The Most Bizarre Things About The Jodi Arias Case

The Most Bizarre Things About The Jodi Arias Case

This article contains descriptions of violence and homicide.

If the trial of Jodi Arias was solely a movie, most of us would tap out of watching, complaining about how over-exaggerated and unrealistic some of the events were. However, as one of the most highly publicized cases America has ever seen, this unimaginable case of love gone wrong produced some of the most mind-boggling, heartbreaking, and utterly devastating truths about two human beings who really should have never gotten together. For one, it solidified the popular Maya Angelou saying, “when somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Prior to Travis Alexander’s untimely death in 2008, there were hordes of red flags about his relationship with Jodi Arias. However, for whatever reason, he simply couldn’t stay away. Neither could she.

Ultimately, what started as a mildly turbulent romance escalated to a real-life horror movie that even Stephen King couldn’t concoct. From the day they met to the day Arias was locked up for murdering her ex-boyfriend, the story of Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander is laced with bizarre twists and turns that’ll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

The ill-fated meeting and whirlwind romance

28-year-old Jodi Arias first met 30-year-old Travis Alexander in September of 2006 at a Pre-Paid Legal (PPL) services convention in Las Vegas (via HuffPost). Arias had previously been working as a freelance photographer when a friend told her to check out the MLM company for some new opportunities. Alexander was already established as a prominent salesman of PPL and known to be a devout Mormon. Nonetheless, the pair hit it off upon meeting and the relationship was off to the races. They immediately began their ill-fated correspondence which would ultimately total 82,000 text messages and lead to Alexander’s demise.

The same week she met Alexander, Arias swiftly broke up with her live-in boyfriend of four years and went to spend the weekend with her newfound love. It seems the attraction was mutual as Alexander wrote to a friend (via ABC News), “I went from intrigued by her to interested in her to caring about her deeply to realizing how lucky I would be to have her as part of my life forever… She is amazing. It is not hard to see that whoever scores Jodi, whether it be me or someone else, is gonna win the wife lotto.” Unfortunately the fiery nature of their relationship would eventually result in Alexander’s death. 

Jodi Arias' ever-changing religions

Travis Alexander had been a practicing Mormon since he was a child and though he often broke the rules of the religion, it was no secret that he had a strong allegiance to the Church of Latter-Day Saints. In order to be the woman she thought he wanted, Jodi Arias also converted to Mormonism so that they can have that religious grounding in common. Interestingly enough, as one of the elders at his church, Alexander was one of the people who conducted Arias’ baptism in November of 2006. Despite the newly made commitment, Alexander and Arias’ sexual relationship didn’t slow down, in fact, the now-convicted murderer admitted she and her late victim had anal sex on the very night of the baptism (via CNN). 

Adding more intrigue to an already eyebrow-raising story, this wasn’t the first time Arias had swapped religions for a lover. During one of her testimonies (via ABC News), Arias admitted she had dabbled in several religions introduced to her by past boyfriends. The ever-experimental photographer confessed that she had delved into Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even witchcraft before meeting Travis and getting into Mormonism. 

Travis Alexander's friends warned him about Jodi Arias

Torrid as the relationship was, at first, friends of Travis Alexander thought the whirlwind romance with Jodi Arias was charming. However, soon after they began dating, Alexander’s friends noticed that Arias was a bit possessive and obsessive over him. 

Arias’ behavior was sending such screeching red flags that her beau’s friends decided to stage an intervention for him. “We were just telling him all the things that we were worried about with her,” said Sky Lovingier Hughes, a close friend of Alexander’s to ABC News. “I said, ‘She’s scary, there’s something wrong with her,” she admitted. In a now eerily prophetic statement, Hughes also revealed to her late pal that she was “afraid we’re going to find you chopped up in her freezer.”

As the intervention was going on, Hughes got a “cold feeling” that Arias was listening in on the conversation. When Alexander went to open the door, sure enough, they found the now-convicted murderer standing right outside looking severely displeased. “The look on her face … was just evil,” Hughes stated. 

Jodi Arias stalked Travis Alexander

Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander’s relationship ended almost as fast as it began. Per HuffPost, they officially began dating in February 2007 and the star-crossed lovers were broken up by June. Both parties agreed to start seeing other people but couldn’t stay away from each other. The pair maintained their raunchy correspondence and in April 2008, Arias decided to move from her home in Yreka, California to Mesa, Arizona — where Alexander resided. 

