The Jodi Arias trial took place in 2012 and took a whopping four months to get a sentence, yet we are still talking about it. Why? Because it’s rare that such brutal and twisted murders are committed and then sensationalized by the media. Jodi Arias may not be the only crazy ex-girlfriend out there, but she certainly is one of the more famous ones.
Jodi Arias, if you don’t know the name, is a woman who murdered her ex-boyfriend, a salesman and motivational religious speaker named Travis Alexander, brutally and mercilessly. If all evidence presented was real and conclusively hers, coroners report that she shot him in the head, stabbed him nearly thirty times, and then had slit his throat from ear to ear. There was also evidence that she’d dragged the body through his apartment while killing him. This was no ordinary killing- it was a horror and monstrosity that was discovered by Travis Alexander’s friends days later. And almost immediately after it happened, all fingers were pointed at Jodi for the crime.
You remember the trial probably as well as you do the Casey Anthony trial, since they were both sensationalized to insane extents, but it has been five years since it all went down- don’t you think it’s time for a refresher course? And don’t you want to know what’s happened since? Because we’ll be honest: a LOT has happened concerning Jodi Arias, even if she is trapped behind bars. Here are fifteen things you need to know about Jodi Arias?
15. Jodi Converted To Alexander’s Religion To Woo Him
The movie portrayed Jodi pursuing Travis very actively and almost in a creepy way- and that part was not at all far from the truth. Jodi did do a lot in a very short period of time to pursue Travis. The two met at a conference in Las Vegas and, while Travis was not overwhelmingly taken with her, Jodi was smitten. The two spent an evening together but nothing happened (according to Jodi) because she was upfront in admitting she was in a monogamous relationship. But immediately after the conference, Jodi returned to her home in California and broke up with her “boyfriend,” who seems like he never thought the two were really that much of a couple. Furthermore, she quit her job waiting tables and packed her things up to move to Arizona, where Travis lived. She even converted to Travis’ religion in hopes to win him! She went to a lot of trouble to be as close to Travis as possible.
14. She Was (Maybe) CRAZY Religious
We mentioned earlier that Jodi Arias converted to being a Mormon in hopes to make Travis love her more. Jodi was not very religious seeming before- probably because she wasn’t. But as soon as she transitioned into Travis’ religion structure, she became a TOTAL bible-thumper! In almost every sentence she spoke to Travis or any of his friends, she seemed to include something about the “spirit of God” and “the word of God” and “the Godliness of her home and life.” Even in her testimonies and while she was on the stand, she talked about God and a heavenly spirit constantly. Since her sentencing, the God-talk has decreased a good bit- but we’re thinking she may have lost some of her faith as soon as God didn’t keep her from getting locked up. Not that God truly had anything to do with it, however! We think that, if Jodi spent a little more of her time praying and a little less murdering, she probably wouldn’t be in jail.
13. She Testified for 18 Days
Jodi Arias was fairly confident that she had this trial down pat. She seemed innocent but confident throughout all of the proceedings, like she was putting on a show for everyone. She had the confidence of Roxie Hart from Chicago: like she knew that she’d come out scot-free and maybe even a renowned celebrity for her struggles in the courtroom! She felt, indeed, so empowered and confident that she voluntarily decided to take the stand. Of course, the prosecution took her up on her generous offer and put her on the stand- FOR 18 DAYS STRAIGHT. In the first few days, she held up a very strong front, sticking to her story and playing the right emotions at the right time. But as time went on, Jodi started getting sloppy and a little weird with her story. But that’ll happen to anyone, if they were put in a chair answering questions for over two weeks straight!
12. The Jury Asked Her 200 Questions
Not only was Jodi Arias put on the stand for 18 days in a row, but the jury was welcomed to submit questions for her themselves and they did not hold back. The jury was very inquisitive and found a lot of problems, hiccups, queries, and errors with Jodi’s story. They submitted a total of 200 questions to Jodi. Some questions concerned pretty minute details, others were very bold faced inquisitions into errors in her story, and some were downright ridiculous questions. Some of the many favorite queries included: “what is your understanding of the work, ‘skank?”; “were you mad at Travis while you were stabbing him?”; “did you ever seek medical help for your mental condition?”; “do you feel the Mormon church encourages burying the truth about issues that may be considered embarrassing?”; and the totally brazen, “you said you bought a gun to commit suicide, but never ended up doing so. What stopped you?”
