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Warning!! This article contains explicit and graphic autopsy / crime scene photos.
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The crime scene:
Now we move on to the crime scene. Is there anything here that can support Jodi Arias’ story? Here, we are dealing with real hard physical evidence, we are not relying on Jodi’s word. There are always unknowns, but is there something strong anywhere in the crime scene which would lead a reasonable juror to conclude that Jodi Arias may have been attacked, and Jodi Arias was forced to kill to defend her very life?
This video by Gray Hughes is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the crime scene (Travis Alexander’s Master Bathroom and Bedroom).
So far, with an examination of the body, we have very little supporting a case for self-defense, and examining the crime scene does not help much, in my opinion.
This is one thing I was pinning my hopes on. Defense attorney Jose Baez, pointed early on to the crime scene evidence. He said since Jodi Arias had lied so much prior to the trial, the defense should not call her to the stand at all. Instead, they should look to the crime scene and the forensics to blow holes in the state’s case. Thanks to mostly Jodi supporters, arguing all their bizarre theories, they have proven to me that this is no longer a possibility either.
Whether you accept the prosecution version, that the attack started in the shower, or the defense version that Travis was shot by Arias by accident and in self-defense, as he rushed at her, we can surmise the movements of the victim. Movements seem to begin along the tub towards the toilet room, to the back of the bathroom by the scales, over to the sink and then down the hallway to the carpet.
A) There is one cast off blood stain just outside the shower enclosure by Travis’ bathrobe.
There’s a blood pool by the toilet room door, indicating Travis bled there on the floor for quite some time before getting to the sink. Something happens to cause blood spatter very low at the door frame of the toilet room. The blood spatter is such high-impact that it even hits the base of the toilet.
There is cast-off blood very high on the blinds of the bathroom window by the scales. This could have happened at the time that Travis seemed to be crawling away, or after the killing, because Jodi Arias came back to the back of the bathroom to clean up. There were 2 empty toilet paper rolls in Alexander’s trash bin in the corner. That’s unusual for a single person who has his home cleaned regularly.
There’s a towel rack on the outside wall of the toilet room and there’s more blood around that area.
Possibly Travis was on his feet at this point, but he doesn’t have to be. He may have gotten the towel off of the towel rack and he was heading to the sink. He may have still been on his knees and only tried to get on his feet at the sink.
There’s some blood drops over by the scales at the back of the bathroom. We do know at least one of these scales was knocked out of place, because the clear scale had blood drops directly under it. The next place Travis goes seems to be the sink.
Now, here’s a good question: How many people just happen to have a gun and a 1 1/2 “ butcher knife” just lying around in close proximity to the bathroom? Not many of us, that’s how many of us. Most likely, the reason why Travis Alexander can go to the sink and stand there with his back to his attacker was because Jodi wasn’t in the room. In theory, she had left him in the bathroom to go get the knife because the gun had failed to kill him.
As Gray Hughes noted, all the blood spatter in the bathroom up to the sink is consistent with a gunshot wound. All the blood evidence to the right of the sink is more consistent with stabbing injuries.
A knife first attack is usually going to start and keep on going until it ends, there will be no “time-outs”. No chance to take a break and go to the mirror. So a knife-first fight with either as aggressor has some problems. When was anyone going to get the chance to go to the sink and mirror?
It seems that after going to the sink, Travis is again on the floor bleeding next to the linen closet. There’s quite a bit of blood there in two large pools. The prosecution theorized that this might be where Travis was dragged to be shot in the head, before being put back in the shower enclosure. If he he was shot first, that would preclude this idea. Then there would need to be another explanation.
This is a grizzly scene in the hallway on the way to the carpet. I just see this as a wild stabbing injuries as Travis tries to make it out of the bathroom.
Most people agree that Travis collapsed here leaving the large blood smear. Travis ends up with his throat slit at the carpet. This is carpet and padding and there’s a tremendous amount of blood loss at the carpet. You do see a lot of foot activity next to the large puddle of blood. Beyond this point there is virtually no blood besides a small smear at the washing machine, etc.
I think this is where most people think Travis ended up and would have remained, if he hadn’t been dragged back into the shower. It appears to me that Travis was almost immediately moved back into the bathroom. This blood trail on the right looks to me like blood dripping from a body as it is moved.
