~~~Looking Back on a Year of the Jodi Arias Conversation on Social Media and More~~~October 19, 2014


October 19, 2014:



One year and two days ago today Jodi Arias received a guilty verdict in the Maricopa County Superior Courthouse for the killing of Travis Alexander.  After blogging, tweeting, and being involved in the never ending conversation on social media on every tangent imaginable, I wanted to make an effort to show some of the evolutions I've made as a writer and person and to clarify  some misconceptions and absolute fallacies about myself, my life, and my intentions.  Bear with me.  This is long.


WHAT DREW MY INTEREST

When I happened on the Jodi Arias story and trial coverage by HLN, I was at first intrigued, and then slowly became disgusted by what I saw as their blatant judgment of "guilty" well before any jury ever came to their verdict.  I had never followed a murder trial so intently before, but I have been an advocate for the underdog all my life, and have used my words to stand up for them. I have written opinion columns for several newspapers, including the Tampa Tribune.  Besides that, I have used words to bring attention to unfair and unjust situations I seem doomed to come across in corporate situations, involving myself, and others.  I have made a few good things happen in this regard and others.  I saw Jodi as an underdog. But that alone did not guide my interests.

So I started this blog.  I hadn't intended it to be dedicated only to Jodi and Travis' story, but it has turned out so thus far. This story is so layered and complex, I have not been able to turn away.  The idea to call my blog "Inconvenient Truths" came to me quickly.  I knew it was not an original title, but I also knew if I thought too much, I would decide against doing a blog altogether.  I only added "TV" because on the facebook page I started at the same time, "Inconvenient Truths" was taken. So I added "TV".  There is no intent to mislead.  Crazy how I feel obligated to set any record straight since social media interactions seem more and more like an actual trial everyday.

As I watched HLN and their whoredom railing on Jodi's every move, every bat of an eyelash, I began to think and see Jodi as a little mutt dog that had run from its owner's home on a rainy night into the street and got hit by a car. Injured, but able to hobble back to his home, the little dog is greeted by his owner, who proceeds to smack the yelping dog until it finds its way under a sofa.  I watched Jodi's interviews on Inside Edition and 48 Hours.  I did not see a calculating, cunning sociopath who either planned a murder, or killed Travis Alexander in self-defense, or in any way at all.  I saw nothing arrogant or even self-assured as so many others have opined. Of course, sociopaths are supposed to be like that, cool, smooth in their delivery, poised.  Jodi was poised. But she was odd. In a way that added to my intrigue. I may be wrong, in fact dead wrong.  I've said that since the beginning.

As the HLN pre-Juan Martinez show began to prepare us for the "bulldog's bulldog" to take the stage, as I believe I heard one of the anchors call him, my intrigue heightened again.  Around this time, if I recall, I started a facebook page so I could express my outrage interactively.  Juan Martinez got under my skin. His inflections, tone, the rapid fire questioning, designed to trip up and confuse and illicit the response he wanted, not necessarily or even often, the actual truth.  From every single defense witness.  He wasn't interrogating.  He was attacking.  Interrupting answers so that not only the witness or Jodi could not answer in a complete, and meaningful way, but more importantly, so that jurors could not possibly grasp the result of these exchanges.  "The Audacity of Hate" was the first essay I wrote on the subject.  Juan was my inspiration. He made my blood boil. 

Frankly, I never believed Jodi would be convicted.  For me, it was not a solid case at all, unless one got caught up in the emotionally tangled fairy tale Juan created. I cannot say what I would have done as a juror, because I cannot help but be influenced by not only the trial as televised, but also by what I read on social media.  There is widespread belief that the jurors were privy to social media commentary as they were allowed to use "electronic devices". Interviews and comments by several of the jurors reflect a disturbing amount of misunderstanding and more. 