11. She Changed Her Story… Three Times
Jodi was oddly confident while on trial, especially considering that she made a ton of mistakes throughout the trial. Most importantly, she changed up her story THREE TIMES. At first, when Travis Alexander’s body was found in his home by his friends, everyone pointed the finger at Jodi. When brought into the police station for question, Jodi denied any and all alleged involvement in the murder, even going so far as to cry and seem shocked. But then her DNA was discovered at the scene, mingled into Travis’ blood. So she altered her story, saying that masked robbers (akin to ninjas) came in and tied them up, brutally murdering Travis, robbing nothing, and letting Jodi live- she only kept quiet because the ninjas threatened to return. Of course this story made no sense, and more evidence was found indicating she committed the crime, so her story changed YET AGAIN. She said she did kill him but that it was out of self-defense. Okay, Jodi…
10. She’s Very… XXX
Jodi is a very odd lady. When she took the stand and was asked to deliver testimonials (which, may we remind you, was for a long and epic 18 days), she answered everyone’s questions in as much detail as she could. She had a lot of questions that she had to answer (may we remind you, over 200 questions in total from both the jury, defense, and prosecution), but her favorite sort of question seemed to be any that would involve any mention of her sex life- both with and without Travis Alexander. She would go into ridiculous detail regarding any and all sexual encounters, giving the jury uncomfortably in-depth accounts about all that they did. Honestly, we can’t even talk about all the nasty stuff she said here (teens read this stuff, you know?). But just know that the jury got to know more than they wanted about Jodi’s sex life.
9. The TV Movie Took a Lot of Liberties
Yes, there is already a made-for-television movie about Jodi Arias and her crimes! It didn’t take long at all- only a quick year right after the resolution of the trial. Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret starred Tania Raymonde, Jesse Lee Soffer, and Leah Pipes and depicted all the little details of the relationship and the murder… well, not quite. Lifetime made the movie and took some liberties when going into the details of the couple’s relationship and the events surrounding the murder. The film fudged some of the details surrounding how the couple met, and what exactly happened when Travis was killed. For example, the movie suggests that Jodi killed Travis after she saw his phone, which had a text from his current girlfriend popping up. We don’t know exactly why Jodi killed Travis, but the prosecution believed that the murder was entirely premeditated, and Katie (the current girlfriend) professed that Travis and her had broken up before then.
8. An Aspiring Photographer
Jodi made her living as a waitress for most of her life, though she wanted to do a lot more. Of course she did! Even though she was a criminal, she was still a human being with ambitions and dreams and hopes! And Jodi’s dreams included becoming a professional photographer- kind of a weak dream, if you ask us, and one that is shared by a lot of young artists that lack training, perspective, insight, and education. But it’s what she wanted, and Travis did a decent amount as a supportive boyfriend to help her pursue her passions. Now that she’s behind bars for his murder, Jodi isn’t really able to follow her photography ambitions anymore- but she does paint! You are actually able to buy her paintings that she’s made in prison online… though they’re not very good, and no one really wants them. At least she has something nice to cling to in the clink.
7. A Little Crazy? (Emotional instability, lies, memory)
Well, obviously. We probably didn’t have to tell you that this woman who dated a man for only a few short months after following him to another state and then killed him brutally and seemed to show no remorse for the act is a little cuckoo. But there’s even more to the story than that. Jodi’s defense attorneys argued that Jodi was suffering from some post-traumatic stress disorder after her boyfriend tried to assault her and she defended herself, costing his life. But Jodi was even loonier than that. She would sit on the stand and talk about times with her boyfriend, including the murder itself, near tears and sobbing before quickly turning to giggles and hysteric laughter. She obviously lied about her story tons of times, and claims to have a spotty memory of the event due to the emotional trauma it inflicted on her. While Travis’ murder may have been hard for him, she’s certainly seemed to struggle with her end as well.
