Men in 1980 to William Angelo and Sandy Arias.

are usually considered to be more violent than females; however, violent
females are becoming more common. What causes women to become violent
offenders? There are many possible answers to this question. In this paper, I
will examine the life of Jodi Arias. She was convicted of first-degree murder
in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison. I will also analyze whether or not
environmental, psychological, social, and/or biological factors played a role
in leading Jodi to commit a violent crime.


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            Jodi Arias was born in California in
1980 to William Angelo and Sandy Arias. She has two younger brothers, one
younger sister, and an older half-sister (“Who is Jodi Arias?” n.d.). Arias
claims that she was abused starting at age seven by her parents. She dropped
out of high school when she was in the eleventh grade but eventually got her
GED. She liked photography and often worked as a part-time professional
photographer. In 2001, Jodi took a job as a waitress at a restaurant at the Ventana
Inn and Spa in Carmel, California (“Who is Jodi Arias?”
n.d.). There, she met Darryl Brewer who was the food and beverage manager
at the restaurant. Darryl and Jodi began dating in 2003 and bought a house
together. In 2006, Arias began working at Pre-Paid Legal Services. It was also
around this time that Arias began attending the Mormon church, and her
relationship with Darryl started to fall apart.

            In September 2016, while still
living with Darryl, Arias went to a conference in Las Vegas for Pre-Paid Legal
Services. This is where she met Travis Alexander. Travis Alexander was a Mormon
who worked as a motivational speaker and salesman for Pre-Paid Legal Services.
When the two met, Travis lived in Arizona, while Arias was still living with
her boyfriend, Darryl, in California. The attraction between Arias and
Alexander was immediate, and according to Arias, the two developed a sexual
relationship a week after meeting (“Who is Jodi Arias?” n.d.). In November of 2006,
Arias was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Arias
claims that she did this to be closer to Alexander who was a devoted Mormon. In
June of 2007, after only five months of becoming a couple, the two ended their
relationship but continued to have a sexual relationship.

            Travis Alexander’s body was found in
a pool of blood in the bathroom by his friends in June 2008 in his home in
Mesa, Arizona (“Jodi Arias,” 2018). Alexander was found with a gunshot wound to
his head, an extensively wide and deep slip throat, and over two dozen stab
wounds (“Jodi Arias,” 2018). Investigators determined that the murder had happened
five days prior to his body being found. Alexander’s body was found on June 9, 2008,
and by July 9, 2008, Arias was indicted for first-degree murder. Arias first
claimed that she did not have anything to do with Alexander’s murder, even
though her DNA was found at the crime scene. She then changed her story and
claimed that she and Alexander were attacked by two intruders (“Jodi Arias,”
2018). When Arias took the stand in 2013, she stated that she had killed
Alexander during a heated act of self-defense (“Jodi Arias,” 2018). She claimed
that Alexander was often abusive towards her and that he had attacked her that
night. She also claimed that she had memory loss “as a result of emotional
trauma experienced during the incident” (“Jodi Arias,” 2018). Jodi Arias was
found guilty of first-degree murder.

            An environmental factor that may
have contributed to Jodi Arias becoming a violent female could be the abuse she
claimed to have experienced as child. Abuse can be traumatizing and affect
people into adulthood. In a study done by Climent, Rollins, Ervin, and Plutchik
(1973), one of the factors that they found to be related to violence is severe
parental punishment (as cited in Shipley, 2001) If Arias was in fact abused as
a child, then this may have contributed to her violent behavior.

            Psychological factors may have also
contributed to the violent offender that Arias became. While Alexander and
Arias broke up, they continued a sexual relationship. Alexander began to date
other women during this time, which angered Arias. At one-point, Alexander called
Arias a whore and a slut. While he was willing to have sex with her, he stated
that he was looking for a good Mormon wife. Alexander also referred to Arias as
a liar and a sociopath causing Arias to become enraged (Kouri, 2016). Arias has
been described as a sociopath, and it is possible that she had a personality
disorder. I feel that she wanted to marry Travis Alexander, and when she
realized that he did not feel the same, that he did not view her as a good
Mormon wife, it caused her personality disorder or sociopath characteristics to

            I am not sure that social factors
contributed to Jodi Arias becoming a murderer. She did claim that she had been
abused as a child, but the research is unclear if there was any criminal
behavior in her social groups. There is also not enough information provided
about her family to determine if biological factors played a role in Arias becoming
a murderer or having mental health issues. She had no prior criminal history
before killing Travis Alexander, and the research I found never mentions any
criminal history in her family.


            Upon learning more about Jodi Arias,
I believe that she did have mental health issues. She was obsessed with Travis
Alexander, jealous, and paranoid. Travis Alexander, I feel, did lead Jodi Arias
on by continuing to have contact with her even after he made it clear that he
did not see her in his future. I believe that Arias kept coming back to
Alexander with the hope of him changing his mind. Once she finally realized
that she was always going to be just the girl he hooked up with, I believe it
caused her to snap and brutally murder Travis Alexander.