Jodi Arias – The Trip

The trip from Pasadena to SLC

See also Discounted Evidence for why the state has proved nothing regarding the gas cans.

Google Map of trip Also House location

Gas purchases / use of gas cans

Note: there is good detail on the fill up at Pasadena, Day 24, about 1 hour 46 minutes in. Jodi mentions she usually filled up until the pump “clicks”.

Journey to Pasadena:
Redding to Lodi = 197 miles ( Jodi stoped at a Valero )
Lodi to Monterey = 158 miles
Monterey to Salinas = 19 miles
Salinas to King City = 47 miles ( Jodi had a $51.41 bank transaction @ King City )
King City to Pasadena = 258 miles

Total Redding to Pasadena = 679 miles


June 3rd Pasadena ( see Darryl Brewer testimony for receipts )
Buys 8.301 gallons Price $4.169 Value $35.06 Debit Account ####2015 8:42 pm
Buys 9.59 gallons Price $4.169 Value $40.00 cash $40 Prepaid 8:46:50 PM / 8:53:24
Buys 2.77 gallons Price $4.169 Value $11.56 cash $20 Prepaid 8:53:31 PM / 8:54:52

Total = 20.661 gallons.

To Mesa and beyond

En route to Mesa, refills at Desert Center and Buckeye ( see google map above ). Note: according to prosecution theory, she didn’t do this.
June 4th 04:15 Arrives at Alexander’s house in Mesa (approx) Distance from Pasadena is 390 miles.
June 4th 17:30 – Alexander is killed.
June 4th 23:37 – Arias calls Ryan Burns. Cell phone records show that Jodi was 45 miles north of Kingman and 27 miles from the Nevada border.Testimony
267 miles from Mesa.


June 5th ??:?? – Stops at Mesquite gas station, fills tank using gas cans. Buys item or items totalling $46.11 ( bank/cc statement ).
138 mile leg, 405 miles from Mesa. 390+405=795 miles from Pasadena.
Mileage to here from Pasadena is 390 + 405 = 795 miles, requiring 26.5 gallons @ 30mpg.
$46.11 would be about 11 gallons. But no evidence this any or all of this was gas.

June 5th Meets Burns, West Jordan. They go to a business meeting.
June 5th 12:03 – Jodi stopped by Mike Galliatti near Salt Lake City, rear number plate upside down. Total time from killing = 17 hours 30 minutes ( Note:1 hour time difference between Arizona and Utah in June )
338 mile leg, 743 miles from Mesa.


Address: Tesoro, 1699 W North Temple, SCL, Utah 84116, 801-596-7784.
June 6th 03:57 Tesoro, Utah, Receipt
Buys 10.672 gallons gasoline. Price $3.85 per gallon. $41.18. Time is 3:57am At register. Mastercard. 2015, Swiped. Pump #2
Buys 5.091 gallons gasoline. Price $3.859 per gallon. $19.65. Time is 4:01. At pump #2. Same credit card.
Buys 9.583 gallons gasoline. Price $3.859 per gallon, $36.98 Time is 4:05:32 At register. Card 2015 swiped Rebuttal Testimony
Total = 25.355.

June 6th 10:34 Sparks NV, 7-11 store Receipt
June 6th 10:38 Sparks NV, Burger receipt


The capacity of a Ford Focus would be 13.5 gallons.

Topping off…
“I suppose that if you are about to try to drive across the Gobi Desert, it might make sense to force extra gas into your tank. But, for most of us in the civilized world, the presence of gas stations every few miles and a functioning gas gauge make it…unnecessary…to top-off a gas tank.”

See also
and…/safety/fuel-safety.pdf “Ease up on the nozzle when you’re filling the top half of your tank, to avoid possible spills.”

Quite what Jodi was trying to accomplish isn’t entirely clear, but when it’s very hot, it may be safer to partly fill the tank, then finish off to safe level.
Note: it’s doubtful if the effect is very big, it seems this idea may be a bit of an urban myth.
3 minutes is probably not long enough for the temperature to equalise significantly.

Some notes

Average speed from Pasadena to Mesa ( relates to fuel consumption )
Distance: Pasadena to Mesa AZ is approx. 390 miles.
Time she left Pasadena : 8:53pm (Pacific time), per gas receipt. Arrives Mesa 4:10am (Mountain time).
Calculation: Total time is = 6 hours 7 minutes. Take off 10 minutes for two stops = 5 hours 57 minutes = 6 hours, near enough.
Average speed = 390 / 6 = 65 miles per hour.
Intermediate stops: Desert Center (173 miles) , Buckeye (338 miles).

First purchase at Pasadena is 9.59 gallons.
Last purchase at Tessoro is 9.583 gallons.
These values are very close, suggests these are filling the 2 x 5 gallon gas cans.
The capacity of these gas cans (the ones she borrowed from Darryl ) is 9.59 / 2 = 4.795 gallons.
Perhaps because in practice you will not fill them right up to the brim, to avoid spilling gas.
Note that Jodi is very careful filling the cans, the amounts are very consistent.

Prosecution narrative

Jodi leaves Pasadena, with a full tank and 3 x 5 gallon gas cans. Total fuel = 28.5 gallons.
By the time she gets to Mesquite, she has travelled 795 miles, requiring 26.5 gallons @ 30mpg. So 2 gallons left in tank.
She buys $46.11 = 11 gallons ( assuming $4.169 price ).



( June 2014 )
For a long time, I assumed Jodi only had two cans at Tesoro, which would imply the gas capacity of the Ford Focus would be more than 13.5 gallons. There are records that show it was only 13.5 gallons, so unless those records are wrong (perhaps the factory fitted a larger tank because the correct tank was not available), it seems Jodi DID have three gas cans at Tesoro.

