The Instagram Shower Evidence
Fact Based Reporting by
Amanda Chen and Rob Roman
The Jodi Arias Murder Trial: The Other side of the story
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
(The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing)
What happened in that bathroom?
Just wandering around on my favorite Twitter channel, #JodiArias, I came across this very interesting tweet with an attached picture.
The picture was actually an array of the shower photos of Travis along with some commentary. I call it the Shower Instagram. It has comments and explains why the shower photos show that Jodi attacked Travis in the shower. The Instagram is given as further proof that Jodi Arias is guilty of 1st degree premeditated murder.
I downloaded the “Shower Instagram” and later I looked for the original Tweet. It was either deleted or I could not locate it. The original Tweet said something I’ve seen a few times before.
I have no ideas who made this. It said something to the effect that Jodi Supporters avoid the shower photo evidence at all cost because it proves it’s a 1st degree murder. So I wanted to show that we can look at the shower photo evidence and see where it leads us.
This is the text of the Shower Instagram:
“Jodi Arias LIED AGAIN she said she was kneeling kneeling when she dropped his camera. Travis got mad. He told her she holds the camera like a 5 year old & told her I’ll f****** kill you bitch. He lunged at her and body slammed her… knocking the wind out of her.
HE WAS INJURED INSIDE THE SHOWER – IT’S ALL PREMEDITATED PERJURY
The shower Door was closed for every pic & and he was standing inside the shower until photo 5:29:20.
Photo 5:30:30 Travis is down / injured-inside the shower.
In 50 seconds after the door was open he was shot or stabbed. He never had time to get out of the shower or body slam her. The gun jammed, she ran downstairs got the knive (sic) while he staggered to the sink/mirror. She came back upstairs & started stabbing him in the back.
He turned around trying to defend himself & she kept stabbing him like a wild savage. He was trying to get away & she kept stabbing him until he got to the hall where she ended his life by slashing his throat.
HER WELL THOUGHT OUT PLAN WAS TO UNLOAD THE GUN IN HIM INSIDE THE SHOWER AND LEAVE WITHOUT A TRACE OF EVIDENCE…
NOT ONLY DID SHE PREMEDITATE THE MURDER, SHE PREMEDITATED ALL THE LIES AND PERJURY
WE’RE READY FOR ROUND TWO – THE SENTENCING TRIAL”
This is very interesting and thought provoking, but at the end of the day it’s more of the same.
It’s an El Speculation Supremo. Let us show you how we got there.
You can click on many photos to enlarge, so you can see them better and read them.
Gun in her left hand? Left handed gun owners would not agree. Black gloves on? What evidence is there of that?
Jodi lied? She said she was kneeling kneeling in front of Travis? What purpose would that serve? Why is standing or crouching so much more sinister than kneeling? I don’t get that point. Oh, BTW, Jodi testified she was crouching.
Defense Attorney Nurmi correctly stated that Travis’ seated position would be awkward for a knife strike from a left-handed person. Lefties usually fire a weapon and use a camera with their right hand. Prosecutor Juan Martinez responded that Arias stated she was ambidextrous (can use both hands well). This is an idiotic response, because it implies that Arias switched the camera to the left hand, struck with the knife right handed, then switched back in the middle of a knife fight to get the ceiling shot!
Looking at the Instagram photo and reading what it says, I want to share the ways we think about evidence. These are the kinds of mental steps we go through:
1) Surface Errors
The first thing is we look for factual errors and things that are incorrect on the surface of the Instagram.
2) Facts given
What facts is the argument presenting?
3) Scenario Identification
How do these facts fit into both a scenario based on guilt and a scenario based on innocence? We look at the situation in good faith from both sides.
4) Implications of the argument
What is implied by the argument? Do the implications of the scenario hold up under a lens of guilt? Do the implications contradict or dispute the scenario under a lens of innocence?
What have we determined by objectively looking at the evidence?
Now, we can introduce the Shower Instagram:
(You can click on the photo to enlarge it)
1) Surface Errors
“Travis got mad. He told her she holds the camera like a 5 year old… He lunged at her and body slammed her… knocking the wind out of her.”
What Travis said, according to Jodi was that a 5 year-old could do a better job taking pictures (paraphrase). This according to defense domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette, was character assassination, as Jodi prided herself on being a talented photographer and hoped to do it professionally.
