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Looking past the performance

Posted: February 10, 2014 3:38 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 5:00 a.m.

My sister and I recently watched the “Snapped: Jodi Arias” special documentary. My absolute favorite thing to watch on TV is crime investigation programming. I love that type of thing -- real-life murder mysteries and figuring out who’s the culprit and how to punish him or her accordingly. That’s what I consider real, riveting entertainment.

Horror, especially psychological horror, is my genre of choice. I say all that to highlight the fact that even someone like myself who enjoys watching shows of this type, who finds it fascinating and thrilling, can be truly shocked and disgusted by something of that sort every now and then.

The Jodi Arias story is one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever heard about in my entire life. I can understand why it gained so much media attention and why so many people across the country were glued to their TVs, waiting for the outcome. I only slightly followed it when it was in the news, but I certainly remember people talking about it frequently.

The story contained every horrifying, yet intriguing, element you could imagine. It almost seemed unreal when all the facts were laid out before me while watching the two-hour documentary. Also, with all the photos that were taken up until and even during the murder, the story becomes especially twisted and disturbing, as you can see the frightened face of the victim moments before his death.

There is much I can say along the lines of how Arias is a monster and a sociopath and a liar. Every criticism I’ve heard of her, I believe to be true. I find it disgusting how she has tried to play a victim and a survivor of abuse … a complete fabrication. Actual victims and survivors of domestic abuse were enraged by this; she made a mockery of their experiences.

The TV show described that Travis Alexander actually was a victim and a survivor -- his parents were abusive, neglectful drug addicts when he was growing up. Alexander was taken away from them and found a new life in his Mormon faith and in a blossoming career. How very tragic and unfair that Arias ever came into his life. I just don’t understand the forces at work behind that. It seems like a horrible joke.

Arias is monstrous in countless ways, but what I find most despicable about her is her desire for media attention. She’s done endless interviews, posed for photo after photo. You watch all this and think … she must enjoy this attention. She’s acting, putting on a show. She’s lying in court about a person -- a person she supposedly loved. She’s saying disgusting, shameful things about this man she murdered, naming him every lewd, unsavory title imaginable while his family members are forced to listen. How can people like this truly exist? What could Alexander possibly have done to deserve this utter annihilation?

There’s no answer. No one can say why. There are very bad people in the world and Arias is one of the worst. I think the only lesson that I can see to be taken from this is that we must always be careful of who we trust and who we allow into our lives.

Sometimes people fool us and make themselves appear to be good, kind and trustworthy. It is in most people’s nature to want to love and to be kind to others. But then, there are simply evil people in the world and these people prey on the goodness of others. Often, these predators are very good at deceiving others; they put on deadly, though believable, performances and gather sympathy and love from their prey. It’s really very sad, but in this day and age, we have to train ourselves to look for the true nature of others and not to be fooled by the performances.


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