A Close Friend of Jodi Arias Responds to our “Insult to Injury” Article

In Defense of Jodi

by Robert Knox

Introduction and Postscript  by Rob Roman & Amanda Chen

The Jodi Arias Murder Trial, the OTHER side of the story.

Shortly after our article, Jodi Arias and her Defense Add Insult to Injury,

We received a response to our article from Robert Knox, a close friend and confidant of Jodi Arias. I liked his response a lot, so I asked his permission to post it verbatim as a guest article. He agreed, and we are happy to post it here:

IN DEFENSE OF JODI

by Robert Knox

February 10, 2015

jodi 22

As I believe Rob is wrong about a number of things in his “Insult to Injury” post, I offer, at his invitation, a rebuttal. I’ll cover four main issues: Jodi’s letter; her sense of guilt or innocence; her defense team and supporter groups; and her personality.

 

1. Jodi’s letter to the Alexander family. Rob thinks that only an evil or seriously mentally ill person could write the long letter that Jodi wrote on 7/28/08. In reality, Jodi wrote this letter after intense and repeated pressure from police detectives Flores and Blaney to do exactly what she did. So, if Jodi is evil or ill, so are they. Here are just a few quotes from Flores and Blaney on the interview tapes. (Thanks to JAII poster Canada Carol for the excerpts and transcription.)

Click here to read Jodi’s letter to the Alexander family

 

Video 7 – 2nd day (Flores questions)

2:40 – Tell me, tell them, tell Travis’s family what it was that pushed you to your limit. I’m just trying to fill in the holes there.

7:52 – How about Travis’s family?

Jodi – I care very much about Travis’s family, and I can’t help what they think of me. They’ll hate me regardless.

7:57 – It’s true that their feelings are probably always going to be negative about you. You know you took their son’s life. They can never get over that.
23:38 – You owe that at least to Travis’s family. Give them some closure. Because I know from working with all these families that have lost loved ones, that they’re not struggling with who did it, but they’re struggling with why,
24:15 – I know that Travis’s family is struggling with why and that would be the one thing that would give them closure. They may never like you, but I think they would be appreciative of why their son’s life was taken. You can’t give them their son back, but you can at least give them the peace of mind as to why.
jodi interrogation 4

25:10 – I know if it was my child, that’s what I would want. And I know that you’re not a mother, but all women have those mothering instincts within them, and I think that you can understand that what I’m saying – and that’s why you’re hanging your head right now.

Jodi — Can’t imagine what it would be like.

26:22 – Wouldn’t you want to know why you lost one of your brothers?
Jodi – Yeah. (so quietly)

26:32 – I’ve never met them – I can’t speak for them, but I would bet my paycheck that that’s what they’re wondering right now. And you can at least show that you have a soul, that you have a heart, that you understand that need in them and do something for somebody else besides yourself. That’s the least that you can do for them right now is give them an answer. Tell them why – that’s how you can control something that is happening in your life right now, because you have all the power there. It’s a gift that you can give that family. Tell them why – use me as the voice to tell them why.
(Jodi whispers something inaudible)

29:30 – Either way, those detectives in AZ have their case made, but the least you can do for that family is give them an answer. I’m not saying to portray Travis as this ugly horrible person, because I don’t think that that’s the right thing to do either, but at least let them know that it was a two-way street and that it wasn’t all your fault.

Here are a few more excerpts, from video #8, with questions by female detective Blaney:

18:14 – 18:43 … If you see your situation as so hopeless, why wouldn’t you at least give the family some closure and some peace of mind as to what happened, or why?
Jodi inaudible.

19:15 – If you have any feelings – any emotions within you – if you have any goodness in your heart, I don’t know why you wouldn’t do that. Because if you don’t and you don’t give them the information that they seek for the closure, that means you’re a very selfish person.

jodi interrogation 3

23:53 – This is your chance to make at least something right. Even if it’s on a small scale. This is a big deal to his folks.

24:23 – Just because you’re in custody doesn’t give them the closure.

25:48 – If your fate is inevitable in your mind, why wouldn’t you give the family closure?
Jodi – I don’t think …. (inaudible) I don’t know if I could give them what they want.

26:13 – Wouldn’t you want to at least try and let them make that decision? If it were my son, I would want all the information I could so that I could make some sense of it. There’s something so horrific in your mind that you don’t want to think that you could be capable of such a thing? See, that’s the person I was talking about, the person that is scared, and remorseful and didn’t want any of this to happen. So I don’t think I was wrong, Jodi. (27:47)

28:00 – This is your opportunity to make right some of your selfishness and let the family decide how they’re going to deal with that information and how they’re going to use it.

28:35 – Jodi puts her head down on the desk

28: 42 – Why should they have more suffering than they’ve already had? In your religion and, forgive me for my ignorance about it, ….

20:35 – You are the only person that has the information that the family seeks. They don’t seek crime scene information – they will already have that. They seek something that is at a much deeper level, it’s an emotional level and you are the only person that can help them with that.

jodi 14In sum, over and over on the tapes, Flores and Blaney push Jodi to explain Travis’s death to the Alexander family. And in the 29:30 quote from video 7 above, Flores specifically suggests that Jodi include ways Travis was at fault. So, when she grants the demand of powerful police detectives, that would not be surprising even if Jodi were not by nature a “people pleaser,” as one of her experts called her. And, having undertaken to write the letter, she naturally must repeat the same intruder story that she had already told Flores.

I have myself spoken with Jodi about this letter.

She says that she did not realize at the time how “immature” and “insensitive” it is, and it is one of the things she did in 2008 that now make her “want to vomit.”

So: Jodi wrote the letter, with strong police encouragement, about eight weeks after Travis’s death, while she was confused, terrified, and suicidal, with her life in ruins, and she is now disgusted by it. Doesn’t that adequately answer Rob’s concerns?

2. Self-defense and Jodi’s sense of guilt. Rob believes that Jodi is guilty of some awful crime and that she admits as much in a letter. Here’s the Jodi quote, which Rob included in his next post:

“Let me say that your belief in my guilt is not a deal-breaker. However, the group is intended for people who support me 100%, more specifically those who believe I’ve been wrongfully convicted and am innocent of what I was charged with and was overcharged to begin with. These are the things everyone in my group has in common.”

