A Jodi Arias "Selfy"
Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story
Jodi and Travis Truth vs Movie
Most people have heard about the "fatal attraction" murder. CNN does all it can to deliver the image of Jodi Arias as an evil woman who's presence is spooky, and who's psychological imbalances are evident in her demeanor. The Lifetime movie, Dirty Little Secret, portrayed Jodi as an obsessive, pushy freak, who used an overly sexual presence manipulate men. The facts are nowhere near the myth that is growing with every year that the case become less intimate and more legendary. The problem is that a case as intriguing as the Travis and Jodi stirs the imaginations of all who learn of this "fatal attraction" female stalker case.
It is rare that we see a murder being committed by a beautiful young woman to begin with but then we find Travis Alexander, a handsome young successful man on his way to becoming the next Tony Robbins to be equally intriguing. Both of these two seemed ideal in many ways. They both had beauty, youth, health and intelligence going for them. The initial question we have is, what went wrong? As we ask that question unfortunately all the "woman scorned" movies that we have seen, the Play Misty for Me, and Fatal Attraction stir our imaginations into turning Jodi, the killer, into a monster, while turning Travis Alexander, the victim, into a perfect guy.
The facts of Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander are that neither one of them was a monster or a saint. They were human and examining their real stories makes it easier to truly understand what went wrong.
The Lifetime movie about Jodi and Travis did not portray Jodi in an accurate light at all. Those who knew Jodi have stated that she dressed nicely, but not sexy, and that her behavior was calm and collected, not hysterical. Travis, was portrayed in a more conservative light than that of his actual character. While Travis was Mormon and had expressed his desire of being married and living a life geared towards family values, he also struggled with his ego and his private desires.
Travis Alexander with His Grandmother
He had been raised by his drug addicted parents until things became unbearable.He was fortunate to be rescued by his grandmother, a generous and caring Mormon woman who began taking Travis to church with her. It was during this time that teenaged Travis began to find himself. The Mormon church gave Travis a sense of direction, responsibility and most importantly, he no longer felt inadequate. Travis had such a bad childhood that he naturally felt out of place around kids who had been raised with caring parents. He knew that he was never taught right from wrong or introduced to the social graces that most children learn through example as part of growing up.
Travis was a determined student who wanted to better himself. He thoroughly wanted to make a complete turn around in his life. His older siblings battled substances and seemed to be following in the pattern that one might expect from such poor parenting, but Travis wanted to change his life and then pay it forward by helping others change their lives for the better. Although he was a hard worker, Travis found himself flat broke in his early 20s. He briefly toyed with getting a college education but he hated going to school. Travis was searching for some way to make a fortune without going to college.
Travis wanted wealth not just for the sake of having money, but for the inspiration of it. He wanted to prove to himself and others that one did not need a college degree to be successful. He also wanted time. Travis did not like the idea of working all day and night just to pay for things. He believed that there just had to be some way of making money and having spare time in life. Most people dismissed Travis' ideas about wealth and time as the fantasy of a young man in his 20s vocalizing his dreams, but then Travis met Chris Hughes.
Chris was a moderately wealthy man who had a wife and three children and did not punch a time clock. Chris was living the life that Travis wanted to live. To Travis' delight Chris was willing to help him out. Chris was an associate with Legal Shield, a reputable multi-level marketing company, and basically anyone who is willing to pay the$150 to sign up is in the position to earn six figures passively. Travis struggled to come up with the initial fee and then put all of his efforts into becoming rich through Legal Shield.
Travis was soon earning a handsome income and bought a five bedroom home, along with a brand new BMW. He also took exotic vacations in which Legal Shield picked up the tab. Travis was living better than most doctors live within just one year. With his mounting wealth Travis was attracting bombshell girls. He had always been attractive to the opposite sex but his appeal was quickly growing with his income. Travis also began working out and taking better care of his appearance once his life was in full swing. In 2006 Travis was happy, wealthy, and on his way to the top.