I think this is showing blood trails and drips from the body as he is being dragged back to the shower. Notice how the trail stops right before the angled wall leading to the shower enclosure. I think that was a really good theory the prosecution witness came up with, that Arias must have taken a wet towel and ran it straight up the middle of the hallway, or wet the floor and used the towel as a squeegee to remove prints, and to give her a clear path out of the bathroom. People also theorized that excess water got under the carpet, making that messy area you see on the right.
Now, as far as the idea that the body was brought back by the linen closet to be shot, there are two more reasons, besides believing the gunshot was first, why I don’t believe this. First, the body was bleeding out and was an obstacle for Jodi Arias. I think she wanted to get the body back in the shower right away so there wouldn’t be more blood than there already was. I don’t think she would have stopped at the linen closet to shoot him, and in the process cover the floor with more blood.
Besides the 15+ reasons I have for believing the gun was first, there are two more reasons why I believe the body was brought immediately to the shower stall. People theorize that Jodi cut her finger and bled on Travis, so she needed to wash the DNA off him in the shower, and that may be so. I think all the blood and Travis’ body were creating an obstruction preventing Arias from leaving the scene without leaving more evidence (footprints, fingerprints, transfers, etc.). So I think she needed to get the body out of the way and let the blood drain into the shower enclosure, instead of pooling up on the floor.
Here’s yet another answer to Heather’s question, why didn’t Jodi Arias shoot Travis Alexander the minute she first saw him? Well, after they had sex, she had to wait for him to take a shower, to wash off her DNA. The idea about Travis needing to be washed off because Arias bled on him makes sense. She would have to be real careful to keep her blood off of everything, including him.
The other thing I see is possibly, Jodi Arias, as is her style, completing a plan after the plan had already failed – i.e. her intention was to kill him in the shower, and she was bringing him back to where he was supposed to be.
Here’s the second reason: I think she dragged him down the right side of the hallway to avoid other blood, then she cut the corner too sharp, leaving these blood transfer stains.
If Arias had stopped at the linen closet to shoot Travis, I don’t think she would have slid him against the baseboard on the way to the shower. This seems to be the path Jodi Arias took.
Now remember the foot photo? Some believe it was taken close to the carpet. Others believe it was taken more near the area of the linen closet. Most people agree that the “foot photo” was taken with Travis’ feet pointing towards the back windows of the bathroom and Jodi’s foot nearest the hallway. The light is coming from the direction of Travis’ feet and that is attributed to the light from the bathroom windows.
But, in photo #162, the “foot photo”, you see that Travis is down on the floor, either before or after he goes to the sink. It makes sense that his head was on the floor near the linen closet when the foot photo was taken. So, for me, that accounts for the second blood pool. As for people who believe the “foot photo” was taken closer to the carpet, even if it’s true, that’s yet another place where Travis was immobile. The only time Travis was down by the carpet was the final time, in most people’s opinion.
So we have good evidence that Travis was down and on the floor at least 3 times and in three different places in the bathroom / bedroom in this 3 minutes maximum of a “struggle” on June 4th, 2008. The two inadvertent camera shots are both taken when Travis was on the floor. No, that doesn’t play well towards self-defense, either.
So almost everyone agrees that Travis’ final resting place was at the end of the bathroom hallway where he fell over and his throat was slit. I believe everyone agrees that Travis first crawled towards the back of the bathroom towards the toilet room and the scales.
I think most people agree that Jodi Arias was talking about something that actually happened in her “ninja story”: Travis was on all fours, or on both knees and one hand, while holding his head with his free hand and moaning or screaming. There’s a blood pool there, indicating Travis was motionless by the toilet room door for some time.
Travis may have tried to get into the toilet room, and Jodi might have tried to stop him, causing the low to the floor, high-impact blood spatter on the toilet door frame. People who believe in self-defense need to account for that blood spatter.
Now a major question: Why would Travis take a left out of the shower and go further into the bathroom if he were under attack?
Was this because Jodi Arias was near the linen closet blocking the exit? That’s where it seems she put the camera down, as you will see.
One way to do it is this: Who says Travis took a left out of the shower? He could have gone straight to the sink and from there down the hallway. All of the other blood to the left of the sink could still be Travis’ blood, but it could all have been put there by Jodi Arias. She could have dripped blood from clothes and her own body. She could have put clothes and a towel on the floor creating the blood pool and she could have dropped or thrown something to the floor, creating the spatter. Could that create that much blood? I don’t believe this, but I guess it’s possible.
Most of us agree that Travis then went from the scales to the sink, and then down the hallway. It seems like prior to going down the hallway, he was on his back when the foot photo was taken.