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

 

jodi 3I do not read this as an admission of guilt. Jodi is just stating the beliefs common to members of her Facebook group. She recognizes the huge diversity of belief even among her declared supporters. What she is saying is: if you don’t believe at least these three things, you may not belong in the group. That rules out, for example, those who believe that she is guilty as charged, but does not deserve death. Some people with that viewpoint caused trouble in an earlier, more comprehensive group, so Jodi is probably trying to avoid this in the new one. In any case, I don’t read her here as stating her own beliefs about her guilt or innocence — just the typical beliefs of members of a FB group.

On the contrary: as far as I am aware, for over four years Jodi has never deviated from her self-defense story, nor ever admitted guilt of any homicide crime. If her trial testimony is true, she is not guilty of any such crime. Rather, by that testimony, what happened to Travis Alexander was his fault from beginning to end. Some people, including Rob, say that even if Jodi acted in self-defense, she used excessive force.

I do not understand this view. In a genuine self-defense fight, as long as one is threatened with serious physical injury, one has every moral and legal right to use all force necessary to stop the attack. Some people see excessive force in the 29 knife wounds (not, as so often misdescribed, 29 “stab” wounds,” since many of them are superficial). Well, how many knife wounds should it take for a 120-lb woman to stop a lethal attack by a nearly 200-lb man, who is a trained wrestler and kickboxer, has a heavy bag in his apartment, boasts online of his 16 1/2–inch biceps and triathlon work, and is fresh from months in the gym? Two? Seven?

travis bicepsFacing a similar imbalance of size, strength, and training, if someone came at me screaming that that he would “fucking kill” me, I would fly into a frenzy and fight savagely with every weapon I could lay my hands on, in the desperate hope of incapacitating him. The only arguable evidence of “overkill” is the deep neck wound. But Richard Speights has described a natural way for that to occur in a knife fight. Also, several people have argued that it was inflicted after death, by persons unknown.

Jodi has said many times that she deeply regrets Travis’s death, is very sorry for the Alexanders’ loss, and wishes more than anything that she could redo 6/4/08 by never visiting Travis again. She also says that she feels guilty about emotional pain that she caused to others after Travis’s death; the letter Rob discusses is one case of that. But she has never said that she was at fault in Travis’s death. Nor was she, if her trial testimony is true.

While her tale is bizarre, there is nothing impossible about it, and it fits the forensic evidence very well. By contrast, the prosecution story contains at least two absurdities and one impossibility. So, if we must choose between the stories, only Jodi’s is credible. That is besides the fact that we now know the state’s case to be a carnival of suppressed evidence (Jodi’s camera’s memory card with photos of her out of town on the day of the Yreka burglary; all the cellphone SIM cards); destroyed evidence (the porn history deleted from Travis’s computer while it was in state custody); and flagrant lies by some combination of Martinez, Flores, Melendez, and Horn.

3. Jodi, her defense team, and her supporters. Rob thinks that the defense team (DT) is doing a poor job, perhaps under influence of the “JAII crew” or of Jodi herself. As far as I know, no supporters influence the DT’s strategy, though some have sent useful suggestions or links on issues of detail. As for Jodi, far from running the DT, she had continual conflicts with Nurmi over strategy for both trials, as she stated in a post-conviction interview and in a pre-retrial letter asking to dump him.

Click here to read Jodi’s motion to change counsel

jodi 4When she did briefly seize control of strategy while acting pro se, she blew the case wide open by sending Neumeister to examine TA’s computer. The only reason the state’s rank misconduct regarding Travis’s porn history ever came to light is that Jodi herself made it happen. So it was while she was “driving the train,” as Rob puts it, that what may be the single best appellate issue was discovered.

As for the “JAII crew,” (JodiAriasIsInnocent.com) there is no such thing, only several dozen people who post there regularly. It is SJ’s website, so of course he controls it. But Ben Ernst (whom Rob mentions) has no involvement in JAII and does not even post there. Most conflicts among Jodi’s supporters are rooted in a bitter dispute over fundraising. At no time has SJ, Ben, or anyone outside the Arias family ever controlled any money donated to Jodi’s official appellate fund, www.justice4jodi.com. This fund is in the hands of its unpaid trustee, Jodi’s mother’s twin sister Sue Allen Halterman.

jodi 20All important information about the fund and the appeals process is clearly explained in the FAQ section on that website. By contrast, Jason Weber and others purport to collect money for Jodi’s appeals at www.justice4jodiarias.com. But no such money has ever been transferred to Arias-family control, and there is no reason to expect any ever will be. That is why Jodi and her family have repeatedly denounced these efforts. Jodi has done so by a phone call to Lisa Schilling, by a three-page letter to supporters, and by many individual letters asking people to leave the Weber FB group.

Her mother and father have done likewise by a video on the true site, www.justice4jodi.com. To see the dishonesty of Weber’s group, note that, months and months after they were publicly denounced by the Arias family as frauds, their site www.justice4jodiarias.com continues to call itself “the official Jodi Arias website.” That is a bald-faced lie. And that is the only thing anyone needs to know about conflicts between the Weber group and Jodi’s other supporters.

Regarding the DT, in my opinion, they have done a fine job so far in the retrial. They have found powerful experts whose status dwarfs that of the state experts: Geffner and Miccio-Fonseca vs. DeMarte on psychology, Neumeister and John Smith vs. Perry Smith on computers. And they have been patiently building a long record of dismissal motions which document appellate issues. As to specifics, the introduction of Marc McGee’s affidavit was not the “disaster” that Rob said it was.

Shortly afterward, Jennifer showed that Deanna is not, as Rob thought, “a very honest witness, highly credible and reliable.” Rather, she was confronted with her lie in a recorded interview, when she was asked if she knew whether TA was having sex with other women besides Jodi (not other women besides Deanna), and she said she didn’t know. Moreover, in court she refused to admit this lie, defiantly saying that she wasn’t asked about herself. False: she was asked about other women besides Jodi, and she is another woman besides Jodi, whom she certainly knew to be having sex with TA.

Nurmi’s cross-examination of the bishop also put his credibility in doubt. And why should Marc McGee not have trouble remembering the date of an over-10-year-old incident? I couldn’t be sure of the date when something happened even two years ago, let alone 10 or 15.

