It’s been a while since my last post, and I must admit that I truly miss interacting with the people who visited this blog! Unfortunately, crime never seems to take a day off and murders continue to happen across the country each and every day. The murder of Travis Alexander seemed to effect many people, complete strangers like you and I – whether it be because of the extremely violent way in which he was killed, the psychopathic traits of his killer or a little of both? It was a topic that outraged and intrigued us. How rare is it to have evidence of an attack digitally memorialized? The facts of the case and the tragic way things unfolded for a seemingly normal couple may be what captivated so many.
The trial was a long time in the making, and although Jodi Arias is officially a convicted murderer the tale is still unfolding. The retrial of the penalty phase of the trial is off somewhere in the distance, and after what felt like 24/7 non-stop television and online coverage of the trial, it seems like time is standing still as we wait for justice to take its course. The story has spawned numerous true crime books and a Lifetime movie – and guess what? Rumor has it there is another book, written by TV anchor Jane Valez Mitchell called “Exposed – The Secret Life of Jodi Arias” coming out in late August. Jane Valez Mitchell covered the trial extensively for the HLN network and recently made news herself after a 48 year old man from Bath, NY was arrested for making death threats against her and fellow anchor Nancy Grace!
David Lee Simpson was arrested and charged with 5 felony counts in association with the death threats made against the anchors via Twitter. Simpson has the hots for Arias, and was infuriated by the media coverage during the trial. In addition to the threatening tweets, Simpson allegedly repeated the threats to co-workers and was eventually indicted by a grand jury on 7/19/13. Simpson quit his job and headed out of town with guns, ammunition, knives, handcuffs and zip ties in his car. All weapons were recovered when Simpson was pulled over and arrested before he made it to his destination, believed to be the state of Georgia where Nancy Grace lives. People either love Nancy Grace, or they hate her. There seems to be little middle ground where Nancy is concerned, but I’m glad law enforcement in Arizona took the threats seriously and got to Simpson before he could harm anybody.
Back to Jane Valez’ new book…. JVM told USA Today she wanted to write a book about how the intense sexual relationship between Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander turned toxic. She said “after reading ‘Exposed’, readers will understand that Jodi tried to make Travis responsible for her own happiness, and when that failed, he became her obsession, and if she couldn’t have him, no one could”. There is also another TV movie reportedly in the works. I couldn’t find any casting information or release dates, but like “Dirty Little Secrets”, the role of Arias is being described as highly sexual, and the actor who lands the role will “need to be comfortable being depicted in very kinky, highly sexual and physically violent scenes”.
According to the Maricopa County Superior Court website, the next status conference for the retrial is scheduled for August 26, 2013 at 8:30AM. I noticed on the court minutes the mitigation specialist assigned to this case is now listed as Sue Stodo. I’m not sure what happened to the previous mitigation specialist, Maria De La Rosa? We know from court documents that she was paid for at least 100 hours for her work during the guilt phase of the trial - yet when it came time to actually present mitigation – it seems the Arias defense team fell flat on their faces! I wonder if she signed off on Jodi’s multimedia presentation to the jury, or if she had some other mitigation strategy in mind that her difficult client wouldn’t agree to? Who knows! It’s unclear why she was replaced, but I’m willing to bet there’s a story behind the move!
For Travis’ family, this must seem like a nightmare that will never end. On what would have been Travis’ 36th birthday, family and friends gathered in Phoenix and did something Travis was known to do as often as he could – they handed out 400 care packages to people in need, in memory of their brother. The care packages contained water, food, clothes and essential hygiene products. What a thoughtful and fitting way to remember their beloved brother on his birthday. It’s nice to hear some positive things being done in his memory, after the relentless attack on his character by Jodi Arias and her defense team.
What will happen at the next status conference? Will Nurmi & Willmott file a motion to delay the retrial until 2020? Will they request the trial be moved to Kansas? Will Arias try to hire Dr. Ruth as an expert or mitigation witness? Only time will tell, and as we all have grown to accept – anything is possible in this trial! Until next time……