Jodi Arias with Her Sister
Contrary to the media image of Jodi Arias there was nothing strange bout her. She was creative rather than book smart, and spent much of her free time drawing and taking photos. Jodi had become so interested in photography that she actually picked up side jobs through word of mouth for weddings, baptisms, and special events. She had left high school without graduating and found herself drifting in her early 20s. Jodi made most of her money as a waitress in upscale restaurants. She was a reliable and hard working girl who was very good in the customer service industry. Jodi had been in several relationships with men and none turned out the way she wanted. With her slim figure and pretty face, Jodi could easily get male attention, but Jodi craved an old fashioned family man.
In 2006 Jodi was lost and restless due to the fact that her latest long term boyfriend had told her that he did not wish to marry her and have any other children than the one who he already had. Upon digesting this information Jodi knew that she needed to move on in some way and after someone handed her a Legal Shield DVD to spark her interest in the company, Jodi decided to go to Las Vegas convention to help jump start her new career. Although she was a good waitress she had no intention of being one all her life. Jodi had ambitions of becoming a real estate investor.
As luck would have it, Jodi impressed the young motivational speaker, Travis Alexander to the point of being asked to a special dinner for top earners. Travis was attracted to Jodi physically and being the confident man he was, invited her to the exclusive black tie dinner . Jodi told her team that she did not want to go because she was already in a relationship with another man, but after some persuading by Travis Jodi went.
The Jodi Arias movie portrayed Jodi pursuing Travis, the real Jodi was being pursued by Travis at this stage of their relationship. Jodi felt awkward, because her heart was fragile at this point, but somehow, Travis had impressed Jodi after their exclusive dinner and long talk that Jodi left Las Vegas thinking of Travis. Whatever happened between the two that first night seemed to turn Jodi's life around completely.
She became distant with her boyfriend and kept herself ready for a new relationship with Travis, who called Jodi and immediately scheduled a meeting. Its hard to nail down exactly what was happening with the two in the first months of their meeting but one thing stands out as true, and that is the fact that Jodi was thoroughly smitten with Travis. When he was nice to her she was happy, when he was ignoring her she was destroyed. Those who were regularly in the company of Travis and Jodi at Legal Shield were regularly saying that Travis was abusing Jodi. Some of the older men acted as a father figure, telling Jodi that she needed to stay away from Travis because he was not good for her. Many of the women within Jodi's Legal Shield team felt sorry for her because she was so tormented by Travis. In fact, he had offered to help her out with her Legal Shield business, but nothing came of it. Jodi had wanted to learn how to be a better business woman and now she was spending all of her money traveling from California to Arizona in effort to stay close to Travis.
Jodi at PPL Convention
The Jodi Arias Crime
Those who know Jodi still have a hard time believing that Jodi committed the crime by herself, yet there is no evidence suggesting that anyone else could have been there. Jodi simply snapped. It seems that she must have been stewing for a few months. Gathering evidence of Travis being unfaithful, lying and then doing all she could to keep him in her life. Even if the only way she could keep him calling her was to resort to being his sex toy. In the total of two years that Travis and Jodi knew each other Jodi's role in his life went from casual date, to girl friend, and then degenerated into his "dirty little secret." From Jodi's perspective she had envisioned herself being married to Travis after falling head over heels in love with him during the short time in which he was pursuing her. She had trouble getting him to commit to her and when he placed her on the back burner once and for all Jodi was hanging around and doing all she could to get Travis to see that she was worthy of being his wife.
It must have been tormenting. Travis needed to be straight with Jodi, that he simply did not have strong enough feelings for her to make a commitment and Jodi needed to come to grips with that reality. It seems that intellectually Jodi was becoming aware that she had no real chance with Travis yet she simply had to keep trying. Jodi had spent almost two years putting every ounce of her energy into winning Travis. She had spent all of her earnings traveling back and fourth from California to Arizona, taking trips with Travis in effort to bond with him, and keeping herself well dressed and groomed. Finally, Jodi found herself deep in debt, having her car repossessed, and no better off in life than she had been in her teens. Jodi's heartache and despair was turning into anger and vengeance.
Now, instead of dreaming up ways of luring Travis to fall in love with her she was plotting a way to do away with her torment by eliminating Travis Alexander for good. If Travis were nowhere on earth, Jodi would not worry about who he was with and waste her time trying to win him back. Her obsession with Travis Alexander would be over.