4. Jodi’s personality. Unlike Rob, I do not believe Jodi suffers from any “mental illness,” or even significant mental disorder. Time and again, throughout the last two years, she has acted more sanely and sensibly than many of her supporters, despite living under psychologically brutal conditions of extreme deprivation. And to suggest that Jodi may be a “psychopath” shows total ignorance of this diagnostic category, as a glance at Wikipedia shows.

jodi 13Such a diagnosis is disproved three different ways. First, by Jodi’s psychological test results: as summarized by Geffner, a past APA division president, they consistently show high scores for anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and PTSD, and low scores on self-esteem and dominance. None of this is consistent with psychopathy; for example, psychopaths are noted for their strange lack of anxiety.

Second, look at Jodi’s reading list at www.jodispage.com. A large proportion of her books are in the areas of religion, spirituality, and inspiration and personal development. She is highly religious and has an overactive conscience, not a lack of one. Third, listen to Darryl Brewer’s description in his TV interview

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okbAekjQVdA) of Jodi’s personality and her position in the community, in the years she lived with him — a description again inconsistent with psychopathy. And do not say that Jodi became a psychopath after meeting TA!

Psychopathy is a deep mental disorder that begins in earliest childhood. You can no more change into a psychopath at age 26 than you can change into a pelican or a sea-turtle. On all this evidence, not to mention the experience of many people who have gotten to know Jodi during her imprisonment, she is essentially the opposite of a psychopath.

To know Jodi is to know a remarkably friendly, cheerful woman who is also very intelligent, articulate, well-informed, reliable, and energetic. Her generosity, despite her appalling living conditions, is legendary. Here are two examples. A young man wrote to Jodi that he was considering suicide. She used part of her precious one hour of daily freedom (and limited phone time) to call and ask how he was doing. This was a wholly private act of kindness, never publicly revealed; I know of it only because the man told the story in a secret FB group.

jodi 7

More recently, Jodi was put on restriction (no hour of freedom) for over a week for sharing her snack food with a hungry prisoner. Read about this incident at Jodi’s blog on http://www.jodiarias.com. Then look at her other entries for a sense of her personality. I’m sorry that Rob and Amanda have reached such a negative view of Jodi; perhaps they have had little direct contact with her. To those of us who know her, she is a courageous and inspiring woman and a wonderful friend.

 

I have given my response to Robert Knox’s post below.

We hope you might also respond to this post by leaving a few words in our comment section and let’s continue the conversation.

Update: The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the ruling of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Jodi Arias cannot testify in secet in a cleared courtroom. 

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/arizona-high-court-wont-allow-secret-jodi-arias-testimony

 

  1. Jodi’s letter to the Alexander family.

In the original article, I was really asking for an explanation for the letter, because I couldn’t think of one besides Jodi being evil, which I do not believe, and being severely mentally ill which I can believe. Especially thinking she may have still been in a dissociated state in the months after the killing. I believe Robert’s explanation sheds more light on Jodi’s reasoning and motivation for writing the letter.

jodi 10If you remove the Ninja story, which, as Robert explains, Jodi was almost compelled to include, what you see is a story of events both good and bad, in Jodi’s relationship with Travis. As Robert states, she was advised by both the Detectives, to tell something personal and true, regardless of how it reflected on Travis. Robert Knox is correct that she did exactly what they advised her to do. She wrote it on Travis’ Birthday, as on this day she may have been thinking of Travis and his family and that may have inspired her to take the advice and send the letter.

Also, contrary to claims that Jodi Arias gave a list of ‘countless’ acts of violence at the hands of Travis Alexander to psychologist Dr. Karp (prior to changing attorneys from Victoria Washington to Kirk Nurmi), her story of only a handful of incidents has remained consistent from even before she contemplated her defense of self-defense. They are detailed in the letter to Travis’ family.

  1. Self-Defense and Jodi’s sense of guilt.

I am assuming from this that Jodi claims full justification for the events of June 4th, 2008, due to self-defense. I had previously believed that self-defense was a reasonable possibility, but may have been more of a defense strategy than a reflection of what actually happened.

Jodi Arias artwork_1358867916591_358335_ver1.0_320_240I take this to mean that Jodi stands 100% behind her testimony that she did not premeditate a murder, but was instead suddenly attacked in a violent argument quickly escalating into a critical situation: She was forced to fight for her life and defend herself.

I now recognize that Jodi, in her letter, was merely repeating the minimum requirements for being in her closest group of supporters, and not giving her personal beliefs about her guilt. We had similar problems when trying to decide whether people who believed Jodi was guilty of M1, guilty of M2, or not involved in any way at all, could belong to a close group of her supporters.

Believing Jodi was not guilty of premeditated murder was the minimum requirement that we came up with, so I understand the need to have such a requirement, as it is very difficult to unite a group of people with many varying beliefs and ideas about this case. As a small minority, one would want and need to be as inclusive as possible.

I do agree that if you have a reasonable belief that your life had been threatened, you have every right to defend yourself with any force available. You do not have to have serious injuries by law, only a belief that you face imminent serious injury or death.

At Spotlight on Law, we have also stated, as Robert Knox has, that Jodi’s story fits the forensic evidence very well, while the prosecution’s theory simply does not.

  1. Jodi, her defense team, and her supporters

I do believe Jason Weber and Lisa Schilling to be sincere in their desire and efforts to start an additional platform to tell Jodi’s story, but I acknowledge that JAII, the fundraising and Art sites are the official sites endorsed by Jodi Arias and her family.

jodi 6

In the supporter arena, like Robert Knox, I’m also an independet. I’m always eager to communicate with supporters from any group, and I like to know what everyone is thinking and doing. I also enjoy communicating with prosecution supporters of good will, to get their perspectives and to test my views and beliefs. I like to try and give them something to think about, when possible.

As for Jodi’s defense team doing a poor job, I said this in relation to that particular week, and the affidavits from the witnesses. Not bringing live witnesses in, and pitting a piece of paper against two live witnesses, one a Mormon Bishop of sound repute, and the other Travis’ long-term former girlfriend, seemed foolish to me. Deanna Reid appeared very credible in the first trial and was well-received by jurors and trial-watchers alike.

