Prosecutor Juan Martinez rapid-fires questions to murder defendant Jodi Arias, bouncing through timelines, appearing to want to confuse and scold as much as to elicit useful information.

Arias sometimes gets confused and upset. She admits she can't keep her stories straight. She intermittently breaks down sobbing, especially when forced to view the bloody crime-scene photos of her handiwork. But is she acting?

Her biggest breakdown comes on Thursday, February 28, when Martinez leads her through the horrifying minutes of the June 4, 2008, murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

Jodi Arias
myspace.com
Jodi Arias
Arias, appearing as a vivacious blonde, cavorts with Alexander —  eerily, in retrospect, she holds her then-boyfriend's neck, which she would later slice open with a large knife.
myspace.com
Arias, appearing as a vivacious blonde, cavorts with Alexander — eerily, in retrospect, she holds her then-boyfriend's neck, which she would later slice open with a large knife.
Alexander's autopsy report by Dr. Kevin Horn, a Maricopa County medical examiner, includes drawings of the victim's numerous wounds.
Alexander's autopsy report by Dr. Kevin Horn, a Maricopa County medical examiner, includes drawings of the victim's numerous wounds.
Just before killing Alexander, Arias had sex with him and the two took nude photos of each other, including this one.
Just before killing Alexander, Arias had sex with him and the two took nude photos of each other, including this one.
In this crime-scene photo by cops, Alexander's brutalized body lays curled in the shower of his home. The day after Arias shot, stabbed and slashed the neck of Alexander, she had a make-out session with a romantic interest in Utah.
In this crime-scene photo by cops, Alexander's brutalized body lays curled in the shower of his home. The day after Arias shot, stabbed and slashed the neck of Alexander, she had a make-out session with a romantic interest in Utah.
The autopsy revealed that Alexander had fought for his life during the attack, receiving bruises on his legs.
The autopsy revealed that Alexander had fought for his life during the attack, receiving bruises on his legs.
The wounds on his hands were significant: One took off part of a thumbnail, another sliced deep into the webbing between a thumb and index finger, indicating that Alexander had tried to grab the knife Arias wielded.
The wounds on his hands were significant: One took off part of a thumbnail, another sliced deep into the webbing between a thumb and index finger, indicating that Alexander had tried to grab the knife Arias wielded.
Juan Martinez stands before one of the last pictures taken of Alexander when he was alive.
Pool by Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic
Juan Martinez stands before one of the last pictures taken of Alexander when he was alive.
Arias appears to cry in court.
Pool by Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic
Arias appears to cry in court.
Nearly every day of the trial, national news media, including CNN, parked large satellite trucks on a side street near the courthouse.
Social Eye Media
Nearly every day of the trial, national news media, including CNN, parked large satellite trucks on a side street near the courthouse.


See slideshow accompanying this story.


"Ma'am, were you crying when you were shooting him?"

"I don't remember," she answers, a hand over her face.

"Were you crying when you were stabbing him?"

"I don't remember."

"How about when you cut his throat — were you crying then?" Martinez demands, his voice rising.

If the televised trial were a CGI-animated movie, the short, middle-aged deputy Maricopa County attorney, wearing his typical gray suits, would be a badger.

His job is to make sure Arias' life ends on the executioner's table.

Martinez's belligerence is just one of many reasons this trial — expected to go on for at least another two weeks — is getting watched around the world.

Unless you resemble a doomsday prepper who's been living without a digital signal for the past three months, you already know that Arias is on trial for the grotesque slaying of Alexander, a successful Mormon businessman from Mesa. As of press time, Arias had spent a marathon 17 days on the witness stand, spanning more than five weeks.

The trial itself began January 2, "regaling" — to use one of Martinez's favorite words — audiences globally with nude photos of Arias and Alexander, gory shots of the murder scene, and talk of kinky sex acts.

Public interest in the case had been growing since Alexander's body was discovered in 2008, but the start of the trial kicked off a media storm that has rivaled some of the great real-life courtroom dramas of the TV age.

Each day, dozens of Arias watchers pack into the courtroom's visitors' galley. When Arias began her command performance February 4, millions tuned in to live video, clicked on Arias-related websites, and watched long dissections of the case on CNN's Anderson Cooper and a multitude of other shows.

The long direct examination by public defense attorney Kirk Nurmi seemed intended to both explain Arias' self-defense theory and present a human side of the defendant to the jury — a panel of mostly white, mixed-generation men and women deciding her mortal fate.

Some of the testimony wasn't just raunchy, it was scandalous. Trial watchers heard recorded phone-sex conversations between the former couple along with loads of discussion about anal sex — which, according to Arias, is more preferable before marriage in the Mormon religion than vaginal sex.

America now knows that Tootsie Pops don't just go in mouths and that Pop Rocks add extra spark to oral sex.

Arias claimed her victim was a wanna-be pedophile, used her like a prostitute, called her a "three-holed wonder" and a "whore," and abused her mentally and physically. She caught him masturbating to a picture of a 5- or 6-year-old boy, she testified, and soon after got into a raging fight with him during which he broke her finger.

The wrap-up of the initial defense testimony had Arias going over the details of her self-defense claim: She described how Alexander, angry that she'd dropped his new camera, chased her from the shower to a closet, where she found "his" gun and shot him. She claimed the next thing she remembers is driving into the desert in a "fog." Her testimony was as compelling as it was sketchy.

Then, Juan Martinez began his long cross-examination, going over the intimate, pornographic details of the former couple's sexual activity — and emphasizing that she'd been more sexually experienced than Alexander. Texts and phone conversations showed that she enjoyed their creativity in bed.

The prosecutor's recurring theme: Her stories don't make sense and aren't supported by anything but the word of Arias, an admitted liar and killer. He's made good use of the media interviews Arias gave.

On a big courtroom screen, Arias — from the witness stand — looks at Arias looking into a camera during her infamous 2008 interview on 48 Hours — the one in which she claims "masked intruders" did it.

"If it were my brother, I'd want to know what his last minutes were like," the 2008 Arias told the public. She later switched to the self-defense claim she's now using.

