For a while now, I have been wanting to write about why the fact that Travis Alexander wasn’t the perfect gentleman doesn’t matter and this blog post inspired me to go ahead and do it.
I suppose prosecuting attorney Juan Martinez is planning to use domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette’s remarks about “Snow White” and domestic violence as a way to call her a man-hating bitch in a desperate attempt to try and salvage his murder one case. It might also be he is going through the motions of a cross-examination knowing the murder one charge was lost a long time ago, with the introduction of the phone sex tape and text messages by the defense. What I cannot understand is why people can’t seem to believe that Jodi Arias was an abused woman. No, most abused women don’t kill their abusers, but one of the major reasons women are incarcerated for murder is because of domestic violence situations. ALL of the evidence in this trial points to domestic abuse. ALL of it. Does that mean Travis Alexander deserved to die in such a hideous manner? No, but his treatment of Jodi, confirmed through the documentary record, give us an understanding why she felt desperate enough to do what she did.
The thing that strikes me most about this post is just how much it reminds me of a time when a murdered or raped woman’s character was put on display in order to make the jury question the actions of the victim versus the actions of the culprit. What was she wearing? Was she sleeping around? Was she a bitch? Maybe she deserved it. Remember the heat Bill O’Reilly took for suggesting that a young murder victim was partially to blame for being raped and murdered? (Interestingly enough, Alyce LaViolette spoke about this brand of victim-blame while on the stand. Perhaps victim-blaming/shaming is only wrong when it comes to women.)
There seems to be a mentality among a significant segment of the population that, if a victim isn’t all unicorns and sunshine or if they make wrong decisions (like jogging a wooded trail alone or leaving their bedroom window open), they deserved their fate. It doesn’t always manifest itself in the same way, however. For instance, people who feel that Travis Alexander had it coming may not be (and are probably not) the same people who agree that a young rape and murder victim played a part in her own demise; but, their mentality is very much the same in that they both hold the victims accountable in some way.
The individual who “penned” the blog post that sparked my own blog entry asked why people find it hard to believe that Arias was a survivor of abuse. I think the phrase she is looking for there is “no credibility.” Jodi Arias’s “credibility bank” is not only empty, but it’s overdrawn. This leaves us with examining independent evidence such as those emails and text messages. The problem with that is that people have different ways of reading things. When I read Alexander’s text messages, it comes across as someone who is reacting to another’s action. When he went off about her leaving an item behind, it comes across as a pattern that he is fed up with. He clearly finds her to be a manipulative individual. Also telling is that when LaViolette pointed to the way that Alexander spoke to other women, those interactions were mostly about his sexually flirtatious nature, which made the Mormon women he was talking to uncomfortable. None of it had to do with him calling them outside of their names or things like “sociopath.”
So the question is, would it have been best if Travis had just ignored Arias altogether? Yes, but just like LaViolette says that women stay involved in bad/abusive relationships for their own emotional reasons, the same thing can happen with men. Men DO stay in toxic relationships with abusive, obsessive, and jealous women all of the time. Men also do not tend to take women seriously when they are stalking them. In example, a recent episode of Dr. Phil featured a young woman who was seeking help due to her being obsessed with a guy she had broken up with. The guy in that case would also talk to and see her, even with knowing how obsessed she was. People don’t always make the best decisions.
While I feel like LaViolette’s testimony highlights gender inequalities that negatively impact men, that is not the primary reason I feel that Travis being a …. doesn’t matter. It’s because it doesn’t “undo” other facts in the case.
My original response to Susan’s blog entry:
Travis Alexander was not the perfect murder victim. He did have a load of problems – but so did Jodi Arias. This is evident from the fact that even her own parents weren’t shocked that she was being considered for the murder. Jodi was a strange person. Jodi had mental problems. Jodi flipped out on her mother. Jodi would hit her mother for no reason. Jodi treated her mother like crap. Jodi would be fine one minute and crying hysterically the next. Jodi was obsessed with Travis. Jodi climbed through Travis’s doggy door. Jodi was found hiding in Travis’s closet.
Jodi was 1000 miles away and did not have to go to AZ. She had full control over that action, but she went because she was obsessed with Travis and the only thing that would end that obsession was him no longer breathing. For all of this talk about Travis being afraid of losing Jodi, where was the evidence of him pursuing her? He was scheduled to visit her in CA, wasn’t he? Didn’t he cancel that? That isn’t the hallmark of a man who doesn’t want to let go. Talk to REAL female DV victims. The man always goes to the woman to get her back. Always. Nowhere in those texts does Travis ask Jodi back. To the contrary, he states that he’s glad to be moving on and had plans to go out of the country with another woman.
I also find it interesting that you say that “all of the evidence” points to domestic violence. Intriguing. What about a gun of the same caliber being “stolen” from Arias’s home days prior to Alexander being killed points to DV? What about not telling anyone she was heading to AZ sounds like DV? What about her making sure that there were no records of her in AZ sounds like DV? What about dying her hair on the trip down sounds like DV? What about borrowing and buying gas cans so that there are no records of her buying gas in AZ sounds like DV? What about anything she did to cover up the crime after the fact sounds like DV?
When her mother asked her if she was in AZ, Arias’s response was that she had gas receipts to prove that she wasn’t. How many people, who aren’t business owners or on business trips, care about saving gas receipts? Consider that she had a well traceable paper trail before and after her trip to AZ. She used credit cards everywhere else, and conveniently her phone is dead/off the entire time she is there. How does any of that EVIDENCE not sound like premeditation? If this were a man being accused of killing an ex-girlfriend, would you see this evidence as anything other than what it is?
Finally, her explanation of how the crime happened is entirely improbable. How she managed to take on a man 1 on 1 and only walk away with some small cuts (if you buy her story) and a bruised head that she has no evidence of, is remarkable when you consider the damage to Travis’s body. Not to mention that the ME’s findings state that Travis was shot last. She wants us to believe that she “came to” in the desert with her hands covered in blood and barefoot, when no blood was found on any doorknobs. She also wants us to believe that she had to stop for gas on the way out of the state, and since she didn’t use any credit cards, she had to pay cash. A barefoot woman covered in blood certainly would have stood out, don’t you think?
I have seen cases with far less evidence result in murder 1 convictions. If Arias gets anything less than that, it will be because she is a woman who killed a man, and not vice versa. Look at the Scott Peterson trial – case was entirely circumstantial, but it’s OK to use common sense when convicting men. With women, many people want a Point A to Point Z road map with every alphabet in between covered.
And that’s why Travis being a …. doesn’t matter.