She changed her platinum blond hair just in case someone would see her driving through Arizona. She also brought gas containers with her so that there would be no evidence of where she had been. Jodi cooked up an elaborate set of stories to tell friends, family and police when the body of her ex lover would be discovered. On her long drive from California to Arizona, Jodi turned her cell phone off. This would make it impossible for police to track down her exact whereabouts during the days in which Jodi was on the road. One can only wonder what ran through Travis' mind when he saw Jodi as a brunette for the first time. Somehow Jodi had entered Travis' home and spent hours with him in his room while two men who rented rooms from Travis had no idea that Jodi had ever been there. After having sex with Travis and allowing him to photograph her nude with his new camera, Jodi's plan went into action. She used Travis' camera to photograph him in the shower, but apparently the photo shoot was just a ploy as to what Jodi really intended to do. She began viciously stabbing her ex lover in the back, and after a savage attack, she continued to slash his throat and shoot him twice.
Why did Jodi attack him to such an extent? The reason for this is probably a combination of things. One being that Jodi's fear of getting into trouble for what she had done ran through her mind and she thought, through the rush of adrenalin, that if she were savage enough no one would suspect her. Another reason may be that all the rejection, all the wasted tears and humiliation was taking over to even the score.
Either way, Jodi is responsible for a major crime. She is ultimately responsible for not seeking out counseling, and instead, plotting a murder. This is ultimately what makes Jodi Arias different from other women who have suffered in similar ways. Her act of eliminating Travis was a selfish act in that all of the Alexander family were deeply hurt, as were all family members, friends and business associates connected to her.
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An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser was a classic novel based on the true case of Chester Gillette. Forty years after the tragedy it became a classic movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun. This love triangle is th
- Blood, & Money. The Strange Case of Dr. John Hill & Murder in Texas.
the strange case of Dr. John Hill and Joan Robinson Hill. John's affair with the thrice divorced Ann Kurth was the beginning of the end. Joan died suddenly in 1969 at age 38.
- Scott & Laci Peterson.. And Amber Frey
Scott Peterson seemed to have it all. A beautiful wife who was about to deliver their first baby, friends, respect, and financial well being. He threw away his life for Amber Frey, a single mom.
Frank on November 08, 2019:
Finally an honest, realistic version of events without driving sensationalism to get TV ratings or sell magazines. The media used Jodi to make money. They should be ashamed of themselves. Gloating and talking endlessly about the case while smiling the whole time. No, Jodi is not a monster. Just a tragic figure who had a mental break down.
Randomgirl on November 03, 2019:
This is a great article. I felt Travis was using her and enjoying that she’s so affected by him.
I felt sorry for her, but true, most of women who experience the same don’t wait till you actually murder.
Suzie from Carson City on June 07, 2016:
Cat....Everyone who has made a comment here has stated particular facts...no fiction. All of the info has come directly from the trial, all the interviews by law enforcement, background and history form her own family and close friends. Most of what is known about Jodi has been investigated, researched, confirmed and reconfirmed.
The facts of this entire thing, of Jodi, Travis & their relationship is egregious enough without anyone fabricating or lying. What is written here can all be substantiated twice over. She did not shoot Travis twice, but she did shoot him once. The only question in terms of the shooting was whether or not she shot him before or after he was already dead.
The reality is she slaughtered the man in a crazed fit of insanity, so incensed at the time, she left her own bloody hand print on the shower door & a camera filled with absolute proof of her guilt in the washing machine. Was she crazy enough to think the camera would never be found or did it go into the washer accidentally? Why was she not aware she didn't have it with her when she left?
I'm not at all sure where you get the impression that Jodi's life was not "normal." She was raised by good parents, had a typical family life and sibling. There was no history of abuse or family violence.
Even Jodi herself spoke of the happy childhood she had.
That "Jodi was strange," is an understatement. 2 things clearly become apparent when you read the several books written on this case. Jodi Arias was without a doubt, someone who can be described in the simplest of terms as "The Bad Seed," or "Damaged Goods." However one sees her or attempts to understand her, Travis paid the ultimate price in the end.