Why cause a well-received credible witness to come to the stand again? We wrote the article after the direct exam of Dr. Geffner, but before the remaining cross in the trial on Monday. As it turned out, there did appear to be some question as to a few previous statements by Deanna Reid. She did appear to be somewhat equivocating and defensive on the stand.

As for the defense team, I thought Jennifer Willmott has done a fine job throughout. She did make a few blunders, such as asking questions she did not know the answer to, etc. Her closing set of arguments in the last penalty phase were stunning This was one of the most dramatic moments I’ve ever seen in a trial. This could have been what saved Jodi’s life. Kirk Nurmi, I believe is very under-rated and has done an impressive job throughout this very complicated trial.

  1. Jodi’s pesonality

I have repeatedly stressed that Jodi Arias is not a Sociopath and certainly not a Psychopath. I didn’t mean to give that impression. Dr. DeMarte diagnosed Marissa DeVault as a Psychopath, but she did not make that finding for Jodi Arias, so that’s your proof right there. She does not fit the category.

We keep seeing more and more piling on of new diagnoses, however. Now we have adjustment disorder and there’s more and more talk now about bipolar disorder.

As for Robert Knox’s quote:

“Time and again, throughout the last two years, she has acted more sanely and sensibly than many of her supporters, despite living under psychologically brutal conditions of extreme deprivation”,

jody 16

I can personally attest to that. Jodi Arias continues to be unusually bright, cheerful, and engaging. Her letters show a warmth, a caring, and an originality that is very endearing to her supporters. She has returned letters to everyone who has written her at least once, to my knowledge. I also know she has managed to perform unpublicized acts of kindness and generosity. All this while being in 23- hour lockdown solitary isolation, which could utterly envelope and destroy many mentally strong people.

She also has a great sense of humor.

Jodi’s performance in 18 days of intense examination amazed and impressed me, especially knowing that she needs to get up before 4:00 AM for court, didn’t return to her cell sometimes until 7:00 PM, and was doing this on 2 paltry meals a day, having breakfast as early as 5:00 AM.

I was a witness once in a Federal case for what seemed like 3 hours, and I found the experience extremely stressful and mentally challenging. But I ate 3 quality squares and slept in a comfy bed in a nice hotel room. So while I maintain that Arias has a potentially severe and untreated mental illness, I do acknowledge she has remained extremely mentally tough and resilient and she appears absolutely normal to me in many of her writings and actions.

“To know Jodi is to know a remarkably friendly, cheerful woman who is also very intelligent, articulate, well-informed, reliable, and energetic. Her generosity, despite her appalling living conditions, is legendary.” – Robert Knox

jodi 24I heartily agree with this statement, and this is a big reason why Jodi’s supporters are so loyal to her and why they believe in her and her story. Her generosity is genuine, it’s not a show or a put-on, as far as I can tell.

Robert Knox wanted to set the record straight. We were happy to receive and post his response. Our article was critical of the recent defense strategy: using the affidavits instead of live witnesses, not finishing up with Jodi’s testimony, and not seating the remaining witnesses to offer a full and complete case for mitigation.

Our article was not intended to be a repudiation of the Defense team’s performance generally or of Jodi Arias in particular. We questioned the wisdom of introducing the affidavit from witness #1, Marc McGee, and we wondered if this was done by Jodi Arias and against the wishes of the Defense Team?

We believe that the defense is playing a dangerous game by leaving the case for life so incomplete. The remainder might have to come from Jodi in her allocution. The trial has always been a roller-coaster experience for me, with abrupt highs and sweeping lows. The Insult to Injury article was a reflection of that roller-coaster ride.

We are always inviting reader participation for that reason. I really want to know what others think about all the many facets of this case.

jodi-arias-artWe also want to present the OTHER side of the story: Facts, issues and perspectives that most prosecution supporters and mainstream trial watchers may not be aware of or may not have occasion to learn about elsewhere. The positive personal experiences many people have had getting to know Jodi Arias directly is part of that story.

Posting Robert Knox’s response is part of our desire to make the other side of the story available to you.

We extend that invitation to any reasonable person of any perspective. Prosecution supporters are welcome. Send us a detailed comment and we may post it verbatim as an article on our site. 

We wish to Thank Robert Knox for posting his response to our article here on Spotlight On Law. We are grateful for his views.

jodi 23

What’s Your view?

thinking

 

Comments from all perspectives are welcome. You can also comment on our FB page:

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The Jodiland Wars

Fact based reporting

by Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

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The Jodi Arias Murder Trial – The OTHER side of the story.

 

Normally, we would keep all this confidential, but all of this has already been reported on, and the names, events, and contents of letters, etc. are already readily available on the internet and in social media. Still, most people do not understand what all the chatter and hoopla has been about, unless you are too deep in it all. So, we wanted to try to shed some light on the  great amount of infighting among Jodi Arias supporters that has been going on f0r quite some time and has recently intensified.

Jodiland has become a house divided

It’s the sad story of the Jodi supporters fighting against each other and using Jodi as a weapon. Sadly, people are being forced to take sides, people are acting stupidly and not in the best interests of Jodi Arias at all. How did it get this way……. and do we really care? Let’s take a look.

 

The rise of SJ

Click-here-to-leave-a-message-for-Jodi-1

Really it all started quite innocently with two people supporting Jodi in their own way but for differing reasons. The first was Simon Johannson or SJ, supposedly a UK citizen living in Switzerland, who was running CaseyAnthonyIsInnocent.com and began a new site called JodiAriasIsInnocent.com months before the trial began. This became the most popular site and the only one of two paid sites during the trial.

 

The rise of Jason

OccupyHLN

The other person was a webmaster by the name of Jason Weber, an American and graduate of the Ivy League Cornell University. Jason had a site called OccupyHLN.org, which was dedicated to the due process rights of Americans and how they were being threatened by the emergence of crime/entertainment shows, especially CNN’s Head Line News (HLN), using “victim’s rights” as their justification for exploiting all manner of trials and issues in crime.

 

The rise of Jodiland

SJ has a number of other unrelated websites. JodiAriasIsInnocent.com (JAII) has no advertising and no one from there has ever tried to pitch anything. A community of Jodi supporters grew there, becoming familiar and friendly with each other. SJ and others began to have some communications with Jodi and some of her advocates in Arizona.

