Saturday, January 5, 2013
Jodi Arias Murder Trial - The Casey Anthony Connection
The State of Arizona vs. Jodi Arias finally got under way last week in a Phoenix, Arizona courtroom. 32 year old Arias was arrested in mid July of 2008, just weeks after the body of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander was discovered in the shower of his Mesa, Arizona home by close friends on June 9, 2008. Travis Alexander was just 30 years old when he was brutally stabbed 27-29 times, shot in the face and had his throat slit from ear to ear. The coroner estimated he had been dead for several days. Alexander's close friends became concerned when their several attempts to reach him went unanswered. He was scheduled to take a company sponsored trip to Cancun, Mexico on June 10, 2008. He was bringing a friend on the trip, Marie ("Mimi") Hall with him. In the 4 1/2 years that have passed since her arrest, comparisons have been made between Arias and another infamous young woman who's trial was a media circus - Casey Anthony. As widely reported, Anthony became a household name after reporting that her daughter had been "taken" by a fictitious nanny named Zeineda Fernandez-Gonzalez. Anthony, who lived with her parents as a young, single mother was portrayed as a party girl who hit the clubs, drinking, dancing and partying while her 2 year old daughter Caylee Anthony was "missing". Pictures of the adorable 2 year old made national news, and suspicions grew as the viewing public learned the details behind the disappearance of Caylee. Casey Anthony didn't tell a single person that her daughter was missing/taken for 31 days, landing her in the Hall of Fame of bad mothers. Anthony's parents, George and Cindy Anthony and her brother Lee stood by Casey's side as hundreds of volunteers gathered to look for little Caylee. Hundreds if not thousands of volunteer hours and resources were spent searching for this little girl, who was taken by this deranged nanny. There were major problems with Casey's story to the police from day one. There was no nanny. Casey lied about having a job at Universal Studios, and even led police detectives through the Universal parking lot and buildings until she could no longer keep up the facade. She hadn't worked there in a long time. Where did she go every day when she left for "work"? The case was sensational. There was alot of circumstantial evidence, including Casey's car - which smelled like a decomposing body had been inside. There were suspicious internet searches done on the Anthony home computer for Chloroform, but most importantly there were the lies. Why would a mother lie about the whereabouts of her daughter, if she were truly desperate to find her? Anthony was eventually arrested, although Caylee's remains hadn't been found and she stopped talking and cooperating with law enforcement after she became the primary suspect in the disappearance. While she was in jail awaiting trial, Caylee's skeletal remains were found in the woods less than a mile from the Anthony family home. They had been so badly decomposed the coroner couldn't determine a cause of death - other than calling it a homicide. Florida threw the book at Anthony, charging her with murder in the first degree, aggravated child abuse and lying to the police. Although most people believed Anthony did know what happened to Caylee and that she was involved, the jury ultimately didn't feel there was enough real evidence to convict her on any of the serious charges. She was found guilty of lying to the police. She's now a free woman. Jodi Arias is also an accomplished liar. She has told police three different stories about what happened to Travis Alexander. The last and most current version is probably the defense of last resort. She now claims she killed him in self defense. Unlike the Anthony case, there is a mountain of physical evidence linking Arias to the crime. They have a cause of death, a manner of death, Arias's bloody palm print and blood at the scene, and perhaps most compelling and exceedingly rare in a murder case: photographic evidence of the crime as it unfolded. While there were too many pieces of the puzzle missing in the Casey Anthony case, the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly in the Jodi Arias case. I don't believe she will walk the streets as a free woman ever again. She shouldn't. Self defense would be an easier sell to the jury if she had only stabbed Travis once, or shot him once. That would've given her ample time to escape any "imminent" danger she claims to have been in. Stabbing somebody 27-29 times, shooting them in the face and slitting their throat from ear to ear is nothing short of an execution. A rage killing. A slaughter. This woman attacked a defenseless and naked man while he was in the shower. She brought a gun and had a knife. Regardless of how it began, it wasn't a fair fight. In Session begins coverage of the trial on Monday, January 7th. Stay tuned. To the family and friends of Travis Alexander, you are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. It seems this young man had a promising future ahead of him, and he touched many people during his lifetime. I've yet to hear anybody other than Arias say anything negative about Travis. May he rest in peace.