“Body Slammed her” and “Knocking the wind out of her” are expressions that can have different meaning to different people. A body slam can be a particular wrestling move where a person is lifted up and thrown or slammed down to the floor. Another person can say that a body slam simply means forcibly pushing a person or throwing them to the floor. Knocking the wind out of a person in sports is a term meaning the person is hit so hard that the air is expelled out of their lungs and they are briefly knocked unconscious. Another person can mean that they hit the ground with enough force to push air out of their lungs.
“*(Travis) told her I’ll f****** kill you bitch.”
This is incorrect. According to Jodi, Travis did not threaten to kill Jodi until after the gun went off and they were both on the floor
“HE WAS INJURED INSIDE THE SHOWER”
“Photo 5:30:30 “Travis is down / injured-inside the shower.”
Let’s remember to look for any evidence of that based on the shower photos.
“In 50 seconds after the door was open he was shot or stabbed.”
Let’s look for evidence of this in the photos. “Shot or stabbed”: Here, again, is the contention offered by prosecution supporters that it doesn’t matter whether Travis Alexander was shot or stabbed first. But, it does matter. It matters a lot. The prosecution went to extreme lengths to demonstrate that it was impossible that Jodi shot Travis first. The ME said he would have been “immediately incapacitated”, so the defense wounds and knife wounds had to be first. The ME also said that the gunshot wound above Travis’ right eyebrow was post mortem, in his opinion.
If you take the ME’s statements and opinion as fact, this is all you need, along with the crime scene evidence, to conclude that Jodi Arias premeditated the murder of Travis Alexander. If you choose not to believe the ME, it could be a 1st degree premeditated murder or it could be something other than 1st degree premeditated murder. If the gun was first, we may need to re-evaluate both Jodi’s veracity on the stand and the idea that her story actually is possible. The order of injuries matters. If Travis was shot first, then the ME was either severely mistaken or he lied on the stand.
“The shower Door was closed for every pic.”
This is an interesting observation. Let’s look into this claim and see if it’s true.
“He never had time to get out of the shower or body slam her.”
We can investigate this claim, too. Martinez said that according to Jodi’s story it’s impossible for everything she said happened to have happened in 1 minute and 2 seconds. (The amount of time between the ceiling photo and the foot photo.)
At the same time, Martinez also demonstrated to the jury how incredibly long 2 minutes is with his all too predictable 2 minutes of silence when the jury was considering the cruelty aggravator.
Jodi pointed out on the stand that the “foot photo”, taken 1 minute and 2 seconds after the “ceiling light photo”, could show Travis partially injured, specifically by the gunshot, and that this photo is not necessarily the end of the deadly skirmish. There is plenty of time for Jodi’s story to be true, but that’s something for another article.
“The gun jammed, she ran downstairs got the knive (sic) while he staggered to the sink/mirror.”
This statement directly contradicts the arguments of the prosecutor as well as the testimony and evidence from Dr. Horn. Adding this to the idea that it doesn’t matter whether the gun injury was last or first, is troubling. This is a capitol murder trial. The life of the defendant/convict hangs in the balance. We cannot be ambivalent about these facts. Was Travis Alexander shot or stabbed first? Was he shot or stabbed when he went to the sink? Before a possible execution or life imprisonment for Arias, we had better know for sure.
“She came back upstairs & started stabbing him in the back.”
This goes back to the question of the back stabs. Where, when and why did Arias stab Alexander in the back? Amazingly, only that genius detective, Vinnie Politan, was able to give a decent answer to that question for the prosecution. Vinnie Politan once theorized on HLN that all or most of the stabbings, including the back stabs, could have been done when Travis was in the shower. Travis, unable to escape the shower, may have turned his back or doubled over while Arias kept stabbing.
Since the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, isn’t it unsettling that two avid prosecution supporters, one a former criminal attorney and the other a Twitter tweeter, give such different accounts of what happened? Alternate scenarios should be the province of the defense, not the prosecution.
“He turned around trying to defend himself & she kept stabbing him like a wild savage.”
Now this is a new variation. This is the first time I heard someone from the prosecution theorizing that the back wounds were the first knife wounds.
Many people from the defense also believe the back wounds stabs were the first knife wounds. The wild savage part, I can also agree with. Having the mind of a wild savage works equally well coming from a lens of innocence or a lens of guilt.
Now we can move to step two:
2) Facts Presented
A) Jodi Arias lied about kneeling on the floor.