SOCIAL MEDIA WARS

I watched HLN's nightly cavalcade of so-called Travis Alexander's "dear friends" and "best friends" repeat the same three or four stories of Jodi's "creepy" "stalking" behaviors until I began to get the feeling they had all rehearsed their lines.  I began to opine in all sorts of directions,  calling them the "Mormon Blabbernacle Choir" at some point.   As best I can, I write from my heart which does not always  suffer fools or spare the words that best reflect my disgust. So I began to be targeted by bullies.  It was my first experience.  A few snarky ignorant comments here and there, I could handle, and did. I used the facebook block option more and more, and even got delight in what I felt was a prudent and effective means of dealing with such.  As if that would deter the true bullies obsessed well beyond Jodi or Travis.  It did not.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time dealing with things like being unfairly penalized for ridiculous alleged "terms of service" violations like PORN and being put in "facebook jail".  My original facebook page was finally taken down and even deleted by facebook.  I saved it all though, of course.  

Facebook was and still is a virtual war zone on the subject of guilt or innocence.  Maybe this was so before the Jodi Arias trial, I don't know.  But pretty soon I realized I had stepped into the coliseum of extreme opinions on both sides. For awhile, I entertained those who believed 100% in Jodi's guilt by trying to point out what I had come to know through research was some very shaky circumstantial and actual evidence.  The old, "they doth protest too much" was the overriding theme that added to my already deep intrigue, into not only  how Jodi was being portrayed, but how the investigation had been conducted and what was revealed, and what was not revealed.  I had worked as a private investigator for several short unremarkable stints some years ago, so branching off into this aspect was natural, too.

I was shocked when I and another from a support page for Jodi discovered Travis Alexander himself had a criminal record in Riverside, California. Alexander's record showed an arrest for theft and battery.  Jodi's defense team and HLN apparently hadn't checked, and for a few hours, the public and social media went hog wild over the finding.  But within a couple of days, after a few convoluted explanations by key players, the Huffington Post reported that the real criminal was Travis' older brother, Dennis.  Seems he had used Travis' name in an effort to have the police and courts go easy on him. I'm still not 100% convinced that Travis was not somehow knowingly involved in all this and more. Most of all, I was dumbfounded that Travis' record appeared to have never been checked. Kirk Nurmi, Jodi's 1st chair death penalty qualified attorney either by deception or incompetence missed this evidence that could have clearly showed Travis Alexander had a violent temper.  By the way, that record still exists as it was found.  If it was incorrect, why does it remain?  What else had fallen through the cracks?



CYBER BULLYING
Are you real online or fake? How do real people or even half real people (half face joke) interact with those with completely fake identities?  That, I believe, is at the heart of the impossibility of having any ongoing, productive conversations about Jodi and her trial.  Bullying by all these fakers (and some real) is formulaic.  Typical comments include:  accusations that the target has many "aliases", that the target likes to portray him or herself as a victim, that the target blocks or "outs" people who just disagree, that the target worships Jodi. I don't worship Jodi, by any stretch. I have compassion for and am intrigued by her.  I believe her trial was woefully tainted. 

I have been called every name in the book and then some.  Every part of my personal life, home address, court records, etc. has been exposed and blown into fantasies for those with some sort of obsession with me and whose end goal I do not know. I am called an alcoholic because I tweeted a pic of my unfinished firepit with old wine bottles I intend to use as "decoration". I was followed and every word I wrote was put under a microscope, as were photos of myself, my home, and more.  

I also reacted to the "haters" or "hecklers" and even supporters who I have seen defaming me with their libelous comments in public groups, including facebook and twitter and on their public blogs.  I posted entire conversations and screenshots that I believe proved a larger point my own words failed to make. Their ugly words spoke to their ignorance and ill intent way better than mine.   I believe a large percentage of these folks suffer from paranoid personality disorder, and other disorders. But paranoia stands out the most to me. Mental disorders are not a joke to me and the blur between a possible disorder and some evil intent remains.

A few have created entire facebook pages, filled with some clever, but mostly sophomoric attempts at satirical memes meant to ridicule me.  One day, sooner than later, I might share this whole wacky part of the drama with Jodi, the funny pages, not the horrid hate pages.  Not to say in any way that the death of Travis was anything less than tragic.  But as any thinking person should know by now, the bigger picture, the ugly side of human nature and its quest for vengeance has taken center stage. Opportunities for black humor abound.