 

Jodiland spurs HLN, turns to JAII and OccupyHLN

 

Jodi back in court in September, with new glasses, shorter hair.
Jodi back in court in September, with new glasses, shorter hair.

Meanwhie, Jason started covering the Jodi Arias trial as an alternative to HLN, even providing links to live streams of the trial so viewers could avoid HLN’s 3 minutes of trial coverage followed by 6 minutes of advertisements and self-promotion. Jason also started a Facebook Page by the same name. Social media savvy people were finding their way to OccupyHLN as they became more and more disenchanted with the coverage on HLN of the Jodi Arias trial (Unchecked and non-factual random speculation, telling the viewer what to think, an increasingly one-sided view, little or no voice from the defense side, spokespeople such as Nancy Grace declaring Jodi Arias guilty in the first weeks of the trial). The same things were happening at JodiAriasIsInnocent.com. Communities were growing and bonds were being formed. People either for or against Jodi Arias were starting to talk to each other.

 

Jodiland moves to Facebook

Then in the next process of evolution, people began small Facebook groups in support of the defense/Jodi Arias. Plenty of people were viewing both JAII.com and Occupy, but naturally, people in some groups were mostly from one site or the other. Groups were open at first, then they started going underground, becoming closed and secret groups. People would pretend to be a Jodi supporter, then turn out to be a mole or a troll or a spy, etc.

 

Jodiland attacked just like the Alamo

the_alamo_film_poster_by_edwrd984-d3bza5l

Jason allowed people of all views to speak in the interest of stirring debate and growing interests. SJ really did not allow anti-Jodi people a voice reasoning that their voice was being heard everywhere else in social media and the traditional media. Both sites were attacked as people on the other side of the issue began to get organized and respond to pro-Jodi sites. As the trial progressed, the attacks intensified. At one point, Jodi supporters, always very much the minority, were under attack like Custer at Little Bighorn or the Americans at the Alamo.

 

Paranoia, Attacks, and Propaganda

zoidberg

Eventually paranoia would set in. People stayed in their own group where they knew people and were familiar with each other. People did not want to mix with new, unknown people who could be spies, moles or trolls from pro-Travis/pro-prosecution groups. It was the days of in the trenches warfare. Twitter was like the heavy Artillery section, it was like the Cavalry or the special forces unit, for sporadic bombing offenses or behind the lines operations. Direct hand to hand combat happened often on Twitter. Mass propaganda campaigns were launched on both sides. Lots of little Joseph Goebbels were springing up everywhere with their own special Twitter propaganda.

 

Jodiland gets organized

y3106

Jodi is still alive, her story is dynamic and continues to evolve and change. She continues to react and respond, so this is where the action is. Travis, unfortunately, was taken from us. His story is static and unwavering. So both pro and anti Jodi Arias forces were concentrating on Jodi Arias, not Travis Alexander.Then a few Winston Churchill types rose up on social media and began organizing the small groups into larger groups. One such person was George Barwood from the UK. His Primary interest was anti-death penalty and wrongful convictions. George tried to create Facebook groups where people from many small groups could assemble and communicate. Most of the people going to the Barwood groups were from Jason’s sites originally, and a few were from JAII.com. George Barwood and some other people saw the wisdom of trying to unite the JAII community with the OccupyHLN community.

 

All is not well in Bikini Bottom

180px-Mama_Krabs_House

As Jodiland began to unite, certain Sponge-Bob type people from both major Jodi camps were getting more involved with Jodi and some of her defense team. Many supporters were writing to her and Jodi Arias tried her best to write an original and warm letter back to each supporter who wrote to her. Some supporters began to visit her at the Estrella jail and some were phoning her regularly. People, especially SJ and people from JAII.com, were helping Jodi with collecting funds and selling her artwork to help her family pay for trial expenses, etc. Special websites were set up for that purpose. Also, some Jodi supporters were beginning to independently contact members of the defense team and some Arias family members by mail, by Facebook, twitter, e-mail, or by phone.

 

First saber rattling inside Jodiland

 

Unite the Clans!

1_Bus_Full_Of_Kids_From_Mrs._Puff's_Class_&_Mr._Puff,_&_The_Bikini_Bottom_Museum_Of_Boating

After the first penalty phase mistrial, George Barwood made a major effort to unite the JAII people and the OccupyHLN people. The results were good and people from the two major divisions were talking and socializing. Still, JAII.com, a foreign website was the only dot com site dedicated to Jodi Arias. Not everyone liked SJ’s crude style or his mean-spirited approach, and they started thinking about making another major Website dedicated to the Jodi Arias case. By this time SJ and people in his crew had already helped Jodi Arias and her family set up a website dedicated to her artwork and a website to help people donate to her appeal trust fund.

 

Battle of the Jodibands

jodi-arias-jodi-bands-J4J

One supporter, we will call Fred, had been visiting and calling Jodi Arias. He began selling plastic bracelets called “Jodibands” to help raise money for Jodi. “Fred” wanted to advertise these Jodibands on JAII.com. SJ, the webmaster, agreed to it but SJ wanted a disclaimer on the advertisement stating that Fred was separate from JAII.com and the site does not necessarily endorse what Fred was doing. This seemed to be a reasonable request. Fred was livid and went on a few private Jodi supporter sites complaining about SJ. Some people sided with Fred and some with SJ. Most were against any divisions among supporters. Then Fred publicly complained about SJ and JAII.com. You could start to see the tiny cracks emerging in Jodiland. This was a small sign of bigger of things to come.

 

Enter the Jason

Jason Weber got involved with a group of people who wanted a different kind of website for Jodi Arias. He used his experience and knowledge to develop a new website for Jodi Arias called Justice4JodiArias.com. This was very similar in name to SJ’s site for donations to the appeals fund which is called Justice4Jodi.com. So, there seemed to be a growing rivalry. All of this coming from supporter rivalries on two different facebook pages, one called Justice4Jodi, and one called Justice4JodiArias.

