The State’s Two Theories

Theory 1. She initiated the plan to kill him at least one week prior.

Theory 2. She decided to kill him moments before she attacked him.

Theory 1
Jodi’s Week-Long Murder Plan
1. Steal a gun from grandfather’s house but make it look like a burglary.
2. Rent a car 90 miles from home so as not to be recognized while renting a car for a covert mission.
3. Borrow gas cans from Darryl in order to avoid buying gas in Arizona, thereby leaving no trail.
4. Before driving to Mesa call Ryan.
5. Turn cell phone off while in Arizona to hide route.
6. Upon arrival at Travis’ house, remove license plates so the car cannot be identified.
7. Kill Travis.
8. Replace rear license plate before leaving.
9. Drive to Ryan’s in Salt Lake City to establish an alibi.
10. If suspected, just deny being there.

Step 1. Steal grandfather’s .25 caliber gun.

Reasonable explanation: Someone else burglarized Grandpa’s house.

  • Yreka police never charged Jodi with stealing the gun or anything else because there was absolutely no evidence.
  • In 2008, small town Yreka had less than 3500 households total. They also had 49 burglaries that year (i.e., averaging almost one per week). To imply that just because her grandfather’s house was burglarized, Jodi obviously did it, is preposterous. Source:
  • .25-caliber guns (often called ‘Saturday Night Specials’) are a dime a dozen.
  • Just because Travis never told his fight night, kickboxing, gun-toting buddies that he owned a wimpy little ‘Saturday Night Special’ doesn’t prove that he didn’t own one. “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Perhaps he inherited one from his mother who died in 2005 and was known to have acted out in a rage, emptying a gun into her husband’s car.
  • If Jodi went to the trouble of stealing a gun and planned to kill Travis with a gun, why did she supposedly (according to the State) first use a knife on a man who with one swift reaction could have seriously harmed her?
  • The gun stolen was loaded with hollow-point bullets while the bullet removed from Travis was round-point. Why, in her master murder plan to kill Travis, would Jodi take the time and effort to change out the bullet type for one less powerful?

State’s explanation: Stage it to look like a burglary, with additional items taken.

  • Why stage it as a burglary such that the police are immediately called and a record is created? Why not just “borrow” it and just never return it? It might not be discovered missing for months and, even if it was soon discovered missing, it probably wouldn’t be known exactly when it went missing.

Step 2. Rent car 90 miles from home.

Reasonable explanation: Cheaper than in small town Yreka (as per Jodi’s sworn testimony).

State’s explanation: To hide a covert mission.

  • Then why did she have a family friend drive her to the rental agency and one of her siblings pick her up upon her return? Did she tell her friends and family not to tell anyone what they were doing? Were they also in on the plot?
  • Jodi used her own personal identification and credit card to rent the car. How is that hiding anything?
  • Why draw attention to herself by quibbling over the color?
  • And why visit friends in the rental car if its purpose was to travel in a car not connected with her?

Step 3. Borrow gas cans from ex-boyfriend Darryl.

Reasonable explanation: She and Darryl had often taken extra gas cans on trips into unknown parts, such as the Nevada or Utah desert (as per Darryl’s testimony).

State’s explanation: Borrowed gas cans so as to not have to buy gas in Arizona on her covert mission to kill Travis.

  • Why borrow gas cans from someone who would later mention them, should he ever be questioned? Which he was. Why not buy gas cans with cash in no-man’s land or in some large store where she’d be just one of many customers?
  • Why does she make cell phone calls in Arizona heading north from Kingman toward Hoover Dam, thus negating the reason for supposedly borrowing the gas cans?
  • Why does she fill the cans in Salt Lake City, after the fact, if their purpose was to hide her trip into Arizona? Was she also hiding her trip from her supposed alibi back home to Yreka?

Step 4. Call Ryan to let him know she’s on her way.

Reasonable explanation: At that point, she was intending to begin her drive up to Salt Lake City.

State’s explanation: Actually, the State never explained why someone intending to commit a murder would make a point of destroying their own alibi.

Step 5. Turn off cell phone while in Arizona.

Reasonable explanation: Save the battery for emergencies since the charger couldn’t immediately be located – per Jodi’s sworn testimony. (She later found the charger under the seat.)

State’s explanation: To hide her travels in Arizona.

  • Again, then why make cell phone calls while still in Arizona?

Step 6. Upon arrival at Travis’ house remove license plates.

Reasonable explanation: The fact that the front plate was missing and the rear plate was upside down was most likely the work of teenage pranksters (as per Jodi’s sworn recollection of the prior day’s events in California.)

State’s explanation: To make the car unidentifiable while parked at Travis’.

  • Wouldn’t it be infinitely easier to just drape something over it?
  • Or park down the street while she did the dastardly deed?
  • Wouldn’t a missing plate draw even more attention to the car?

