The Disturbing Evidence That Ultimately Led To Jodi Arias' Conviction

Arizona salesman and motivational speaker Travis Alexander was found dead at his home in June 2008, the victim of a murder that shocked America. The 30-year-old had been attacked while taking a shower, and the crime scene was horrendous. He had been stabbed 27 times and shot in the head before his throat was cut. He was discovered by friends who grew concerned after he became uncontactable. Upon encountering the bloody scene, the friends called the police, and those close to Alexander reportedly already had a suspect's name on their lips: Jodi Arias. 

Aspiring photographer Arias and Alexander had met at a conference in 2006. The pair hit it off immediately, with the latter, who practiced Mormonism, convincing Arias to read "The Book of Mormon." Alexander broke his vow of premarital celibacy, and the whirlwind relationship quickly grew strained due to Arias' erratic behavior, which grew more violent after their breakup. "Don't be surprised if you find me dead one day," Alexander reportedly told friends (via People). Here is the evidence that got Arias convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in April 2015.

The camera

Investigators first tied Jodi Arias to the Travis Alexander murder scene through a bloody handprint discovered outside his bedroom. But perhaps the most chilling evidence in the case was the discovery of a digital camera, which was found in a washing machine in the basement of the victim's home. The camera, which Alexander had just recently bought, was examined by experts who were able to retrieve a cache of photographs that the device's last user had attempted to delete permanently.

The retrieved images included sexually suggestive photographs of Alexander and Jodi Arias together, as well as images of Alexander in the shower just moments before he died. Even more disturbingly, the camera also contained images of Alexander after he had been attacked. One photo showed what was later determined to be Arias' foot, while in another image Alexander's lifeless body appeared to be being dragged across the bathroom floor. These photographs were later shown to the jury during Arias' murder trial.

The gun

The range of injuries that Travis Alexander suffered at the hands of his ex-girlfriend was especially chilling. The judge in Jodi Arias' murder trial noted that a gun and at least one knife had been used in the slaying, which occurred when the victim was naked and defenseless. The prosecution argued that the handgun used in the shooting of Alexander was a .25 caliber, the same type that had been stolen from Arias' grandparents' home just days earlier. Though the murder weapon was never found, it is believed that Arias staged a burglary at the house by stealing other small items to cover for the loss of the weapon, which she used to ensure her ex-boyfriend was fatally injured from her attack.

During the trial, Arias claimed that she found the gun in Alexander's residence and used it to defend herself. Yet under cross-examination she was forced to admit that she had previously testified that she believed it was unloaded, raising the question of why she thought she could defend herself with it. "I don't even know what a .25 looks like," Arias testified. However, the jury deemed that the attack on Alexander was indeed premeditated and that she was guilty of first-degree murder.

Changing Testimony

Throughout the investigation into the murder of Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias managed to incriminate herself time and again with inconsistent stories that she concocted in an ill-fated attempt to hide her guilt. The killer had first told investigators that she was in no way involved in Alexander's murder, and that she was not in town at the time. But as evidence emerged that placed her at the scene, she overhauled her story dramatically. In a bizarre twist, she later claimed to have been at the murder scene — but that she wasn't the one who attacked her ex-boyfriend. Arias stated that she had been at the house with Alexander when the property was invaded by a pair of masked intruders, who murdered him while she managed to escape. Of course, this explanation begs more questions, including why she did not report the murder herself.

By the time of her trial, her defense claimed that she had indeed killed Alexander, but had done so in self-defense after he grew aggressive. Despite all evidence to the contrary, her team attempted to convince the jury that there was no premeditation to the slaying, a crucial aspect of the case as the penalty for first-degree murder is life imprisonment or death. In the case of second-degree murder, the convict might one day be released. The jury did not believe her.

Jodi Arias remains behind bars in Perryville state women's prison in Goodyear, Arizona, where she reportedly works in the prison library. She will not be released under the current legal framework.