PHOENIX – It’s a trial that is being broadcast live across the nation — dissected and debated on a nightly basis. The murder trial of Jodi Arias is riddled with sex, violence and deceit.
But we’re giving you an exclusive look behind bars — where Jodi is defined in a very different way.
She personally gave us a look into her interests, and let the women she’s lived with in jail for the past four years tell part of her story.
Through contacts, I was able to gain access to Estrella Jail where Jodi is housed, and to her cell. She didn’t know I was coming, and at first, she wasn’t happy to see me at all. But she eventually warmed up a bit.
We spoke together for quite some time.
Because of her impending case, and the advice of her attorneys, she didn’t want to appear on camera. I agreed, and I promised her not to reveal some of the things we talked about.
But I also told her I was going to show our viewers how she is living.
While in jail, something interesting happened. All of Jodi’s pod mates held up handwritten notes they created on the spot that read “Free Jodi.”
They stood in a line of solidarity, and I soon learned that these troubled women were circling their wagons around a friend — maybe in these circumstances — more of a surrogate family member.
“She comes in here with a smile on her face. But I know she’s hurting inside. But she can’t show that to us because if she comes in here hurting, we’re all going to be what’s wrong. And she’d have to talk about it. And tell you what, if I was on trial for two weeks I wouldn’t want to talk about it. I’d put on a fake smile and tell everybody I was perfectly fine. But she’s not, she’s hurting inside and there’s nothing she can do about that,” said Jenna Bounds, Jodi Arias’ podmate.
Because of the nature of her charges, Jodi is being kept in one of the higher security units here, where detention officers can keep a close watch on her.
“She may feel she has nothing to lose, so we just keep an eye on all of ‘em,” a detention officer told me.
Jodi told me one of the ways she occupies herself in jail is with her art. She showed me some of her drawings and paintings, landscapes and portraits.
But maybe some of the most vivid portraits were of Jodi herself, and they were created inside these concrete walls by those who say they now know her best.
“She has the biggest heart in the world. A lot of people don’t think it, but she does, she has an incredible heart.”
“She really needs your prayers right now. She would do anything to help us girls in here and we just love her very much,” says Sara Wardana.
“The roles could be reversed, in Jodi’s case, you know. He could be the one on trial for her. You know what I mean? It could be reversed. People don’t even think about that. That she is here because she was protecting herself,” says Bounds.
That’s an argument Jodi is betting her life on.
The defense begins its case in front of the jury on the 29th.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .