Poor Jodi

I tend not to comment on a case while it’s still in the trial phase. Often I believe we don’t know enough about the case from what the media has said because the media will report on every little twitch, giggle and fart – truth be damned. They will report on rumors as though they are fact. This time, however, I don’t need a trial to tell me what I can tell from professional intuition. I tend to be very protective of women who have been abused. I deal with them professionally and have, more times than I can remember, watched them go back to their abusers because they don’t feel they have a way out. I know when I’m talking to a victim. I also know when I’m being strung along; not all women who claim to be victims are, and they frustrate me the most because they are the reason the true victims have such a difficult time getting help. The drama currently playing out in Phoenix is easy to figure out.

Jodi Arias is a complete sociopath.

We know what the facts are, and when you put them together they’re chilling on a level that most people don’t want to believe is possible. Jodi Arias met Travis Alexander during a conference for the company he worked for, Prepaid Legal Services, in Las Vegas in November 2006. Arias moved to Mesa (a suburb on the East edge of Phoenix proper, just East of Tempe) to maintain a relationship with Alexander. She lived with a roommate because Alexander was Mormon and living together before marriage is forbidden. By June of 2007, Arias began telling friends that she and Alexander had broken up. By April 2008, Arias moved back to Yreka, California, where she lived with her grandparents. At this point Alexander had already told his friends that Arias had been stalking him – hacking his Facebook page and slashing his tires. On June 9, after he’d missed several important appointments, co-workers and friends went to his home to check up on him. His two roommates, thinking he’d gone to Cancun, said he was out of town. Among those who had showed up to find him was one of the women he was supposed to have gone with, so they forced their way into his bedroom. Pools and trails of blood led to the master bathroom, where he was found dead (and practically mutilated) in his shower. His throat had been slashed, he had been stabbed 29 times, and he’d been shot in the face with a .25 caliber gun. He had been dead for five days. A bloody handprint was discovered on a wall and his brand-new digital camera was found in the washing machine with heavy damage.

Suspicion was immediately turned on Arias. All of Alexander’s friends agreed to give DNA samples – Arias complied as well, though she strangely began calling the lead detective on the case repeatedly to ask how the investigation was going and promising to help in any way she could. That detective discovered that Arias had also been accessing Alexander’s voicemail over the past several days and calling repeatedly, leaving multiple messages, beginning on June 4 (shortly after he would have been killed). She told the lead detective that she didn’t know anything about the crime, even said that she had last seen Alexander as she was leaving town back in April. The investigation turned up quite a trail of curious incidents.

On May 28, Arias’ grandparents called police to report a burglary. It was peculiar because the bandit took exactly one item from each room in the house, including a single .25 caliber handgun in a safe containing four guns, and cash and jewelry were left untouched. Somewhere around May 30-31, Arias asked a friend, Darryl Brewer, if she could borrow two five-gallon gas cans for a trip; on June 2, she rented a white Ford Focus from Budget Rent-A-Car and claimed the rental would be for local use only. Her credit card was used to buy several items at a Wal-Mart in Salinas, CA (including a third five-gallon gas can) and just over 20 gallons of gasoline (a Ford Focus typical to rentals only has a 12-gallon tank) on June 3. Salinas is just less than halfway between Yreka and Phoenix, a trip that would total 1013 miles according to Google Maps.

After the stop in Salinas (still 675 miles from Phoenix), her credit card wasn’t used again until June 6 – she used it in Sparks, NV, fully 737 miles from Phoenix. By then, however, she had gone to Utah to visit her new love interest – a man named Ryan Burns. He said that she was a day later than they had planned to meet and that, despite the heat, she wore long sleeves and had a bandage on one hand. She excused it by claiming she’d injured herself at work. After meeting with Burns, she drove back to Yreka. The Ford Focus was returned with more than 2800 miles on it (how’s THAT for local use?), the floor mats were missing, and the return report stated there were “kool-aid stains” on both the front and back seats.

Here’s where it gets really creepy. Mesa police were able to recover deleted images from the digital camera found in the washing machine. Whoever had run it through a wash cycle had first deleted several pictures; they wanted to be doubly certain that the images would be forever lost. Those pictures were of a sexual romp between Alexander and Arias on June 4. Both of them looked like they were having fun. Arias was even wearing pigtails during the encounter. The very last image, taken at 5:30 p.m., was of Alexander lying on the floor, bleeding profusely.

A DNA match was also made – it was Arias’ blood mixed with Alexander’s in the bloody handprint on the wall. By the time this evidence was discovered, Arias had lied to police multiple times, lied to Alexander’s family (even going so far as to send his grandmother flowers), and had gone to great lengths to throw off any evidence that she could have possibly committed the crime.

Is anyone else shivering yet?

Not even 24 hours after murdering Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias was cuddling and making out with another man in Utah. She gave no hint that anything had gone wrong. After her arrest for the murder, Arias appeared on 48 Hours to make her case to the public. Again, she lied. She admitted to being there, but that two intruders broke in and killed him – yet she had no explanation as to how she knew this and didn’t report the incident to police. Once cornered on that story, she changed the story yet again: she arrived at the new excuse she’s been using in court, that Alexander was abusive and forced her to engage in “uncomfortable” sex acts.

In my experience, a woman who has been abused to the point that she kills her abuser in a fit of blind terror isn’t arriving at that moment without there first being some kind of evidence. There are usually police reports of neighbors calling to report violence (and Alexander had two roommates), friends and relatives noticing bruises or other injuries (such as broken bones or burns), even hospital records. There was nothing on Jodi Arias. I’ve also never seen an abuse victim who didn’t live with their abuser continue to engage in a relationship with them over a period of over a year – or come back two months after moving away to have sex with them and brutally murder them.

Victims who kill their abusers don’t usually realize they’ve done it until the act is done, and it doesn’t include the extreme method that Jodi Arias used. It’s usually a single stab wound, one or two gunshot wounds, something simple and quick. It doesn’t involve heavy planning, renting a car, finding methods for purchasing gas and food well out of the way to make sure your credit card isn’t being used within hundreds of miles of the city where the crime was committed and going to play tonsil hockey with a man you’ve never met…all while claiming that you deeply loved the man you’ve killed.

Jodi Arias is a classic sociopath. She has no conscience. She feels no real emotion; emotion is a second language to her, one she has likely learned over her three decades of life to mimic. She’s proven that she is very good at turning it on and off at will to get what she wants. She is capable of telling a multitude of lies, and every time she’s caught in one lie she concocts anther set of them to cover her tracks. Now that she’s cornered yet again, she is putting on a grand show of weeping in court. I was there the day prosecutor Juan Martinez began his intense questions, yelling at her to look at the picture of Alexander’s dead body. It was an act that deserved an Oscar. It’s an act I’ve seen before and was just as unsettling in court as it is to witness in real life.

I only hope the jury is able to see through poor little Jodi’s stage act. Travis Alexander deserves justice, and victims everywhere deserve better.