GlendaGoodWitch (author) from California on June 07, 2016:
@ Cat- Travis was shot. That is a fact. Look it up before you freak out.
Cat on June 06, 2016:
Since when was Travis shot twice? This article needs to clarify facts with fiction. Yeah one old man who Jody stayed the night with and didn't know says Travis was mean to her. She did not have a normal child hood either. You know if you don't like the way someone is treating you you don't murder them you move on. This woman was pissed off because Travis wanted to date other women. It's a free world. She thought Travis should be with her and if not then no one can have him. This woman is not and didn't have a normal life. She was like a chameleon she changed her spots with whoever she was with. She was strange as a kid mean to animals per her family. You need to verify your facts because what you have written is not true.
Suzie from Carson City on March 19, 2016:
flor.....I sincerely hope that you have someone you can discuss this issue with in full detail~~for a good length of time. In fact, I strongly suggest you do so, dear young woman. Your mind seems to be in lingering crisis mode (as per your final statement, which disturbs me greatly for your sake.)
You do need time, discussion and some intense counseling. Please consider this flo? You are far too valuable to yourself, loved ones & the world, to wrap yourself up in a clearly pathological relationship....or even a "yearning" for one. I wish you much luck and more than that, resolution. Peace, Paula
flor on March 19, 2016:
I have been following Jodi arias case and have actually chosen her as the criminal to write about for my criminal justice course : psychology criminal behavior. I can understand Jodi somewhat.....I too had a relationship with a guy who was handsome, strong tall, to me he was successful, wealthy, educated and had a good job...a month after separating and leaving my ex husband for cheating I met him. He was a king to me, he treated me so good, we held a relationship for months in the same state, it was more of aan intimate relationship...then he decided to move to Florida ..I was very disappointed but we both decided to give it a try to long distance....I as a single mother forgot my priorities, I was working full time school full time and managed to pay tickets every month to go his way for only a weekend. I would go thru the trouble of finding rides to the airport, and leaving my son behind wwhile with his father weekend per court ..I felt lonely but was somwwht obssessed with this guy that I ignored that a beautiful women like me I do consider me beautiful was technically being used for sex..I was his expensive booty call. Same as Jodi and Travis we would have long conversations via text sexting pictures..our encounters involved sex only 9 to 10 time. He would describe me as a sex slave.. but I did picture marriage ? Ok he never once paid a ticket to come see me...I always ended up going...at the end of the relationship....he literally told me all he felt for me was lust....when he did say I love you...many times...this relationship was devastating took me to the edge of depression...I would text him sexy pictures and text him provocative texts because that's the only way he would reply.... I wanted his attention...but I think I was not to the edge of hurting him..I never hated him I loved him...he contacted me again last yr and made me drive ok not made me I agreed.. to atl for "closure" our intimate ways returned he even video taped our sex several times and he say he would keep it for him to remember our times....I allowed it all this...the last day in the hotel I noticed he was deff. Using him...I did hated him at that point... He stated " I will miss u ..u deserve a good guy and I hope you find a good man." After hearing that I was angry...ok had driven hours spent money to see him...I thought maybe he really wanted me back as his gf..but no..I was his little secret...too. I was angry I did not looked at him the same way....I grabbed my bags was cold and left.. but I never ever vison him dead.. I have to say...situations like this can lead humans commit crimes.... But I can maybe relate to jodis feelings...if indeed your article is correct about the events and personalities....anyways. yes. I still love the guy secretly...I don't look for him anymore...but if he text me today to travel his way...I think...I would still go.
Suzie from Carson City on September 16, 2015:
let'stalk......Underlying fact. The reality simply is: Jodi did nothing BUT "focus on herself." This was not about love nor a future with Travis. Not even for a moment.
For Jodi this was about "Jodi" being the focus, the controller, the ultimate need of a MAN...in this case, it happened to be Travis. Her obsession was that what SHE wanted was what she would have. Period, the end.
