Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Ariasby Jane Velez-Mitchell
On June 9, 2008, the butchered body of Travis Alexander was found in his Mesa, Arizona home. The grisly nature of his death made instant headlines: with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit, and a gunshot to the head, Travis was left to die. The prime suspect in the case was Alexander's ex-girlfriend, the attractive and soft-spoken Jodi Arias. Though Arias
On June 9, 2008, the butchered body of Travis Alexander was found in his Mesa, Arizona home. The grisly nature of his death made instant headlines: with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit, and a gunshot to the head, Travis was left to die. The prime suspect in the case was Alexander's ex-girlfriend, the attractive and soft-spoken Jodi Arias. Though Arias initially said that she was nowhere near the scene of crime, little about this case was as it seemed, and before long she had been caught lying to police. As the investigation progressed, her lies evolved multiple times before finally resting on an appalling claim: she had killed Travis in self-defense. Along the way, startling details emerged about the Mormon couple's relationship, and soon graphic stories of their lurid sexual encounters and jealousy-driven blowouts revealed a dark side to their life together. These revelations launched a trial filled with sex and deception but also raised substantial questions about Arias's deceit, as people from across the country struggled to understand the bizarre world of Jodi Arias.
Now, award-winning broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a veteran of some of the most storied court cases in recent memory, goes behind the scenes of the trial and into the mind of a killer. Using insider accounts from friends who knew Travis and Jodi, Velez-Mitchell turns her sharply-focused lens on Arias and offers her seasoned perspective on the case's most pressing questions. Separating fact from fiction, she reports on the bizarre and explicit stories that have both shocked and fascinated the American public—from Jodi's romantic history before meeting Travis, to their torrid sex life together, to the complicated role their Mormon faith played in the relationship's demise. With unbridled access to the evidence and the case's key players, Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi's contentious life with those closest to her, examining the paranoid and erratic behavior behind each relationship and illustrating the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making.
Complete with photos from the case and Jane Velez-Mitchell's fresh insights on the crime, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret and sordid life of Jodi Arias.
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Read an Excerpt
By Jane Velez-Mitchell
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2013 Jane Velez-Mitchell
All rights reserved.
p chAptEr 1
dEAd At hoME
on June 9, 2008, at just before 10:30 p.m., officers for the Mesa
Police Department in Mesa, arizona, responded to a 911 call at
11428 East Queensborough avenue. it came from a five-bedroom,
well- maintained Spanish-style house in a quiet residential area of town
where the homes were variations of each other, based on a handful of
tasteful models. The owner of this particular home had been found
dead in the shower of the master bathroom. The caller stated she had
no idea how long he had been there.
“a friend of ours is dead at his home,” the young female voice
told the dispatcher, her words shaking in her throat. “We hadn't
heard from him in a while and came to check on him. We think he is
dead. His roommate went to check on him and said, 'There is blood
responding officers found the man, later identified as thirty-year-
old Travis alexander, crumpled naked and lifeless on the floor of his
shower stall. His body was well into the decomposition process, and
although it was unclear how long he had been there, there was no
doubt it had been at least a couple of days. officers observed large
amounts of blood beyond the shower as well, splattered around the
floor, walls, and sink. Police observed a large laceration to the man's
throat, which appeared to cross from one ear to the other.
a fairly hard-edged town with a violent crime rate above the na-
tional average in pretty much every category, the city of Mesa had seen
its share of disturbing deaths. Twenty-five years earlier, in one of Ma-
ricopa County's most heinous crimes ever, a transient by the name of
robert “Gypsy” Comer had murdered a man he had never met before
at a campground near apache lake, then kidnapped a woman one
campsite over and sexually assaulted her for twenty-four hours. He
had been sentenced to death, and he was executed by lethal injection
in May 2007.
