Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dr. Richard Samuels To Testify As Expert Witness for Jodi Arias

**UPDATE** Dr. Samuels is on the stand.  He just referred to "foggy and cloudy" memory issues that occur when our brains are under stress. Could that be the origin on the "fog" terminology Arias has been using all along? He also just referred to a person who shakes, uncontrollably under certain situations! The terminology they are using is just TOO close to how Arias & Co. have been describing her issues with memory. Tailor-made statements!

Oh boy - here we go again.  Trial has been delayed, and the attorneys are now arguing about the defense witness who will testify next - Dr. Richard Samuels. Dr. Samuels is a "Clinical and and Forensic Psychologist" out of the Scottsale Arizona area. He has testified as an expert witness many times and his background and training is actually fairly impressive (see http://svpexpertwitness.com/curriculum_vitae.asp).

The prosecutor is objecting to a Power Point presentation that Dr. Samuels is planning to use today - Juan Martinez says he was not given a copy of the presentation until this morning and hasn't had adequate time to review it. He argued that "it's doubtful that they just finished this report last night", or something to that effect. He objected to several individual slides and alleges that some of the material is new or has changed since the 7/11 interview Martinez conducted with him.

He is objecting to some of the report's content.  This should be interesting. From what I gathered from what was televised, this doctor is expected to discuss amnesia, PTSD, disassociative disorders, "instrumental" crimes versus "reactive" crimes. The writing is ALL OVER THE WALL with this witness, and just in reviewing the Wikipedia definitions (see below) around these types of disorders tells us exactly where they are taking her memory issues and running with them:



Dissociative disorders are conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity or perception. People with dissociative disorders use dissociation, a defense mechanism, pathologically and involuntarily. Dissociative disorders are thought to primarily be caused by psychological trauma.
The five dissociative disorders listed in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM IV are as follows:[1]
  • Depersonalization disorder: periods of detachment from self or surrounding which may be experienced as "unreal" (lacking in control of or "outside of" self) while retaining awareness that this is only a feeling and not a reality.
  • Dissociative amnesia: (formerly Psychogenic Amnesia): noticeable impairment of recall resulting from emotional trauma
  • Dissociative fugue: (formerly Psychogenic Fugue): physical desertion of familiar surroundings and experience of impaired recall of the past. This may lead to confusion about actual identity and the assumption of a new identity.
  • Dissociative identity disorder: (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder): the alternation of two or more distinct personality states with impaired recall among personality states.
  • Dissociative disorder not otherwise specified: used for forms of pathological dissociation that do not fully meet the criteria of the other specified dissociative disorders.


I copied/pasted information on Dr. Richard Samuels  from his webpage (see below) to illustrate some of the disorders he treats. Just by reading his areas of expertise and looking at the Wikipedia definitions of these disorders plays perfectly into Jodi Arias's alleged foggy memory issues. Particularly noteworthy, I think there's a good chance they will claim Jodi Arias suffered from "dissociative amnesia" or even "depersonalization disorders".

This is frightening, and I can see why Mr. Martinez is objecting so strongly. He  interviewed Dr. Samuels back in July of 2011, but he claims there is new information and/or findings on the report that was not included or discussed during the previous (7/19/11) interview. It is now crystal clear why they have proceeded in the manner in which they have around her memory issues - if the doc testifies that in his opinion, Ms. Arias suffers from one or more of these disorders AND the jury buys into it, I'm afraid she may walk among us again one day.  Based on the jury's 200+ questions to Arias, it seems they are not buying many aspects of Arias's tall tales - how/will that change if an "expert" comes in to explain why she behaved the way she behaved? I feel like this whole thing has been an elaborate set up. Her behavior seems to have been custom designed for these disorders.


They took so much time reviewing this Power Point presentation this morning that the Judge decided to have the jurors take the lunch break now while the try to work through what will be admissible and what won't. Jennifer Willmott argued for the defense today and she has a much different style than Nurmi - but she became a little hostile or defensive after Juan Martinez voiced his concerns over not receiving a copy of the new material until the day this expert is testifying. Willmott claimed that there was nothing new in the report, and that she would not go into a line of questioning as to this witnesses opinion on whether the crime was premeditated or not - the expert doesn't believe the murder was planned, but he cannot make those type of statements in open court

Juan Martinez is upset and looked a little concerned.  This should be a very interesting day in court! I think we will all be happy to hear someone other than Jodi Arias talking.  I will update this page after testimony concludes.  Buckle your seat belts - we may be in for some turbulence today!!