Travis was too mysterious for her, too strong & independent. He was young, handsome and successful, with his choice of women at his fingertips. NONE of this was tolerable to Jodi.
("No, Travis, you are NOT taking another woman on a trip that belongs to ME.....no other woman has a right to take what is MINE. YOU are MINE and you have no right to be with someone else......and I am going to see to it that you don't go on that trip. YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO HAVE SEX WITH ME WHILE PLANNING A TRIP WITH ANOTHER WOMAN? NO TRAVIS. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN. YOU CANNOT DO THIS TO ME. I SHALL KILL YOU.")
McKenna Meyers on September 16, 2015:
The truth -- in all its complexities and shades of grey -- is more fascinating than the simple-minded myth. It makes us wonder about human nature and whether any one of us, under the right (or wrong) circumstances would lose it like Jodi did and kill. It seems like she really put all her eggs in one basket -- a future with this man -- instead of focusing on herself. We can all learn from that. Great hub!
Suzie from Carson City on April 13, 2015:
Michael........I am sorry you had such a painful experience. However, in your case, you admit to being blindly in love and exposing your heart to abuse. This is not at all similar to Jodi. Rest assured, you are far from being like her!
Jodi's motives were based upon narcissism, jealousy and a very serious lack of morals & conscience.
I hope you are healed and have moved on. Someone very special deserves your love.
Michael on April 13, 2015:
This is exactly how I see it. And I should know, as I've also been in a volatile relationship like this. In my case, I was the one trying to woo this woman. I spent all my savings traveling to see her and paying for her to fly across the country to eventually live with me. I even paid off a lot of her debt. I was the same as Jodi, with this untrustworthy person who dictated my mood. When she was nice, I was blissful. When she ignored me or sought the attention of other guys, I became spiteful, even of myself. In my case, I was Jodi. But I never harmed her. I never could. Instead I overdosed on antidepressants and spent many drunken nights with a gun in my hand, trying to absolve myself of the guilt of leaving my family behind. So I took the easy way out with the pills. I had this false perception that I could just put myself on the edge and let God decide. Twice.
Some of the parallels were uncanny. We both lived in different states. We both had a volatile history but only a short few months of "official" relationship. But I don't think she used me for sex like this guy did. She used me for emotional satisfaction. I made her feel wanted, and that's why, despite cheating on me all the time and disregarding my feelings, she'd always let me woo her back.
It's weird, to say I can sympathize with a murderer. I would have never done that. But I have felt the same pain, of loving someone so much while they only want to use you.
Michael on April 13, 2015:
You are spot on
Suzie from Carson City on February 06, 2015:
dashing.....written by an intelligent, sane human being with a good grasp on common sense and reality.....I can appreciate your comment. Your sense of her total freedom from any form of guilt is perhaps the most profound crack in this sociopath. (I feel badly that Barbara (above) thinks for one moment that Jodi's evilness is not apparent) This isn't even the point to any discussion on this horrific tragedy.
Myself, personally.....I cannot imagine NOT being mentally drawn in to study this case (specifically Jodi). She will experience justice in more than a few ways, yet I can sincerely understand that it would never be enough to the family and loved ones of Travis.
I just recently tried to search on the status of her sentencing hearing. That, in itself would be enough to bring the public to the brink. Such a travesty.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on February 06, 2015:
Most people choose not to separate one's actions from who they are. This woman took this man's life in such a vicious way that most people would consider her to be a monster.
It's also not uncommon for psychopaths to come off as calm logical reasoning people. What made the movie character Dr. Hannibal Lecter was his intelligence along with his calm & cool demeanor.
He wasn't blowing a gasket, yelling, and running around like an "insane" person. I believe Jodi Arias is one of those people who has a "black heart". She could just easily kill someone during the early morning and go off to work as if nothing happened followed by running some errands.
There is no shred of her having a "guilty conscious" behind her eyes.
In her mind she was "justified"!
A rational person knows the planet has over 7 Billion people on it! Odds are in everyone's favor there are more than enough people to fall in love with and build a future. You breakup and you move on.
