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Jodi Arias Post Allocution Pre-Sentencing Interview with ABC 15, May 21st, 2013, after being wrongfully convicted of 1st degree murder.
Amy Murphy: The one time that you started to tear up, a couple of times, you were talking about your nieces, talking about Travis’s grandmother. Other times it seemed um, as though you were just completely in control, and maybe you were just having a regular conversation. How are you remaining so composed when this jury has your life in their hands?
Jodi: Well, it was difficult. I think I was shaking, and um, I didn’t know if anyone else would notice, but people commented on it afterward. I was almost convulsing. So I was very nervous. Um, I was emotional but it’s like, I have a lot of practice suppressing things, which isn’t a good practice, but I utilized a little bit of that so that I could maintain my composure instead of getting overly emotional and not being able to proceed.
Amy: You realize that people will view that as being cold?
Jodi: Well, they’re not in my shoes, and I’m certainly not cold.
Was Travis the worst thing that ever happened in your life?
Amy: You mentioned in a previous interview that if you knew five years ago what you know now about how your relationship with Travis was so unhealthy, you would have gotten out. We know that on May 26th Travis sent you that text or email that said you were the worst thing that ever happened in his life. Was he the worst thing that ever happened in your life?
Jodi: That’s difficult to answer because … I don’t even know how to answer that, um, I can’t say yes and I can’t say no.
Jodi: Well, because there are … it’s such a complex question. It has a lot of facets to it, and um, I think there are … I think with time and perspective, I would be able to answer that, but right now it wouldn’t be right to say yes and I can’t say no.
Amy: Do you still love him?
Amy: How can you still love a man that threatened you as you have alleged, and obviously scared you enough to do something that, I mean, it wasn’t just a murder. It was a heinous, hideous murder. How can you say you still love that man that forced you, as you say, to do this to him?
Jodi: Well, that wasn’t the kind of person that he was trying to be, and Travis had many wonderful qualities, many redeemable qualities, and those are the qualities that I focus on. Those are the qualities that I liked, and the qualities about him that I loved. And, I mean, there’s this quote that says “we love those that know the worst of us and don’t turn their faces away“. And I don’t know who said it, but I think of my family when I think of that, but also, because I know the worst of Travis. But I was still , I still wanted him to be happy, and I still wanted the best for him. And I never wanted any of this to happen.
Amy: What did you want to happen on June 4th, 2008? You went to his house. What were you expecting was going to happen?
Jodi: I really expected us to just hang out like we had always done, and um, and that would be the day.
Amy: And it turned so horribly wrong?
Jodi: It really did. Yeah, um, that’s not what I was expecting, at all.
Amy: At one point, the jury had a question for you and they said, if you hadn’t been caught, do you think you would have turned yourself in. And, are you sorry that you got caught? You said you couldn’t answer that at the time.
Jodi: Well, I couldn’t answer that I don’t know if I would turn myself in. I would like to think that I would because that would be the right thing to do. On the other hand, it’s … can you imagine willingly giving up your freedom? That’s a difficult decision to make.
Amy: So you wouldn’t have done it?
Jodi: I can’t say that I wouldn’t have. I can’t say that I would have. I really, I still don’t know the answer to that question. Um, and as far as being sorry that I got caught, I wouldn’t couch it like that.
Amy: I’ve gotten to see your mom in court every day … your grandma … your father showed up this week. When was the last time that saw your dad?
Jodi: Well, he was here earlier in the trial while I was on the stand. Um, and prior to that, he’s come, I think, one time in the five years. He doesn’t travel very well.
Amy: Their hearts must be breaking?
Jodi: Yeah, they are. (Deep sigh). They are. They are.
Amy: There were a few times where you turned and looked at them, every now and then, but it seemed like it was few and far between. Why was that?
Jodi: Well, I’ve tried to remain focused on what was going on in the proceedings, so I didn’t want to look back too much because I didn’t want … I didn’t want to take my attention off of what was important in the proceedings. But at the same time, I mean, I don’t know how much you noticed, but I looked at them a lot because I don’t know how much longer I am going to see them, and I want to see them. I want to commit them to memory.
Amy: Are you taking a mental picture of them in your mind because you think you might die? Are you ..
