By Paula Uruburu, author of American Eve.
Forgive me but I couldn’t resist. I borrowed my title from what was apparently a blog belonging to none other than Jody Arias, circa May 2008, written only a few months before she savagely murdered Travis Alexander, the man she continues to claim she loves? Or loved? I’m not sure which is correct, since her story shifts as often as her tenses — and her eyes while being cross-examined about what happened that terrible day five years ago. Even after finally admitting to having stabbed Alexander 29 times, to having slit his throat from ear to ear, to having shot him in the head, the persona that the former provocatively-dressed-bottle-blonde has adopted — a reinvented, buttoned-up, colorless mousy faux-Mormon martyr in ugly glasses, now claims that virtually all of her actions before, during, and after the butchery of Alexander, were done with his best interests at heart. Really? Does that include depicting him as being an abuser and a pedophile? And now, torturing his family with a story the dead man cannot defend himself against?
It took her several years to get to this point – I have lost count of the number of lies she has told, beginning with “I wasn’t
there” to the ludicrous story of two ninjas (has anyone actually ever seen a ninja outside the movies?)– and because I am not
familiar with the specific tenets of Mormonism, I confess that I am speaking from a more catholic point of view. But let me just
say that if the sin of omission counts, she is well on her way to hell.
The order of actions by which she attacked Travis Alexander in gruesome degrees was the subject of a significant portion of her infuriating yet oddly fascinating testimony on the stand over the last two and a half weeks. One of many questions I have is how a bullet casing could have fallen on top of a dried puddle of blood if she shot him before the stabbing and slicing. But I digress.
I am not a psychiatrist or a lawyer, but I am a student of human nature and criminal behavior, and I know a sociopath when I see one. Put aside for the moment her chameleon-like ability to alter her memory (like her looks) to suit her needs, her constant manipulation of language (she misuses words like edify when she thinks she’s being smart), her lack of empathy and flat affect, her narcissism and pattern of stalking behavior prior to the murder, or her deliberate attempts to cover her tracks after the fact (sending texts to the man she left in his shower to rot). Is there anything more infuriating and insensitive than sending flowers to Travis Alexander’s grandmother? To referring on the stand to his “passing away” when in reality she was the one who butchered him (after making sure he was as vulnerable as possible — without raising his suspicions — virtually assuring that his movements would be constricted by being wet and naked and unsuspecting in a shower stall while she was fully-dressed and armed and on solid footing?)
Below is my sociopath’s checklist. See how many you think apply to Jody Arias:
- Glibness under pressure
- Superficial charm but covertly controlling and hostile to those who challenge that perception.
- Dominates and humiliates her victim (in this case, after the fact, by exposing the “dirty secrets” of sexual behaviors she knows will be looked at as deviant by a large segment of society.)
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- Pathological lying — easily; seems incapable basis. Creates (and can of lies tied to beliefs abilities.
- Lack of remorse, shame or guilt
- Sees others only as targets or opportunities. The end always justifies her means.
- An incapacity for genuine love/incapable of real human compassion
- A need for Stimulation – living on the edge (in this case, again, through forbidden sexual behaviors, stalking, slashing tires, et al). Feels she is unbound by normal social contracts. Her behavior is often irrational and extremely risky.
- Exaggerates qualities and invents stories, often to the point of absurdity — but when she describes actions or events, for some reason, she can sound believable (if you ignore the facts).
- More spontaneous and intense than most other people — tends to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most people wouldn’t do.
- Manipulative in all attempts to be convincing – seeks to dominate others and “win” at all costs. She defends her web
- of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.
- Sees self-serving behavior as absolutely permissible and justifiable.
- Displays shallow emotions – when she shows what seems to be warmth or compassion, it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive.
- Irritated by insignificant matters, yet remains unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person.
- Callousness — unable to empathize with the pain of her victim or his family. Seems unable to feel remorse or guilt
- Poor behavioral controls — falls into an addictive cycle with her victim; stalks and seduces him, playing on his
- Believes she is all-powerful, entitled to every wish, with no sense of personal boundaries and no concern for her impact on others.
- Has problems in making and keeping friends (I have seen a lot of photos of Travis and friends in a variety of social situations; where is the photographic evidence of Jody’s friends and supporters?)
- Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams and is oblivious or indifferent to the devastation she causes.
- Does not accept blame, but instead blames others, even for acts she now admits she committed.
- A parasitic lifestyle – lives off others to feed a vision of herself (even stealing Travis’s own story about having once
- been held at gunpoint)
- Attempted to exercise despotic control over every aspect of her victim’s life
- Contemptuous of those who challenge her (calling prosecutor Martinez!)
- Criminal versatility — changes her image as needed – first to avoid suspicion and now to avoid being found guilty.
- Changes her life story readily and easily.
- Does not perceive that anything is wrong with her
Am I missing any????