I believe that the foot photo was taken after Travis was at the sink. If we are theorizing that Travis was able to go to the sink because Jodi left the room, then the “foot photo” must have been taken when she came back. Travis was on his back, blood running over his right shoulder. I think the closet door was closed at the time.
Everything also has to fit inside the time line. I think Travis went to the sink, then collapsed or fell, maybe this is when he said “I can’t feel my legs”, which was part of Jodi’s Ninja story, that I think is true. At some point, he crawled or staggered down the hallway where he collapsed. His throat is slit and he is then dragged back into the shower, where he was found 5 days later.
Check out this Gray Hughes video showing the crime scene pics:
Following the time line and the sequence of events, we have the four final photos:
5:30:30 “Sitting” pic #160
This is the last pic of Travis alive and well. He’s sitting in the shower
5:31:14 “Ceiling pic” #161
(44 seconds later) The “ceiling photo” where something causes Jodi Arias to point the camera upwards and snap the shutter release.
5:32:16 “Foot” pic #162
(1 min 2 sec later) (1 min 46 sec after “sitting” pic)
5:33:32 “baseboard” pic #163
(1 min 16 sec later) (3 min 3 sec after “sitting” pic) (2 minutes and 18 seconds after the ceiling pic)
State Supporters have more time in their sequence, the entire 3 minutes and 3 seconds. After the sitting photo is snapped, Travis could have been shot right away. Jodi Supporters have to start where Jodi says things started, when she dropped the camera at the ceiling photo. The time line from then until the final “baseboard photo” is 2 minutes and 18 seconds.
As Juan Martinez demonstrated in the court room, 2 minutes is a very long time when it’s life and death. But, Jodi Supporters have a lot more events to fit into a much smaller time line than State Supporters have.
Jodi Supporters have to include the part where Travis leaps out of the shower in a fury, lunges at and body-slams Jodi, she rolls away and runs down the hallway, Travis chases her into the closet, she grabs the gun, runs back into the bathroom and turns around, firing at an attacking Travis.
They both collapse right next to each other at the back of the bathroom. Then, with, whatever time is left, everything else has to be accounted for. Whatever aid Arias may have rendered to Travis, if any, and the rest of the knife attack all has to fit in that 2 minutes and 18 seconds with only 62 seconds until the foot photo.
1 minute and 46 seconds after Travis is sitting down in the shower, the foot photo is taken. That’s 1 minute and 2 seconds after the ceiling pic where most people think something happened and this is where the attack started. So whatever happened between the start of the attack and the foot photo, it had about 1 minute (62 seconds) to happen. Most people agree that by the time of the “baseboard pic”, Travis is already being dragged back to the shower enclosure.
Jodi Supporters believe Travis lunged out of the shower (ceiling pic) and attacked and chased Jodi, she came back into the bathroom through the closet with a gun as Travis was chasing her. She turned around and shot him, then they both went down by the bathroom scales. They believe that during this time, Travis left the first blood pool.
You can theorize, as Judge Sherry Stephens did, that possibly there were more than 2 weapons used. Arias could have struck Alexander with a blunt instrument, or one knife could have broken, and she needed to get another. You can also theorize that Travis was shot last after he was dead or nearly dead. I don’t think that’s likely. It’s much more likely to me that Travis was shot and he didn’t really understand what was happening to him at first, and so he crawled around and then went to the mirror once Jodi Arias exited the bathroom.
Some Jodi Supporters want to believe that once Jodi shot Travis, that the fight continued to the end. There’s a problem with that scenario. How was Travis stationary long enough to leave the first two blood pools if this was self-defense?
Other Jodi Supporters would say that the “foot photo” is Jodi going to Travis’ aid, so that explains the first blood pool and the second blood pool by the linen closet door. The first blood pool is from Travis shortly after he’s shot and he is down by the toilet room door. The second blood pool happens by the sink and the linen closet as Jodi is assisting him. There’s no time to call 911. This is when the “foot photo” is taken, in my opinion.
The blood over the shoulder could all be from the gunshot to the head, or Alexander could have suffered stab wounds at the time this photo was snapped.
State Supporters believe that Jodi Arias shot or stabbed Travis Alexander in the shower, possibly causing the ceiling photo, shortly after the beginning of the stabbing or shooting. Alternatively, Travis could have crawled out of the shower as Jodi possibly stepped or jumped back suddenly, which could also have resulted in the taking of the ceiling photo. Travis crawled to the back of the bathroom and you have the first blood pool.