Step 7. Kill Travis

  • So why didn’t she kill him upon arrival at 4 am? She’s already going to be late getting to her so-called alibi by at least five hours. (Ryan was by now expecting her between 9 am and noon that morning based on her call the previous evening and she’s still now 10 hours away.)
  • Or why didn’t she shoot him (or quietly slit his throat) during the night when he was sleeping? Why wait until he’s fully awake with the capacity to then kill her instead?
  • Why have sex with him and leave her presence all over the crime scene?
  • And why have him take time-stamped photos of her and then not think to take the camera with her? Wouldn’t she be thinking while those photos were being taken, “Gee, I’d better take that camera, or at least the memory card, with me”? Instead, the State wants us to believe that someone who is very familiar with cameras was actually thinking, in her plan to soon murder him, “Gee, I’d better be sure to put the camera in the washing machine before I leave.”

Step 8. Re-install back license plate before leaving.
Reasonable explanation: She didn’t mess with the plates and it was most likely teenage pranksters who skateboarded away from her car as she came out of a Pasadena Starbucks the night before.

State’s explanation: This is where the State says she put the plate on upside down. Really???

  • She truly wouldn’t have noticed that the plate was upside down while screwing in the tiny fasteners?
  • She wouldn’t have seen the word “California”, in bright red letters, staring at her upside down?
  • And wouldn’t it be more possible for someone to notice her squatting behind the car thus drawing even greater attention to her presence? Certainly more likely than anyone noticing and remembering a license plate.

Step 9. Drive to Ryan’s in Salt Lake City to establish an alibi.

  • Ryan Burns testified that Jodi called him between 8 pm and 9 pm on June 3rd, the day before the killing (from Pasadena) to tell him she was on her way. Why tell him that if she’s already planning a six hour trip to Mesa and then another 10 hour trip to Salt Lake City? What kind of alibi is that??
  • And how would ultimately arriving 24 hours later than expected establish an alibi? Why not just call Ryan when the deed was done, tell him a lie and go home? He’s certainly no longer an alibi.

Step 10. If questioned by police, first deny being there and if that doesn’t work, tell them some other people did it.

  • There are those who say that this is such a dumb plan because “Jodi is dumb.”
  • On the other hand, they also say that she is so “cagey” that she fooled three psychology experts with more than 90 combined years of experience.
  • So which is it? If she’s so cagey how did she manage to devise the least coherent murder plan in criminal history, one that was sure to get her caught?
  • Those who had already decided she was guilty want it both ways, even if it is contradictory, as long as it fits into their theory, conceived in confirmation bias.

Reasonable Doubt

Theory 2
Heat of the Moment Premeditation

In this theory (in case Theory 1 didn’t fly with the jury), the State contends she snapped moments before attacking him, out of some pure female rage and jealousy (the scorned woman motive, also possibly known as something straight out of the movie, “Fatal Attraction”) because he wanted to break off the relationship and she didn’t (even though she was the one who moved a thousand miles away to get on with her life).

According to the State, she begins stabbing him while he’s in the shower, apparently holding the camera in one hand and the knife in the other and somehow also squirreling away the gun. (The State denies she dropped the camera even though it obviously ended up on the floor.)

The State contends Jodi then allowed Travis to exit the shower where he turned his back on his attacker and went to the sink where upon Jodi commenced stabbing him in the back nine times while he just stood there turning the faucet on and off (see Detective Flores’ Supplemental Report, Page 9). This is a 190 pound man who brags about his muscles and has such an interest in fighting sports that he has a punching bag in his house. According to his own words on MySpace:

“Do I work out you ask? Well I’d like to be modest but can you say triathlete, and if you can’t say that well simply say 16 1/2 inch biceps. If I look familiar you are probably an avid reader of GQ or Mens Health.”

If this man with 16-1/2 biceps was defending himself, why didn’t he just knock this little woman silly after the first stab? How about the second or third? He obviously had the strength to make it from the shower to the sink (according to the State) and at least down the hallway to the bedroom (according to the blood evidence) but didn’t have what it takes to stop a so-called attack and leave even a mark on his so-called attacker? One swift kick or punch should have ended it all. And who, while being attacked, would pause at the sink in the middle of the violence? Only the attacker has that option. The only reasonable explanation is that through most of that time, when not standing at the sink, he was pursuing her and she was running away. It is also the only reasonable explanation why Jodi managed to end up with very few injuries during this violent two-minute battle against a man who prided himself on his strength and fight abilities: she was running away from the violence most of the time and when he finally did reach her she had the advantage of holding a knife (the great equalizer). One might want to say at this point, well, why didn’t she just run out the door. We can’t be inside her head at this point. This is a violent attack by the man she loves and maybe she thinks she can calm him down. Or maybe she thinks the violence is over when he stops at the sink. We cannot convict people because they didn’t do exactly what we think we would have done, even though we’ve never been in that situation, in the midst of being attacked by a loved one. Any one of the above mentioned thought processes is feasible and she deserves (as we all do) the benefit of the doubt.

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