Soon after, the salesman revealed to his friends that Arias was exhibiting some unsettling behavior — to put it lightly. Among the curious actions in question was Arias’ habit of showing up to Alexander’s house unannounced and letting herself in because she had the code to his garage; in the book, “Killer Girlfriend: The Jodi Arias Story,” author Brian Skoloff stated that the late salesman admitted to his friends Arias even went as far as breaking in through the doggy door (via Inside Edition) to gain access to his home. When he began seeing other people, Arias also slashed his tires and on several occasions went to the women’s houses, rang their doorbells only to run away. (In other words, she was playing ding-dong-ditch with her ex’s new interests).

While her behavior had everyone’s antennae in overdrive, friends weren’t aware of the fact that Arias and Alexander were still in communication. They would later find out the two maintained a sexual relationship, engaging in intimate behavior via text messaging and phone conversations.

Premeditating the murder

In April 2008, the two agreed they needed some real distance between them and Jodi Arias returned to Yreka where she moved in with her grandparents. Still, the two maintained their hot and heavy phone interactions — sexting and having phone sex — some of which Arias recorded without Travis Alexander’s knowledge.

According to “The Last Podcast on the Left,” an entry on Alexander’s “Being Better” blog published on May 18 may have been the final trigger. Titled, “Why I Want to Marry a Gold Digger” Alexander spelled out all the qualities of the type of woman he would want to marry and Arias simply didn’t fit the description. On top of that, the chemistry between the two of them had gone from hot to extremely volatile, with Arias threatening to release their explicit recording and Alexander allegedly calling her an “evil sociopath.” Tired of the back and forth and the tumultuous nature of their relationship, Arias began plotting the murder. 

On May 28, 2008, Arias’ grandparent’s home was burglarized and the supposed perpetrator walked away with several objects including her grandfather’s .25 caliber gun. During that same time period, Arias had also begun seeing Ryan Burns, another PPL salesman. The two made plans to meet up in Salt Lake City at a company conference in June. Prior to leaving, Arias picked up two gas cans from a former flame, stating California gas prices were cheaper. It was later found out the cans were a ploy so she didn’t fill up while in Mesa.

The murder of Travis Alexander and jarring photographic evidence

According to HuffPost, on June 4, 2008, Jodi Arias drove from California to Mesa where she met up with Travis Alexander at his home. The pair spent the day having sex and taking explicit photos of each other. Afterward, Alexander decided to get in the shower. While he was showering, Arias continued taking candid photos of him. In what’s believed to be his last photo alive, Alexander has a perplexed look on his face that some speculate was the realization that something bad was about to happen.

Arias stabbed Alexander at least 26 times (via Murderpedia), with the victim sustaining defensive wounds along the way. She then proceeded to slit his throat and then shot him in the head, sealing his fate. Evidence found the bullet was from a .25 caliber gun — the same type of gun that had been stolen during the purported robbery at Arias’ grandfather’s house. Neither the gun nor the knife were ever recovered.

As the murder was taking place, Arias thought she turned off the camera, but in actuality, it continued capturing pictures as blurry photos showing pools of Alexander’s blood, that were later shown at the trial. Arias later attempted to delete all pictures, throwing the camera in Alexander’s washing machine — along with bloodied towels she used to wipe up some blood — and turned the machine on. She left the home soon after. 

Questionable post-murder behavior

Though her behavior prior to the murder was extremely bizarre, her actions after the killing were twice as perplexing. After leaving Travis Alexander’s home, Jodi Arias, whose phone was turned off for the duration of her time in Mesa, finally called Ryan Burns and told him she was on her way to Utah. She was, of course, a day late but excused her extreme tardiness by saying she accidentally drove in the wrong direction and had stopped to rest at some point (via HuffPost). While in Utah, Burns said Arias was friendly and upbeat and showed no signs that anything was wrong. 

“She was fine, she was laughing about simple little things like any other person … I never once felt like anything was wrong about the day … Socially, the first time I saw her in a crowd, I thought she was much more comfortable one-on-one. That was the first time I noticed she was a little awkward in social areas and it seemed like she didn’t talk very much to some other people … [But] one-on-one she was very talkative,” Burns said during his court testimony. The only odd thing was the fact that she was wearing long sleeves in hot weather and had some cuts on her hands. Ever the enterpriser, Arias explained this by saying she sustained the injuries while waitressing at a restaurant called Margaritaville. 

It took five days for people to find Travis Alexander

Because of the recession, Travis Alexander had two roommates renting rooms in his house so he could pay his extremely high mortgage. However, though one of them was home for the entire time Alexander lay dead in his shower, it wasn’t until friends of his sought him out that his body was discovered. On the day that he died, per Murderpedia, Alexander had an important conference call scheduled for 7 p.m. His friends found the absence curious. However, when he also went MIA for a pre-planned business trip to Cancun, Mexico, they decided to pay his home a visit.