Yet another theory is that all, or nearly all, of the 28 knife wounds could have been done in the shower, the back and the head wounds could have been done as Alexander moved and bent his head in efforts to protect himself.
The baseboard photo drives me crazy. What exactly are we looking at??? Is this Travis’ back and shoulders or is this some kind of reflection?
I think what happened is this: Jodi put the camera down by the linen closet more or less against the wall. The camera was upside-down as described in the trial. Arias either dropped the camera, kicked it, or stepped on it, to snap the photo. The camera may have been oriented like this:
Some how the camera got kicked or moved, and it spun 130 degrees or so to give this angle:
This takes the next shot, which is the “baseboard photo. The object appears to be closer to the camera and further away from the opposite wall. This coincides with the blood evidence indicating Arias dragged Alexander up the left side of the hallway, then cut over to the right to deposit him in the shower stall.
At trial, Jodi Arias did confirm that this was Travis being dragged back to the shower.Many theories have been put forward as to what we are seeing, and how this photo could be snapped as we are seeing Travis seemingly do a sit-up. His head does not appear to be tilted back, as would be expected.
If this websleuth is correct, there must have been three people present, because who is left to step on or kick the upside-down camera to snap this photo?
Here Travis is about 12 feet tall, though ………. LOL. It’s the best theory I have seen. She could have stopped dragging him and picked him up, as pictured, to adjust him to one side or the other. Well, it only creates more questions. 🙂
This diagram depicts the Defense / Jodi Arias’ version of events. Jodi got the gun from the top shelf in the closet and she runs to the center of the bathroom, turns around and fires at Travis as he emerges from the bathroom. They both collapse together near the scales. This version fails to account for the blood spatter and the blood pool near the toilet room door. Somehow Travis needs to get near the toilet room and leave the blood pool and blood spatter, before he continues on to the sink. It’s a little illogical under the gun first theory, to be in pain and to have an emergency and then to criss cross back and forth in the bathroom.
The next diagram shows A) The Prosecution version of Travis’ movements in the bathroom, and B) the Defense’s version of Travis’ movements. The red “X’s” are about where Travis was shot in each version. Here, in the defense version, Travis needs to get over by the toilet room somehow, and then C) the rest of the scenario is the same for both. Travis gets to his feet and goes to the sink. He falls or collapses to the floor by the linen closet, Jodi returns to the room or goes to assist Travis, kicks or steps on the camera, and the “foot photo” is taken. Then the struggle continues down to the end of the hallway.
Travis went to the mirror as Jodi left the room to get a knife. When she returns, Travis is on his back. Maybe this is when the “foot photo” is snapped.
I suppose the two different accounts converge at the sink, as Jodi Supporters believe that Travis and Jodi then become involved in a deadly life or death struggle all the way down the bathroom hallway until Jodi is forced to cut Travis’ throat open as he was still coming at her. I suppose here Jodi is walking backwards trying to get away from Travis and fend him off with the knife?
Many State Supporters believe that Jodi came back with a knife and started stabbing him. At some point, Travis turned around and started heading down the hallway with Jodi Arias stabbing at him from behind. He collapses at the end of the hallway and she cuts his throat to make sure he’s dead.
So, as far as self-defense, you could go with the constant attack theory, where Travis never stops attacking once he lunges out of the shower and pounces. There are problems with that as there are two blood pools on the bathroom floor, showing that Travis was stationary for a significant amount of time bleeding. You will also have a tough time explaining how Travis, constantly attacking, stops to get up to the sink and the mirror.
The second alternative is the attack – rescue – attack scenario, where Jodi Arias shoots Travis, then comes to his aid, to account for the 2 blood pools and for Travis being able to get to the sink and mirror. They again become locked in a deadly struggle with Travis coming at Jodi relentlessly as Jodi backs up, I guess, with the butcher knife and she’s forced to keep stabbing him. I suppose at this point, since more than half the knife wounds are to the back, that they are both going backwards towards the bedroom? There are a few problems with this scenario, also, in order for it to work.
Show me exactly how this could work?
Nine of the fifteen back stabs are a pattern or cluster of nine stabs to the upper right back. It is theorized that these wounds had to be made when Travis was stationary. Some Jodi supporters believe Travis and Jodi were face to face either standing or with Travis lying on top of Jodi when Jodi reaches around Travis’ right shoulder to stab him in the back in self-defense nine times. The angle of the stab wounds would still be the same from that direction.