Jodi: Well, I think they’ll still visit me regardless of the outcome, but, I guess it just helps me and reinforces that I’m loved by these people that know the worst about me and they still love me. And I look back and I see this whole row of support, and sometimes two rows deep, and that helps.
Amy: We could know tomorrow the jury’s decision. Are you mentally, emotionally ready to meet your maker if that’s their decision?
Jodi: Well, I’m ready to meet my maker, but if that time should come. But if that’s their decision, it would drag on for years and years. So, it’s not really contemporaneous. Do you know what I mean?
Amy: Umhum, you’re saying you would have a lot more time. Even if you get death, you still have years to live, is what you’re saying?
Jodi: Yeah, yeah I do. Um, that doesn’t mean that it’s a great quality of life or anything like that. Um, if I got a death verdict, it just … this thing keeps dragging on, and I would really like to close this chapter. I hope that …. I hope people can get closure. That’s the goal for me. I want them to be able to get closure, get peace.
Amy: Travis`s family?
Jodi: Yes, very much. And, I don’t even know if that’s possible. I hope it is. I hope it is for them. I don’t know if it’s possible. I wish I could just wave a wand and make it possible.
Amy: Do you think about, okay, if the jury comes back and they give me a death, do you think about what that moment would be like?
Amy: Put the needle in your arm? You have thought about that?
Jodi: Oh, I haven’t thought about that. No.
Amy: Not at all?
Jodi: Not in great detail.
Amy: What have you thought about pertaining to that?
Jodi: I’ve thought about, more like um, the moments immediately following the announcement of the verdict. I have a pretty clear idea of what is going to happen at that point. (deep sigh) So at that point, it will just be taking it day by day, and seeing where things go.
Amy: So you really mentally haven’t even gone there?
Jodi: No. I haven’t. That’s more like I will cross that bridge if when I come to it.
Amy: But you did say that you preferred death at one point, and then today, because of your family, you said I wouldn’t want to put them through that. So, at one point, it seemed as though you were thinking about death?
Amy: And preferring the death penalty?
Amy: You have thought about it?
Jodi: Well, to that degree, yes. Just the fact that … I mean I believe we are eternal, and in a sense, it’s kind of like well if my life is over, why be a burden to my family? Why be a burden to the system? Why not just remove myself from this picture and move on? That’s how I looked at it then. Um,
Amy: Who convinced you … did your family say look, you have, you have a life worth living? Did they convince you? Did the defence team convince you? Did something happen between that interview, and we know it was a short period of time?
Jodi: Yes, actually they’ve all said those things, but my cousin convinced me. The way she said it is just
Amy: What did she say?
Jodi: (sigh) She said regardless of what happens, there is still a lot hope and a lot of things that can be done, and don’t do that to your mom. That’s sort of the sum of what she said. She said it with a lot more affect, and it really drove it home for me. And a few days later, I saw my mom as well, and she told me the same thing. And it just reiterated that (deep sigh) if I go against what they say, it’s just going to cause so much pain, so much more pain.
Amy: What’s your cousin’s name?
Jodi: I’d rather not say.
Amy: Okay. Is she in court every day, was she attending?
Jodi: She was for awhile. She’s not here today.
Amy: Okay. Um, why are you talking to the media on, what could be the eve, of your verdict, death or life?
Amy: What’s in it for you at this point?
Jodi: Well, my hope is that, my agenda at this point is to bring awareness to domestic violence because I feel like, I mean I’m here from my own bad choices. But in part, I’m also here because of that. And I don’t know if you’ll air it or not, because I told Troy Hayden the same thing and it didn’t air, but um, if I could say one thing, I just really want people to document what they go through, because if I had documented what I went through, there would be proof of it. And that’s one of the big issues in my case is that there is no physical proof, and had I documented that, there would be. And to this day, even my sister goes through things with an ex and she documents it or she says she does, but then sometimes she doesn’t and those things could help her later, um.
Amy: Is that what all the recording was about? Were you documenting at that point, or why did you start recording conversations? It just seemed a little odd that it was a private moment and then you were recording those things?
Amy: Was it …
Jodi: We … That’s just something we did. I’ve never done that with any guy before, and he wanted to, and that point, I was probably willing to …. I was really a dumb girl at that time. I was probably willing to do anything for him.
Amy: But he didn’t know you were recording it?
