The sometimes sketchy details in a murder trial can produce more frustration than information. In the case of Jodi Arias, I have been in graduate school for much of the headlining moments. Others who followed the story more closely may still have trouble plotting out the various details and the sequence of events. The CBS My Lifetime documentary Overkill, Jodi Arias: Beyond the Headlines helps to clear up the timeline and lay out the details in a compelling and dramatic film. A review of the film follows below. Spoilers are included.
Travis Alexander (portrayed by Jesse Lee Soffer)
Information about Alexander was pretty elaborate in this movie. What emerged was that he was 29 when he died, he was one of 8 kids, and that he was a devout Mormon. He had done well with Pre-Paid Legal, which now goes by Legal Shield (according to legalshield.com). He died tragically in June 2008, and was found in his shower stall.
Some of his friends became concerned when they hadn’t heard from him for a few days in June 2008. Chris Hughes, gave a details about him. He said Alexander came from troubling beginnings. “Travis raised himself from this darkness and he became a shining star,” he reported.
Friends of Travis
It was his circle of friends that became concerned in June 2008 when they hadn’t heard from Alexander in a while. They are credited with alerting authorities that he had dropped off of their radar.
Chris Hughes’ wife (Sky) stated that she was concerned and felt that something wasn’t right in the relationship of the couple. (It ends up that sexual purity before marriage is one of the tenets of the Mormon faith, but Alexander and Arias were credited with being sexually involved) Sky said she felt that Arias was more into Alexander than he was into her. At one point, they allowed their home to be a meeting place for the other couple. Eventually, they halted that arrangement.
Taylor Searle felt certain that Arias killed his friend.
Criminologist Lawrence Kobilinsky indicated his belief that the crime lab had the upper hand. He also gave a description of the events. “It was a gruesome crime with lots of blood.” He also stated that not only was Arias there, but she was there at the same time the violence was taking place.
Detective Esteban Flores reported that they couldn’t tell whether the victim had been shot or where. As it were, he was stabbed 25 times, had his throat slit and was shot in the head.
Kobilinsky proposed the idea that, not only was Arias present, but she was present at the same time the violence occurred. There was physical evidence which helped him to reach this conclusion.
Photographs were developed from a damaged SD card with the memory erased. Apparently, recovery experts know how to do this. The photos were the most incriminating evidence against Arias. Prosecutors re-created events from photographs, and they placed her there at the time of death.
Jodi Arias (played by Tania Raymonde)
Jodi was 26 when Alexander died. In the documentary, it emerged that she was a high school drop-out. She was credited with meeting Alexander through her employment with Pre-Paid Legal.
Her first report of her whereabouts and activity at the time of his murder was that she was traveling out of town. “I was not at Travis’ house,” she claimed. She told the detective that if Alexander were there, he would tell them that it wasn’t her who took his life.
Her second account was that she was there when two masked gunmen entered the house while she was there. “I was around because he invited me,” she stated. As she gave further details, she said one of the men told her that he knew who she was, where she lived and who her family was. She said he threatened to kill her family if she told, so she left the house without alerting authorities. “I know that I won’t be held accountable for killing him,” she said.
Eventually she came up with a report of the true account of that day(again). She admitted to killing him, but said it was in self-defense. She said he attacked her in the bathroom (a body slamming is what she claimed) and she killed him. She said she shot him first, and then stabbed him. When they investigated, they discovered that the gunshot was last. In fact, they report that it happened after he was already dead. This seems to be the impetus for part of the title (Overkill).
Arias had a trial earlier this year. She claimed sketchy memories of the events of that fateful day. Prosecutor Juan Martinez was referred to by the narrator as a pit bull. He wanted a 1st degree murder verdict, and he got his wish. Arias has expressed a preference for the death penalty over life imprisonment.
More details may emerge in the upcoming CBS Lifetime movie drama production titled, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.” According to Fox News, it airs on June 22.
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