Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Premeditation - Article II The rental car and the plate.

Premeditation of a crime involves more than just one action;  it takes many to reduce the factors of means, motive, and opportunity.   For example,  Jodi dyed her hair in order to help to prevent a neighbor from saying "that platinum blonde women was at Travis' house on June 4th."   Instead,  they might say "I saw a brunette but she was wearing a hat and sunglasses,  so I couldn't get a good look at her face."    They might add,  "But she was driving the same car that platinum blonde women drove to his house every day."    Travis'  neighbors knew Jodi's car because it was at his house on almost a daily basis, and his driveway was in plain view of the street.

  Arias admitted  during her arrest interview  the neighbors would have recognized her car because of the frequency it was parked at Travis' home.  However,  she implied that it was not the only one.  She added that there were all kinds of different cars which would show up at his house.

Arias' statement gave some insight as to what she was thinking.  If she took her Infiniti to his house,  the neighbors could have recognized it and told any officer who came knocking at their door.   The presence of the Infiniti could have been the link which caused them to look more in depth at Arias as a suspect.  And,  Arias did not want that.  On the other hand,  a rental car would not draw that much attention because an unfamiliar car was a common experience.

Instead of renting a car,  Arias could have parked her car farther away.  However,  doing so still risked someone who knew her car driving by and recognizing it.  Additionally,  she would have had to give up the benefit of a quick getaway and risk getting spotted on the walk from the house to her car.  Renting an inconspicuous car was the best course of action for Arias to take.

On June 2nd, Jodi rented a car from a facility 90 miles south of her home.  The rental agent was interviewed.  Per his report, Arias called, and they discussed her needs.  She told him she wanted something dependable and requested the car be ready when she arrived.  When Jodi arrived,  the rental agent offered her a red car, and she declined.  He spent more than 15 minutes in a face-to-face discussion with Arias learning about her and discussing her needs. Arias' needs involved a car that was not "loud in color."   Arias ended up renting a white car,  one of the most common colors on the road in 2008.  The white car would have blended in nicely.

"In the U.S., white was the most popular car color for the last eight years, according to Axalta Coating Systems, a supplier of liquid and powder coatings" (2014 article on "Market Watch)
 In 2008,  a red car was not even in the top 5 of most popular cars found on the road.  If Arias rented a red car, she risked it standing out and attracting more attention to herself.  If the goal was to be inconspicuous,  a red car was not the way to go.  However,  a white car would have been the perfect choice.   A white car would not have drawn much attention at Travis' house because it was not an unusual occurrence.  And,  if she were spotted with the car,  the neighbors would have reported seeing  "A brunette woman driving a white car"  and not "That platinum blonde woman in the Infiniti was there again."  A "brunette in a white car" would not immediately cause a need to look further into Arias' life.

Changing her hair color and the type of car she drove reduced those immediate leads which might implicate Arias.  After all,  when she was in Arizona, she was  blonde and drove an Infiniti.  Arias was foolish in thinking  the cops would not have looked further based on those factors.  But,  it was her first crime, so she had little experience other than whatever she saw on TV or the internet.   Even after the steps she took to hide her presence, a link remained which could irrefutably show Arias was in Arizona:  The license plate on the rental car.

The license plate provided a direct link back to Arias.  It was necessary for Arias to remove the license plate before arriving at Travis' house.   However,  removing the license plate meant she had to put it back on, or risk getting pulled over for no plate.

Arias put the plate back on,  but she did so upside down.  On June 5th,  Arias was pulled over for the plate.  Ryan Burns was witness to the incident and helped Jodi put the plate back on the correct way.   If it was not for Ryan Burns witnessing the incident,  it's unlikely the upside down plate would have ever made it to evidence.  When Ryan was interviewed by the police in 2008,  he gave them the information which allowed the investigators to come into contact with the officer who pulled Arias over.

Officer Micheal Galieti was interviewed about the plate incident. He stated he noticed the rear license plate of Arias' car was mounted upside down so he pulled her over.  He remembered stopping Arias because she was the only person he ever pulled over for an upside down license plate.  Galieti stated when he asked Arias why the license plate was upside down  she responded "Oh,  my friend's must be playing a joke on me." The officer gave Arias a warning and instructed her to correct it.  The traffic stop was logged in the traffic report.

In her testimony,  Arias told a different story as to why the license plate was upside down.  She alleged that two days prior to the traffic stop,  she noted an unusual situation involving her plate being removed while at Star Bucks. Arias attributed the alleged Star Bucks incident as the reason her license plate was upside down.  If the Star Buck incident really happened,  Arias would have been aware of the situation when she was pulled over.  She would have had no reason to believe her friends did it if just two days earlier someone removed her front plate.  If Jodi were telling the truth about the reason her plate was upside down,  the details should have remained the same.

Jodi's testimony  was much different than the story officer Galieti stated Arias told him on June 5th.  In her testimony,  Jodi stated she pulled into Star Bucks on June 3rd and noticed some skater kids.  She went inside,  and there was a long wait.  She used the bathroom,  got her order,  and left.  When she was leaving, she noticed the skater kids walking away from the area where her car was, and they were laughing.  She didn't notice any damage. When she started to pull away,   something shiny sitting up on the curb caught her eye.  She got out,  discovered it was her front plate,  picked it up,  and tossed it back in her car.