Jodi: Yeah, he did.
Amy: He knew you were recording his conversations?
Jodi: Right. Yeah. We had talked about it on a chat conversation right prior to that except it didn’t come in as evidence.
Amy: Okay, so, uh, the other … the other reporter before me sort of touched on this, you know, from the outside looking in, the world looking at Jodi Arias at this point, they think that you love the attention. You know, you’ve allowed us to do interviews with you on the eve before the verdict, are you enjoying the attention, for the record?
Jodi: Um, no not this kind of attention. Not the kind of attention that I receive, well, I’m not really aware of the attention. I’m very insulated where I am, and so, I mean, I get a lot of support mail, um.
Amy: Tell me about that, what kind of support mail?
Jodi: Um, hundreds and hundreds. I have like two hundred plus post cards right now that I don’t even think that it’s logistically possible to respond to every one.
Amy: No, well what are they saying to you? Just give me an example of, you know, of Joe Blow down the street?
Jodi: Jodi, I listened to your testimony and I believe you. Um, I’m in your corner, or the best ones are when women write me and say I was in a situation like yours before and I totally understand, or thank you for your testimony. I’ve left the relationship that I was in because of what happened. Things like that. That if I can motivate one person to get out of a battered relationship or if I can motivate one person to at least document what’s going on, you know, something. Then that’s better than if they just went down the path that I went down.
Amy: Umhmm, umhmm, what do you want your legacy to be?
Jodi: (Sigh) Well, it’s not the best legacy, but if anything, I’d like to be an example of (deep sigh,) I want people to see what happens when you don’t document what’s going on.
Amy: A cautionary tale?
Jodi: Cautionary tale is good. I think that’s appropriate. Um, I can’t stress enough how important that is. We have so much technology that’s so easy to operate this day and it’s affordable. And there’s just ways to document what you’re going through, so that there is never any question about what has happened should that ever arise. You don’t even have to use it. You don’t have to turn in the person that you love if you don’t want to, because most people won’t. I know I certainly didn’t want to. But it’s there, just in case.
Amy: Back to the abuse. That day in that bathroom when you feared for your life, as you say you did, before you dropped the camera, what were the last words Travis said to you?
Jodi: I don’t remember the … it was just idle chit chat.
Amy: Like what?
Jodi: We were talking about the pictures, you know, nah, that one’s good, we’ll keep that one, we’ll delete that one, nah, okay. You know, it was just common stuff pertaining to that situation.
Amy: And you went from that to I’m going kill you over a camera?
Jodi: It wasn’t instantaneous. It built within a matter of minutes.
Amy: Obviously you regret what happened. Other than that, what other regrets do you have pertaining to all of this?
Jodi: I regret, well I don’t know if I was in a state of mind at that time to have the perspective that I have now. So it’s hard to have that regret if it wasn’t even a possibility then. But, I wish, if anything, I wish I’d had the perspective that I have now, um .
Amy: What state of mind were you in?
Jodi: Post arrest? That’s what kind of what I was referring to but,
Amy: Okay, I was referring to the actual what was happening itself.
Jodi: Oh, the day of ..
Amy: Yes, the day of.
Jodi: I can’t .. I can’t
Amy: What was your state of mind? I mean you went there, you had hours of sex with this guy who you had broken up with, he invited you in, once again confusing muddying the waters, right?
Amy: Were you just so frustrated with him and so angry with him?
Jodi: No, I don’t feel like I was ever angry with Travis.
Amy: You were never a scorned, bitter woman jealous by these other women?
Jodi: I had no knowledge of it. I assumed there were other women because that was his modus operandi. But we weren’t in a relationship, so I can’t , I can’t dictate … I don’t think I could ever dictate, even we are in a relationship what he does. That’s his choice and I was moving on in my area, and it was just hard to completely break away. So, we hang out again like we always did and ….
Amy: You just couldn’t make that break and he really couldn’t either. He kept inviting you back for more.
Jodi: Yeah, he did.
Amy: Is that the downfall right there, if you had just gone your separate ways?
Jodi: I think about that a lot. What if, I had just when I had moved a thousand miles away from him, what if I had just crossed over that border into California and never looked back. Never answered the phone again, never responded to another email or text message. Just stopped. I think about that a lot.