Martinez chides her for sending Alexander's grandmother 20 white irises and a long letter that mentions these faux intruders.

"Did they deserve that lie?" he demands.

Martinez's snide prosecutorial personality has been on full display.

And Arias has been a smart-ass in her retorts, throwing zingers at him like she's trying to repel an unwanted suitor.

Which is one of the reasons that trial watchers find the spectacle so enthralling. Nobody expects such brazen behavior from somebody who may well be put to death.

Then, when viewers become frustrated with Arias' many apparent lies, Martinez is there for them, throwing it in her face.

"How is it that you are not remembering what you are saying?" Martinez asks during one of their back-and-forths.

"Because you're making my brain scrambled."

"Oh, I'm again making your brain scrambled. So, in this particular case, the problem is not you; it's the questions being posed by the prosecutor, right?"

"No, not the questions."

"Yes or no?!" he yells. "Yes or no?!"

She finally responds that her memory lapses occur when men like Martinez scream at her (murmurs spread across the courtroom).

Whatever the jury decides, it's a hell of a show.


The Jodi Arias case isn't a whodunit. It's cut and dried — a done deal for the Mesa Police Department.

There's no missing baby, as in the Casey Anthony trial, and no possibility that authorities have the wrong suspect, as some believed during and after the big daddy of all real-life, televised courtroom dramas, the O.J. Simpson trial.

Forensic science closed the book on the Arias case in 2008. The only mystery is how a seemingly normal young woman, with no history of mental illness, could butcher a man so savagely and act as if nothing had happened afterward.

A number of clues in the case reveal that Arias planned the murder before she left for Mesa on June 3. The biggest is that the gun used to shoot Alexander probably came from her grandparents' home in California. The question of premeditation — the underlying subject of days of trial testimony — isn't in serious doubt.

All that said, the Arias case is, undeniably, top-shelf entertainment. It's a horror novel come to life with enough multimedia fodder to feed the obsessive.

Intimate details of kinky sex, extreme violence, and corrupted religious morals have surfaced throughout the trial.

"It's a Hannibal Lecter-type of thing . . . It's ghosts and goblins," says longtime Phoenix defense attorney and former Arizona U.S. Attorney Mel McDonald, who's watched the case closely. "[Arias] has none of the outward appearance of the utterly indescribable actions she's perpetrated. I don't know that I've ever seen one quite like this."

The case has spurred extensive domestic news coverage, as well as huge interest overseas. Since the trial began January 2, live video from the courtroom of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens has been broadcast on various websites most weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

There's a TV camera at the back of the courtroom, and websites, including Phoenix's CBS-5 (KPHO), use a satellite link to provide live-stream web video.

The many hours of salacious testimony make the trial irresistible to TV producers. But unlike in the O.J. days, followers can take full advantage of modern technology by watching the proceeding from commercial-free Internet sites. The curious also can go as deeply into the case as they choose by perusing the vast amount of information about it in cyberspace.

The two ex-lovers liked to take pictures of each other. Arias, in fact, was an aspiring photographer. Their last photo shoot included nudes of both of them and Hustler-style, spread-eagle shots of Arias' "stuff," as she called it in court. Lengthy, hardcore phone-sex recordings made by Arias were played in court, with some excerpts heard several times.

Jury members, and the rest of us, have gotten to know Arias and Alexander well.

The deceased Alexander comes back to life in his writings. They show his zest for living, his hopes for a successful future with the right woman, and his criticisms of "whores."

Hundreds of intimate texts the pair never imagined would be made public have been entered into the court record. Dozens of her photos, including self-portraits, are among the extensive photographic evidence. We can watch videos of Arias' interviews with Mesa police, plus the interviews she did in 2008 with the news media, in which she claimed she and Alexander were attacked by the two masked intruders.

The trial itself is fun and addicting, not so much because you might catch Arias in a lie but because you know she's lying.

With her many TV interviews, fabrications, and weird confidence — she once boasted that "no jury will convict" her — the public finds her fascinating.

"In some twisted way, [when Arias lies] people feel like they've been lied to," says Ryan Owens, a Dallas-based correspondent who's covering the case for Good Morning America and appears on the show two or three times a week.

A bevy of news shows, including those hosted by Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew Pinsky on CNN and HLN, deconstruct the day's events. Satellite trucks line the streets near the county court facility at Second Avenue and Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix, ready to beam reports from correspondents and interviews with random court-watchers to an international audience.

Australians obsessed with the trial rise at 4:30 a.m., 18 hours ahead of the 10:30 a.m. start of the proceedings, and chat on web forums about the latest developments.

Locally, spectators line up outside the building as early as 6 a.m.; the place opens at 8. A crowd of mainly women fills rows of visitor seats on the fifth floor. Only about half of them can fit into the courtroom at any given time. The most dedicated are tapped frequently by the networks for their opinions.

As entertainment fodder for the masses, it's difficult for news organizations to keep trial coverage to an R rating. Reporters whispered during one stretch of testimony that they didn't know whether their editors or producers would allow them to use the word "jizz." Courtroom banter has included a discussion of the shape of Arias' labia. About 20 minutes of courtroom dialogue between prosecutor Martinez and Arias concerned whether K-Y Jelly or baby oil was better for anal sex.

Alexander's family sits in the front row of the galley. His sisters, Tanisha Sorenson and Samantha Alexander (the latter a police officer from Carlsbad, California) usually wear tight-lipped, disbelieving expressions.

Arias' mother, Sandy, on the defense side of the gallery, sometimes flashes an odd smile.

The characters in this reality show are richly complex.

Alexander was a likable, smart, spiritual-yet-corruptible young Mormon who expressed hope of finding a lifelong mate. He was a salesman and motivational speaker for Pre-Paid Legal Services who had become financially successful at age 30, despite a rough start in life — he was raised by now-deceased meth-head parents. He could be a hypocritical, domineering, cheating boyfriend. After breaking up with Arias, he continued seeing her for occasional sex as he dated other women, telling at least one that he was a virgin.

Naturally, the most fascinating character of all is Arias, who police say fully expected to get away with the murder of her ex-boyfriend, which she planned and carried out.