 

Battle of the Art site

Jodi Arias artwork_1358867916591_358335_ver1.0_320_240

SJ did enjoy being the premier site dedicated to

Jodi Arias, but the real kicker was when Jason and possibly George Barwood began looking at alternatives to the art site and the fund raising site. At that point, SJ and his followers were thinking sure, you can make another website about Jodi Arias, but why are you trying to steer people away from the art and donation websites? We worked hard to get these sites up and running to help Jodi. Then the sparks started flying.

 

Jason and “Lucy” and SJ and “Ben”

A very dedicated Jodi supporter, we will call “Lucy”, joined forces with Jason to help run the web site and companion Facebook site. This website wants to have more input from its members, so they set up a board of directors to make decisions and they created a private members-only section on the website. This is about when the war inside Jodiland began. Another supporter, we will call “Ben”, was an associate of SJ’s who was visiting and helping Jodi. He has a very modest rap sheet (possession of marijuana and an unspecified charge), which George Barwood tried to make a lot of hay out of. He published this rap sheet which doesn’t really amount to a hill of beans.

 

All-Out War

sponge bob

Jason Weber began attacking the Art site, the donation site, and SJ personally. SJ uploaded photos of Jason’s DUI arrests and featuring them on JAII.com. Of course, Jason freely admits he was arrested for DUI’s and that’s why he got involved in defendant’s rights, due process, and wrongful convictions. Who do you think would be very heavily involved in such subjects, someone with no experience with the justice system? Maybe the same goes for SJ. Rumors abound about SJ being involved in shady websites and pyramid financial schemes, yet there is no evidence that anything SJ or associates of SJ have done regarding Jodi are in any way fraudulent.

 

Number one rule of reporters: Report the News, don’t become the News.

 

King Kong stumbled

There is also no reason to believe that Jason Weber is doing anything nefarious by trying to help Jodi. Her case fits into what Jason has been advocating for, he has the web know-how, and he has an interest in this case. He was criticized for bringing the victim’s family into the discussion. It seems that of the 7 Alexander siblings, four have police records and one has serious psychiatric issues. I do think it was in some small part relevant that the past of some of the Alexander sibling’s records are fair game, because the Alexander friends and family, or at least some of them, tried to interfere with defense witnesses, which is a violation of Federal law and it violates our Constitution. It’s something that you just do not do. Jason was also criticized for “buying Facebook likes” for his “OccupyHLN Facebook page which currently has 28,835 likes. Jason has been criticized for running sensationalized stories on his OccupyHLN.org website and for not crediting his sources or providing links to sources.

 

Godzilla got burned

SJ was criticized for his involvement in such schemes such as “Overnight Cash System”, “Prosperity Automated System”, and “Breakthrough Advertising”. He is connected with scores of websites. Who of a perfectly clean reputation would bother to potentially harm themselves by unselfishly helping a person like Jodi Arias? Answer – Almost no one. So true heroes like SJ and Jason, the only two at first to stand up and try to help the underdog, are not going to be perfect people. We knew this at the start of trial. The stories about Simon Johannson were nothing new. Allegations against Jason Weber were nothing new since halfway through the trial either.

 

SJ began to fire back and drop a few bombs of his own. Jason Weber and George Barwood began a campaign to totally divest Jodi Arias of all involvement by SJ and his cohorts. They were accusing each other of being frauds and rip-off artists. Now if you are an international business guy, or if you are a web developer, aren’t there much easier/better ways to make money than with Jodi Arias?

 

The Major Point of all this

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Here are some stats for you: Free Jodi Facebook Page 396 members. Help Free Jodi 166 members. Justice4jodi Facebook page 224 likes. Have I made my point? One website about bestiality, say Eskimos and Aardvarks, could make more money than Jodi Arias ever will. This is more of a charity case or volunteer work. One should not look a gift horse in the mouth, should one?

 

That’s the point of this whole article. There is no scam. There is precious little money for anyone to try to take. No one is trying to take money away from Jodi Arias. So then you have SJ and his cohorts and Jason and his cohorts writing calling and bothering Jodi Arias and her family with all this commotion, when Jodi Arias is trying to prepare for her 2nd penalty phase, Capital murder trial. George Barwood tried his hand pitching Jason’s ideas to Jodi Arias and that explains her letter, which George Barwood posted on his then insecure secret FaceBook site and it quickly leaked. Just like the letter Jodi sent him before that also leaked. None of this has really done much good. In terms of fund raising by way of Jodi’s art purchases or by way of appellate fund raising, a lot of people are becoming much more hesitant to send money. So this is only hurt Jodi Arias.

 

Anything you can do, I can do better

Simon Johannson cannot stop Jason Weber from creating another .com website dedicated to Jodi Arias. But the bone of contention is the attacks on the Art website JodiArias.com, and the appellate fund donation site Justice4Jodi.com.  Jason is saying, that he has a larger audience, he can find more buyers for Jodi’s art, more donors for Jodi’s appellate fund, and he can gain more supporters than JAII.com. SJ is saying that he has set up separate sites for the art and appellate donations, so why can’t Jason refer people to these sites? In order to promote one art and donation site, you are casting aspersions against the other. People are confused, because they want to give to the sites that are sanctioned by Jodi and her family. SJ’s sites are sanctioned. Jason and Lucy thought their site was sanctioned but learned differently.

 

Prosecution Supporters celebrate

The prosecution supporters are just loving all this because a fight between Jodi supporters further erodes Jodi’s credibility and support, and her ability to raise vital funds for her appeal. So we can assume that some prosecution supporters would love to fan the flames by supporting one side over the other. Jodi supporters are trying to stay out of it, but get pulled into it from time to time, as Jodiland’s Godzilla fights Jodiland’s King Kong.  Alas, Tokoyo in this case is Jodiland itself, and Jodi and her supporters and any potential new supporters are the only ones getting hurt in this fight. They are getting stepped on, they are getting torn down and cast aside.

 

The biggest problem is that all this fighting really intensified right before the scheduled start of the penalty re-trial because both sites want to enjoy the extra interest that the trial will be sure to bring. The war in Jodiland is a war for site hits as much as anything else.