6. A Total Stalker
So maybe Jodi has become a bit crazy since the murder- but we’d like to argue that she was always bound for the nut house. That’s how this all got started in the first place, isn’t it? Jodi met Travis and immediately fell in love. After hanging out with him for essentially a day, she packed up her life and moved to a different state to be near him! Throughout their relationship, Jodi monitored his phone and eavesdropped on his friends. Even when they broke up, Jodi sneaked into his house through a doggy door to spy on him, texted prospective girlfriends hateful and harassing messages, and even set off the burglar alarm in his next girlfriend’s home when she was snooping a little too intensely. Even her defense attorney argued that he found her to be a bit invasive and “like a stalker.” Jodi has always had some serious problems with boundaries.
5. A Camera Did Her In
Throughout most of the trial, fingers were pretty much pointed at Jodi Arias. Her story had changed once early on in the trial as soon as her DNA was discovered in the crime scene, and the change was dramatic- plus, none of her new story seemed to add up. When she changed her story again, claiming that the murder was committed in self-defense, anyone that knew Travis called out a big “BULLS**T!” Travis was a highly religious man who supported other women who had gotten out of abusive relationships- he was not the type to be on the brutal end of that relationship. In the end, police found damning evidence that Jodi was stupid enough to create: a camera. It seems that Jodi and Travis were having a heart to heart intermingled with a one-night-stand in the June after their breakup. Pictures on the phone started with sexy photos of the two, and the one above of Travis sitting in the shower- then the pictures were suddenly of stab wounds, blood on the carpet, a body in the tub. She tried to wash the camera in her laundry to ditch the evidence, but luckily the memory card survived.
4. She Almost Got the Death Penalty
Jodi did not just kill a man; she planned to kill a man, maliciously and villainously carried out her brutal murder, had the audacity to take pictures of the man as he was bleeding out on his carpet, and then left his body to rot in his bath tub. She showed up at his memorial in tears before she was arrested. She lied and lied and lied again while on trial about the circumstances surrounding his death. Is it any wonder that the prosecution was seeking the death penalty? Now, this trial took place in Arizona and there is actually only one other woman in the state that is on death row for a similar crime, so it was highly unlikely all along that Jodi would get that sentence. But it took multiple juries to come together and deliberate over her sentence. In the end, the sentence came down to the judge.
3. Was Certain She’d Get Off the Hook
Jodi Arias was always entirely confident that she would not be imprisoned for the murder of Travis Alexander. She actually told many media interviewers, who came to visit her and broadcast her words in jail, that “no jury will send me to prison for this murder.” Well, you were certainly wrong about that, now weren’t you Jodi? Jodi started every bit of the trial entirely confident, even way back to the first time she was brought in to the police station for questioning directly after the murder. On that day, a video camera in the interview room caught Jodi telling herself she should have worn makeup that day, and she proceeds to do yoga in the corner of the room. Ever since, she was an overly-confident and smiling presence in every media interview… until the jury delivered their guilty verdict. That must have been quite a shocking day for Jodi, though none of us seemed to be surprised at all.
2. Sentenced to Natural Life in Prison
If any of us watched the Casey Anthony trial, we were likely horribly disappointed and heart broken that Casey was declared innocent for the murder of her daughter. All evidence pointed to her, though no one was truly able to solidly prove anything. That’s why, when the verdict was being announced for Jodi Arias, we all waited anxiously. When we hear “guilty,” we celebrated and moved on with our lives. The judge decided to make the sentencing deliberation private and we assumed we’d read about it sometime after the fact. Well, here’s the debrief: Jodi was sentenced by the judge to live out the remainder of her natural life in prison. While it’s not the death penalty, it’s somehow much worse. As Machiavelli said, a life in prison is far worse than a quick and liberating death. Jodi Arias is spending the remainder of her life in Arizona State Prison in Perryville.
1. She’s Become Suicidal
Remember what we said about Machiavelli? That he believed that a life in prison was worse than a quick and painless death? Well, Jodi has turned out to feel the same way. The media has obviously been less excited and concerned about Jodi since the trial ended with her damning verdict, but she’s gotten a few interviews. In one particular interview, she told media sources that in almost every way, this prison sentence to spend her natural life behind bars was worse than the death sentence. She told sources that if she could kill herself, she would. Of course, the media released this information not only to the public but to prison officials and Arias was immediately transferred to the psych ward of her prison and put on suicide watch. But we hope Jodi gets better soon- she’s got such a full life in prison to explore, and she wouldn’t want to spend it all in a hospital bed.