Why did Jodi Arias brutally murder Travis Alexander?
In her new book, "Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias," Jane Velez-Mitchell speaks to people who knew both Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias and discovers some stunning new information that gets to the "deeper why" behind this shocking murder. Some of these details have never been reported before.
As she sat on the witness stand, only one thing about Jodi Arias was clear: the woman was a chameleon.
Once upon a time, before the trial had begun, before she’d been taken into custody, before she’d killed her ex‑boyfriend Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias had been a bombshell. During her relationship with Travis, her hair had been dyed blond; her makeup had been tasteful, with just the right amounts of lipstick, blush, and mascara; and her alluring face had been radiant.
The woman on the witness stand bore little resemblance to that Jodi. She wore no makeup, though her skin had grown pale from lack of sunlight. Her mousy brown hair had returned to its natural state, with thin, wispy bangs cut right at the eyebrows. When she dated Travis, she hadn’t worn glasses, but during her trial a large, unavoidable pair of glasses was often fixed on the bridge of her nose. It was unclear whether she actually needed the glasses, but their presence had the unmistakable and deliberate effect of making her look like a librarian—a librarian who happened to be on trial for murder.
There was nothing subtle in this transformation or in the public’s fascination with it. From the first words of the defense’s opening statements, people had been clamoring for more, and most days the gallery was packed to the gills with spectators eager to witness this chameleon firsthand and hear the inner workings of a case that was more sexually charged than any in memory—possibly ever. Indeed, though this was a murder trial, the sexual exploits of Jodi and Travis were the bedrock of the case, with both the prosecution and defense alike putting the most intimate details of the pair’s sex life on full display for the jury. The fact that cameras were permitted in the courtroom to broadcast the stories of their steamy sex to the world made things even more lurid. Voyeurs everywhere came out of the woodwork, and outside the court, gallery tickets were briefly scalped for hundreds of dollars until court officials cracked down.
But this wasn’t just about sex. A brutal crime had been committed— the cruel, bloody slaughter of Travis Alexander, who at thirty years old had been an active member of the Mormon church. Not only did he possess athletic all-American good looks, he was adored by his community— and people were hungry for justice. According to the prosecutor, Jodi had killed him three times over on June 4, 2008, leaving him with twenty-nine knife wounds and shooting him in the right temple. Even though the gunshot was probably a gratuitous postmortem act, two of the twenty-nine knife wounds were definitely lethal: the fatal stab to the heart, and the six-inch slice across Travis’s throat, a gash that went three and a half inches deep from ear to ear and severed his airway and carotid artery. Five knife injuries on Travis’s hands were defensive wounds, sustained in his desperate effort to fight off his attacker.
In "Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias", Jane brings her Emmy Award-winning journalism to offer new details and fresh insights into the bizarre, twisted, and utterly fascinating Jodi Arias murder trial. Exposed will be released on August 20, 2013. . Click here to buy from Amazon or here to buy from Barnes & Noble. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Travis Alexander’s charities and an animal charity.
For more on this story, watch Jane Velez-Mitchell weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on HLN. Follow the show on Facebook and follow Jane on Twitter. Pre-order Jane’s new book “Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias” here