People hate what and who they don't understand. Of that I am convinced. But what is beyond hate? When does such hatred and anger turn into the next step? When does that actual desire to hurt, maybe even kill that thing or person one doesn't understand kick in?  Nancy Grace was the target of a stalker from New York who became obsessed with Jodi and her treatment online and in the media.  The man was arrested with a vehicle of weapons headed toward where he believed Grace to be.   I believe there are extremists on both sides of this case.



I WAS A WRITER AND PERSON BEFORE THIS TRIAL

As a writer, I strive to be true to my "voice" and a big part of that voice includes, as it does with most writers, putting together words that will make the reader sit up, take notice, have a reaction, good or bad, or come to a conclusion they didn't have before reading. I want people to read my words.  Make no mistake.  I've written controversial opinion pieces before and gotten angry responses.  But nothing like what I've gotten writing on Jodi and Travis.

I've also met some amazing, intelligent, compassionate folks who may not agree or even like all of me or my writings, but who validate that the pursuit of truth, justice, fairness, or even just a little more understanding is worth my effort. Besides writing about Jodi and the trial, I am also living my life.  Neither one do I do near perfectly, whatever that means, and both of which I struggle daily to improve.  I do not fit into a box, as a writer or a human being.  If that bothers you, you may not want to read me.

I wanted to get people talking and questioning this circus of a trial and insane mainstream media coverage.  I wanted to draw attention.  For that I get called "attention whore", even by so-called Jodi supporters. I suppose all blogger/writers are that. I have shown steady support to many of Jodi's supporters on line, some of whom also have blogs and pages and even for those who disagree with me or maybe don't like me at all.  I consider supporting them,"liking" their facebook posts,  tweeting and posting their links, as supporting Jodi by spreading the story of the injustice.  Supporters run the gamut from believing she is 100% innocent and was not even at the scene, to believing she should be spared the death penalty, but not imprisonment, and all-in-between. That, I believe, is a huge part of what keeps the conversation going.

Many days online I feel like I should have been read my Miranda rights.  Because so much of what I have written has been misconstrued, speculated on, twisted and turned in a way that has been used in the court of public opinion to render a guilty verdict on me. Words are taken out of context.  Old posts I made are dug up and compared and twisted and I am made into, "liar, liar!" by a few of the "hate pack". What I hope is that it's just a small pocket of murder trial obsessed extremists continuing to stalk my every word.  I have dozens and dozens of screenshots of these libelous, defaming attacks. There may come a day when I share them all in a post or more.


CONSPIRACIES AND RAILROADS AND JUSTICE TRAINS, OH MY!

The more I read, the more I began to venture off with my postings on what I began to see as the possibility that Jodi had been railroaded. Even that she had falsely confessed, out of intimidation, fear, or resignation.  My intuition, along with my logical self kept coming back to her second story that included two intruders shooting Travis and the same letting Jodi go.  I also read tons of comments on the Jodi Arias is Innocent page from what struck me as highly intelligent, critical thinking folks, along these same lines. I read about Juan Martinez and his record for prosecutorial misconduct and his reputation as "Teflon Juan" amongst his colleagues, and "Rock Star" amongst his growing social media fan base.  I read about Maricopa County and the years long publicly recorded corruption at the highest level of the court system.  I read about Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Within my opines have been suggestions of conspiracies, far-reaching conspiracies, as well as smaller ones created by a pact mentality on social media to kill Jodi.


I  introduced the idea that Chris and Sky Hughes' behaviors were suspect at the time of Travis' death and that their stories appear to not be consistent to explain their whereabouts.  I have written that I believe in the strong possibility that Travis Alexander was a pedophile. Not to "drag his name through the mud", but to show how it may have contributed to his psychological and emotionally abusive behaviors with women, but that it also likely contributed to him having anger issues, likely intermittent explosive disorder.  I have questioned why it seemed to me that several of the Mormon women who took the stand appeared to be lying about their experiences with Travis.  Or were at the least, "economical with the truth".  I have expressed that the online fund raising by and in the name of the "Travis Alexander Legacy Fund" is exploiting in the same way TV evangelists stir up their audience into an emotional frenzy soothed by reaching into their wallets and sending checks. 

