Ten years after the death of 30-year-old Travis Alexander, a new limited series is airing an exclusive interview with the detective who investigated the case that landed Jodi Arias behind bars, Fox News reported.
In 2008, Alexander, a Mormon salesman living in Arizona, was discovered dead in his shower with nearly 30 stab wounds and a bullet in his head.
His girlfriend, Jodi Arias, was arrested for the murder, with prosecutors claiming that she planned the killing after Alexander broke up with her.
Arias was found guilty in 2013 of first-degree premeditated murder. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and she remains behind bars at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Perryville.
Now, Nathan Mendes — the detective who arrested Arias — is speaking out for the first time in a three-part Investigation Discovery series called “Jodi Arias: An American Murder Mystery.”
“I think people should realize the whole thing is a travesty,” Mendes said to Fox. “As sad as it is, everybody focused on Jodi. Books are named Jodi Arias, shows have the name Jodi Arias. Taglines are Jodi Arias. It’s almost like we forgot Travis even existed in all of this. It became such a circus about Jodi.”
"And she shouldn’t be the headliner here,” he added. “And hopefully, some people will get to see that other side and realize Travis was the victim here. Jodi made that decision, but we shouldn’t have ever highlighted her. Books and shows should be based on Travis Alexander, not Jodi Arias… I think Travis and his family deserve that.”
Mendes recalled that Arias’s behavior after Alexander’s death was immediately strange.
“[When] I first came across Jodi and we arrested her at her grandparents’ house, my initial impression of her was she didn’t seem concerned at all,” Mendes said. “The whole case was bizarre. Especially her demeanor… Even when we booked her, she wanted to make sure her hair looked OK… Things like that were not sitting well with a lot of us.”
Arias sobbed during a police interrogation, Mendes said, but when a prosecutor left the room, she began talking to herself, laughing, singing, and doing a headstand against a wall.
“At the time, we were watching it from the next room,” Mendes said. “She was trying to burn off stress. That was an indicator of stress. When people are put under a lot of stress that energy has to go somewhere, so you do see a lot of bizarre things in the interrogation room. She was just kind of rambling. But the whole yoga scene was a little strange to me. I’ve seen some strange things, but that’s up on the top.”
In trial, Arias said that she acted out of self-defense and that Alexander had been an abusive partner. But Mendes said he believes her motivation had more to do with jealousy.
“I think she just wasn’t willing to share him with anybody else,” he said. “That’s my personal opinion. Just seeing the evidence and seeing what was transpired before Travis was killed.
"I think she had come to the realization that Travis wasn’t going to settle down with her and that she wasn’t willing to share him with anyone else or have him date or marry anybody else. It had to be Jodi. I think that’s what prompted a lot of this. She wasn’t willing to let him go. It’s the old, ‘If I can’t have you, nobody can.’”