On June 4th, 2008, salesman Travis Victor Alexander was killed by his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Ann Arias in Alexander’s house in Mesa, Arizona. The murder and trial received widespread media attention in the United States.
Travis Alexander was born July 28th, 1977, in Riverside, California and was a practicing Mormon and charismatic motivational speaker. He worked as a marketing salesman for PPL (Prepaid Legal Services, later renamed LegalShield).
Jodi Arias was born July 9th, 1980, in Salinas, California and was an aspiring photographer who worked as a saleswoman. In September 2006, Travis and Jodi met at a PPL conference in Las Vegas.
Alexander and Arias began dating in February 2007, sparking an intense long-distance relationship, exchanging 1000’s of emails and speaking on the phone for hours on end. Alexander as a Mormon, didn’t want his Mormon friends to know the details of his relationship with Arias, and tried to keep them far away from each other. Alexander’s friends didn’t take to Arias, claiming her to be obsessive and odd, and many wanted him to break up with her.
Arias would travel miles back and forth over the states, and was so smitten on November 26, 2006 Arias was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a ceremony at a Southern California Mormon church. Unfortunately for Arias, after just five months, their relationship hit the rocks and Travis ended it, claiming her never loved her and it was just a physical relationship to him.
Arias was utterly devastated and moved to Alexander’s hometown of Mesa to work as a waitress to be closer to him and hopefully change his mind. Alexander wanted rid of Arias and told his family that she was stalking him, even claiming she’d crawled through a dog flap just so she could sleep on his sofa.
Bumping into Alexander worked and he continued to have sex with Arias, having Arias believe they were back on track, but Alexander still refused to commit and, in April 2008, she moved back to Yreka, California, to live with her grandparents.
Two months after moving in with her grandparents, Arias hired a car and drove to Mesa to see Travis. She filled up petrol cans for the journey and turned off her phone. Arriving at Alexanders house on June 4th 2008, they estranged couple had sex one last time and took a bunch of explicit photos of each other.
A few days later, Alexander’s worried work colleagues couldn’t contact him and some friends decided to go check on him. After getting the code to the garage they get into the house, there’s a foul smell in the house and they soon discover the bloody and gruesome scene upstairs. Travis was slumped dead in the bottom of his shower with his throat deeply sliced from ear to ear and a gunshot wound to the head. There were also over twenty-seven stab wounds on his body.
Investigators found a damaged digital camera in the washing machine, along with bloodied clothes that had been put through a wash. They managed to retrieve deleted photographers from the camera. The photo’s showed Alexander alive in the shower, posing for the camera as water cascaded over him. Then, in a final photo, the water turned red with blood as his killer accidentally took a snapshot of his murder. Sexual images of the couple from that day were also deleted and retrieved.
Arias was interrogated after friends of Alexander told police she had been stalking him and threatening him months prior to his death. At first she denied even being at Travis’s home, but when confronted with evidence she changed her story. She claimed two intruders had broken in, murdered Alexander and attacked her before allowing her to flee. After continuous interrogation and evidence, including Alexander being shot with a 25-calibre gun – the same type of gun that had been stolen from Jodi’s grandparents in a mysterious burglary a few months earlier, Arias broke down. She sobbed she was a victim of domestic violence and that night Alexander had violently attacked her.
Arias’ behavior just before her arrest caused a stir. Footage from the police precinct where Arias was being questioned shows her do a headstand in the interrogation room. She’s on her head for almost thirty seconds while she waits for the detective. While waiting, she also snoops through the trash and sings the song “Here With Me” by pop star Dido.
She was charged with murder. When the detective returns and tells her that she’s about to be arrested, Arias asks whether she can have her purse to do a little primping before her now-infamous smiling mug shot was taken. Jodi pleaded not guilty and made history by testifying for a lengthy eighteen days. Her defense team claimed Jodi had post-traumatic stress disorder from her abusive relationship with Alexander, while the prosecution said she had a borderline personality disorder.
Jodi testified that Travis had attacked her in a rage after she’d dropped the camera and she’d ran to his wardrobe and found his gun. After shooting him, she claimed she had no memory of getting a kitchen knife and brutally stabbing him. Arias said she threw away the gun in the desert, and left answerphone messages on Alexander’s mobile over the coming days, trying to make it clear she hadn’t seen him.
“Did you kill Travis Alexander?” defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked as his first question to Arias.
“Yes,” Arias said softly, turning to look at the jury.
“Why?” asked Nurmi.
“The simple answer is that he attacked me and I defended myself,” Arias replied.
Evidence showed Arias had brutally attacked Alexander, with experts arguing he’d been shot after being stabbed because there were defense wounds on his hands.
Arias was convicted of first-degree murder on May 8th, 2013 and sentenced to life in state prison on April 13th, 2015.
You can watch the Lifetime True Story movies, Jodi Arias- My Dirty Little Secret below.