The world's favorite on-trial killer is fit-looking, with long hair, breast enhancements, and a photogenic face. She was listed as 5-6 and 125 pounds on a mid-2000s driver's license, though she seems thinner now. In court, she's a bespectacled, somewhat-mousy brunette, but that's probably by her defense attorney's design. She retains little of the bombshell sexiness she displayed in those oft-televised older photos of her as a blonde. She's comes across during testimony as articulate and soft-spoken. She's a high school dropout and Mormon convert raised by her white mother and Mexican-American father in tiny Yreka, California, near the Oregon border.

She's a woman who asked police, when they came to arrest her, if she could grab her makeup. Later, she smiled for her mugshot and professed her innocence to the world. She denied repeatedly to police and the news media in 2008 that she'd killed Alexander before — mostly — 'fessing up.

On the stand, she takes you in, lets you see nearly everything.

Then, she leaves you wanting more and afraid you'll get it.


Jodi Arias went from slashing one guy's neck to — a few hours later — kissing another's.

Her claim that she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense as he attacked her is Arias' third account of the slaying — and it's as unsupported by evidence as the other two.

It's hard to imagine any real justification for Arias' Halloween-style butchery of Alexander on June 4, 2008. She attacked him with a large knife while he was taking a shower – a gender-reversed replay of the scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

Pieces of the mountain of digital evidence in the case include — amazingly — time-stamped photos taken with Alexander's camera moments before and after the murder.

Just before he was slain, the successful businessman was in the master bathroom of the Mesa home he owned, washing himself after sex with Arias and letting her take pictures of him with his new Sony camera.

Arias snapped a couple of shots of Alexander with his head tilted up, enjoying the water splashing on his face. She took a picture of his back. And then she snapped the last haunting photo. It was of his dripping face, with an unexpectedly serious look on it for a man in a shower.

That was at 5:29 p.m.

At 5:32 p.m., a picture was taken of Alexander's bleeding body on the floor.

Alexander was sliced and stabbed 27 times, his neck was slashed, and he was shot in the face.

Though police once theorized that the gunshot came first, Dr. Kevin Horn, a Maricopa County medical examiner, believes the assault started with a knifing, because the gunshot to the head and the slashed neck were "fatal injuries."

Alexander had many defensive stab wounds on his hands that probably wouldn't have been present if he'd been shot first, Horn testified during the trial.

Alexander was 5-foot-9, 190 pounds. He was in good shape, with wrestling and kickboxing experience. The first knife thrusts must have come quickly, catching him by surprise and weakening his ability to respond.

The steel went deep in several places on Alexander's chest and neck. It plunged 31/2 inches through his ribcage to pierce the base of the heart, Horn's autopsy report and photos show. One vicious slice opened his pectoral muscle below his right nipple.

A six-inch gash was drawn down his abdomen. Knife wounds of one to two inches were made on his head, shoulders, neck, chest, back, and back of his head, with some cuts going deep into muscle. Horn noted a "cluster" of nine separate relatively shallow knife wounds on one small spot on his back.

A trail of blood let Mesa detectives know that Alexander, while struggling, made it out of the shower and into the hallway.

Alexander tried to defend himself. The knife lopped off a chunk of his right thumbnail. Most of the defensive wounds are on his left hand — typical when an attacker is holding the weapon in the right hand. The knife sliced muscle at the base of his left thumb and split the webbing between his thumb and index finger. The latter injury is common when a victim tries to grab a knife blade.

Arias dragged Alexander back into the bathroom. It's unclear whether he was conscious at that point. Cops think Arias cut one of her own fingers with the knife when, slick with blood, it slipped from her grasp as she stabbed Alexander.

In addition to recovering the pictures Arias had tried to erase from his camera, police found her bloody palm print on the hallway wall; the blood was a mixture of hers and Alexander's. A long strand of Arias' hair also was found embedded in blood on the wall.

Arias wasn't done. The theory presented by prosecutor Martinez is that she was so jealous and upset with Alexander's rejecting her (except for occasional romps in the sack) that killing him once wasn't enough.

Arias slashed Alexander from ear to ear. The wound was six inches across and severed his "entire upper airway, strap muscles of neck, right jugular vein, and right carotid artery."

Still not done, she produced a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol and shot Alexander in the lower-right portion of his forehead, just above his eyebrow. The small bullet went through the front portion of his skull, turned, and lodged in his left cheekbone.

Late the previous night, Arias had called Ryan Burns and told him she was in California, on her way to his Utah home. She called again about 24 hours later, claiming she'd driven the wrong direction, gotten lost, and run out of gas. She let him know she was about 100 miles outside Las Vegas.

She finally arrived in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan and met Burns about 11 a.m. on June 5. They hung out with his friends, went to a business meeting together, and later watched a movie at his place.

Both Burns and Arias later testified that they had a passionate make-out session on his bed that didn't include sex but involved lots of kissing and clothed crotch-"grinding."

Arias gave no sign to Burns or his friends that, less than 24 hours earlier, she had killed her ex-boyfriend and left his mutilated body in a blood-spattered shower stall.


The defendant doesn't fit the public's "preconceptions of a killer."

This is psychiatrist and author Keigh Ablow's explanation of why a non-celebrity killer can get worldwide attention: "She's pretty. She has a nice smile. She's young. She's female. She is . . . a white woman and a woman who isn't poor. She has no history of violent crime."

In this excerpt from an online column in June 2011, Ablow referred to Casey Anthony. But the same can be said about Jodi Arias.

The sensational trial of Anthony, a Florida woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, clearly shares several similarities with the Arias spectacle.

A Time magazine story about the popularity of the Anthony trial, from May to July 2011, suggested that the public is drawn to "a tenacious liar."

In that courtroom drama, "the sheer horror of the act — and the idea that a mother committed it — catapulted the case from local live-at-5 sideshow to tabloid sensation," Time wrote.

Matt Semino, an attorney and writer who's done legal analysis on the Arias case for HLN and True-TV, says Arias rivals Anthony as "a sensational trial." Where there was the horror of a mother's allegedly killing her child in Anthony, there's "the sex, the blood, the betrayal" in Arias. "People are really captivated by that."