Evaluations
Richard M. Samuels, Ph.D., FACCS, ABPP is a practicing Clinical and Forensic Psychologist with over thirty years of experience. With an extensive background in evaluation, analysis, report writing and testimony, Dr. Samuels specializes in Sexually Violent Perpetrator evaluations, Psychosexual Risk Assessments, Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination Matters for Defendants and Emotional Trauma from Medical Malpractice for Defendants and Plaintiffs.
Working closely with public defenders and private attorneys, he will determine the facts of the case and any special circumstances and mitigating factors involving the trial process. An extensive evaluation of the respondent, in depth case analysis and research contributes to a succinct report which often will result in a more favorable outcome for your client. His clear and strong testimony in support of the report can help to educate juries and judges.
When you need a verified expert in the field of Sexually Violent Perpetrator commitment hearings, Psychosexual Risk Assessments for sentencing, Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination Matters for Defendants and Emotional Trauama from Medical Malpractice for Defendants and Plaintiffs, Dr. Richard Samuels has the experience, education and prestige to help you support your vital arguments.

42 comments:

  1. She didn't have PTSD or foggy memory prior to her
    borrowing money for her trip, the gas cans, 2 tubes of
    sun-block, the rental car, the gun, not telling anybody
    about her trip to Mesa, her alibi Ryan Burns, lost phone
    charger.. This is still premeditated. Doesn't PTSD happen
    after a highly stressful event, she has had plenty of time
    to read alot of Psychology books, she is pretty smart,
    remember her trying to get the magazines out of the jail.
    I think she could fake the test easy, JMO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I agree - she's had so much time to look at what evidence they had against her and what she held onto that could help her (the t-shirt & shorts) - Dr. Samuels acknowledged that a person could fake the symptoms for these disorders. I was shocked to hear him using the same terminology that Arias & Co. have been using to describe her reactions to having killed Travis and not remembering. How often do people refer to themselves as being in a fog? More often, they would say they blacked out. EVEN IF she developed PTSD after killing Travis, which had to have been a very traumatic event, PTSD would only be applicable to her post murderous behavior. She still got the gas cans, stole the gun and I strongly believe she ambushed Travis in that shower - he never had a chance to escape. So the jury will be instructed on how the doctor's testimony should be viewed etc., and I'm certain Mr. Martinez will drill down on the fact that a patient could fake the symptoms of PTSD if they had knowledge of what the signs and symptoms are. Jodi Arias has had all the time in the world - the language he used was so obvious, "foggy" memory? I'm convinced they tailored her testimony around the report from this doctor but it still doesn't change the fact that she drove over 1000 miles, flying under the radar and within 62 seconds of the last shower photo of Travis alive, he was dead or dying on that floor. It changes nothing, only explains her behavior (if you believe she wasn't faking those symptoms). Thank you for commenting!

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  2. Agree with you anonymous. This whole thing is canned. I think Samuels is sleezy. "The reimbursement in Az was less than NJ so I no longer have a private practice." Hmmm. Just forensic work - well take a look at this!

    http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/action/20000313_35SI00106000.pdf

    Unethical. Big Time.

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    Replies
    1. NancyB, can you believe how this "doctor" used the exact terminology Arias & Co. have been using throughout her testimony? Who uses "foggy" to describe blackouts? Once I heard him begin to talk I realized that Arias has been parroting what she saw in whatever "clinical evaluation" report was given to the defense. Make no mistake, this expert witness gets paid to say what defendants need him to say! They wouldn't use a pychologist who thought she was a sociopath and a liar! I'll give him this - the only thing I can agree with is that killing Travis had to have been a traumatic experience and she may have trouble sleeping in her jail cell now. "Poor Jodi". But even if she wasn't/isn't faking the symptoms of PTSD and amnesia - that doesn't change the facts of this case, it only offers a possible explanation for her post murderous behavior! I still believe this was an ambush and it was well thought out. She flew under the radar while in AZ, she brought a gun and a knife - there's no way that her version of events is physically possible in just 62 seconds. The only scenario that makes sense is that she had the knife and gun on her and she ambushed him while he was defenseless in that shower stall. Did you notice how small of a space that shower is? He would've been trapped - had Travis not been attacked pretty severely while in the shower, I believe Jodi Arias would have been wounded because HE would've been able to subdue her and get a few punches in - he's bigger and stronger than she is. With the kind of injuries she walked away with, nothing other than ambush makes sense!

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  3. The jury needs to be aware this doctor is nothing more than a hired hand for the defense. Anybody can have PTSD and he is a fraud.