 

Jodi in the middle

Question: How can Jodi Arias continue to sanction and support her current Art site and Appellate Fund donation site while sanctioning and supporting a new Art site and Appellate fund donation site? Not very easily is the answer. So George Barwood, acting in support of Jason Weber and the justice4JodiArias.com website, sent a letter to Jodi explaining why SJ and his cohorts were not good for Jodi and why Jason and his cohorts were better for her. This is the leaked letter that Jodi sent back:

 

Jodi Arias chastises George Barwood, pleads for Unity

 

GBs circus

“Curious George –

Chill. Your “concerns” are not your concern. Art by Jodi Arias is not a publically (sic) traded company, it is a private business. Therefore, where the revenue goes is nobody’s business but my family’s. As for the concerns of other supporters, I consider that a natural reaction to the confusion, doubt and suspicion that you and Jason have take it upon yourselves to whip up around my art. You two are the only ones who’ve been harming sales, and my family and I do not appreciate it in the least. I do not need you to put out a statement. I need you to stop putting out statements. You’re not helping, you’re hurting.

The only reason I told you that Ben drives a new custom-ordered BMW and owns a home with no mortgage was to illustrate that he doesn’t need the comparative pennies generated from art sales. He achieved the above personal financial milestones well before he began assisting with my art. You cite a so-called “lengthy criminal record” and quote an unnamed PI’s meaningless opinion. I’ll bet he’s unnamed because he doesn’t want to become a laughing stock by warning of the dangers of a man whose record boosts some whimpy misdemeanors (Can we at least get a felony on this guy? Just one? No?…) The next time you consult a PI, George, rethink your source.
You would also have me disassociate from SJ, who has been supportive of my family and I for years, who has no criminal record, and who my family can assuredly avow has never stolen one dollar from them. This has been verified.

In the statement you mentioned you and SJ argued about your failure to disclose that your statement consisted of negative, unfounded rumors about SJ. George, be honest with yourself. If someone were about to slander you with a bunch of trumped up propaganda wouldn’t you desire to set the facts straight? These publications you cite refer to a man called Simon John Hill , not Dapinderpal Farquar Dunderlumpton. Simon John Hill is a highly

common name, especially in the UK and other English-speaking countries (I even know of a John Hill who lives in Vacaville, California.) I’d be willing to bet that there are many Simon John Hills in the UK and at least one in each of the 50 states in my country.

You said in our brief call that you want to create distance between Ben and I, and SJ and I (it was implied) because of their oh-so-shady histories. But then you would have me align myself with Jason, who has enormous talent. But this makes no sense, George, because by your own standards, Jason, who has numerous felony convictions would be the one I should be staying farthest away from (What’s that smell? Is that a double standard? Or an ulterior motive?)

Let’s break it down succinctly in a chart:

Misdemeanors Felonies Been to Prison
Ben yes no no
SJ no no no
Jason ? yes yes

You suggested “electing” who should handle my art. Let me kindly reiterate that this is not a company on the stock exchange. When it comes to how my art is managed, the only votes that count are my family’s and mine—and the voters have spoken.

As I said to you the other day, if people are donating to the JAA Appellate Fund at justice4jodi.com, they have a right to know where their money is going and how it’s going to be used because they are investing a cause they believe in. Private businesses don’t answer to investors. You wouldn’t ask the owners of a small shop what they do with their money. If you did you would be considered a rude customer. Butt out. Seriously. The only ones harming art sales are you and Jason—people who’ve attacked my art. Only a hater does that. Rest assured that my family can log into the PayPal account they want and monitor every transaction from the first to the last. We know what we are doing. That’s all the confidence that needs to be established, because again a lack of confidence didn’t exist until you and Jason began your hate campaign.

So to be technical, you have moved to the dark side—that of hate. I’m a forgiving person, especially for you Geroge, because you’ve been truly supportive in the past. I am aware of your generous donation to the appellate fund and I remain very grateful for your contributions to my future. When you are ready to come back to the light, look me up. For now, I have a life-or-death trial to prepare for and I feel like I’m battling Juan with one hand, and you and Jason with the other. Together, you two have caused me more stress in the last month than anyone or anything else in the last year. This is a crucial time for me and I can no longer allow bickering trouble-making “supporters” to distrust me. Bury the hatchet with SJ. Don’t

carry a grudge over one spat. If you want to lead people then cultivate unity and stop causing dissension. I hope you and your family are well. We’ll talk again. —JA”

 

Jodi’s wishes go unheeded

PS

So, this seems to make it pretty clear where Jodi and her family stand on the issue. Did this settle things? Oh no. George did not bury the hatchet. He stated that the art site and fund donation site were okay, but that SJ is no good. Now Jason’s cohort, Lucy, got involved in trying to explain what Justice4JodiArias was about, why they wanted to raise funds separately fron SJ involved sites, and what the concerns were about the art site. Jodi ended up calling “Lucy”, but there was someone else listening in (besides Sheriff Joe and the Maricopa County Jail). This person recorded the conversation and leaked it in a stunt eerily similar to Jodi recording the sex tape with Travis. Being in jail, Jodi must be the one to initiate phone calls, so this means Jodi Arias must have known that the conversation with “Lucy” was being recorded. So this is the Jodi Arias 3-way call controversy.

 

The Battle of the Phone Call

The leaked phone call was Lucy trying to convince Jodi how the board of directors for the website is set up, how the fundraising will work, and how decisions are made to release funds to Jodi’s appellate trust and family. She had sent her a letter explaining all this and now they were talking on the phone. Of course, for Jodi to inititate a 3-way call, Jodi must have been aware of this and Lucy was victimized. The rumor is that the 3rd person was Jodi’s mitigation specialist, Maria De La Rosa. Maria is a person who has had contact with a number of Jodi supporters as part of her mitigation work. Since Jodi was acting as her own attorney at that time, she was allowed to have unmonitored phone calls with people who were vital to her defense.

Here is the phone call:

 

Jodiland in flames

So, George wrote another letter and had another phone call with Jodi. The recording and leaking of this phone call aggravated Jason’s group, it made SJ’s group even more suspicious, and it put Jodi in a bad light as someone who would carry on a conversation with a person while knowing another person (besides the jail) was listening in and recording the conversation. So, it was a Lose/Lose/Lose for Jodi supporters and a Win/Win for prosecution supporters. Great going, guys.