Unlike the apache lake crime, this new Mesa murder did not
have the markings of a random crime, though at this early stage, noth-
ing could be ruled out. Travis owned and occupied the house, but
being single, he liked to rent out bedrooms to friends and roommates
for the income. He currently had two boarders, Enrique Cortez and
Zachary Billings, who told police it had been four or five days since
they had last seen and spoken to him. However, they hadn't suspected
anything was wrong, because he had a trip planned to CancÃ?n; they'd
just assumed he had already left.
it was the planned trip to CancÃ?n that had prompted the search
for Travis in the first place. Unable to reach him, Marie “Mimi” Hall,
the friend Travis was supposed to be traveling with, had become in-
creasingly concerned, especially since they were scheduled to leave
in the morning. That evening, she'd gone to his house, knocked, and
waited in vain. When no one came to the door, she went home and
called her friend Michelle lowery and Michelle's boyfriend, Dallin
Forrest. all three entered the house by using the keypad code at the
garage. Mimi immediately detected a foul odor, something she initially
blamed on Travis's dog, Napoleon. inside, they were surprised to find
Zach and his girlfriend, amanda McBrien, in Zach's bedroom. They
had not heard the doorbell. Now that they knew Travis was missing,
ExposEd / 13
Zach tried to turn the doorknob to his room, discovered it was locked,
and went to retrieve the spare key to the master bedroom suite. as
the door opened, a huge bloodstain could be seen on the carpet at the
entryway to the hall leading to Travis's en suite bathroom. The smell
of death was undeniable. That was when all of them knew the search
was not going to end well.
it was ten minutes to midnight when homicide detective and lead
investigator for the case Esteban Flores arrived at the address. By then
the residence had already been secured with yellow police tape, and
a police guard was in place to monitor the comings and goings in the
The scene in the bathroom was gruesome. By the blood spatter
and smears on the walls, there definitely appeared to have been a
struggle between the victim and the assailant. it was difficult to assess
a cause of death because of the high number of wounds visible across
the victim's upper torso and head. The victim was hunched in a sitting
position on the shower floor. The body looked like it had been rinsed
off in the shower some time after death. a .25-mm bullet casing was
carefully removed from atop caked blood on the floor near the sink,
but the handgun it came from was nowhere to be found. Blood swabs,
fingerprints, and hair samples were collected from the bathroom base-
boards and floor.
Nothing in Travis's bedroom looked particularly out of place.
His well-organized closets and drawers had not been disturbed, and
there was no indication that the room had been entered in any forced
manner. of note, however, sheets and blankets had been stripped
from the bed and removed from the room, although it couldn't be
determined by whom or why. The hallway between the bedroom and
master bathroom had blood smears and one latent bloody palm print,
which would be cut from the wall and analyzed later at the crime lab.
With the preliminary assessment of the crime scene complete,
Detective Flores turned his attention to the friends or housemates
who had been present when the body was discovered—Mimi Hall,
Michelle lowery, Dallin Forrest, Zachary Billings, amanda McBrien,
Enrique Cortez, and Karl Hiatt. after being ruled out as suspects,
they might be able to provide
Excerpted from Exposed by Jane Velez-Mitchell. Copyright © 2013 Jane Velez-Mitchell. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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Meet the Author
Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning television journalist, a bestselling author, and the host of her own show on HLN, Jane Velez-Mitchell, which airs weeknights at 7 P.M. EST. She is frequently in the media as an expert commentator on high-profile court cases, appearing on CNN, HLN, omg! Insider, TRU TV, E!, and other national television programs. She has also served as a guest host for Nancy Grace on her HLN show. In 2010, her HLN show garnered a Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States, her third. Velez-Mitchell has won two others for Celebrity Justice, as well as a Los Angeles Emmy Award and a New York Emmy Award.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Even though I followed the trial of Jodi Arias, this book offered a deeper insight into the lives of Jodi and Travis. Thank you Jane for presenting Travis as a good man, but still a man with sexual desires like most young men. His problem was being deeply involved in a religion forbidding sex before marriage, ( hence, the encouragement of the church to marry young and produce MANY children), and having an attractive woman willing to do anything sexual in order to "win" his devotion. A lot of young men would have considered that a fantasy come true, religious or not. I'm quite sure Jodi was the aggressor and more than willing to hook Travis with the sex he couldn't get from Mormon women. And then she couldnt seem to understand that he couldn't and wouldn't marry a "skank." My feeling is that she showed up at his house that night, uninvited, and hooked him back in with an offer to let him live his fantasy of taking porn photos of her for one last time together. Even though he was so angry at her for what I believe was her blackmail with the recorded phone call, he could not resist another romp with the skank. Travis was a man . He liked sex. He had a willing partner who would do anything. He had no willpower to say "no! Just get out of here!" For that, he was slaughtered. He was just a normal, redblooded man. This book flows very smoothly through the beginning of Jodi and Travis, the sex, the trial, and the opinions of experts of Jodi's mental problems. Beware, some of the book is very real and raw, especially the communication between Jodi and Travis If you followed the trial, you will find some new insights in this book. If you didn't, and just want a great read, I highly recommend reading this one.