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  4. She has not been seen by a Psychiatrist, Samuels is not
    a M.D. That's why Juan had a problem with him testifying
    yesterday. He has only seen her 12 times in almost 5 yrs.
    The test he gave is 175 questions and true and false fill ins
    he didn't send the test out to be independently tested by
    someone else. He doesn't do therapy anymore. He is
    putting Arais in the mix with our military in combat & our
    police, in their highly stressful jobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, great points you made! I agree, the guy has "credentials" and has been in the field for 30 years, according to him. But he had to constantly refer to his manual, something he shouldn't have to do if he's an expert. Let's be frank here, he is a paid witness for the defense - he'll probably say whatever the defendant needs him to say for the fee he charges. His opinion is bought and paid for. Can't believe the terminology he was using was EXACTLY what the Arias defense team has been using. Who uses the term "foggy" when referring to memory issues? Most people refer to blackouts, not "fog". That really convinced me that this weak defense has been built around Samuel's report, and whatever other evidence they could gather to make Travis Alexander look bad. The only thing I could potentially agree with is that killing Travis had to have been a traumatic experience for her. But if she did develop PTSD, it's of her own making! This is what I don't like about these expert witnesses. On both sides, the attorneys can use whichever assessment or report that is most favorable to their client. Wish both sides had to use an independant non-paid clinical psychologist or psychiatrist for court testimony. That would make it more legit, don't you think?

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    2. Anonymous,
      I couldn't agree more - I don't believe that people should be paid for their testimony, it seems so unethical and they are basically being paid to say what the defense needs them to say. I think that there should only be non-paid "expert" witnesses who have nothing to gain/lose by their testimony. Many people are commenting with the same thoughts and concerns, so hopefully the jury will recognize that this guy is out for himself and his 15 minutes of fame too! Thanks for writing, enjoy your weekend!

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  5. I did my research on this" psychologist"...While his educational background is solid, he makes it abundantly clear that his opinions are bought and paid for...basically he will say what ever you need him to say in order to get a favorable outcome for the client...that is if you can afford him!!! PTSD..no way...Global Amnesia is not a psychological problem ...it is drug induced amnesia therefore not applicable. As well, any opinion he renders is fundamentally flawed because his opinion is based on what Jodie Arias ,told him and we all know how much that is worth! Perhaps his opinion might have more weight if he prefaced it with a diagnosis of Psychopath...

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous (3/15/13 at 7:02AM),
      Yes, he does list quite a few credentials but he is definitely paid to say what the defendant needs him to say! I think that reform is needed in the area of "expert witnesses" who testify in court. It seems biased and unfair, especially if you have the $$ to buy the testimony and the other person doesn't. I feel that "experts" should not be paid for anything other than travel expenses. Or they should choose one expert who isn't pro prosecution or defense. That would never fly but it seems the current system is flawed. Thanks for writing!

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  6. Arais was blackmailing Travis, I think that e-mail he sent
    her back before she killed him, says it all, about his
    privacy, her hacking into his accounts, he called her a
    Sociopath, a liar. Just like the 10 letters, the defense ask
    to be put into evidence, the state ask for the original hand-
    written letters and all they could produce was letters sent
    electronically from a third person. Arias is very cunning,
    to say the least.. and she changed her look, to look alot
    like Marie Hall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous (3/15/13 at 7:33AM),
      I think it's a shame that things that would bias the jury against Arias is not admitted (the forged letters, tire slashing), yet she and her attorneys are allowed to call Travis Alexander a pedophile, domestic batterer and a sexual deviant. How is that fair? The system is seriously flawed!

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  7. Jodi arias is a sociopath and this so called Dr in exchange for horrible looking dental work decided to make a favorable opinion for the father in a child custody case. HOW UNETHICAL IS THAT.

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  8. I have read some of the questions that may appear on the ptsd test (22 question sample) and was amazed to discover that I fit the criteria for ptsd.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, too funny! I wonder how many of us would have similar scores? There should not be a standardized test used for this type of diagnosis - too easily faked! I'm sure the judge will instruct the jury on how Dr. Samuels testimony should be viewed, not as "evidence". I love that somebody posted a nickname for him on this blog, "Dr. Fog"...I love it!

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  9. I sure hope that Judge Stephens does NOT allow the defense to enter all of this crap through the back door. What they are attempting to achieve is force a 2nd degree charge be put before the jury which is what her ridiculous demand that she made to the prosecution a few yrs ago that Juan agree to in a plea deal which of course he turned her down FLAT.

