To the 11 jurors (and the alternates) who followed the law and deliberated and saw this case for what it really is: a first degree calculated homicide with deliberate intent to take an unarmed man’s life, cover it up, lie about every aspect about it for years then hijack the legal system by blaming him for his own slaughter, I say thank you for seeing Jodi Arias as she truly is–a vicious “psychopath” as one of you called her.
First of all I want to make this very important point. You all have PTSD right now. Not just from the horror you had to endure in that courtroom and images you were forced to be exposed to again and again but from the trauma of having to deal with the heinous deliberations you did. I have no doubt that every single one of you is suffering from PTSD and you would have even if the jury had been unanimous. This isn’t your fault nor is it a sign of weakness. It is a very natural result of having to sit in stunned silence for the months that you did while this Psychopath hijacked your lives while being traumatized like that. It is very important that you understand the symptoms of this and, if needed, get treatment. At the very least, keep talking to the people on the jury you bonded with as processing it verbally is one way to release the trauma from the nervous system. I am an expert in PTSD both personally and professionally and any of you may contact me for more resources if you feel you need them. Helping you is something I would feel a great sense of satisfaction participating in.
Let me introduce myself a bit. My sister Cindy, pictured on the left, was murdered here in AZ by two men who took her life for money. She was 30 years old just like Travis. She was murdered in an almost identical way as Travis–stabbed numerous times, nearly decapitated and her body left to be found by others. She also lived in Mesa. Her killers were, like Jodi, found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to death. That was 24 years ago and they are both still alive and in the system. The Death penalty is not for sissies when it comes to the aftermath and the burden/abuse it places on families. I’ve said many times that the death penalty opponents who have championed for the men who left my sister’s slaughtered body in the desert on Christmas Eve 1988 have been the most abusive to me personally as well as my family members. Unlike the Alexanders we had it pretty easy, comparatively, during Cindy’s killers’ original trials.
There is a whole lot on the internet about our trials but I’m not going to ask you to read it because the last thing you need to be exposed to right now is more murder. I only give that introduction so you know I have credibility with what I am saying to you.
You all made a valiant effort in that jury room and I, as a surviving sister of homicide, applaud each and every one of you. The outcome had nothing to do with any of you not doing your job or trying hard enough. It clearly had to do with an errant juror with an agenda and so much damage herself that it created a wall, a wall she now has to live behind for the rest of her life. I would not want to walk in her shoes.
I know you feel like you’ve let down the Alexanders. That is a normal feeling. Yet I believe that they know and have compassion for the impossible situation you were in. All of your brave words in the interview I’m sure have been healing for them. Keep speaking about it in any way that you can. The validation you’ve given over the TRUTH of this case is, in itself, a healing balm. The fact that you saw this horrific nightmare as it truly is, is a medicine only you can give and I’d say keep giving it. It is healing for all of us who watched the trial in the ways of feeling like she truly didn’t “beat the system”.
Now what I’m going to say may be somewhat controversial but it is my belief and I hope it helps you. I’ve been ambivalent about this phase all along. For only one reason: I know what the aftermath of the Death Penalty is on families. Yet I’ve been supportive of Jodi receiving it because she deserves it. Under the law, which you followed, it represents the appropriate sentence for her crime: the worst of the worst. I attended nearly every day of the first phase of the trial so saw every day of her 19 day testimony in person and I will tell you she is the scariest killer I’ve ever witnessed, including both men who killed my sister.
I have many reasons for that assessment but it’s not my aim today — my agenda is to help you heal and get perspective on this. Jodi’s going to prison for life (she will never get out, don’t worry about that–it will not happen) will bring long term relief to the Alexanders. Not in this moment understandably but in the long term they will truly much more easily be able to detach from her.
17 years after my sister’s killers were sentenced to death, we went back to court for a lengthy hearing to determine if they were “mentally retarded” thus ineligible for the Death Penalty. How convenient that once the Supreme Court issued a ruling that we can’t execute the mentally retarded, these highly sophisticated manipulative sociopaths became “mentally retarded” overnight.
They conducted an extensive and sophisticated conspiracy to murder my sister for money and cover it up, yet were granted this relief in the system. Without burdening you with the extensive trauma this inflicted on me and my family I will just let you know that one of them was released from Death Row as a result of that hearing. The one who had served 5 years prior for a violent rape and the one who slit Cindy’s throat was granted reprieve and now lives, like Jodi, in AZ State Prison general population.
The other killer, his brother, remains on death row. I continue to receive notices on that one several times a year. He continues to fight for appeals after appeals and we may be dragged back in to court again. He will likely never be executed nor would Jodi. He alone on death row has drained taxpayer dollars in the tens of millions simply in legal fees for people fighting to get him reprieve. This stopped completely with his brother who is now a lifer like Jodi Arias. Just some perspective.
I am not against execution, I just know how the system operates. I am a very strong person but have had to navigate these waters since I was 29 years old. I am now 55 and still navigating them. To say it hasn’t had an impact on me would be lying.
