AP In a case that captivated the nation, year-old Jodi Arias was convicted in May of the fatal stabbing and shooting of her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in Mesa, Ariz. The jury did not buy her claims that Alexander was physically abusive and sexually exploitative and that the killing was in self-defense. They agreed with the prosecutor that Arias deviously plotted and carried out a cruel revenge murder. From the time she met Alexander, a motivational speaker and practicing Mormon, in , Arias became clingy and jealous, hellbent on marrying Travis even when the relationship seemed purely sexual.
Whether it was eavesdropping on his conversations, or digitally through his e-mail, she seemed to be growing more suspicious of him. Jodi and Travis continued to date, visiting Mormon holy sites in Illinois and Missouri.
Jodi saw it and eased it from its location, sneaked into the bathroom and read the text messages. Travis was being unfaithful. He was explaining that Jodi had gotten herself off eight times in one day.
It might have been nine, or it might have been It was highly unusual for an eligible man in the Mormon church to still be a bachelor at the age of Travis found himself in a conundrum — he wanted to find the right balance of sexuality and personality in a future wife, but he was running out of time.
For Jodi, there did not appear to be any ambivalence. In Travis, she saw a man who had everything. He had the home with five bedrooms, plenty of room for children. He had the career, the six-figure income and the upward mobility. He loved to travel and to read. He had religion, and he had a great group of friends, something Jodi both lacked and envied. He was only missing a wife, and she was more than willing to fill in that missing piece. The sex picked up again just as quickly.
Travis was trying to move on. Not even two weeks after the official breakup with Jodi, he was dating a fellow church member by the name of Lisa Andrews.
Lisa was exactly the kind of nice Mormon girl that Travis was convinced he wanted. Lisa told him she was in no way ready to make such a commitment. Meanwhile, Jodi got a job at a P. It is unclear if Travis ever paid Jodi. Unfortunately, giving Jodi access to his house meant Travis was able to keep his addiction to his guilty pleasure full-blown.
The pusher was right there serving him his drug on a silver platter. Already, she was having Mormon guilt about kissing Travis to the point where he had an erection. She also thought it was somewhat her fault that she had not done enough to keep his thoughts clean. Jodi seemed to be growing more and more unhinged. Travis told Taylor he was sure it had been Jodi. He also told Taylor that Jodi had stolen some of his journals from his bedroom.
The pages that were missing were the dates of his relationship with Jodi. Even more strange was the fact that, the next day, Jodi called him nonchalantly on his cellphone, and when he told her about his four tires being slashed, she came right over to pick him up for the trip to the mechanic, sort of like the arsonist phoning in about the fire. That night the doorbell rang and the tires had been sliced, again.
Jodi moved back to her hometown of Yreka, Calif. On May 2, , Travis sent Jodi this text: This time Jodi recorded all the words and sounds of their intimate discussion. Why would Jodi record the most private of sexual intimacies? Speculation would later coalesce around the theory that Jodi was creating a blackmail tape, a tape that she could threaten to play for those who thought Travis was chaste, or to force him to take her on a trip to Cancun he had invited Mimi Hall on instead.
On Monday, May 26, Jodi and Travis got into a nasty fight. The following day, Travis called Taylor to tell him about the confrontation. He had been on Facebook and had gotten bounced off, a sign that someone else had logged on with his name. He logged back on, and there was Jodi. She had hacked in again, but this time he caught her red-handed. Travis got her to admit it and started unloading on her.
Travis never revealed exactly why he was so upset with Jodi. However, Jodi had done that before. But if she had held the phone-sex tape over his head in some threatening fashion, that would have made him livid.
When he settled down, Taylor took a deep breath. He was wrong about Jodi Arias, wrong about what she was capable of, but mostly he was wrong about just how deep her obsession with him had taken hold. On June 2, Jodi packed an overnight bag with some clothes, a cellphone and charger, and most likely the. She put it all into the car she had rented in Yreka. She drove south to Monterey to borrow two gas cans from an ex-boyfriend, and then set off for Mesa via Pasadena.
Having the gas cans with her meant that she could get through the state of Arizona without having to stop for gas, but more important, it meant that there would be no evidence of her journey popping up at a gas-station security camera or receipt. Based on the evidence recovered at the scene, the two spent several hours together, much of it in bed. Photographs from the camera found in the washing machine show Jodi and Travis quite relaxed and very naked for much of the day.
However, just after 5: Suddenly Travis was on the receiving end of 29 stabs and slashes and a gunshot to the head. Jodi had killed him. Copyright c by Jane Velez-Mitchell. To be published on Aug.