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    1. NancyB (from 3/15/13 at 8:55AM),
      Getting to some comments I missed last week! I don't understand how our criminal justice system became so flawed. Arias & Co. are allowed to enter testimony about Travis Alexander being a pedophile, sexual deviant, domestic batterer etc., yet the prosecutor can't enter much of their evidence because it's "too prejudicial"?? Like the tire slashing incidents, the letters "from Travis" that she forged/wrote, pieces of the interrogation videos where she's worried how she will look in her mugshot? The whole expert witness topic bothers me too. There needs to be some type of reform in this area, it would seem that testimony is being bought and sold to the highest bidder. Experts are paid to give you a favorable outcome. They should only receive funds to offset their travel costs, and even then you can get some pretty shady and questionable test results from these paid witnesses! It's time to level the playing field. This has been worse than Jose Baez's opening statement about George Anthony. How can they be allowed to say such things without any corraboration whatsoever? It's disgusting.

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  10. Also look at this new video

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/2228330829001/accused-murderer-jodi-arias-bizarre-behavior-caught-on-tape/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks NancyB, for the info. Samuels was in violation
    of N.J.A.C. 13:42-10.3 has something to do with Ethics
    and boundary issues., like financial arrangements with a
    client or former client.

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  12. The good drs unethical behavior was making a favorable report to a father who happens to be a dentist and in exchange he gets free dental work. He didn't even talk to the mother. That's extremely concerning being how he was playing with a child's well being. Scumbag....if he is wiling to lie and fabricate favorable reports to the dad for dental work then can you imagine what else this guy has in the closet

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    1. Jeff,
      That is completely unethical - he is a paid mouthpiece who will say anything you want him to for the right price. How can our court system allow this type of bought-and-paid-for testimony to come in? Wouldn't it be more prudent to have a completely inpartial, uninterested third party do these assessments? Everyone gets tested with the same questions and in the same manner. Hard to believe there are not better measures in place in our legal system to prevent people from buying a diagnosis.

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  13. The so called specials is about as full of himself as Jodi Arias

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    1. Anonymous,
      I loved it when Juan Martinez alluded to Dr. Samuels having a crush on or being under the spell of Jodi Arias! Wonder what the "self help" book he gave her was? He claims he often times gives books to people he treats, "if he thinks they could benefit" from reading the book.

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  14. Did anyone else hear something about a book he is writing
    Maybe he thought this high profile murder case would
    boost the sale of that book, and he could go on alot
    of shows talking about this case.

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    Replies
    1. He was heard out in the hall, as he waited to testify, how great this trial was going to be for the book he was writing. I can't believe the judge let him in the door. I can't believe Martinez didn't have the ethics information about Samuels before he testified. I hope he gets smacked down on Monday and sent back to his office to prepare another phony report for another criminal. It's so obvious that Jodi has been reading the same books that he's been reading, their language is just the same-the fog, the shaking, the bs. I hope the jury can see it, too.

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    2. Anonymous, are you serious? That just pisses me off and seems so wrong - witnesses should not be paid for testimony, nor should they be able to profit from their participation in a criminal trial. It seems so UNETHICAL, only those who are credentialed and have nothing to gain or lose should testify. This goes for both the prosecution and defense! I can't believe he's boasting about writing a book off of the Alexander family's tragedy. I feel the same way about Gus Searcy - the PPL guy who got up on the stand and bragged about what a big-wig he was for that company. This should not be allowed. They should modify the "Son of Sam" laws to include expert witness testimony - nobody should be getting rich from a murder or murder trial. It's wrong on every level. Thanks for the information!

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  15. Usually when you look up a Doctor's web site you will find comments from clients as to how the doctor performed. Whether he was professional and treatment was successful. When I looked at his web site there were no comments from any clients. This placed a lot of doubt as to his credibility.

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    1. Anonymous, great points - although he seemed to have a long list of credentials, as soon as he said he only interviewed her 12 times, after she had years to come up with a defense - and after he used the "foggy", "fog" language that AriASS has been using I completely dismissed his opinions as being bought and paid for by the defense!

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    2. Anonymous (3/15/13 10:52AM),
      In regards to your comments about Dr. Samuels website and it's lack of comments left by patients/clients of his. I'd be willing to bet that the Doc moderates all comments before they are published, and he can simply delete anything negative and post only the positive feedback. There must not BE any positive feedback!

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  16. Does anyone know when the decision is made if the jury can consider 2nd degree? Does judge make the call? When?
    Also, got a kick how the unethical bulls--er spoke of "the last 10-15 years" and how all these discoveries have been made about "memories" and "action" being connected by the hippo and the amy glands. It's as is St Augustine and Shakespeare have been useless. Now Dr Samuels can tell you WHY you do things! and HOW you forget things! Nothing to do with right and wrong! It's the FOG! Its the space between the Hippo and the amy!