Jodi's story is not reasonable for a few reasons.  If Star Bucks was so busy,  why didn't anyone notice the kids messing with the cars?  Unless she parked on the other side of the lot,  the only place Jodi could have parked where there was a curb in front of her car was along the side with the  shrubbery.  This area is in direct view of people coming in and out of Star Bucks.

Of all the cars in the parking lot which could be more easily vandalized without being caught,  why would trouble makers pick one in direct view of the Star Bucks door?  Doing so would have risked the chances they would get caught.  The area was quite busy, and there were other areas and lots which provided the opportunity to vandalize without the risk of getting caught.

And,  with all the other cars which they could have vandalized,  why would the trouble makers take the time to remove her front plate after screwing with the rear?  In order to remove the front plate,  the trouble makers would have had to squeeze in the area between the shrubs and the front of her car to get to the plate.   It would have been a lot easier to have a second victim then to turn both plates on the same car.

Arias' story of pulling out and noticing the shiny object in front of her is possible,  but not probable.  If Arias was pulling out of a parking spot,  reason says she was looking behind her.  The majority of those parking spots which fit her story require a person to turn after backing up.

If Arias turned,  the curb would no longer be in front of her and the headlights would not have made the license plate on the curbs shine and get her attention.

For Jodi's story to be true, multiple coincidences had to occur.   Jodi would have had to park in one of the parking spots which permitted her to back up into one of the aisles.  She would have had to decided to pull straight back even though it meant she was facing the wrong way to leave.  Her car had to be the one the skaters decided to target even though she just got there.   The skaters would have had to decide to ignore the fact all the people coming in and out of the Star Bucks door would see them when they picked their target.  Even though they already messed with her back plate which was easy to access, the skaters would have had to decide to mess with her hard to get to front plate as well.  Even though the Star Bucks was very busy,  the door gave a direct view of the cars, the people coming and going just didn't see the trouble making teens messing with Jodi's car. Even though the plate incident occurred two days before she was pulled over for her upside down plate,  Jodi failed to put two and two together until a couple of years later.  Or,  even though it was the only time in his entire career Galieti pulled over someone for an upside down plate,  he was mistaken as to the reason Jodi told him it was upside down.  She really said it was skaters.

While possible to happen,  Jodi's story is improbable.  It does not fit the realm of reasonable doubt.  A more reasonable story is Jodi removed the plate herself in order to remove any possible link which would show she was in Arizona.   The only thing supporting Jodi's version are the words coming out of her mouth.  And,  given the amount of times Jodi lied,  she needed more then her credibility to support her story.  In fact,  Jodi was a self-described liar before she murdered Travis Alexander. She admitted to it during the G-chat.
"I may be a whore, I may be a liar...."

A More Probable Theory
The more likely scenario supports the claim of premeditation.

Jodi removed the plates prior to getting to Travis' house.   It was just one of many things she did to hide her presence in Arizona.  When she put the plates back on,  it was under the veil of darkness and she made a mistake.  She put it on upside down and did not realize it until she was pulled over in Utah.  Jodi had to quickly think up an excuse and used the "my friends played a joke on me."  She did not use the "skaters did it two days ago"  because the skater incident never happened.

Jodi and some of her supporters are confused as to the meaning of reasonable doubt.  They seem to believe that possible is equivalent to probable.  The factor remains that it is only Jodi's words which support her improbable story about the plate.  And,  the plate,  the rental car,  and the hair color change evidence will always exist and be used to demonstrate guilt.  If she were ever given another trial,  the fact would remain that the only thing which supports Jodi's version of the car, plate, and her hair,  are Jodi's words.

"I may be a whore, I may be a liar...."  -- Jodi Arias


  1. Again...........A+ reading !!!

  2. Good reading, but the typos...!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. We enjoy reading your insightful and fact based articles. I have missed them this past month. Thank you.
      possible error in 7th paragraph where it should read; After all, when she was in Arizona, she was blonde (not is in your sentence erroneously).

    2. We enjoy reading your insightful and fact based articles. I have missed them this past month. Thank you.
      possible error in 7th paragraph where it should read; After all, when she was in Arizona, she was blonde (not is in your sentence erroneously).

    3. A big gigantic fat THANK YOU! :) I am prone to make typos in my articles and it is so helpful when someone says "hey, look". I really do appreciate the help.

  4. This is an interesting theory. I always believed that Arias put the license plate on upside down herself. After all, what better 'proof' could one have about not being in Arizona than being pulled over by a cop in another state.

    1. I hadn't thought about that, but it would match her MO of using the police to create official records to support her story.
      IE - "I didn't have the means" (Robbery report created to "officially" remove the gun
      "I didn't have the opportunity" (Traffic stop created to "officially" show that she was in Utah on June 5th.)

  5. Awesome Deborah as always. Too many people forget the Jodi just plain out lied.

  6. Finally an accurate account that is consistent throughout!

  7. So this Starbucks is in my neighborhood (Pasadena, CA). I have been to this Starbucks hundreds of times (as well as the ARCO on the corner..cheapest gas in the area!). It can also be noted that this Starbucks has outside tables and chairs and there is ALWAYS people sitting out on the patio that would have noticed skateboarders messing with cars. Also, the inside is set up so that the employees can see right out front because it's not a wall, the front is all glass (wall to ceiling window). The only people that wouldn't be able to see out are the customers waiting in line.

  8. Telling lies comes so easily to Jodi. She must have years of practice and most probably it's pathologic. She either does not have a conscience or it's brand-new 'cause it has never been used.


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