CNN and NBC News declined comment for this article about ratings and how they've dealt with graphic content. A tweet by azcentral.com recently stated that on one day of Arias' live trial testimony, 1.5 million people viewed its live feed.

Bloggers and authors sit in court alongside more mainstream news reporters. Shanna Hogan, a reporter and editor at the local Times Publications, has a contract to write a book about the Arias case.

Acknowledging the case wouldn't be as popular "if these were two unattractive people," Hogan says what she finds most fascinating about it is "how you could love somebody and murder them."

Twitter, not surprisingly, has been a major forum for comments about the Arias trial. During Arias' contentious March 5 testimony, for example, tweets to the #jodiarias hashtag posted at a rate of about 30 to 50 per minute.

Another gauge of how the public is indulging its interest in the sordid case is the unlikely success of a website created in December called jodiariasisinnocent.com.

A search on alexa.com, a site that calculates the overall Internet presence of websites, shows that jodiariasisinnocent.com — which contains Arias case information — had a spike of page views in February that elevated it to a rank of 30,380th in the United States over the past three months. That's not bad, considering there are tens of millions of websites in this country. (The same administrator's caseyanthonyisinnocent.com site, created in July 2011, pulled in slightly more computer users during a span of about the same length.)

In an e-mail, a contact for the site, identified only as "SJ," says four people run the Arias and Anthony sites out of a "dislike of seeing people branded as guilty by the media."

SJ believes the Arias trial may be as big as Anthony's. One difference SJ has noticed, though, is that, unlike on the Anthony site, "the majority of hate posts on Jodi's site are from guys."

Websleuths.com, a true-crime site, shows tens of thousands of comments on dozens of topical forums about Arias. The Facebook page "Justice4Travis" is another popular repository for Arias case information and public commentary. It's run by two Australians who identify themselves only as Elna and Nora.

They launched the site last year after becoming interested in the case, they wrote, and "became friends with the Alexander family and some of [Travis'] friends. It is now personal for us."

They added, "We don't have the [death penalty] down here, so to see Arias actually fight for her life in real time is interesting."

At the Maricopa County Courthouse, regular trial-watchers discuss the case in raucous groups outside the fifth-floor courtroom. The banter gets so loud occasionally that they are ordered to pipe down by security officers.

One day, bailiff Valerie Leon came out to the waiting area to scold the trial watchers, saying complaints had been lodged about some of them whispering their opinions too loudly while seated directly behind Arias' family — which, Leon added, is "beyond disrespectful."

Some of the regulars are tapped frequently by news shows to give their impressions of the day's testimony.

Katie Wick, who worked as spokeswoman last year for Arizona Republican Congressional candidate Travis Grantham, tells New Times that she once wanted to be a prosecutor. She's in court nearly every day and has made weekly appearances on CNN, including with Dr. Drew.

"When you go home at the end of the night, you're tired — just exhausted," she says.

One couple, Jon and Laura Weiss of Pasadena, California, say they couldn't resist coming to the trial while they're in the Phoenix area on business. Neither had ever been in a courtroom before, they say, and Laura couldn't resist.

"I said, 'We gotta go!' It's a high-profile case, and it's right here in town!"

"We were here on the day of the photos of [Alexander's] private parts," Jon says. "So it was a shock."

Yet they came back on a couple of other days and also parlayed their courtroom experience into an appearance on Drew Pinsky's show.

Michelle Heinrich drove from Reno to Phoenix with a friend in early February and admits that she called in sick from work all week for the privilege of watching the trial live. As with a few of the other watchers, she's motivated partly by bad experiences with men in her life.

Despite her own abuse "every day for two years" by a former partner, she says, Alexander "did not deserve to get what he did."

Steve Packard, a Sun City retiree, says he wanted to be in court so he could observe jury members "up close."

After the high-profile Florida trial of Casey Anthony — in which she was found guilty only of misdemeanors and sentenced to four years behind bars with credit for time served — Packard says, "It scares me how a jury might think."

In the Arias case, Packard believes, jurors don't appear to be "having the wool pulled over their eyes."

That's difficult to tell, even from inside the courtroom. But the outcome of the Arias trial is certain to be vastly different from that of the Anthony trial. After all, Arias admitted finally that she did it.

She admitted emerging from her "fog" and stopping in the desert to throw away the pistol she used on Alexander, and she recalled washing his blood from her hands.


Jodi Arias would be the fourth woman living on Arizona's Death Row, if that's where her murder trial takes her.

She's neither the bloodiest female killer in the state's history nor — despite Arias' much-talked-about demeanor on the witness stand — the most flippant.

When housecleaner Eva Dugan was sentenced to die for the 1927 ax murder of an elderly rancher, she chided jury members that at least she'd "die with her boots on." Dugan laughed and sang "I Don't Know Where I'm Going, but I'm on My Way" as she walked to the gallows, a February 21, 1930, Associated Press article states. Then, when the rope snapped taut, her head unexpectedly popped off, rolling into a corner. Her blood-spurting body slammed into the floor near horrified witnesses; three women and two men fainted.

The gory scene spurred the state to switch from hanging murderers to gassing them to death.

Dugan remains the only woman executed since Arizona has been a state.

Arias could join the three women sentenced to death and awaiting execution: Debra Jean Milke, convicted of murdering her 5-year-old son; Wendi Andriano, convicted of poisoning her husband (Juan Martinez was prosecutor on that one, too); and Shawna Forde, ringleader of a group that killed a man and a 9-year-old during a home-invasion robbery.

The state's execution method changed again in 1992, when Arizona voters elected to use lethal injection following the ghastly 11-minute-long gas-chamber execution of Donald Harding.

Besides the three women, 120 men sit on Arizona's Death Row.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery wants to see Arias join those sentenced to die. In 2011, Montgomery rejected Arias' offer to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

Last month, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed Arias' eligibility for the death penalty in response to a defense motion.

If the jury convicts her of first-degree murder, the panel will then deliberate on whether she gets the death penalty. An acquittal based on Arias' self-defense claim seems impossible. Arias' admitted cover-up of the crime, lies to police and to the public, and evidence of premeditation all point to a sentence of either death or life in prison.