The stabs to the front of Travis’ body are deliberate and deep as Travis tries to fend Jodi off with his hands. The stabs to the back of Travis’ body, other than the ‘cluster of nine’ seem to be wild and chaotic stabs. This makes me believe that the front stabs came first, the five back stabs were more desperate and in motion.
The cluster of nine remains a mystery. I think either they happened by the linen closet and were an effort to get Travis to turn over on his back after he turned his back to her in self-defense, or they happened at the bedroom end off the hallway, as Travis was lying there, in an effort to determine if he was dead or not. This is just my opinion.
Jodi supporters who want to claim self-defense, first must choose between the constant attack model, or the attack – rescue – attack model. Then, even with the second model, a reasonable version has to fit the time frame (62 seconds until the “foot photo”). It must also fit the crime scene and autopsy evidence in order to be a believable scenario.
Also, why didn’t Jodi call 911 if she shot Travis accidentally? Was it because she had 3 cans of gas in her trunk or was it because she would need to produce the gun? Was it because Travis would tell his story? Maybe it was because her phone was dead?
It soon becomes pretty clear that the murder theory is much easier to explain than the self-defense theory. But even these rather tricky explanations are not so bad, except for the fact of all the other tricky explanations that have to be made to account for all the other improbable things that had to happen even before Jodi Arias gets to Mesa. :-p
So, if Jodi Supporters were going to place their bets on the autopsy and the crime scene forensics, this doesn’t seem to play out too well for them, either. The autopsy shows very forceful stabbings with deep penetration all in a more or less horizontal position to the front of the body, and the cluster of nine stabs (by a left handed person), most at the same angle, and then 5 chaotic knife wounds. Not the best information to derive a self-defense out of.
Then, remember, they also have to make the overall time frame fit. Because there are only 2 minutes and 18 seconds (the time from the ceiling pic to the foot pic) for Travis to throw Jodi to the floor, for Jodi to roll away and run down the hall, for Travis to chase her, for Jodi to get the gun and shoot Travis, for Travis to yell “F*cking kill you, b*tch”, and everything else up until the foot photo.
The crime scene shows that the deceased was stationary and on his back in one photo, was not moving on his own in another photo, and he had to be stationary for a while in at least two different times and places in the bathroom. Further, the deceased was stationary for the cluster of nine stab wounds. The deceased did have the space to get up and go to the sink / mirror. Finally it appears as if Travis was trying to get out of the bathroom when he fell and hit the floor. You could come up with a scenario where Travis is attacking Jodi up until the point where Jodi gains the upper hand and then she just keeps going under the effects of adrenaline until he’s dead, but that’s a tricky scenario.
The time frame for the defense is very tight. The deceased, by necessity and in order to fit the evidence, must criss cross around the bathroom in the defenses’ scenario. It seems as if Jodi Arias had many opportunities to get away from Travis if he was attacking her. Remember, he was naked, so he wasn’t going to go out of the bedroom, or out of the house, at the least. Then, you have to explain why it seems that Travis, rather then Jodi, is the one trying to escape from the bathroom?
The “rainbow” blood smear at the bedroom end of the hallway
– Travis received the nine stab wounds to the back most likely when he was stationary.
– Travis was stationary in at least two different places at two different times.
– Travis was most likely trying to exit the bathroom
– There are 5 chaotic wounds to Travis’ back
– There are some forceful wounds to Travis’ front as he tries to defend himself
– Travis was on his back and seemingly defenseless when Jodi Arias was standing in front of him with her back towards an exit. Could she have exited the bathroom at that time?
With Jodi Arias’ / Defense version, how does Jodi Arias account for the blood spatter on the toilet room door jamb? That spatter goes all the way back to the base of the toilet. Was Travis Alexander being Assisted by Jodi Arias after she shot him accidentally and he was bleeding profusely, or was he still attacking her? If he was still attacking her, then why is he staying in one place? If she was assisting him, then why didn’t she call 911? It’s a real conundrum.
Now is the time for those who feel this was less than 1st degree premeditated murder to chime in. How will Jodi’s defense answer for these things in a new trial.? Well, Travis was a pedophile? Do you think that argument will carry the day?
All of this information makes a self-defense theory highly problematic unless we are getting into the realm of the Matrix or something of that nature. My recommendation would be to not go with the self-defense theory in a new trial, it’s just not viable. A heat of passion homicide would probably be the best defense, in my opinion, but then you would still have to beat all that circumstantial evidence of premeditation to the satisfaction of all twelve jury members.
That’s a tough row to hoe, as demonstrated by parts one and two of this series.