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The Guys You'll Meet on Earth, But Not in Heaven: Bad Girls

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The sad, strange case of Jodi Arias.

Yes, I know this column is supposed to be about bad guys, but every now and then some girls are clearly bad enough to merit inclusion. In the past Sarah Palin and Casey Anthony have made the grade- or should I say, descended to the grade- and now lately it's been hard to avoid just how bad Jodi Arias has been. Her life has become one continuing soap opera examined daily by the National Inquirer and Dr. Drew. She has been accused of murdering her boyfriend back in June of 2008, and the jury has yet to speak, but she has told one lie after another about the murder which by itself has convinced most of us that --She's Bad! 

When her boyfriend, Travis Alexander was found dead in his bathroom in 2008, Jodi Arias first said she knew nothing about it. Then she changed her story and reported that, actually, she had been there when masked killers came in and killed him while allowing her to escape. But, with all kinds of evidence building up against her she finally explained that ---yes, she did kill him, but in self defense. This meant that it was she alone who stabbed him 29 times, shot him in the head and slashed his throat from one ear to the other.

Usually, when someone commits this type of lying and violence, they have a long pattern of such behaviors and we do not see the normal feelings of sadness and guilt concerning their behaviors. For example, one of the most advertised bad girls in recent history, Aileen Wuornos, was so bad that her life was portrayed in a popular movie, Monster.

Ms. Wuornos described herself as a "hitchhiking prostitute" who murdered 7 men from 1989 to 1990. She was quoted as saying that she "seriously hated human life and would kill again." She was eventually executed in 2002, and on the day before the execution she was asked her feelings about having killed 7 human beings. Her response was: "Oh well."

Now, this lack of guilt and appropriate sadness about her actions we see commonly in people who are sociopathic, otherwise known as having Anti-Social Personality Disorder. They also classically have no regard for what is right or wrong, persistently lie, use charm to manipulate and impulsively intimidate and hurt others. There is no doubt that Aileen Wuornos was a sociopath, and this became even worse as her thinking became illogical.

But, when we look at the 32-year life of Jodi Arias, we do not see anything like this prior to her relationship with Travis Alexander. Apparently, she dropped out of high school but then found jobs, had several relationships and had no legal problems. 

It appears that something life-changing occurred when she met Travis Alexander in 2006. Travis was a practicing Mormon, and 2 months after she met him Jodi converted to Mormonism at the Church of Latter Day Saints. Clearly, she was taken with him, and talked to others about her desires to be with him and have a life with him. History tells us they were a couple for 5 months in 2007. But, even after breaking up, they continued to see each other and, according to Jodi Arias, continued to have sex. Records show that they shared over 82,000 email messages from 2006 to June of 2008, when she now says she murdered him in self defense. 

Clearly, a significant  attraction continued long after their formal break-up. She apparently told friends that she didn't know how she could handle not being with Travis, and as their relationship ebbed there were accusations that she had slashed his tires. 

And then a .25 caliber gun went missing from her family a week before the murder, and then Travis went missing from his job and friends on June 4, 2008, and was found with a .25 caliber bullet in his forehead. Jodi Arias now says they had sex during their last meeting on the 4th before the end came.

Clearly, Travis Alexander meant something very special to Jodi Arias and no doubt she felt that at times she was special to him. Hey, 82,000 emails! Is that equivalent to living together? 

So what do we have here? From the history, it doesn't look like Jodi Arias was a bad girl who did bad things until this relationship started. It doesn't look like she was sociopathic or anything abnormal. But then in the last days and moments of this relationship, Jodi Arias not only tells consecutive lies about what happened, but gruesomely ends the life of someone she cared for. And if it was self-defense as she explains, why didn't she call the police immediately and report how she saved herself from danger?

Why? Why? Why? What can change a person and and cause disaster? Well, normally the answer to this is --- "It's the relationship, stupid!" But, in this case the relationship turns out to be a fatal one, otherwise known as a "Fatal Attraction." And, regardless of what the jury decides about Jodi Arias, it was a Fatal Attraction for her boyfriend.

 


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