When police interviewed her, days after Alexander's decomposing body was found by his roommates on June 9, Arias said she hadn't been to Alexander's home for weeks.

Arias was known to Alexander and his friends as a stalking, jealous ex-girlfriend. Alexander and his friends suspected Arias of slashing his car's tires and sending one of his new girlfriends hate mail.

Arias, who'd started dating Alexander in mid-2006 and lived with him in Mesa for a few months, went back to Yreka for a time, but then moved from California to Mesa to be closer to Alexander after they broke up in 2007.

Arias told no one that she was planning to visit Alexander in Mesa on June 4, 2008, instead telling friends and family — and her romantic interest, Ryan Burns — that she was driving to Utah on June 3 to meet Burns.

For reasons that she couldn't explain intelligently during the trial, Arias rented a car instead of using her own, borrowed two gas cans from a friend in California, filled them, then bought a third gas can before crossing the California border.

The theory by prosecutor Martinez and police is that she wanted to leave no trace of her passage through Arizona.

On arriving at Burns' place in the Salt Lake City suburb, she told him and his friends that she'd gotten lost for a full day. The car-rental clerk noticed that Arias' hair was blond on June 3. Burns testified that by the time he saw Arias, it was dark brown.

When police confronted her with the extensive forensic evidence from the crime scene, Arias changed her story to the masked-intruders yarn.

After relating the second version calmly to the news media, she and her lawyer arrived eventually at the third.

In a 2011 motion, defense attorney Nurmi wrote that Arias' testimony would show Alexander was a "playboy expert manipulator and sexual deviant" who had attacked and threatened Arias in the past. Investigators never discovered a scrap of evidence on Alexander's computer or elsewhere that he'd viewed child porn, as Arias claims.

Arias now argues that she merely was defending herself on June 4, 2008. She claims Alexander had grown enraged in the shower after she dropped the new camera. She says he called her a "fucking bitch" and charged at her "like a linebacker," chasing her into a hallway. While she was running away through his walk-in closet, she claims, she found a handgun she knew he kept on a closet shelf, grabbed it, and it went off.

After that, she says, she entered the "fog" and can't recall further details of the attack. But, as Martinez elicited, it didn't stop her from trying to delete the camera images, putting the camera and bloody bedding in the washer, taking the gun from the house, throwing it somewhere in the desert, and leaving cheery voice mails for Alexander as if he were still alive.

Neither the gun nor the knife was ever found. The gun is a crucial detail that strongly suggests that the murder was premeditated.

A week before the killing, an alleged burglary occurred at the Yreka home of Arias' grandparents — where she was living at the time — and only a couple of items were taken. One of them was a .25-caliber handgun.

Alexander was shot with a .25-caliber handgun, the crime lab confirmed.

Such weapons are rare. It makes sense that elderly people might own a .25-caliber, because such guns were popular in the early 20th century. When Ian Fleming penned his first James Bond novel, he gave the secret agent a .25-caliber semi-automatic similar to the one used to shoot Alexander. After a gun aficionado complained to Fleming, he had his Bond character trade the gun in for a Walther PPK 7.65 millimeter.

The odds against Alexander's keeping a .25-caliber pistol in his closet are astronomical.

If the grandparents' gun had been a run-of-the mill 9 millimeter and Alexander had been shot with a 9 millimeter, her story might have been more plausible. Even then, crime-scene photos of the closet show neither a tie, shirt, nor stack of clothes out of place — clearly, there was no panicked grab for a gun in that closet.

Mel McDonald, the defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, predicts that a first-degree murder conviction is in Arias' future.

"You're sitting there having sex with the guy, and then you slit his throat — this doesn't happen spontaneously," McDonald says.

But some critics say Martinez's bombastic performance could backfire and cause at least one juror to feel sympathy for Arias and balk at the death penalty, forcing the panel to hand down a life sentence.

On March 6 and 7, Judge Stephens read about 220 questions to Arias from the jury; a member wanted to know more about Alexander's alleged abuse of her, suggesting that her self-defense claim still is in play in her or his mind.

However, most of the dozens of questions pointed toward Arias' guilt, with jurors expressing skepticism of her testimony and criticizing some of her admitted actions:

"After all the lies you've told, why should we believe you now?"

"How could you kiss another man when you knew what you just did to Travis?"

"Were you mad at Travis while you were stabbing him?"

Arias' answers to the questions — for example, she maintained that she has no memory of stabbing Alexander — were similar to those she gave previously, making it unlikely that they could placate the questioners.

In the next few weeks, defense attorney Nurmi will bring in more expert witnesses, including some who will attempt to bolster Arias' self-defense claim; prosecutor Martinez will make his rebuttal; closing arguments will occur; and the jury will start deliberations.

Arias could be re-called to the stand before testimony ends.

All the while, it's assured that millions will continue to tune in to every minute of the show — and then wait breathlessly to see what the jury decides.

O.J. was acquitted, but he ended up in prison for robbery in an unrelated case. Casey Anthony was set free in 2011 and resurfaced publicly this month for the first time in two years to attend a bankruptcy hearing.

One way or another, the Jodi Arias courtroom drama is likely to give the viewing public — who, based on interviews and Internet comments, seems to overwhelmingly think she's guilty of first-degree murder — a more satisfying ending.

Show Pages
 
My Voice Nation Help
93 comments
skepticguy
skepticguy

does anyone really believe anything ray stern writes?

skepticguy
skepticguy

does anyone really believe anything ray stern writes?

foreveryoung85207
foreveryoung85207

THE TRAIL OF JODI ARIAS  IS A JOKE!  SHE SAYS IS WAS ABUSED IN HER DREAMS ,I WAS AN ABUSED WOMEN FOR MANY YEARS  I GOT OUT OF THAT .AND I DID NOT GO KILL MY  EX  .JODI  IS JUST ACTING  SHE IS A VERY BIG LIAR  SHE WANTS PEOPLE TO FEEL SORRY FOR HER.B___S___  .I HOPE SHE GETS  THE  DEATH  PENTALY.AND  THE  ONE MILLION  THAT WAS SPENT SO FAR ON TAX  PAYERS MONEY  ,THAT MONEY SHOULD  OF GONE TO OUR SCHOOLS, FEED OUR CHILDREN.NEED I SAY MORE. 

