Sharon Martin: What is it Like to be Jodi Arias' Mother?

By Sharon Martin

'Snapped' Producer and Narrator Sharon Martin blogs in conjunction with the two-part special event on Jodi Arias. Part 2 airs tonight, Monday, Dec. 16 at 10/9c.

No one wants to believe that a family member, especially your own child, is capable of murder. We often hear that from the families of the killers we profile on Snapped. I keep thinking about Jodi Arias' family. As a mother myself, I can't imagine what it's like to be her mother.  
Her child is now one of the most notorious female killers in the country. How do you deal with that? The family of Travis Alexander grieves, knowing that their loved one was a victim and knowing who is to blame. But for the family of the confessed killer, how do you cope? She's admitted to the crime, so they can't even cling to the possibility of innocence. Will the Arias family always wonder if they should have seen something, if there had been a chance to prevent this?
At trial, Jodi's mother, Sandra Arias was there to support her daughter. She sat in the courtroom and listened as Jodi detailed her sex life, the murder and alleged abuse. Jodi claimed on the witness stand that her parents were abusive, that her mother carried a wooden spoon to hit her with. In effect, Jodi was putting some of the blame on her own parents, claiming that childhood abuse led her to abusive relationships and ultimately to murder. I cannot begin to imagine how much that hurt her mother. 
In a police interview after Jodi's arrest, Sandra Arias told the detective that Jodi was unstable, that she had mental problems. Still in the same police interview, she was very upset to learn what her daughter was accused of doing. Despite Jodi’s problems, she couldn’t have expected this. Jodi had stayed with her parents after the murder and her mother asked the detective how she could have seemed so normal after doing something so awful. She was clearly shocked that her own daughter, no matter how troubled, could have done this. Still, as a mother, she sat in the courtroom, supporting her daughter every day. I can’t imagine how difficult that is. 
That is one of the ripple effects of murder, that even the family of the killer is impacted. They are handed a burden that they will carry for the rest of their lives. 
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