 

Jodi and family (once again) back SJ

Since then, Jodi and her family have sided against Jason. Jason and Lucy are claiming that they did, in fact, have Jodi’s blessing for all the efforts they’ve made. Jason is reportedly upset about having volunteered his time and money in the project. He is still running an anti-SJ campaign. SJ is still running a full on assault against Jason and the Justice4JodiArias.com website. Jason has changed the goal of the fundraising from raising funds only for Jodi Arias to raising funds to support due process and for other defendants and wrongly convicted people. This was in response to arguments against claims made by Jason that contributions to Jodi’s defense would be tax-deductible.

 

The Battle of the appellate fundraising sites

 

appellate fund

George Barwood made an alternative site to the Justice4Jodi.com fundraising site https://www.facebook.com/JodiAnnAriasAppellateTrust. He made a basically free Facebook page that does everything SJ’s paid site does, but virtually for free. He’s waiting on Jodi’s approval on this idea, then he plans to turn the Facebook page over to Jodi’s Aunt Sue Allen Halterman. In this way, he plans to bypass Justice4Jodi.com and enhance Justice4JodiArias.com

 

The Battle of the Glasses

latest-king-kong-vs-godzilla-by-tankor glasses

Some very nice supporters of Jodi got together to get her a new pair of glasses for the 2nd penalty phase trial. SJ and crew got Jodi’s old pair of glasses and attempted to auction them off on the art site at JodiArias.com. SJ and crew wanted to have anyone who made an offer make a deposit of $250.00 so that only serious buyers would get involved. Jason and crew cried foul, saying it was against paypal rules. The auction mysteriously was called off. George Barwood, who did not have control of the glasses, started an unofficial auction, as if he wished he was involved in the auctioning of the glasses. The auction went underground, and there was a winner at the price of $1,000, which was given away to a charity.

 

George Barwood decries SJ

SJ Jason 'George

George Barwood came out and said that he has nothing against the Art site or the fund raising site, but that Simon Johansson has a bad reputation and should not be involved in these websites. He is not the right person to be out front supporting Jodi. George Barwood cited the use of the “Body Bag photo” on JAII.com during the trial. The photo showed Travis Alexander in a blue body bag on the floor of his bathroom with the captions “Justice for Travis is in the bag” and “Justice for Travis Has been served”. This would be appropriate had Jodi been forced to defend herself from a deadly attack, but it was seen as very offensive by prosecution supporters and most Jodi supporters. George Barwood also cited the use by SJ on his site of the term ‘Pedo-Huggers’ for prosecution supporters.

 

Then George Barwood said that SJ is not a crook, but that he works with and for crooks, then most recently, he tweeted that SJ is a “psychopath”.

 

King Kong and Godzilla trash Tokyo

So you have Jodi Land full of present and possible future supporters of Jodi Arias, which I will liken to Tokyo. Some are good friends of SJ, some are good friends of Jason Weber and George Barwood, some are friends of both, and while some are friends of neither.

 

Jodiland torn apart

You have Jason Weber, trying to climb the highest building in JodiLand, acting like King Kong. He’s hoping a lot of people in Jodiland will notice him and join him. Then there’s SJ, tromping through Jodiland breathing fire, both are knocking things over and causing general havoc, “Jodites” are running and trying to get out of the way. King Kong Jason heads out to fight SJ Godzilla, and busses, buildings and cars full of Jodites are getting trampled. It’s all out war in Jodiland, as prosecution supporters watch from boats and planes in fascination. The only real victim is Jodi Arias and her supporters in the now dilapidated and ruined Jodiland.

 

Mix and Match: Rate your favorite Mega-Supporter

62166.original

 

JASON WEBER Detroit, Michigan USA

jason weber

You know who he is and where he lives

Not a criminal, he had a number of DUI’s and did some prison time

Web site developer

Graduate of Cornell University (Ivy League)

Interested in due process, defendant’s rights, etc.

Is an American

Supports Jodi Arias

Has spent his own time and money supporting Jodi

Wrote some sensationalized articles

Researched and reported on the criminal records of Alexander siblings

Bought Facebook “likes” for his OccupyHLN site.

Thinks SJ has a bad reputation, will try to steal from supporters

 

SIMON JOHANNSON (SJ) Switzerland? Or UK?

simon-johanssonmystery-man_jpg_250x300_q95

Supposed to be from the UK, may live in Switzerland

May or may not have outstanding warrants in the UK

You don’t really know who he is, where he lives

Involved in some financial investment pyramid scams

Never convicted or jailed

Supports Jodi Arias

Has spent his own time and money supporting Jodi

Wrote some sensationalized articles

Thinks Jason is a fraud, out to steal from Jodi Supporters

 

The battle of the Facebook trash pages

New Facebook pages have appeared, each denigrating either SJ or Jason, however, it’s unclear if these were put together by enemies within Jodiland, or by some prosecution supporters to further incite revolt.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-and-Aunt-Sues-Fake-Trust-Fund/708474915911012

This one is still up.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Paul-Weber-The-Conman/612487132206286

This one has been taken down.

 

Second Battle of the JodiBands

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Now it seems the guy we will call “Fred” has fully sided with SJ and is very much against Jason Weber and George Barwood. George Barwood has also come out against some of the things that Jason has done and said. “Fred” is out of the Jodiband biz, but Jodibands are selling on SJ and Ben’s art site.  Jason’s site is now selling Jodi keychains called Jodichains, but it’d not clear what the money will be used for?

 

Now, do you understand the Jodiland wars?

As the 2nd penalty phase looms large, the battle lines in Jodiland are still being drawn. We can only wait and see if Jason’s web site will take off and if SJ’s site will be as energized as it was during the original trial. No one has heeded Jodi Arias’ pleas to mend fences and strive for unity.

 

Now, as the Jodites wallow forth from the ruins of Jodiland where King Kong Jason and Godzilla SJ just plowed through, aren’t you glad I explained all this to you? Does this shed any light at all on all the nutty tweets and crazy back and forth you’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter? I hope it has. It took me a while to figure it out, myself.

Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please comment.

You can also comment on Facebook at “Spotlight on law”

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotlight-On-Law/189870931203328

 

Sources:

JodiAriasIsInnocent.com

Justice4JodiArias.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JodiAriasOpen/

https://www.facebook.com/justice4jodiarias