True Crime stories have never been an ongoing interest of mine.  But I skimmed the books of some other writers on Jodi and Travis. There's an amazing amount of complete and utter fallacy being published, mostly self-published.  Whether anyone will ever know the entire, real and true story, is something I doubt, but don't give up hope on. I have been called a conspiracy theorist and I don't mind that.  I entertained the thoughts publicly of a conspiracy before Jodi was convicted mostly.  I think anyone with an imagination, as I have, could easily look at the available facts and feel drawn into these other possible scenarios. This is not to say that I think Jodi is lying with her self-defense story.  At least not with any criminal intent. Again, I could be wrong. It is complicated, not simple, or at least not as it was presented in court.



I HAD A SECRET FACEBOOK GROUP

I don't have a group on facebook or anywhere else any longer. I did for awhile and I value the time spent there and our conversations.  I had hoped we might put together more of an online effort for Jodi. For instance, each of us recording a video of support for Jodi and putting on my youtube channel or another channel.  But the responsibility I felt for directing our actions was something I no longer felt comfortable with.  I believe most of the members in my group were and still are sincere, responsible supporters of Jodi in their own unique ways.

ONLINE DRAMA

I have been involved in some online drama of which I am not proud. This became a huge distraction to my initial intentions. I naively believed my unique words, research, and ideas surrounding the trial would be respected and not taken and used by others to develop other stories or posted based on them without either first asking me, or giving me credit on other's pages and websites.  I was oblivious for quite awhile, but finally I saw the light.  I reacted to this by finding and posting some non complimentary public records of the offenders on my blog and facebook  page.  In addition to "theft of my intellectual property" for lack of a better way to say it, these parties had also posted outrageous lies, backed up by no facts or records of any kind, about me personally in public groups. They wanted to discredit me, distract me, and thwart my research and writing on the case.

I was provoked. I had to choose.  Disappearing from social media and stating what I believed was failing and being a coward. So I decided to counter the bad behavior and defaming comments and more with truth.  Truth that was created by the online publicly available records of the offenders or "haters" as has become the common term.  Inconvenient truths. I posted about these folks for short amounts of time calling them out for their hypocrisy and more in view of their own misdeeds. Seems there is a large segment of the online population that absolutely goes nuts when a woman stands up to a bully. The same thing happened when Jodi appeared to stand up against Juan, if ever so slightly.   It's eerie, intriguing, and goes across gender lines.  It's also probably more complicated than I'll try to express here for now.

I was attacked for taking action against my attackers.  Didn't matter what anyone had done or written about me. Seems I had crossed some imaginary line assuring me a spot in hell for posting what some inaccurately called "private information", nevermind my reasons or their actions that triggered my posts.  By the way, none of these offenders have ever apologized and still many of the hurtful comments and memes of me are still available all over the worldwide web. I took down my postings of the public records of a couple of the first offenders quite awhile ago.  Their purpose had been served.

I was tweeted about and commented on in such a provoking manner that I at times found amusing, and other times, revolting.  I've had readers brag about "making my page", referring to my old Inconvenient Truths facebook page, when I would highlight some of my stalker/fans most outrageous comments.  Many remarked about my making them "famous".  I do see roots of the kind of behavior that has made others "famous" in the "news" for their acts of violence towards innocent bystanders. 

I was even accused of exploiting a handicapped child because in one of the public records was information on a custody fight and supportive material including the child's name and picture. The mother of this child had created pages of memes and facebook pages ridiculing and bullying me, libeling and defaming my character in sickening ways. These records reflected a very unstable person and more. Hence, "consider the source" was my intention with countering her libel.


