Just when you think the Jodi Arias murder trial couldn't get any weirder, the "ick" factor goes up another notch. ABC News is reporting that Arias's jailhouse artwork is up for sale on eBay! Arias currently is being held on a $2,000,000 bond in the Estrella jail in Maricopa County, where she has been since her arrest on July 15, 2008.
According to published reports, Arias has two sketches up for sale with the online auction site eBay. The sketches were done using colored pencils, one is of Grace Kelly and the other is an unknown female (jailhouse model??). The same report states that any/all proceeds will be used for Jodi Arias's family's travel expenses during her trial. The trial began on January 2, 2013, and many people were surprised when Prosecutor Juan Martinez stood and told the court that the State rested their case last week. There were several additional prosecution witnesses scheduled to testify this week.
The trial is set to resume on January 29th, when the defense will put on their case. They are expected to call "experts" on domestic violence and/or battered women, but many believe Jodi Arias herself will have to take the stand to explain her "self defense" defense! Had "self defense" been her story from day one, this may be an easier sell for Arias. However, since "self defense" was her THIRD account of what happened on June 4, 2008, she has some explaining to do. Her first statement simply was "I wasn't there", "I wasn't anywhere near Mesa or Phoenix" and "I didn't hurt Travis".
She went as far as to tell Detective Esteban Flores "IF I had done this to Travis, I'd BEG for the death penalty!". Wow. They couldn't write a script to match the drama of this case. There is a mountain of physical evidence against Arias. With that being said, Arias herself has been her worst enemy. She has given many interviews in her jailhouse stripes, the first of which she denies any involvement in Travis Alexander's death. "I am innocent", "I would never hurt Travis" - she goes as far as to call the killing "heinous". In another interview, after being confronted with the evidence that she WAS there, she changed her story to "two masked/armed intruders" came in and killed Travis. She said that she barely escaped with her life. Why didn't she immediately call the authorities? After all, she claims that Travis was still alive when she "got away". The masked intruders had pulled out her driver's license and knew where she lived. They threatened to kill or harm her family. Did she really think a jury will buy this?
I think the self defense (or as I call it, her "hail Mary" defense) claim came after she obtained a decent attorney who brought her back to the planet Earth and she finally realized the charges she was facing. I think Arias is used to using her looks and her soft spoken mannerisms to make people believe what she is saying. This is different - this is murder, and she faces the death penalty. Prosecutor Juan Martinez sent Wendy Aronson to death row in 2004 for murdering her terminally ill husband Joe. He knows what he's doing, and he is not charmed by Arias. You cannot judge a book by it's cover. Just because Arias may not look like a killer doesn't mean she isn't one. Arias tells Detective Flores during one of their taped interviews that "all of her ex-boyfriends are still alive"! Wow. What does that prove? She seemed to come very close to confessing during one of those interviews, saying "what IF I did this......". The old hypothetical. She ultimately retreated to her state of denial.
I think Detective Flores was brilliant in his interviews with this serial-liar. He was patient but firm - he didn't bully her, he didn't interrupt her - he let her talk, and talk and talk and talk. He let her paint herself right into a corner. So many times you see law enforcement talk over the person they are questioning. They ask a question, and then interrupt when they start talking. Flores didn't do that. He kept his calm demeanor, all the while letting Arias know that the jig was up. He KNEW she was there - he KNEW she did this to Travis Alexander and he wasn't having any more of her lies. I don't have any experience in law enforcement whatsoever, but I thought he did a great job with Arias.
So now with this gaping break between the State's case and the defense case, what's happening? I'm trying to not read too much into the State's sudden resting of their case, or the break between the prosecution and the defense case. Ultimately, the state will have the last word. The jury will be properly instructed by the judge and the jurors will be left with the facts presented in the courtroom. Who has credibility and who doesn't? How much weight should be given to the testimony of a person who has lied repeatedly IF she takes the stand? Do you believe placing her hand on the Bible and swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will compel this defendant to TELL THE TRUTH?? I'm not so sure.
Since Jodi Arias hasn't been convicted of a crime (yet), I don't believe she's breaking any laws by selling her "artwork", although it's probably poor taste to buy it. I personally don't believe murderers should profit from their notoriety - ever. But what do I know? The one (non-Grace Kelly) sketch I saw on the ABC news story online actually wasn't bad - but why do so many people seek out the artwork of murderers? I know, I know - Jodi Arias has not been convicted of any crime. But do you honestly think her sketches would be fetching "hundreds of dollars" on eBay had it NOT been for her incarceration or her trial? I don't think so. We know that Charles Manson has fashioned "spiders" out of human hair. People serving life have a lot of time on their hands.
I don't mean to sound insensitive to Jodi Arias's family. I've seen her mother in the courtroom, and this has to be hell for her. This is her daughter. She's had to sit through some pretty bad stuff. Horrific crime scene photos, the accidental photos and the infamous nude photos recovered from Travis Alexander's new digital camera. Her daughter has admitted to killing him. Looking at the aftermath of that June 4, 2008 evening has to be surreal to her family. They may not have the money to handle the expenses of traveling to Arizona for a prolonged trial. I do feel for them. I just don't feel for Jodi Arias. Had she been honest about what happened - maybe I could feel something for her, a little bit of empathy? But given the fact that she hasn't told the truth - and I don't believe she is telling the truth now with the self defense, I have no sympathy for her. Not only did she physically kill this man, she is now dragging his name through the mud when he isn't around to defend himself. That's what Juan Martinez has to do for him.
I don't know who or how her sketches are being sold outside of the jail system - somebody is facilitating these auction items. I'm sure Jodi has many "supporters" outside of the courtroom who are willing to help her. I just think it's in poor taste given what she allegedly did to another human being. Thank God for the photos, and thank God for technology and the Mesa police department. Had it not been for the recovered photos, people may have had a difficult time believing such a petite and soft spoken woman would be capable of such a brutal murder of a man who was much bigger than she is.
The photos say a lot. There are no weapons visible in the shower photos of Travis Alexander. No weapons on the sink or near the basin - had Travis Alexander been the aggressor in this fight, wouldn't Jodi Arias have had some marks, bruises or other defensive wounds on her person? She had some cuts on her hand - we all know that this is common when somebody attacks another person with a knife. The knife becomes slippery with blood, and the person holding the knife ultimately cuts themselves with their own weapon. At least two people saw Jodi Arias the day after this murder - neither of them report her having any bruises, scratches or any other defensive wounds to her person. Just the cuts. She even lied about the cuts - telling those who noticed that she cut herself on a broken glass while working at Margaritaville. FYI, there IS NO Margarittaville in Yreka, CA where she lived and they have no record of her ever being employed there in any of their REAL locations.
So I'll leave you with this. IF a person feels the need to lie about the little things, do you really think she'd have a moral issue lying about the BIG things that matter, like murder? IF you were really a victim of domestic violence, or had gotten into a physical confrontation with someone you were close to, how could you NOT tell somebody what you just went through? Would you be able to go on with your plans and act as if nothing had ever happened? How could you hold in the hurt and the trauma of what happened? Wouldn't you want someone to know the truth? There would be no reason to lie. There would certainly be no reason to lie twice! But now, we are expected to believe the latest story because she is telling this story in a court of law?
Good luck - Jennifer Willmott & team, you have a tough sell ahead of you. I don't believe there are enough expert witnesses out there to change my mind about what happened to Travis Alexander, and why. And I won't be bidding a red cent for an Arias original sketch either!!