive in the wholesome girl next door sense, articulate and with a sweet voice. That’s part of the aspect of the case that is fascinating, how this sweet personna could commit such a brutal killing. At 5’6 , say 125 she must have ambushed this thick bodied guy from behind first-with the neck cut. I don’t see any other way, surely Travis could have defended himself better and at least inflicted some injury on jodi. Though i haven’t followed every day of the trial, i wonder why Jodi was so obsessed and fixated on this particular guy after a series of “serial” relationships. Was he better looking or more succesful because he had his own house? Jodi had been seriously involved with a much older man prior to Travis, cosigned for a house and lost that house to foreclosure. Though i think Jodi is/was very intelligent with alot of potential, clearly she was unfocused and at 27, 28 pursued life in an endless cycle of road trips, sightseeing and parties. I wonder what is going through this woman’s mind when she sits in court and knows her family, enemies and the general public listens to the most intimate, raunchy aspects of her relationship w/ Travis on that tape. I wonder if she realizes that any sense of a life she had before is over and she will wither away in prison. she seems more than hopeful to beat the rap, she seems deluded enough to think that she will. The final outcome? I think that Jodi is able to beat the lethal injection route and eventually has some major episode in the prison, i don’t know the nature of it, but she will not do her life sentence as a model prisoner. I’ve read too much about what Travis’s friends say about her demeanor and look in her eyes changing on a dime.

dal says:

My guess is the phone sex tape that only she had a copy of was made to be used to either blackmail Travis to expose his non-Mormon sexual behavior to friends or colleagues, or to send to his current girlfriend exposing his and her sexual complicity thereby ruining that new relationship and that trip to Cancun. Sex was the only way she could control and keep Travis.

I did some of my own research in trying to uncover her motive and found this in “Mormonism Exposed” written in 1933 by Vernon J. Danielson that might shed some light on her deciding to execute him:

“Blood atonement is another principle of Mormon theology of which the world has little knowledge. They maintain there is no remission of any sin except by the shedding of blood….Therefore if a man apostatizes from the faith they believe it is better to shed his blood than for him to lose his soul.”

Could Jodi have been crazy enough to think she was saving his soul? If he wouldn’t stay with her in their sinful state (their secret) she would have no choice but to murder him in order to save him? I see that smile like she knows something she’s not saying and it creeps me out.

Read it here:
(page 23)

WADE says:

That is a stupid comment. You completely misinterpretted and manipulated LDS doctrine. Oh brother!

Debby says:

Seems likely she won’t get the death penalty. Earlier in this trial Alexanders friends portrayed him as a saint. After the phone recordings, we all know he wasn’t. Personally this is a shame. Two lives are lost because of a lousy relationship based on sex, disrespect and lies. Alexander is dead and Jodi is is jail….Both lives are destroyed. Sad


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