I am still fascinated by the twists and turns in this case and with the players who I simply find enormously untruthful and highly manipulative. I find the Mormon church to be a giant tangle of deception, control, and fantasy.  At times I have felt motherly towards Jodi, and at other times like a big sister.  I have also wanted to shake her by the shoulders with some of the decisions I see her making.  That's not my job or responsibility, but again I am drawn in. And yes, I do care about Jodi.

I am not Jodi's savior nor do I possess any special powers to free her.  I have been accused of thinking of myself this way.  I do not.  Is Jodi playing me?  Her defense team? The world?  Because of some sinister or saintly calling only her soul hears? That possibility exists as well, and I do not discount it.



WHAT I'VE DONE TO HELP JODI

The first thing I did way back was start a change.org petition against HLN.  I closed the petition at 530 signatures.  Without follow-up these petitions are rather worthless in my opinion. I have contacted others through social media, email, and snail mail who I believed did possess abilities to help her in some way, i.e. attorneys and known media figures.  Again, many "Jodi supporters" flogged me for that, too.  I can't account for people's behaviors in a lot of this. Every single one of us has a unique psychological makeup, complete with "issues", and the "conversations" on Jodi and Travis seem to bring them all out. 

I write to Jodi.  I comment with my real name on various media sites in support of her.  I have a blog that is open for anyone to contact me with any supportive evidence or information for Jodi's case.  A few have reached out to me. I am in contact with Jodi's defense team with screenshots of anything I find that could help. "anything that could help" encompasses a lot more than one might imagine. A lot of others are too, and I think that's great that we all have the same ability to do so.

What's gone on and continues to go on on social media with the Jodi and Travis story is disturbing. The thirst for Jodi's blood, and by connection of her supporters.  It's dangerous
and a sad commentary on society.  But is it just on "social media" or does it spread out to the real world?  I'll just say for now that I've had a few interesting conversations in the grocery store on the subject.

In closing, I'll say that I have been thanked by Jennifer Willmott and by Maria De La Rosa and by Jodi for my efforts and I treasure those words. They inspire me to keep putting one unsteady word in front of the other.

A FEW FACTS

May 10, 2014, 9:45 AM.

I am not related to Jodi. I am not her "tweeter".  I am heterosexual.  I have not visited Jodi in jail. We correspond and I value her words and thoughts. 

I believe that Jodi Arias' trial and resulting conviction of 1st degree murder are wrong.  I believe that based on the egregious prosecutorial misconduct alone. 

I believe the investigation by the Mesa Police Department and lead Detective Esteban Flores was flawed either intentionally or through incompetence.  Or both.

I believe the death penalty should be outlawed.

I believe it is cruel and unusual punishment for Jodi Arias to be jailed in solitary confinement while she awaits sentencing.

I believe the ongoing efforts on social media to influence the jury pool for the upcoming sentencing in September is unprecedented and a black eye in the pursuit of truth or justice for both Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander.

I believe online attacks on Jodi's mitigating specialist Maria De La Rosa, attacking her character, and even her family,  are unconscionable.

I believe this case, this trial and all surrounding it still has surprises left.  So all of what I believe is subject to change, as are any of my thoughts, views, opinions at anytime.  Life is dynamic.  I could never write another word on this and the outcome may be the same for Jodi.  I am under no illusions that what I have written or will write can change anything for Jodi.

I started off as a human being/writer and I am still a human/writer. I'd like to say what I'm writing about next. But the rather inconvenient truth is that I don't know.  Another "inconvenient truth" about myself is that as much as I am absorbed and compelled by the circus I witnessed described as a "trial", I cannot financially afford to invest the time and energy needed to present a quality book and/or documentary that would pull back the curtains on the shenanigans mainstream media showed no interest in.

I happened upon the Jodi and Travis story and this trial. I chose to look at the less popular side and try to read between the lines.  I couldn't make sense of it.  Every so often, I would find a piece of what I've come to think of as a puzzle. And I'd write up yet another "draft" that I filed away.  I have almost 300 "rough drafts" on various aspects of the Jodi and Travis story.