Turtle88
Turtle88

Seriously, that State vs Jodi Arias page is run by two trolls from Australia with nothing better to do than to get involved in a justice system that is none of their business.  They are shady and maybe should pay attention to the stalking and harassment practices they participate in online in their own damn country.  Bunch of freaks. 

zandrei
zandrei

Jodi is just like Charles Manson cold and devil driven killer. The gun and knife was brought by her, she was good with knife she slashed 12 tires remember? She is not fooling anyone but herselfserving fog, may GOD punish her devilish ways, and he will.

phephe2311
phephe2311

She's a liar... Its impossible to be in a "Fog"  Coming from Mesa she would have had to drive on 3 highways,Drive thru 2 towns. Once getting to Kingman she would have had to exit one hwy to get on another, then drive thru Kingman's Main Street to get on road leading to Hoover Dam where she said she came to. Thats impossible.  I drive that route every month to Las Vegas.

no1carolyn
no1carolyn

Nice work Mr. Stern.  Carolyn Reynolds, Author

kscntrygrl2000
kscntrygrl2000

I am finding that the majority of peoples opinion of this case have gotten worse as this trial moves forward. Watching her arrogance, hearing her blatant lies, has all but turned the majority against her more than they were. She is an arrogant, self centered, sociopath with not even an ounce of remorse. If she was truly remorseful and repentant of her actions,she wouldn't have taken this farce as far as she has. She wanted him dead,and to NEVER get caught. I am amazed at her unrelenting and insistent trashing of travis's character. Yes,he made mistakes,and obviously was not perfect. What Jodi has done is horrific, and to not treat this murder As one would if she was a man killing a woman would be unfair. The bias that some show,because of the fact she is a woman astounds me! She mutilated and murdered a human being! She should be treated the same as any man.

kscntrygrl2000
kscntrygrl2000

I am finding that the majority of peoples opinion of this case have gotten worse as this trial moves forward. Watching her arrogance, hearing her blatant lies, has all but turned the majority against her more than they were. She is an arrogant, self centered, sociopath with not even an ounce of remorse. If she was truly remorseful and repentant of her actions,she wouldn't have taken this farce as far as she has. She wanted him dead,and to NEVER get caught. I am amazed at her unrelenting and insistent shredding of Travis's character. Yea, he made mistakes, as do we all!

saxonoskar
saxonoskar

The Facebook page run by Australian admins, is becoming a very 'hate hate hate' page, and I have unliked it for that reason, they did have good links, but too many angry opinionated people just out for death penalty.  Would they be so blood mongering if it was their family member???? 

loria0825
loria0825

I have been following this trial very closely.  Martinez has more work to do to prove premeditation; he's getting there but he's not there yet.  Many in the media act as if a first degree murder conviction is already a done deal and it's not.  Big mistake for Martinez or any one else for that matter to get overconfident right now. 

toplesscorvette
toplesscorvette

Great detailed article. Been following the case daily.

It's not complicated folks. GUILTY-1st

skullbuster44
skullbuster44

If memories were blocked from forming from the beginning of the stress (gunshot) and she came out of the fog in the car, remember Dr. said no memories whatso ever, how did she remember dropping the knife and screaming. Wish I could get Martinez to ask this question.

cynthiahall1961
cynthiahall1961

I love the no nonsense approach that Mr martinez has with this trial , he has his facts together with no second guessing, we need more prosecutors like him especially down south then maybe justice would be served and a lot of this shooting and killing people would stop.

katiecoolady
katiecoolady

Thank you Ray for covering this trial.  As you know I've been in the courtroom most days in support of the family. I've never seen the likes of the brutal reassassination of this victim through this sociopath and her attorneys through this trial.  To readers: this has nothing to do with an insanity defense. She's claming SELF DEFENSE while she stabbed Travis 27 times including 9 stab wounds in the BACK as he tried to escape her then she slit his throat and shot  him in the face. After at least 2 weeks of premeditation and years of lying about her involvement.  this will result in a conviction and death sentence for the demon.  Mark my words.


c.robideaux
c.robideaux

I am insulted by Ray Stern's crass assertion that you have to be a "doomsday prepper who's been living without a digital signal for the past three months" in order not to know the ongoing, gory details of the Jody Arias case. I, for one, am a regular guy who doesn't have anything against folks who have chosen to be prepared for doomsday, if they so choose (the unnecessary insinuation by Stern being that only these crazy prepper types have weeded out network TV from their lives - really?) and I am glad I haven't had my mind twisted (or tittillated in a soap opera of justice, O.J. kind of way) by this media circus. Why should any of us need to have this sick parade crammed down our throats on a daily basis? I have lived just fine and well-informed without a TV signal for years now. I have peace of mind without mainstream, network TV brainwashing and "infotainment," thanks very much. In fact, I didn't find out about this case until a friend of mine in Vegas kept asking me, "What do you think about this Jody Arias murder case?" and when I replied I didn't know anything about it, and he told me the basic facts, that's really all I cared to know. I pick up the leftist, sensationalistic, yellow-journalism rag New Times every now and then, and this week decided to read up on what is sure to be the O.J. trial of this decade. Despite Stern's superfluous societal slant, one can gather from his piece that the overall tone of the trial is inappropriately voyeuristic and salacious, though prosecutor Martinez is right to keep the pressure on his deceitful, confused, ruthlessly homicidal defendant. Don't let this one turn into the fiasco and miscarriage of justice that O.J. was, people!