You can draw your own conclusions about what I am saying and it’s not political, it’s practical. You will come to make peace with this outcome in your own ways and I am out here sending you love and support through the air waves. If any of you ever would want to talk to me, I am open to doing so and know how to keep confidentiality (I used to be a Psychiatric Nurse so it’s in my DNA).
None of you, not one of you, did anything wrong. Please know this. Keep breathing deep…this will pass.
Now on to Juror 17 I have some things to say.
There are many things floating around the internet right now about you but for now, the only ones that I want to address are comments your fellow jurors have made about you.
You managed to position yourself right next to Jodi Arias, at this moment, in solidarity. Jodi Arias who is considered “the most hated woman in America”.
This is an interesting choice for someone who, it appears, has suffered abuse herself. You chose this position not for a “stand” you selected after a considered opinion but more for a stubborn refusal to consider the facts of this case.
This was one simple decision: did the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors in this murder?
Let me make it even more simple for you.
Did Jodi Arias’ age, mental status, claims of childhood “abuse” etc. outweigh 29 stab wounds, a near decapitation and a gunshot to the face. Deliberate, planned, premeditated and covered up at length.
You chose to cling to your own personal belief system instead of looking at the cold hard facts and consider the one obvious “yes or no” in this simple equation. You chose, for whatever personal history reasons you had/have to believe the character assassinations on the victim in this case Travis Alexander.
Let’s be clear on this one fact. The only, absolutely only reports of Travis Alexander being an abusive man to Jodi Arias in the ways she described, came from her. A known and admitted pathological liar with a serious agenda to save herself. I’m talking about the “rape” incident, the “pedophilia” incident, the “body slamming” incidents.
I agree, he may have not had good boundaries with her and you might even call him a “player”. Ok, I’ll give you that. No one has life skills to deal with a sociopath, even if you already have had to, like me.
Does this equate abuse severe enough to nearly chop off his head deliberately, with a considered plan and execution? Is this what you think an appropriate “punishment” is for stringing a woman along and, being generous, playing “mind games” with her (although I think the mind games were from Jodi to Travis personally).
Who were you really trying to protect here? Yourself? Your abusers? Your wall of denial?
What you succeeded, yes you, single handedly succeeded at, was creating a triumph for abusers everywhere. This trial and your participation in it specifically, sent a message that defense attorneys can malign a victim, a dead person (who could also be a woman or child by the way), straight from the unsubstantiated mouth of their perpetrator and find at least one person to buy that story thus excusing their crime. That person was you.
Now defenders of child molesters like Kirk Nurmi, because of you, will feel more confident in blaming those victims openly in court claiming their child victims asked for it, wanted it, deserved it. You and your stubborn wall of whatever kicked that door wide open in this high profile trial. Defense attorneys will be in search of a “you” on a jury feeling more empowered to use this “attack the victim” strategy to garner a win. They might even study your personality like a bug to understand your unique weakness they can exploit, like happened in this trial.
These are the things you have to live with now for the rest of your life. You name is linked forever with a vicious first degree murderer who planned to have sex with her victim, get him defenseless in a shower where he was as vulnerable as a person can be then attack him with a knife when he was truly trapped. That could have been a woman in that shower. Would your blindness have been the same?
This is your life legacy now and it will never leave you. That is the price you paid for indulging this pain based stubbornness you cling to. Your future will be your reward for this very ill advised decision and you will be reminded of this every day of your life even if you wake up to reality one day. This makes your life much like Jodi Arias’, imprisoned, although I suspect you have a conscience unlike the murderer which will make your suffering far greater than hers will ever be. And, like Arias, there will be no pardon. This is your life now. I feel sorry for you. I don’t think it’s what you intended but it’s what you created.
Having written these words and released them, I won’t give you any more energy but I did have to say them.
I am more interested now in placing my efforts on changes to disallow people like Kirk Nurmi, Jodi Arias, Jennifer Willmott, Maria De La Rosa and certain members of the media who supported them to further malign and abuse victims using the court system. It’s beyond the levels of human decency and We the People fund it. Can you imagine a court system which tries to blame a toddler for being raped? This is one small step away from that world. And I for one, am ready to see it change before it escalates further. This abuse of victims should pivot with this trial and I will keep speaking out about that as a taxpayer until someone hears me who matters.
To those reading out there who are also suffering from PTSD who followed this case, exacerbated by this unfathomable non-verdict, because I know there are many of you/us, I say this: please know this is real. Please don’t deny your feelings or think you can just go back to normal. This was a collective shock felt round the world and you are not alone. There is help. I know this first hand.
This felt like Evil triumphed over Good but I believe that never really sticks. That’s just my belief system and although this trial, like for many of you out there, rocked me to the core, I have a really great life. A life filled with healing and love and joy and laughter and fun that is untainted by the tragedy that has befallen my family and continues to invade. There is the largest part of me that has never been touched.
Healing is always possible.
In closing I will share the words that sifted down in to my mind on the last day of our trials: “they may have taken her life but they’re not getting mine.” Please take them and use them for yourself.
If any of you out there need resources please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can hopefully direct you.
Thanks for taking the time to read. May peace wash over the Alexanders and all of Travis’ loved ones today and in the coming days/weeks/months.