Amy: And what have .. what have you … and what have you come of that, I mean
Jodi: I can’t change the past and I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.
Amy: A lot of women have that problem. The ex still texting, there’s some communication. They go back, they go forth, you know. There’s a lot of women have that problem but it doesn’t end as horrifically tragic.
Jodi: I know. Well, I don’t think that ex attacks them and threatens to kill them. So, (sigh) I really wish that I could do all of that over, and I would never go there.
Amy: Daniel Freeman was a good friend of yours.
Jodi: Yeah, he was.
Amy: He told us in an interview, not me but one of our other reporters, that he felt that if it was an option that you should get the death penalty. How does that make you feel, someone who was a good friend of yours at one time?
Jodi: Well, he’s just one of the same herd that’s judged me since then. I mean, if he’s changed his tune he is entitled to his opinion and it’s no different than all of my other friends who’ve said the same.
Jodi: My so called former friends.
Amy: Speaking of judgement, you must know all of America sits in judgement of Jodi Arias right now and you really have been deemed the most hated woman in America, how does that make you feel?
Jodi: I didn’t know that. Actually, I feel a lot of love and support from people who write in and believe me and want to help me, and want to be there for me and there’s just … I’ve received an outpouring of love and support from other people. So all of that, it doesn’t reach me.
Amy: One of the deputies actually told me you had a mountain of mail in your jail cell and they actually had to get rid of it because it was a fire hazard, is that true?
Jodi: Um, they made me when … I don’t know when this was, but I was ordered to release it. So it went to my attorneys.
Amy: Just too much for you to even open?
Jodi: Well, we only get post cards here. So this was all mail that was read and it just built up with time.
Amy: Ok. Um, you know, Samantha Alexander that day she took the stand and Stephen Alexander took the stand, there were moments where I think the jury finally saw you may be feeling some remorse. We saw you crying, we saw tears rolling down your cheeks. Samatha said we will never get those images of our brother ‘s neck being slit out of our minds. How have you gotten that out of your mind?
Jodi: It’s not out of my mind, but mostly I’ve avoided looking at it, but it’s there, I’ve seen it. (deep sigh)
Amy: How do you go on living with that, How do you, I mean,
Jodi: I think it’s suppressed a lot of times. Um, and I think it comes out in nightmares.
Amy: You have nightmares?
Jodi: I’ve been told that I scream and cry in my sleep and several times I have woken myself up screaming. I don’t have memories of the nightmares, so I’m not sure what I’m dreaming about. (deep sigh) I just, I get … I’ve lived with roommates over the years, and they consistently report that about me.
Amy: That you’ve had them in here since you’ve been incarcerated?
Amy: Now, you touched on the mental illness. Most people think what you did to Travis Alexander is insane. Juan Martinez said you killed him three times. Why didn’t they do an insanity plea?
Jodi: I don’t know.
Amy: Don’t you think the jury would have really believed that, I mean, after looking at all the evidence. Why.. You even said you don’t know, you’ve kind of dabbled .and .. you feel that you have several things going on with your psyche.
Jodi: Yeah, I just don’t know that .. I don’t know why that decision was made. I really don’t.
Amy: You realize people look at you and you’re slender and svelte, and this tiny waif of a woman on trial, and they are baffled how you could have done that to a man of Travis’s size.
Jodi: I think when you get into a fight or flight situation, and the adrenalin kicks in, you gain extra strength, that’s my theory. I don’t have memory of a lot of what happened that day but we all know that when you are in a situation and your adrenalin kicks in, you are capable of, physically capable, of more than you typically are, such as, you know, the mother who lifts the car off her child. Who could lift a car?
Jodi: You know, but if
Amy: We’ve all heard those stories, sure
Jodi: Right, so I don’t know if it’s one of those situations or not. I know that, I don’t remember it, but I know that it happened, and
Amy: If you could go back to a younger version of Jodi, what would she say right now? What would she … how would she make her life different?
Jodi: What age are we talking?
Amy: I don’t know. When do you think it all started to go badly for you? Do you think it was when you left home at fifteen? Do you think that was kind of the turning point, because, you know, listening to the defence today, they claimed you were abused and neglected and basically your family turned away from you very early is what they claimed?