B) She was standing when, according to her, she fumbled and dropped the camera.
C) Arias lied about Travis’ “5 year-old” statement. He did not yell at her, he did not come out of the shower and throw her down, She did not shoot him by accident and he didn’t say “F****** kill you b*tch!”.
D) Travis was injured inside the shower and the shower photos demonstrate this
E) By photo 5:30:30, Travis is seated in the shower and injured.
F) 50 seconds after the shower door is opened (5:29:20 to 5:30:30), Travis is injured. Where is the Instagram person getting the 50 seconds? This is 70 seconds. There are 44 seconds between the seated photo and the ceiling light photo. Is that what the Instagram maker means?
G) Shot first or stabbed first, it doesn’t really matter.
H) The Instagram theorist is going with the gunshot first murder theory.
I) There was no time for Jodi’s scenario to happen.
J) Jodi leaves the bathroom to get a knife and returns while Travis is standing at the mirror.
K) She jabs him in the back multiple times (WHY?).
L) She continues stabbing him until he’s down on the bedroom carpet at the end of the bathroom hallway
M) Since Travis doesn’t know Jodi is there taking pictures, he is not cooperating with poses and he’s just showering.
We have assembled all the facts alleged in the argument, let’s look into Scenario identification from both sides and put them all together.
3) Scenario Identification
Guilt perspective knife first:
Within 50 seconds of the shower door being opened, Jodi attacks Travis with a knife. Jodi was standing the whole time and just bent her knees or crouched to attack Travis. Let’s call the Instagram theory the Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger theory. At some point Travis makes his way to the sink. Travis gets to the end of the hallway, and collapses shortly before or after his throat is cut. She drags him back by the sink, stops, and shoots him in the face before putting him back in the shower.
Guilt perspective gunshot first:
Jodi is standing with the gun. She shoots him while he sits in the shower. This fits the trajectory of the gunshot well. The gun must have jammed or it only had one bullet, because otherwise Jodi would have continued firing. Travis is injured but still alive and he’s presumably crawling around before making it to the sink. This fits the blood evidence. Jodi leaves the bathroom to get a knife. She returns and Travis is now at the bathroom sink. She stabs him in the back and then continues stabbing him, he gets the defensive wounds to his hands. Travis gets to the end of the bathroom hallway and his throat is cut. Jodi drags Travis back to the shower.
(justifiable homicide / self-defense) (2nd degree murder, sudden heat of passion, manslaughter):
Jodi is kneeling on the mat while taking photos of Travis in the shower. Travis sits down in the shower and the shower door is opened. According to Jodi, there is a simmering argument going on, but she did not elaborate. Jodi fumbles and drops the camera. At this point, Travis becomes enraged. He calls her a stupid idiot and yells that a five year-old could do a better job. He knocks her to the floor, her breath rushes out of her lungs on impact. She rolls away, gets up and books down the hallway.
Afraid that Travis will catch her before she gets to the bedroom doors, she cuts right and into the closet and slams the door shut. He catches up and opens the door. Jodi puts her foot on a shelf and reaches for an old gun that Travis keeps near the picture of his dad. Jodi enters the bathroom and turns around. Travis comes into the bathroom and Jodi points the gun at him with two hands. Travis, perhaps knowing the gun is unloaded comes at her like a linebacker and tries to tackle her. The gun goes off and Travis is shot. There must have been a round in the chamber. They both fall to the floor and continue to struggle. Travis threatens Jodi’s life (F***ing kill you, b*tch!). Jodi’s memory is overwhelmed at this point and she goes on auto-pilot..
Now, we can look at the implications of these 3 scenarios.
4) Implications of the argument
Jodi’s presence in the bathroom:
Under the innocence scenario, Jodi uses the excuse of taking muscle or body photos of Travis that he can keep. She wants one more intimate experience with Travis before they part company and move on to their new lovers. She convinces Travis to do the photo shoot. He’s aware he’s being photographed. She directs him in a number of poses. The shower door is always closed. At the time of the 5:29:20 photo, Jodi is going for the “Calvin Klein” photo.
Modeling shots of men in the shower are a very common thing. Travis had recently been working out heavily and bulking up. At some point Travis sits down in the shower. This could be because Travis becomes agitated by the photos and asks Jodi to stop. Maybe Travis was going to do some seated poses, or he wanted to see the photos. At the point of the 5:30:30 photo, an argument that has been smoldering all afternoon is heating up again. At the time of the 5:31:14 photo, Jodi fumbles and drops the camera and Travis lunges out of the shower, attacking Jodi.