It was a good read but there wasn't enough that was new or insightful to make it worth buying the book. I think it would be more suitable for someone who has not watched much of the HLN coverage and wants to see what the fuss is all about! It was fun though I am really fussy about grammar errors and this did have some proofing problems that say it was thrown together too fast!!!
I was one who watched the trail from beginning to end . This book is spot on ! Just read a sample and plan on buying the book. Have already highly recommended it to over 10 people!
I was really disappointed with this book. I love Jane Velez-Mitchell and had high hopes for more information in her book. I, however, watched most of the trial coverage and did not find much new information in the book.
This book was wonderfully written, I am a big fan of Jane's show on HLN so of course I had to buy this book. I was pleasently surprised when I read it and realized just how well written it was. I read the book in just over a day, I just couldn't put it down. I would definately reccommend this book, you will not be disappointed! A++
Exposed is a stunning look inside the mind of a murderer. The details of the crime are vivid. The book is very well researched. It is a true page turner.
If you watched the trial this book doesn't add much new info. It is written well but some facts are wrong. Where Arias rented the car is incorrect and it was an important part of the premeditation arguement. Books regarding true events should be " spot on" with writing the facts.
This book is very well written, much better than I had expected. I highly recommend it.
I watched this trial from beginning to end and will continue to watch every moment until she gets the death penalty! This book everything including a few new things I learned. Highly recommend it as a very factual account written very well. Now I'm starting Shanna Hogans book. We'll see how that one is....I'll write a review for that one when I'm done.
This book is very thorough and well-written. As someone who did not see much of HLN's coverage of the trial, I found it very informative. I also liked the photo section, which includes a few photos of Jodi as a young girl.
I'm commenting on the comments .... sounds like it would be most interesting to those who did not follow along with the trial .. for those who did, there may be some intersting bits.
This was definitely a must read and I liked that it got right to the point of the case of what happened. As this case made headlines news, I didn't follow it day by day, however, I remembered it on TV in 2008 along with the many things going on in my life at the time. This case jade national headlines and this book covered the story beautifully as it touched on all of the relevant facts of the case. I'm looking forward to reading the new soya of this case called "Conviction" which was released February 16, 2016.
have not read book but am very interested in buying just Want to know if any portion proceeds of this book will go to Aries the Killer or go to the family of the deceased.?
It was an interesting look at the trial and lives of Travis and Jodi. That being said, the author tends to repeat information throughout the book. The narrative seems rushed and lacking at times and bogged down by unecessary details at others. For example, what Jodi wore to court each day is not relevant to the case; Simply stating she dressed more conservative than usual would have sufficied.
I feel like I really understand the background and trial now.
I've read this book and watched the trial from start to finish. I didn't learn anything new after reading this book. I was very disappointed. I did learn that Jane did everything she could to steal Shanna Hogan's thunder. Shanna Hogan'a book is so much more informative and really does give you an up close and personal insight into the background of Travis and Jodi and their troubled and tragic relationship. Shame on you Jane Velez-Mitchell. Read Shanna Hogan's book, it's so much better.
I, like many, am fascinated by the Jodi Arias case and this book is a detailed, engrossing account of the facts of the case. I hope Arias gets the death penalty for the physical and psychological pain she inflicted on Travis Alexander and his family and friends. May he rest in peace...