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    1. Anonymous, I don't know what "lesser charges" the jury can decide on. I'll find the info and post it. I read the charges months ago, and if I'm not mistaken this is all or nothing, no lesser included charges but I may be wrong! I'll check it out and post it later. I think if 2nd degree murder was an option the jury could choose, the defense would be gearing their defense towards a "heat of the moment" type of killing and not pushing self defense. Check back later and I'll have the info posted. Thanks and have a great weekend!

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  17. Thanks for offering that info forte! I've enjoyed reading many of the posts. and your own writing. and relate very much to your descriptions of watching Ms. Arias.

    'I've watched portions of a fair number of trials on cable and attended a number of high profile ones to get a feel of them (Watergate, O.J, Michael Jackson,Rodney King federal case). I've seen a case argued in the US Supreme Court. I've enjoyed courtroom dramas, novels, TV shows and films.I've read legal writers like Posner, Dworkin, and Holmes a for enrichment. I've read Capote and Mailor, Runyon and Renata Adler on very long trials. I am not a lawyer.

    But I have neevr come across anything quite like Jodie Arias. And I think you have described her very well.

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    1. Anonymous (3/17/13 4:09PM),
      That's amazing - to have been a spectator in the OJ trial! I would say that the OJ Simpson trial is the first that really caught my interest. I'm sure that was the first trial I watched on television. Before channels such as Court TV and now In Session hit the airwaves, we had to rely on newspapers and/or TV news coverage. I never expected that trial coverage would gain so much interest from the viewing public. Some of these stories are so tragic, even though we don't know the victim or the defendant, we end up getting fairly invested in the outcome of the trial in the interest of justice. Thank you so much for your comments - it's interesting from your point of view that Jodi Arias stands out among all of your memories. I feel the same way, from the moment I saw her and heard her speak she gave me the creeps - for lack of a better word. There's something just not right about her!

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  18. Since this so called "Doctor" has been fined for his behavior in the past tells me the defence didn't look very hard to get the opinion they want. He had already written his report and later changed to to what the defense wants, then he sends her books to read?? My doctor dosen't send me anything except a bill.

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  19. Jodi Arias doctor sold out . . . period; http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jon-hansen/2013/03/21/psychologically-speaking-wdr-jack-jodi-arias-dr-sells-out

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    1. Procureinsights,
      Thanks for the link, I'll check out this site and hear what he was to say. I don't believe anybody should profit from participating in a criminal trial. In addition to Dr. Samuels, it seems to me that Gus Searcy is another person who was trying to gain notoriety from his participation in this trial. He was quick to hit the HLN News airwaves, and I'm sure he has used his 15 minutes of fame to further his PPL/Legal Shield career as well as his other endeavors. They need to broaden the "Son of Sam" laws so that anybody who testifies in a trial cannot profit from their participation in a trial. That way, there's no conflict of interest and nobody's testimony can be bought or sold to the highest bidder!

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  20. She claimed she didn't know where the knife came from. If Travis knew where the knife was he would gone for it and defended himself. She did know where it was and chased him down the hall stabbing him until he died. She's enjoying this trial, wait until it's all over she will have a lot of time to reflect on her sorry life.Isolate her, she'd go crazy not having someone to talk too. God Bless Travis and his family who are the true victims.

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    1. Rose Marie,
      I believe she had the knife nearby while he was in the shower - they never tested the shower w/luminol, but I've always thought that the attack on Travis began in that tiny shower stall. She's much smaller than he is, and the only way she could've walked away with relatively no injuries is if she blitz attacked him, surprising him between photos with a stab wound to the chest. She had to disable him enough to continue the attack without getting hurt herself. He probably managed to stumble out of the shower and was at the sink when she started stabbing him in the back. He had a cluster of 8-10 stab wounds on his head, neck and back! There was a lot of blood around and in the sink. By the look of the crime scene photos, Travis was trying to get away from her. I think she literally chased him down like a dog, and once she started stabbing him she couldn't stop, like a wild animal. It must have been terrifying for him. I share your opinion that she is enjoying being in the limelight - although it must be killing her to have to "dress herself down" in loose fitting clothing, and wear little to no makeup. She's extremely vain - but I'm sure the attorneys told her she can't look a certain way! I pray for the Alexander family too. I pray they get the justice they deserve and Arias never walks the streets again! Enjoy your weekend and thanks for commenting.

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    2. She killed him and was in bed with another man the next day. Does anyone know if Jodi or her familoy has expressed their condolences to the Alexander family?

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