Excerpts from emails sent to Travis by his good friend, Sky Hughes:
Know that I would love to see you marry Jodi, but just because you have never seen her cry, doesn’t mean she hasn’t been crying. SHE LOVES YOU, so much that she is afraid that bringing up anything that is bothering her or letting you know she doesn’t think you are ‘perfect’ would ruin all chances to be with you.
She was being treated horribly, you weren’t beating her physically, but you were emotionally. Travis, with love, you are a heart predator. You take great joy in making women fall for the T-dogg. You laugh about what you can get away with. It would scare me to death if my little sister liked you, in fact I wouldn’t allow it.
Women are fragile, and you have shattered a lot of them.
When she told me what you were saying, I did say, “That isn’t right. It’s abusive. He is not nice to girls. He is mean, and if he is talking to you like this now, it would be worse when you get married, and you have kids to think about”.
Source: Travis/Hughes email exchange, Jan ’07
Another email from Sky Hughes says that Travis considered Jodi to be a “booty call”. And one from a different woman, Lisa Andrews, whom Travis was seeing at the same time he was seeing Jodi, complains of him making her feel used and dirty. Lisa Andrews also testified to Travis cheating on her as well as his displays of disrespect for her and for her feelings.
Desiree Freeman (another of Travis’ friends) testified she was on a road trip to Havasupai, Arizona with Jodi, Travis and Desiree’s brother Daniel when at one point during the trip Jodi got out of the car to take photos. When she tried to get back in the car, Travis kept pretending to drive off. When she finally got in the car, Jodi said she didn’t appreciate his joke, and Desiree says Travis reacted in a very shocking way. Desiree said she couldn’t remember exactly what he said, but it wasn’t what he said that was “over the top”, it was the way he said it. Desiree said Jodi did not react but she just stared out the window of the car after Travis got mad. Of course there are many who would not consider this behavior abuse, it was just a joke according to them. But a joke is only funny when both parties consider it funny. Entertaining oneself by creating distress in other people is at the very least borderline pathological. And then, to get angry because the butt of your joke doesn’t show appreciation, hints at additional pathology.
Travis was playing “hot and cold” with Jodi, very confusing, as well as abusive, for someone in love.
As documented in emails and text messages, even after they were no longer a couple and Travis (with Jodi’s knowledge and blessing) was dating other women, he displayed anger if Jodi mentioned seeing other men. And then, if she didn’t mention it and he found out, he accused her of lying to him.
Travis liked having and continued having anal sex with Jodi even though she often found it unpleasant. Some want to blame Jodi for going along with this and use that to claim there’s something wrong with Jodi, while, at the same time, claiming Travis was just a “good ol’ red-blooded American male getting whatever he could”.
Travis, in an email exchange with a young woman named Chaitanya Lay, alluded three times to suicide if she wouldn’t come over to have sex with him. (This is also called “manipulative behavior”.)
While the following is not history of abusive behavior it is an indication that Travis even feared how far his anger could escalate and that Jodi had actually witnessed some of that anger. On 10 May 2008, Travis and Jodi had an instant messaging exchange discussing Wayne Dyer, the motivational speaker, and how he was being teased by his daughters about his anger.
Travis: “Yeah, I know, but they’ve seen him at his worst, and I promise my worst is worse. So far.”
Jodi: “I’ve seen your worst. We haven’t walked in his shoes but I take that bet.”
Travis: “Hah, yeah, if I could transmute that fury I couldn’t be stopped. That shiz is scary.”
Jodi: “You’ll master it one day.”
What Constitutes Emotional Abuse
According to HelpGuide.org emotional abuse includes yelling, name-calling, blaming, shaming, isolating and controlling behavior. Here is a small sampling of evidence demonstrating Travis’ abusive behavior toward Jodi:
While visiting with Gus Searcy, Gus witnessed Jodi cringing while listening to Travis on the phone.
Even in his emails and text messages he engaged in long tirades that amounted to yelling.
Where to even begin…whore, slut, 3-hole wonder, skank, bitch, rotten lunatic, laughing stock, corrupted carcass, worthless, sociopath, fucking loser, shit, stupid idiot, imbecile, demented.
BLAMING AND SHAMING:
Travis texted Jodi at 1 am that he had just sent her an email and Jodi didn’t get up to read it and respond (out of consideration for her sleeping grandmother). Travis (next morning): “You couldn’t get off your lazy butt to read it could you. That’s the sociopath I know so well. It freakin figures.” Jodi apparently apologizes, trying to appease him and de-escalate the situation. Travis’ response: “I don’t want your apology I want you to understand what I think of you. I want you [to] understand how evil I think you are. You are the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
Having sex with Jodi but not acknowledging her or their relationship.
Becoming upset if she referred to male friendships.
Using his position in the LDS church to spoon feed her how much sex is supposedly acceptable (based simply on his own sexual appetite).
Demanding that she tear pages out of her journal if they didn’t meet with his approval.
Displaying jealousy (and even being verbally abusive) if Jodi corresponded with other men, even though they were no longer a couple and even though Travis was quite busily “sexting” other women.
For a perfect example of the above behaviors (yelling, name-calling, isolating, blaming, shaming and controlling), read this response by Travis when Jodi dares to communicate with another man.