Jodi: It was more like emotional neglect. Um, (deep sigh) I don’t know that I would take back those experiences even though they weren’t great, because I felt like the trajectory of my life prior to meeting Travis was on a good path, and even though my parents and I had had differences, I thought that I had put it behind me. And this case has brought up some many issues that we still haven’t resolved. Um, (sigh) there are so many points in time where I could say this is where it changed or this is where it changed, so it’s difficult to pinpoint that moment. Because even right up to the day, things could have been done differently.
Amy: Umhmm, umhmm. Now you mentioned your mom had a letter she was prepared to read in court and she wanted to read for you. What did that letter say?
Jodi: Um, she only told me some of the elements. Basically just listing all of the qualities she felt were redeemable about me. Things I have done to help other people.
Amy: Like what, what does your mom think is redeemable about you?
Jodi: Um, she wanted to talk about the ways I help people in here. Um, I help them with, sometimes with letters to the court, um, I’ve helped them learn sign language occasionally. She wanted to talk about … I feel like I’m tooting my own horn when I say all this, so I’d rather not…
Amy: No, I asked you the question, so toot so toot away.
Jodi: I feel uncomfortable but I’ve done things to help people. And I tell my mom …
Amy: Your mom didn’t get to say this in court, so I’m giving you the opportunity now to tell America what your mom didn’t get to say, so feel free.
Jodi: I haven’t seen the letter, but some of my good deeds, I’d rather just keep them anonymous. Um, so I think she was more about she wanted the jury to know that about me, those things.
Amy: Yeah. Yeah, she’s hurting, isn’t she?
Jodi: Very much.
Amy: I see it in court. I see it.
Jodi: Yeah …. yeah, she’s hurting.
Amy: Alright, I think our time is up. If you had one thing that you could say to anyone out there, other than victims of domestic violence, um, more like Travis’s family, or your haters or something along those lines, what would it be, and what would you say?
Jodi: Well, I would say two different things to those groups. Um, I just I hope that people are able to heal. I want them to be able to heal from this. I don’t know if they will be able to but I hope they can. I really do.
Amy: Are you going to be able to heal … have you healed? Have you ..
Jodi: Um, I haven’t healed. Um, I think it’s possible, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.
Amy: If you get life in prison, um, with parole, do you think you could be rehabilitated? Do you think you need rehabilitation?
Jodi: Well, as far as being a law-abiding citizen, I don’t think I need very much rehabilitation because I’m not somebody who goes out and breaks the law. I’m not, contrary to what everyone thinks, I’m not dangerous to society. Um, and I know that if I were given a second chance at freedom, that I would use that very responsibly. Um, but if I spend twenty-five years in prison and then have that opportunity, certainly there would be some kind rehabilitation needed, depending on where society is in that time period in the future.
Male voice: I have a quick question
Amy: Jodi .. thank you, yes.
Amy: Go ahead,
Male Voice: And you look at Amy.
Male Voice: Just look at her.
Amy: That’s Cory,
Male voice: So today you said you feel you deserve life in prison because if you’re put to death, it would hurt your family, and you feel you have more contributions you could make to inmates in prison, but you have devastated Travis Alexander’s family and you have robbed society of the contributions he would make. Why do you feel you deserve more than Travis Alexander and his family?
Jodi: I don’t know that I do deserve it. I just know that my family doesn’t deserve the pain. Um, Travis’s family doesn’t deserve the pain either.
Jodi: but I don’t know that I can do anything to change it. If I could, I would and I wish that I knew how, so that I could do that.
Amy: Do you think that you deserve to die, but you don’t want to put your family through it? Is that what I’m hearing here?
Jodi: Well, I don’t know that it’s about deserving because we all do, eventually. I just don’t know … I mean .. I can’t say what I deserve, because it sounds so entitled, and that’s not really my attitude. I just know that I just don’t want to hurt people any more.
Amy: Thank you, thank you very much.
Male voice: How have you prepared yourself for the jury’s next decision?
Jodi: Um, I’m just going to flow. I don’t really have a lot of control over it, so it’s whatever is going to happen I just have to take it day by day.
Amy: Thank you.
Jodi: You’re welcome.
Amy: Thank you very much. You haven’t thought about it is what you said to me earlier.
Jodi: Yeah, I mean, I just mean ..