On June 4, 2008, aspiring photographer Jodi Arias, then 28, visited the Mesa, Arizona, home of Travis Alexander, her 20-year-old ex-boyfriend.
Although the couple had officially split a year earlier, the continued to be physically intimate. Darkening the situation, Arias remained “obsessed” with Alexander and infuriated by the fact that he was dating other women.
They had sex that day and took explicit photos of one another. Afterward, Arias stabbed Alexander at least 27 times, slashed his throat, and fired a .25-caliber handgun point-blank into his head. She left his dead body in the shower and took off.
After police arrested Arias for first-degree murder, she changed her story. First, she claimed home invaders killed Alexander; later, she said she acted in self-defense. Arias also infamously declared, “Mark my words, no jury would convict me.”
After a massive, wild trial loaded with sordid twists and turns, a jury did convict Arias on May 8, 2013. The jury did deadlock, however, on deciding whether or not to sentence Arias to be executed — as did a second jury during her 2015 penalty retrial.
Judge Sherry Stevens finally sentenced Arias to life in prison. Still protesting that she’s innocent, Arias is being held at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville.
All this, of course, has horrified and captivated true crime fans who continuously want to know more. Among the avalanche of information to erupt forth regarding Arias, the following four books provide noteworthy takes on the case and provide compelling insight into the mind of this ferociously intriguing murderer.
With Exposed, renowned crime journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell scored a hit best-seller with the first serious, in-depth examination of the Jodi Arias case that also proves to be a breathtaking page-turner.
Arias herself may remain a mystery, but Velez-Mitchell’s combination of ace reporting and gripping real-life (and death) drama brings us as close as possible to understanding (if not actually sympathizing) with the mad mindset that led to the slaughter of Travis Alexander — as well as the circus that cropped up in the aftermath. [Amazon]
Arizona reporter Shanna Hogan relays the facts of the Jodi Arias case in Picture Perfect with the energy and power of a dynamic crime novel — except, of course, the bizarre sexual elements and gory details of Travis Alexander’s are anything but fiction.
Picture Perfect proves especially potent when it comes to local details and even more so in capturing and communicating the vastness of Arias’s obsession with Alexander, both before and even years after she so savagely killed him. [Amazon]
As Jodi Arias’s lead defense attorney, L. Kirk Nurmi put forth the notion that her lethal assault of Travis Alexander was justifiable homicide. Ultimately, the jury rejected that notion but, as Nurmi makes clear in Trapped With Ms. Arias, he believed that strategy also kept the lethal-injection needle out of her arm.
Beyond that, Trapped reads like an up-close encounter with a disturbed mind that was once focused on Travis Alexander and, while on trial, seems just as focused on staying out of jail — and, it seems, driving her lawyer nuts with demands, inconsistencies, and ever-escalating outrageous behavior.
Trapped comes off shoddily composed (it’s full of typos), but it will always be a fascinating footnote to the Jodi saga. As a result of publishing this trial tell-all, Nurmi was disbarred, with the State Bar Association declaring: “The book, in its entirety, presents a negative view of [Arias] and her case.” [Amazon]
Viewing the proceedings from the opposite side of L. Paul Nurmi, esteemed prosecutor Juan Martinez’s account of the Arias trial — Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars — truly makes the reader understand the case against the defendant.
By revealing many never-before-disclosed details and behind-the-scenes events in crisp, occasionally fiery language, Conviction also makes vividly clear how — and why — Martinez battled so passionately in this particular instance in pursuit of justice. [Amazon]
Watch Investigation Discovery’s Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery on ID GO now!
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Main images: “Exposed;” “Picture Perfect;” “Trapped With Ms. Arias;” “Conviction”/front book cover images [Amazon]