Under both guilt scenarios, the Shower Instagram implies that Travis had no idea Jodi was in the bathroom with him taking the photos. He may have thought she was downstairs or had already left. Jodi may have been angry at Travis and wanted to get his attention somehow or wanted to invade his privacy out of spite. The photos then would be less trying to capture poses and more just attempting to control and annoy. The idea of the Instagrammer is that the shower door was closed until she’s ready to strike because he doesn’t know she’s there. The shower Instagram idea is reinforced by two shower photos that appear to show Travis reaching for the shampoo and washing his hair.
At the time of the 5:27:18 photo, Travis looks out the clear shower door and sees Jodi with his camera. He’s startled and becomes angry. He turns around and turns the water off, according to the Instagram. He faces Jodi. He’s very upset and aggravated. Travis appears to be close-mouthed and not talking. Maybe he is giving her a cold, angry staredown. Perhaps Jodi is already flashing a weapon. If so, we can imagine that Travis may be trying to give her a warm, pleading stare. This is the look he describes giving the man with the gun in the story he tells at the hotel, when Jodi has her head in his lap.
We can imagine that Jodi is smiling and perhaps laughing as she shows Travis a knife or a gun. Maybe she shows anger. Jodi threatens Travis with a weapon and forces him into a seated position. Then the attack begins.
Here, Gray Hughes, a prosecution supporter, attempts to prove that Travis was an active participant in the shower photos and that the door was open throughout. Gray even thinks the camera was inside the shower for some shots.
The Gray Hughes shower pics video:
Is it true that Travis is unaware that Jodi is right in front of him for over 5 minutes (5:22:16 – 5:27:18) snapping photos? Then this must be a regular shower when Travis is soaping and shampooing.
Jodi is avoiding taking any photos where he is soaping up. Maybe he had already done that. At 5:24:30, you see Travis appears to be wetting down his hair in preparation for a shampoo. At 5:24:49, he appears to grab a handful of shampoo. At 5:24:56, according to the Gray Hughes video, Travis appears to be washing the shampoo off. That’s 26 seconds to wash his hair. Is that too fast for a guy to shampoo his hair? It’s seems about right.
The Shower Instagram states that the shower door is closed in all the photos until the seated photo. Gray Hughes, a prosecution supporter, believes the shower door was always open. Gray Hughes also believes the water in the Calvin Klein photo is water on the camera lens, and the door is open. From Travis’ blogs, we know that Travis’ mother couldn’t stand bath water on the floor, and she punished Travis for this. We can theorize that the shower door would be closed unless he agreed to take the shower photos.
Then again, for this same reason, we can also believe that Travis agreed to the photos but he wanted the door to stay closed. So the closed shower door may not be as evil as it seems.
The Instagram and Martinez both claim Travis was stabbed in the back by surprise at the sink. Martinez claims Travis was already stabbed in the chest and abdomen by the time he got to the sink, while the Instagram claims that Travis had only a gunshot wound when he was stabbed in the back a the sink. Jodi supporters and some prosecution supporters also believe that Travis only had the gun wound when he was at the sink.
For the Shower Instagram ideas to be correct, Jodi would need to have avoided any photos of Travis soaping and shampooing, while managing to take all the seemingly posed photos. Another Tweeter claims these poses match the poses from the shower scene in the classic movie Psycho. Could this be done accidentally? Could Jodi be that quick to know these poses by heart and capture them all accidentally? Isn’t that highly unlikely? Perhaps Travis had finished soaping and shampooing and he was just rinsing off when Jodi suddenly appeared in font of the shower and started snapping the photos.
It’s also possible that Jodi convinced Travis to let her take the shower photos as a way to get him into a vulnerable position for attack. In this case, he would be aware of the photos and posing for them. Wouldn’t the quality of the photos be better then? The photos were deleted and needed to be recovered, so it’s difficult to know.
For this same reason, it’s difficult to know if the door was open or closed. The Shower Instagram claims that the shower door was closed at all times because Travis was not aware Jodi was there. Looking at the back photo, it is difficult to tell. Is the shower door so clean, clear and water drop free that it appears to be open?
Here is a professional model photo:
Is it a stretch to believe the photos were posed? They certainly could be posed. Until the Shower Instagram came along, I thought most people agreed that the photos were posed.