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

Only on the US and in a Corrupt State like Arizona something like this could take place, where it seems that MEDIA WHORING is more important then SEEKING JUSTICE for an individual massacred by a psycothic bitch, whose Defense  is probably going to claim that she is mentally ill...... somebody already said that She is suffering PTSD, therefore paving the way for the Defense to go for that and try to play that card, which in the State of Arizona seems to be fair play. No research needs to be done to find an instance, for example : there's the MCSO and its CORRUPT SHURF , from where I think the need for MEDIA WHORING has spread to the top of the JUDICIAL SYSTEM and the COURTS to the point of making this trail a SOAP OPERA/COMEDY, which probably is going to generate a book , a Movie and so on, and the consequential result...MONEY, which I think is what They are going after, instead of bringing a swift, fair and bullshit free trail.

danxranx
danxranx

She is pretty hot man, I wouldnt mind some of that action!


www.WebAnon.da.bz

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

 A bevy of news shows, including those hosted by Nancy Grace andDr. Drew Pinsky on CNN andHLN, deconstruct the day's events. 


At this point, does anyone really think Dr Drew knows what he's talking about? 6 years of his show, and 5 people have killed themselves? 51 patients and 5 have killed themselves. Are there other counselors who have a 10% suicide rate among their patients?

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

 //"She described how Alexander, angry that she'd dropped his new camera, chased her from the shower to a closet, where she found "his" gun and shot him."//


Didn't she shoot him in the shower? I've been trying to figure out this statement. AFAIK, he was shot and killed in the shower. Is she expecting us to believe that the momentum from the bullets carried him all the way back down the hall into the bathroom?


And the pictures are a little freaky. That girl has something seriously wrong with her junk...

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Award winning commentary on the Arias trial.  You're a class act Mr Stern.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

Ray - great article.  I appreciate the deeper dive into this case.  I also liked your living blogging from the first couple days of the prosecutors cross exam.

pszymeczek
pszymeczek

What I'd like to know, if this were indeed self-defense, is after which stab wound did Travis quit attacking her.  Really.  I hope she gets life without parole, so she'll have many years to contemplate her actions

Dogbiter
Dogbiter

We all appreciate your feminism FerrisAgain, but it is misplaced on this psychotic killer. She deserves to be killed for reasons way outside her sexuality.

FerrisAgain
FerrisAgain

Damn. The number of sexist comments on here are so shocking. This woman is an evil, disturbed, awful human being. And it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a she. Or that she has a sexual past. My god, people, welcome to the 21st century.

ghsclarke
ghsclarke

She may be as guilty as sin, but Juan is proving to be uniformed, loose with his statements (i.e. if it isn't in her journal it didn't happen.) When forcing Jodi with a yes or now regarding if something was possible, he twists her reply to suit his needs.  He tried to prove that buying gas cans shows premeditation (she could go to any gas station and pay cash if she didn't want a record of her filling up in Arizona).  He infers that a photo which is in focus was not accident since it was in focus (it only takes 1/2 second of pushing the shutter button down to focus (IF IT WAS OUT OF FOCUS TO  START WITH).  Yesterday he stated that the shelf had to fall if she stood on it.  This is not so - depending on how quick she was - where her weight was, and how tight the shelf was within the sides - it is indeed possible to get up there momentarily.  He needed to have her actually try this on a shelf unit built to the exact specs as the CSI's measured at the time the body was found.

Again - I think she is guilty.  But Juan is so off base on many of his accusations that I would be surprised to see him headline more prosecution cases.  

valerie.lagunas
valerie.lagunas

@saxonoskar I'm saying give the bitch the needle, eye for an eye, Jodi MURDERED Travis in a brutal way, what do you wanna do? Give the freak show a fucking lollipop? Be serious!!! If she gets the death penalty for this brutal murder that JODI COMMITED I rather see the Alexander family getting a chance to stab her 27 times, slit her throat from ear to ear and shoot her in the head with a .25 caliber gun... That's justice!!!

Putting a needle in her arm and putting her to sleep is not what Travis went thru!!! I hope this 3 hole wonder gets the death penalty!!! She didn't give Travis the option of life, why should we!!!!!

boofa01
boofa01

@saxonoskar Even in reading this article, as the timeline unfolds and you see more and more of Arias and what she is like, you begin to feel more and more disdain for her. I think it might be fairly impossible for most people to hear her lies, her brutality and her attitude and not progressively feel more and more negatively towards her. If it were my family member I'd definitely feel like that - no questions asked. And if Arias was my family member, I'd fully understand why the other side felt like they did.

1260Linda
1260Linda

@saxonoskar If Travis were your family member would you not feel the same way?  Just a thought. 

promodeln4u
promodeln4u

@loria0825 Im a true Juan fan and adore the man's Prosecutorial talents, but I too, agree with you. Im also the kind of person who doesnt believe it til its IN MY HANDS anyway. I think he's doing a fabulous job and has done beautifully. Like you say though, I dont think he or anyone else should become overconfident - yet. Instead, keep digging and instilling the premeditation in the jurors minds. The facts are there. Make sure they HEAR it is all. Well said Loria0825.

saxonoskar
saxonoskar

@c.robideaux  I found that comment insulting too... I dont like in a cave or under a rock, yet in the country I live in, have had NO media coverage of this case at all. Im now watching the trial days from day 1 on youtube.  So have an unbiased opinion since havnt had all the media coverage for years like those in USA


naoma4man
naoma4man

@danxranx   I have been watching the trial since it started.  She would probably give you some action because in one story about her she gave a guy she had just met "oral sex" right outside his car.  I doubt she will see the light of day once this trial ends.  The sex is very graphic and they give a "daily warning" that it is.  Personally, I am enjoying Juan.  I live in Phoenix and would try to get into the trial but people line up at 4 AM and finding a parking place is difficult.

promodeln4u
promodeln4u

@danxranx You want some of THAT "action" eh? Hey! Im SURE you can find plenty of so-called "hot" women who'd like to murder you in cold blood! Especially the ones with a way higher IQ than you SEEM to have. SMDH. How ignorant. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mikey1969  ... did they kill themselves BECAUSE of Dr. Drew? ... or in spite of Dr. Drew?

Fact is, those suicidal losers were going to check-out anyway ... and good riddance!


phil123jones
phil123jones

@pszymeczek .......... I think she will have many years in prison to contemplate her crimes whether or not she gets the death penalty.  It takes on average, about 20 years or more to execute a prisoner.  