In closing, here are a couple of definitions from Wikipedia that I hope you'll keep in mind as you read my words:

A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation.

Journalism has developed a variety of ethics and standards. While objectivity and a lack of bias are of primary concern and importance, more liberal types of journalism, such as advocacy journalism and activism, intentionally adopt a non-objective viewpoint. This has become more prevalent with the advent of social media and blogs, as well as other platforms that are used to manipulate or sway social and political opinions and policies. These platforms often project extreme bias, as "sources" are not always held accountable or considered necessary in order to produce a written, televised or otherwise "published" end product.

~~Sandra

Note to my "detractors", i.e. stalker/fans,  7/4/2014:

What is ironic about all the lingering lynch mob who continue night and day to rail against Jodi Arias and her supporters, no matter in what way they support her,  is that, innocent or guilty, in the end what may get Jodi a new trial or even her conviction overturned, are the shenanigans of the prosecutor Juan Martinez, Detective Esteban Flores, and Dr. Kevin Horn.  Martinez has a documented history of egregious prosecutorial misconduct. One can read Michael Kiefer's Arizona Republic's article on this for proof.  Dr. Horn has a documented history of making his autopsy results fit the prosecutor's narrative. One case involved a daycare worker who he helped bring a murder charge (and a death penalty) against that was later thrown out.  And Detective Flores, well, he allowed and perhaps even encouraged his wife to go on a twitter tantrum. Maybe they did that purposefully as a "fishing expedition".  Either way, it's shining a light on the detective and Mesa Police Department.  We can also add Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his record of human rights indignities, which will likely play a roll somewhere down the line.  Again, whether guilty or innocent, due process and justice in Maricopa County are flawed beyond recognition.

Jodi's case will likely go on and on, and cost taxpayers millions more dollars, and cause both families even more grief.  I chose to write about Jodi and Travis and this trial in a way that I did not plan to.  I was drawn by the circus in the courtroom, and of course by HLN's prominent role. I am not Jodi's savior, and I have said that many times. I say this because I'm very often accused of such.  I wrote about the investigation, the trial. I asked questions.  I did so in a very unconventional way at times, mixing with the public through social media. I still write and ask questions.  I was not afraid, at least most of the time, to do so.

If any of my greatest detractors ever find themselves or their loved ones in a predicament where such gross injustice parades as "due process", remember how you wrote to me, the comments you made, the bullying, the unconscionable attacks upon my character and accusations hurled at me as if I were on trial, and remember that I spoke up and out.  Right or wrong, I shined the light, if only with my low wattage penlight.  I still shined a light. ~~~Sandra

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**To this day, over a year after the verdict in the Jodi Arias trial, I have yet to find any mainstream media or even "off-mainstream" media willing to take a look at the atrocity of this trial, and the surrounding lynch mob encompassing every bat of Jodi Arias' eyelashes. After experiencing firsthand what happens to any who dare question the verdict or even the fairness of the trial, I understand, to an extent. The vitriol is deep and unrelenting. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe, and actually I don't believe, that others are not either actively looking into the Prosecutor Juan Martinez ~ Judge Sherry Stephens variety show.  Just so far, they seem afraid to show their face and their words.  Here are some of my thoughts, observations and beliefs.  Now, let me get back to my hiatus....

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If sentencing is ever completed, the appellate process will begin.  Research shows that very often strong and skilled appellate lawyers take pro bono cases for the rights to tell the story or for the legislative accolades.


Jodi has been unable to talk to anyone privileged except for her defense team for going on six years.   She is basically in solitary confinement.  She is at the mercy of anyone who has the ability to write a postcard.  She has proven time and time again how gullible and susceptible she is to influence. I believe this is apparent in her interrogation interviews if watched closely and other efforts she's made in dealing with the general public through social media.  I believe Jodi is very strong and very intelligent; however, I do believe her mental health has been suffering since June 4, 2008, in a way no one has fully addressed. - May 17, 2014