What about the ceiling light photo? If Travis was injured in the shower by gun or by knife, what happened to cause the ceiling photo at 5:31:14? Prosecution supporters need to explain how that photo happened. One could theorize that an injured Travis came out of the shower suddenly, causing Jodi to move her arm and snap the photo.
How about the back wounds? Jodi supporters believe it’s possible Jodi stabbed Travis from under him or from in front of him with shallow, defensive jabs. What is the reason for these stabs under a theory of guilt? No one has provided a reasonable answer except, incredibly, Vinnie Politan, the vacuous, and shameless hot-headed entertainer from CNN’s Head Line News.
Martinez’ idea about the back stabs makes little sense and neither does the Instagram’s. What would be the purpose of the back jabs?
Now we can make our summary.
What have we determined by objectively looking at the evidence?
We have honestly looked at the Shower Instagram evidence and opinion. We have looked at it from theories of guilt as well as innocence.
Did Jodi lie when she said she was kneeling on the mat when she took the final 3 shower photos?
Here we can look to the evidence of the iris photo scientist. Although Martinez and most prosecution supporters believe this is junk science, the scientist works with law enforcement and his iris enhancements have been used as evidence for the prosecution to determine such things as license plate numbers, proof of location and time of day. He also testified that his enhancements are 10 times more visible in the perfect darkness of his lab and when shown on his expensive lab equipment.
It’s inconclusive whether Jodi is standing or kneeling for the Calvin Klein photo. It seems that Travis is seated in the photo, and therefore, Jodi would have to be kneeling or crouched down at the time of the 5:30:30 seated photo. It appears that the camera is pointed straight at the subject.
Seated in the shower seems like a vulnerable position that Jodi wanted to coax Travis into. It’s also possible that Jodi forced Travis to sit down or that he sat down out of embarrassment or frustration, or to look at the photos. It seems to be an open question.
The idea that Jodi planned to shoot Travis in the shower and leave no trace is possible, but it goes against the ME and the prosecutor. The idea that the shower door was closed at all times until the seated photo is inconclusive. The surprised look of Travis could have an innocent explanation. The idea that Travis had no idea Jodi was there until the surprised look photo is contradicted by Travis not soaping and shampooing and all the poses Travis seemed to do, whether Jodi wanted the Calvin Klein look or she was going for the Psycho look.
-It’s likely that both the “Calvin Klein” photo and the seated photo are shot not while Arias is standing, but while she is kneeling or crouched on the bath mat. They both appear to be straight on shots. The Iris photo is inconclusive.
-It’s inconclusive as to whether the shower door was always closed until Alexander is seated in the shower. Even if it was, there could be an innocent reason for this (Travis was beaten for getting water on the bathroom floor).
-The theory of the Instagram contradicts the testimony and evidence of the M.E. and the arguments of the prosecutor.
-One can theorize that Travis Alexander did not know that Jodi Arias was snapping photos of him. But one cannot be sure the shower door was closed for all the shots. Alexander is not seen washing his body or hair and he he may be posing like a model or doing poses from the Psycho shower scene. There is too much reasonable doubt.
-The look of surprise on Alexander’s face in one photo is strong evidence, but it’s inconclusive. Arias would have to be snapping photos for over 5 minutes through a plexiglass door before being noticed.
-Alexander’s face in the “Calvin Klein” photo could be registering fear, anger, pleading, or frustration. His face could also be a posed in a stern look typical of male models.
-Contrary to popular belief, there’s plenty of time for Arias’story to fit the timeline of the photos. All of the knife wounds could have happened in 10 seconds. That’s a whole other article, though.
-There’s no real evidence that Travis was attacked in the shower. You can surmise that it happened that way, but you can’t really be sure. The seated photo provides no evidence either way.
The Shower Instagram theory of Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger is interesting, but it’s a theory with major problems.
In a strange inversion of tradition, the prosecution and prosecution supporters seem to have numerous speculations, explanations and theories regarding the Jodi Arias case, even though it should be one proven theory beyond reasonable doubt. At the same time, the defense and Jodi supporters are not allowed to speculate or raise any possibilities or alternate scenarios, like the system intends, because they are just dreaming or being spoil-sports.
Prosecution supporters need to take a nice cold shower, but they should watch out for stealthy, ninja paparazzi in revenge mode!