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

@FerrisAgain I find your comments refreshing, and on track. We should not look at this thru the jaded eyes that decide one gender is more evil than the other.

Having said that....if she were not a murderer, I would bang her like a screen door in a hurricane!  In front of her family, if necessary!

TaxpayingVoter
TaxpayingVoter

@FerrisAgain It's a sad result of the opening up of the courtrooms for the public to watch the trials as though they were sports events.

That, and people love to be judgmental and insert their own morality into their conclusions of what they've witnessed, for whatever reasons.

Maybe it's just the nature of the beast?  I'm sure it could be improved but only by the individuals participating, unfortunately.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

ghsclarke, seems to me that U R the one off base. 1, You have to be familiar with how a Prosecutor handle each case. You have to be Him to know the reason why He does that 2,- When You buy gas, even if You pay in cash, there are those little things called "SECURITY CAMERAS"  that could capture Her, why risk it,3.- A picture beign in focus it means that the picture taken is clear and centered, on whatever was intended to.....contrary to a picture taken by accident; usually out of focus due to no objective has been chosen at the moment the shuter was actuated....... the only thing I might agree with You, is the shelf. THINK ABUT IT.

1260Linda
1260Linda

@loria0825 @saxonoskar  I believe he is referring to The State vs Jodi Arias Travis Alexander Murder Trial page.  A page for support of Travis Alexander.

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

@DonkeyHotay @Mikey1969 Look, he's obviously not a good counselor, when that many of his clients kill themselves after his services. What's so hard to figure out? Of course, he has a much better attitude than you do. I'd say you'd have a 100% suicide success rate if you were the therapist.

promodeln4u
promodeln4u

@phil123jones @pszymeczek I only want the DP simply due the much more strict rules than LWOP. I WISH ALL states would make LWOP carry the same strict guidelines as DP, then it wouldnt be so hard. The BEST thing for this lunatic IS to have to live with and by herself. She'll drive herself insane! And not having ANY attention? Oh yeah! That'll do her in. My ONLY problem with DP for her is, I dont think its a hard enough death. Way too easy for someone like her! Im serious. 

ghsclarke
ghsclarke

@IdontRecall

Your points are invalid.  
1 - I have been a semi-professional photographer since 1973.  I have been dealing with digital cameras since 1997.  Don't get me started on the photography aspect - I know very well what I am speaking of.

2 - As far as hidden cameras at gas stations - forget it.  You are expecting every gas station to have images of every car Arizona on the day in question.  It is not going to happen. Even if every single car had an image taken, there are thousands of gas stations in Arizona.  Jodi was not suspected for some time - tapes, disks, hard drives get rewritten all the time.  Do you think there is going to be a database of every car and license plate that gets gas in Arizona?   
Juan just shows his stupidity. 
As I said - I am sure Jodi is guilty - and it may be premeditated.  But Juan is grasping at things he hasn't a clue about.

promodeln4u
promodeln4u

@IdontRecall Amen, Amen, AAAMEN!!! Whoo! I couldnt have said it better! And I LOOVE your strikes...and..."Almost forgot to mention...you are out!" LMAO! LOVE THIS POST! MY FAVE thus far! 

Am a smartass, especially with people who are OBVIOUSLY talking outta their anus, but you my friend? Youve just schoold ME in being sarcastic! And THAT? Thats doing something! LOL! Thank you!

PS. He is, WAY off base. And WAY uninformed! 

Guest
Guest

@ghsclarke @IdontRecall I think it's feasible that the purchase of gas cans could show premeditation. If I wanted to convince people that I had not been in the state or in the area when something happened, I sure as hell wouldn't risk fueling up in that area! You're right, security cameras may be "re-written" regularly... in the one or two places that still use VHS tapes. Most corporate chains now continuously burn their security tapes to DVD or save them on a hard drive and they are NOT overwritten or deleted. Not to mention she stole her grandparents' gun and brought it with her to poor Travis Alexander's house. I hear you that individually the points the prosecutor is making cannot stand on their own. But all together... it paints a pretty convincing picture. Not that we really need him to. 29 stab wounds, a gruesomely slashed throat and a bullet to the face kinda makes the prosecutor's argument for him. ya know.

ghsclarke
ghsclarke

@IdontRecall  - Well - I am sure you are a very nice person, but I am also sure that logic is a matter that escapes you.  You might want to stick with crochet as you don't have to think aloud.  

That said - are you still insane enough to  believe that focus on a camera can only take place when you  have composed the shot you are looking for?  C'mon and smell the coffee!  I am not going to give you a course in photography, focal length, and composure. While this is usually a quick lesson I teach, I don't have a spare day or two to make you understand.

Secondly - are you telling me the only time you have paid cash for a gas purchase, you have gone inside to pay?  Even Arco/AMPM stations have had the pay stations outside where cash is taken as well as debit, etc.

Perhaps Juan is a heroic relative of yours - I don't know.  But I do know that you have formed an opinion that even the courts are not prepared to give to the jury yet.  The law knows better that to accept pre-meditaion without all evidence in. You evidently are not a believer in bringing facts into evidence.  





IdontRecall
IdontRecall

ghsclarke, U R still off base. second strike.....TO PEOPLE OF GOOD KNOWLEDGE; FEW WORDS ARE NEEDED. There's no need to go into the Photography Realm to understand the difference between a FOCUSED picture, and a picture taken by acccident(out of focus)I already made my point........it's hard to believe U beign a semi-pro photographer when it seems that U have no clue of what's the difference. Third strike......I never mentioned "hidden caneras", I said  "Security Cameras", if You know the difference between them. When someone PAY IN CASH, necessarilly they have to go into the gas station, something She didn't want to do or risk beign seen  or captured on video and later been recalled, there might be no video but still somebody might remember Her or the car She was driving.

BTW, do You know how many cases Mr Juan has Prosecuted? seems U have a bonner for Him. Yes, She is guilty and that is a premeditated crime, based on all the evidence. This trial should've been finished by now, but it seems everybody in the court is more interested on her sexual life than the crime commited, maybe They want to get some pointers. ONLY IN ARIZONA..........Oh I almost forgot.....U R OUT.

 
Loading...