This is also implied by some testimony Jodi gave in response to a juror question:

128: Today, March 5, 2013, you stated before lunch that you think you filled the car up first. If you did have the third gas can, as we saw in several hypothetical situations after lunch, do you see if possible to put 8.301 gallons of gas in the car (exhibit 237.011) and the 9.59 gallons and 2.774 gallons for a total of 12.368 gallons in the remaining three gas cans. Exhibits 237.011, 237.012 and 237.013?
A: Okay that was a lot of elements to that question. First, I didn’t have three gas cans
M: Objection,
J: Overruled
A: I didn’t have three gas cans, I believe we were discussing hypothetical if I had three gas cans, no it wouldn’t make sense to put only 2 gallons and change into only one gas can while filling up the others. And as far as whether I think I filled up the car first or not, I honestly don’t know what came first. I do remember having the fear of filling the gas can, overfilling them because I didn’t want overflow because it’s a highly flammable substance, so I remember that so I can’t say that I filled them all the way to their maximum capacity or not. Um, but I wouldn’t have only put two gallons in one if I filled up two more, I only had two anyway, so there were never three on that trip when I pulled out of Salinas.

Jodi adds “on that trip when I pulled out of Salinas”, which implies she could have had three gas cans on another part of the trip, i.e. the return trip from Salt Lake City back to California. Why would she add “on that trip when I pulled out of Salinas” if she never had three cans?

Note: she actually means Pasadena, Salinas is where she bought the 3rd gas can and says she returned it. Pasadena is where she filled up with gas. See for links to testimony.

Revised account

Jodi fills and tops up her main tank at Pasadena, and fills Darryl’s two gas cans, which he lent her.
On the way to Mesa, she stops at Desert Springs and Buckeye, putting in 6 gallons each time.
At Mesquite, she purchases a 5 gallon gas can (or possibly two small 2.5 gallon gas cans) and 6 gallons of gas, for a total cost of $46.11
She gets to Tesoro, Salt Lake City with 2.5 gallons left in her tank.
She has used (13.5 – 2.5) + 10 (two gas cans) + 18(3×6 gas purchased) = 39 gallons of gas.
The distance from Pasadena to Tesoro is 1,133 miles, giving an average MPG = 29.05 Miles Per Gallon.

Note: this is just a possible scenario, which seems most compatible with the evidence.

Note: this agrees with the MPG from SLC to Winnemucca:

1880 W Winnemucca Bl
Winnemucca, NV 9844

Quantity 12.175 Gallons ( 353 miles from SLC per google maps )
Price 4.099
Amount 49.91
Mastercard #2015 ( Jodi Arias )

353 Miles / 12.175 Gallons = 29 MPG.

Further notes:
This leg was in the early morning, conditions would have been cool, 51F to 70F, so air-conditioning would not be needed.
There is no significant altitude change ( Salt Lake City = 4,327 above sea level; Winnemucca = 4,295 ft above sea level; net downhill=32 feet ).

There is no time on the receipt at Winnemucca, however we do have the time for Salt Lake City to Sparks, Nevada ( 514.4 miles per google ).
This time is 7 hours 30 minutes ( Jodi leaves SLC 4:05am, Mountain time, Sparks receipt is 10:34am, Pacific Time ).
Average speed 68 miles per hour.
Google gives 7 hours 5 minutes for this trip, so Jodi did not apparently exceed the speed limit.
Google gives average speed from Salt Lake City to Winnemucca as about 70mph, it is a fast road, comparable to I5 in California, North of Pasadena.

The trip from Salinas to Pasadena

At 3:22 p.m, Jodi buys a Kero can and various other goods at Walmart, Salinas. ( See Walmart Return )
She then goes to Starbucks, and claims she then returned the Kero can to Walmart.
Allowing 25 minutes for the visit to Starbucks, she leaves Salinas around 3:45pm.

Jodi stops at a Shell station, King City, to buy gas ( and some other items )

Arrival at Pasadena, California:
At 8:16pm, Jodi calls Travis. The call lasted 2 minutes, 9 seconds.
At 8:31pm, Jodi buys goods at a CVS pharmacy.
At 8:34pm, Jodi calls Travis again and the call lasts 49 seconds
At 8:46pm, Jodi buys gas at Arco, Pasadena.

So if Jodi arrived in Pasadena around 8:15pm, the time from Pasadena is about 4 hours 30 minutes.
Google maps gives a time for the trip of 4 hours 30 minutes, so this fits. It’s 304 miles. Average speed 67.55 mph.
This is pretty good going. It’s because the roads are good, and Jodi can go at 70mph on the Freeway.

The distance from King City (where Jodi stops for gas) to Pasadena is 261 miles. A lot of that will be travelling South on Highway 5.

For the prosecution case to make sense, Jodi would use only 8.3 gallons from King City to Pasadena. An MPG of 31 MPG.
This is not realistic. Travelling at a similar speed later in the trip, from Salt Lake City to Winnemucca, Jodi gets only 29 MPG.
There is also a gain in height of 528ft from King City to Pasadena.
The trip to Pasadena was late afternoon/early evening, it would have been very hot, the air conditioning would reduce MPG.
There may have been traffic at this busy time of day ( Tuesday, 3 June, 2008 )
The trip from Salt Lake City to Winnemucca, was very early morning, so cool and no air conditioning would be required.
Salt Lake City to Winnemucca is almost level, height loss of just 32 feet.
Traffic would be very light, with Jodi arriving at Winnemucca around 8am in the morning ( Pacific time ).
Thus conditions are LESS favorable for the trip from King City to Pasadena.
It is inexplicable that Jodi would get a significantly higher MPG in less favorable conditions.


See also :


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