Barbara hernandez on June 18, 2014:
Whil some of you sit and try to figure out what went wrong and stating she's not evil, we commen fol will continue to give love and support to the victims of this crazy freak murderer. And wait with bated breath till this sub- human gets her punishment. We don't/ won't need your support. We got this Thank You...
Suzie from Carson City on May 27, 2014:
I am impressed that you have had somewhat of a closer kind of "connection" and quasi-inside look via individuals who were part of the PPL business. This is very interesting to me, glenda.
I can surely understand how this would give you a sensible boost in analyzing.
I agree it has been clearly apparent Jodi is a complex personality. In fact, for many weeks after this hit public attention and scrutiny, the words I kept repeating to myself with regard to Jodi were "Strange-as-in-spooky" (not exactly a medical term..LOL) and "Effing Enigma".....actually, she caused me headaches!
I'd love to know your take on some of her behavior in the court room. More specifically, the girl literally astounded me with her seeming ease and comfort (almost pleasure) with speaking of and describing the most incredibly excruciating and wholly embarrassing sex acts and sexual behaviors between herself and Travis..etal. Her demeanor was similar to that of a woman speaking about a shopping day at the Mall.
Trust me....I'm no prude and have seen and heard these things for decades....but not from individuals who have also slaughtered their prey. Hear me?
I could not and would not use the term "evil," to describe Jodi. Sociopath, yes, evil at her core...No. I simply see her as very mentally damaged and unstable,...most of all, emotionally immature.
I am always disappointed and discouraged at the usual "mob mentality" these cases will create, but I largely ignore all of that.
I read your last paragraph a few times......that means you've given me something to think about and analyze. At this moment, I lean toward a huge question mark, glenda. I keep going over the testimony of the men in Jodi's past whom she had prior relationships with, as well as the young Mormon she visited and attempted to seduce only hours after leaving Travis dead in a pool of his blood. I'm a tad bit reluctant to think she could have ever had a "normal" life with anyone.
I do see where you could arrive at that though and I am always ready to be proven wrong. You live in San Diego? Great! LOL.....
GlendaGoodWitch (author) from California on May 27, 2014:
Thank you very much fpherj48. Funny, I live in San Diego. I will get back to you. At the moment I am in between clients, but would love to discuss the case further. I actually have some inner circle stories because I have met, through business, people who were part of Travis and Jodi's entrepreneur PPL business. That could make my writing a little different, but I also like to deeply analyze motives and study personalities. Jodi was complex in some ways; very private, but as I see so many online rants stating that she is "pure evil" or that its obvious just by looking at her that she is crazy, I have to say that these comments are pure hindsight and that as much as we like to place good and evil in distinct and separate recognizable categories that is simply not the case.
Its simple to say that she is crazy and would have done this to anyone, but I just don't believe that to be the case. Not excusing anything that she did but I do believe that had she never fallen into this relationship she would have married someone and lived a normal life. I guess one could say that she stayed in an unhealthy relationship too long, snapped and completely changed her life.
Suzie from Carson City on May 26, 2014:
Glenda......An incredibly interesting take on this case. I appreciate and respect your expertise in clearly explaining an entirely "different" slant on both Jodi & Travis......their relationship, background & personalities.
I need to tell you, Glenda, if I had the degree of mental & emotional issues as Jodi Arias, I would want you as a friend and ally. Having said this, you can safely assume, I respectfully disagree. I can see that you and I could have an incredibly professional, in-depth discussion.....for DAYS. I'd love nothing better. I'm sorry to see we live on opposite sides of the country......I'd ask you to put the coffee on and show up at your door....(and NO, I would not crawl through the doggy door) LOL!
My eldest son lives near San Diego......are you in that part of CA? I'm planning on visiting him! LOL.......Seriously, you have no idea how engrossed and consumed I am in all of these high profile cases. None have affected me quite as intensely as this one.
I see you are involved in counseling. I am retired 10 years, but still remain highly active and always must stick my nose into cases that require human behavior analysis!
I need to keep this comment somewhat brief, but if you're game.....we could discuss this case via email. All you need to do is let me know! I'm definitely ready!!.........Excellent hub!! Made ME sit up and take notes!!.....UP+++