On June 9, 2008, one of Alexander’s roommates, along with his friend entered the horrific bedroom and found him dead in his shower. In a harrowing 911 call, a friend of Alexander’s called out Arias as a primary suspect. “He has an ex-girlfriend that’s been bothering him,” she stated. “[She’s] been following him and slashing tires, things like that.”

Though it only took a few days for friends to suspect something was up, his roommates didn’t have an inkling the entire five days. Alexander’s keys, chastity ring, and car were all present in the home yet the roommates didn’t bat an eye, according to “The Last Podcast on the Left.” Moreover, they claimed they never smelled any decomposition despite the fact that his body was in there for five days. 

Jodi Arias had an inappropriate obsession with her looks

Just over a month after the murder, cops showed up at Jodi Arias’ home to arrest her for the murder of Travis Alexander, as reported by ABC News. She didn’t put up a fight nor did she seem scared. However, one of the most bizarre moments that took arresting officer Flores back was the fact that Arias seemed to be very much concerned about how she looked. At a time where she is expected to be at the very least, surprised that cops were at her door, Arias was more worried about her physical appearance. Prior to being taken to the station, Arias never asked to alert her grandparents nor was she crying or scared. Instead, she surprised officer Flores by asking to get her purse so she could put some makeup on. He declined. 

Once at the precinct, right before she was booked, Arias also asked to “freshen up” before getting her mugshot taken. When she’s told no, she can be seen on surveillance fluffing her hair to give it more body and slightly reprimanding herself, stating “You should’ve at least put your makeup on, Jodi, gosh,” under her breath.

The ever-changing story

For everyone who knew about Travis Alexander’s relationship with Jodi Arias, the young photographer was the prime suspect in their minds. However, it took a while for Arias to finally come around to admitting she had any involvement in his demise. On the night that she was arrested, Arias told officials that she didn’t even know that her former flame was murdered and was hellbent on the fact that she had nothing to do with it. 

However, according to ABC News, after spending the night in jail, Arias came back with an elaborate story about how the pair got attacked while in Alexander’s home. She claimed two intruders came into the house while she was taking photos of Alexander as he was in the shower and began attacking both of them. Arias claimed she survived because the intruders were on a mission to only get Alexander. She told detective Flores that she didn’t go to the authorities because she was scared. 

But that wasn’t the end of it. During the trial, Arias brought an entirely new odyssey to the stand, where she claimed to have killed Alexander in self-defense. She told the court that they got into a fight where he physically attacked her and she accidentally shot the gun. During that testimony, Arias insinuated that Alexander had previously been physically abused and that’s why she panicked. 

The interview heard around the nation

One of the more captivating aspects of the Jodi Arias case was her brazen attitude. It seemed no matter who she was talking to, she spoke with conviction even though she was lying most of the time. One of the instances that intrigued the nation was her interview with Inside Edition. At the time it was conducted (September 2008), Arias was already in custody for the murder, awaiting trial and maintaining the burglary narrative. What shocked most people was how she came off as innocent and almost believable. 

She confidently told the interviewer, “I know that I’m innocent. God knows that I’m innocent. Travis knows I’m innocent.” To put the cherry on top of the sundae, she boldly declared, “You can mark my words on that one, no jury will convict me.” With so much evidence already stacked against her, the statement made an already implausible case that much more compelling, as the public was both shaken and intrigued by Arias’ brashness.

As part of her self-defense claim during the trial in 2014, Arias admitted that she was so vehement only because she thought she would commit suicide at some point. “I was very confident that no jury would convict me because I was sure I’d be dead,” she told the jury (via ABC News). “Those are probably the most bitter words I’ll ever eat.”

Sensationalization of the trial

Between the explicit audio recording, provocative photos, Arias taking the stand, and the jury getting to ask her questions, the trial of Jodi Arias was going to be highly public, much like O.J. Simpson as well as the Menendez brothers trials. However, not unlike those two previous cases, the trial of Jodi Arias also became a media sensation. Perhaps because of its femme fatale nature, the trial became a breeding ground for the press and fodder for social media since it took place when Twitter was at the height of its powers. 

According to CBC, a seat on the sidewalk of the courthouse even cost $200 at one point. TV networks such as HLN and ABC also created special slots to cover the case with programs such as “HLN After Dark” on the former and “Good Morning America” snagging Arias’ diaries revealing even more saucy details about her and Alexander’s relationship. Key players in the trial also became pseudo-celebrities. At one point, Arias’ lawyer Juan Martinez had to take secret exits because fans would swarm the main entrance begging for his autograph. 

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