Sunday, January 6, 2013
Who Was Travis Alexander? The Jodi Arias Murder Trial
Much has been said about 32 year old Jodi Arias, who is standing trial for the June 2008 murder of 30 year old Travis Alexander in a Phoenix, AZ courtroom. We are learning more about the actions and reactions of Arias in the months, weeks and days leading up to this murder. We've seen clips of her "Inside Edition" interviews, taken while she was being held at the Estrella jail in Maricopa County, we are hearing bits and pieces of stories about the relationship between the victim and defendant from friends and family. Much has been made about Arias's looks and "charm" - and the lies she has told law enforcement, family and friends. Spending a few hours online this morning, I'm learning more about who Travis Alexander was. Aside from Arias's defense attorney Jennifer Willmott, I've yet to find or hear any negative comments about Travis Alexander. We know he was a devout Mormon, he worked for Pre Paid Legal and he's been described by friends as a "funny guy". In his brief life, he accomplished alot. He was born on July 28, 1977 in Riverside to drug addicted and neglectful parents. He was ultimately raised by his grandparents who introduced him to the Mormon faith. After his high school graduation, he went on a two year Mormon mission in Denver, CO. He authored a book, entitled "Raised You". He appears on the cover of Time magazine in a suit, the title "Alexander The Great" appears next to his photo. He was a motivational speaker, he had a blog - his entries are still online(travisalexander.blogspot.com). His blog was titled "Travis Alexander's Being Better Blog". His last blog entry was on May 18, 2008 - just weeks before being killed by ex-girlfriend Jodi Arias. In reading his blog entries, it seems clear that Travis had very high expectations of himself, spiritually, emotionally and financially. He was a good writer! He speaks openly about becoming renowned for being single. Most of his friends were married and had children. This seems to be the direction Travis wanted his life to go in. He refers to his "solitary status" and being lonely. He goes on to talk about turning 30 years old and says: "around that time I realized it was time to adjust my priorities and date with marriage in mind". That's eerie. Jodi Arias's comments can be found on many of his blog entries, so we know she was reading this. He writes "not to ask someone out on a date because I planned on marring them, but to date someone to look for the possibility of marriage with them". And the most haunting of all entries, "desperately trying to find out if my date has an axe murderer penned up inside of her...". Was he referring to his experiences with Arias? He did believe her to be responsible for twice slashing his tires, breaking into his Facebook and e-mail accounts. "2008 Affirmation" - Travis wrote "this year will be the best year of my life. This is the year that will eclipse all others. I will earn more, learn more, travel more, serve more, love more, give more and be more than all of the other years of my life combined." Sadly, 2008 would be the last year of his life. Arias claims she killed Alexander in self defense, after he became enraged when she dropped his digital camera in the bathroom of his Mesa, AZ home. Although I have tried to keep an open mind about this case until all evidence has been presented in court, it's difficult to overlook what is already known. The lies Arias told the authorities and interviewers, the stalking behavior, the computer hacking and tire slashing - the June 10, 2008 trip to Cancun that Travis was taking with another woman (his body was found on June 9, 2008), the car Arias rented in another city and drove all night from California to Arizona, the bloody palm print and the photos which memorialize the attack unfolding....no gun has been recovered, but the gun "stolen" from Arias's grandparents home a few weeks before this crime is the same caliber gun used to shoot Travis. It's not a leap to believe she brought the gun with her. Did the blog topics about marriage and the trip to Cancun push her over the edge? It's not a stretch. I've yet to find or hear anything negative about Travis Alexander. He overcame a tough childhood, until his grandparents took custody of him and his siblings. Instead of becoming a product of his early environment, he developed into a remarkable young man who had many many friends who loved him dearly. He accomplished so much. Coverage of the State of AZ vs. Jodi Arias begins on In Session on Monday, January 7, 2013.