Letter from an Arizona Jail: My Friendship with Jodi Arias

“So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?” – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.

This is the story of the first of many visits I’ve had with Jodi Arias over the past year and a half—and the beginning of our friendship. Getting to her meant leaving the safe, east Phoenix suburbs and finding the jail near downtown in what I would describe as the antithesis of Arizona. No iconic desert palm trees, mountain views—not even a stray cactus.

Jodi is housed in Estrella Jail. This jail holds approximately 1,000 women who are newly arrested, awaiting sentencing in ongoing trials, incarcerated for anything from a probation violation to murder.

Estrella translates to star in English. I found the name to be a bit puzzling. Was this a shining object one sees in a dark sky, or the star of the jails? I’ve sometimes found that people just like the sound of Spanish words and the meaning has no relation.

I have never visited anyone in jail. My goal: to quickly learn the protocol for a seamless visit. A large sign in several places states that felons may not visit. I wonder, was this on the honor system? It seemed impossible that they could be doing quick background checks on each visitor.

First stop is a metal detector. Oddly, my patent leather loafers set it off. Then on through an eight-inch metal door into an anteroom. It appears as if it is mirrored, but the glass is actually a two-way window where correctional officers in the next room watch and buzz groups into the main visiting room. Visitors preen in these mirrors. It has to be most entertaining for the officers on the other side.I have now made it to the main visiting area. I reach a correctional officer at a desk, say hello, and feign perky as he takes my visitor form. Estrella is a high-profile inmate, due to her crime. This means I’m led to Room B, a phone booth like room with a glass divider, where I am to sit and speak to her by microphone. These small booths line the perimeter while approximately 40 wooden tables fill the middle of the room, where the majority of the inmates—not classified as high profile—visit their guests.

Now, I must say, by this point, I am operating in surrealistic mode. I am pretending like I have done this a dozen times before, that nothing shocks me. I act as if I am oblivious to people watching me walk into a no-contact room. In my mind, I’ve decided to pretend as if I am meeting a girlfriend at Starbucks.

Jodi is brought to her tiny part of the booth 10 minutes later. The doors on both sides are closed. It is a seemingly private conversation, but I’m fully aware it’s being recorded. Not that I have anything outrageous to share, but if the county prosecutor chooses, he can listen to our conversations. This is the first time we have met, yet talk comes easily as we are both friendly. I was struck by how young and pretty she looked, and by her sweet demeanor. I calculate our age difference, that easily makes me old enough to be her mother.


Even though I was still operating in other-world mode, we spent a good amount of time giggling, not unlike my pretend Starbucks vision. She is quick-witted, funny, and laughs easily. She was someone I wouldn’t mind getting to know better. Just a young girl, really. I left reluctantly when a correctional officer announced the visit to be over. I looked back and waved as I was buzzed through the security doors. She was sitting alone in the room. It must have been a welcome break from 23 hours alone in her cell every day.

I continue to visit her, and we continue our mini-book club discussions, share favorite authors and talk about art. I tell stories about my family and friends. We have never discussed her trial, the past, or the future. It’s just a brief respite from reality. Even for me. Because I’ve made the decision to visit her, I separate her from her crime. The only Jodi I know is the one I see for 30 minutes every few weeks. I still hold on to my belief that it is not my role to judge, but rather to be an extremist offering love and small kindnesses.

However, I would be remiss to ignore the subject of crime value. What exactly are the moral parameters for an acceptable inmate to visit? Am I truly an honorable purist who sees only the individual and not the crime? Would I spend my precious time with a check forger but not a sexual predator?

There have been many lessons in tolerance, and some hard truths for me with this experience in learning the measure of hate that people can hold for criminals. And sometimes hate for me and my choice to befriend Jodi. But I have to wonder, is the hate properly aimed at the person, or should it be aimed at whatever demons or mental illness drove that person to commit the crime? Do people deserve mercy and forgiveness and is redemption possible? I ask these questions constantly.

I recognize the unbearable pain of victims, but I do not understand the bloodthirsty need for revenge. I do believe in the justice system, with the exception of the outdated and barbaric death penalty.

So as I write my letter from an Arizona jail—of a story that does not yet have an ending and has challenged my personal morals and intentions—I hope that I am Dr. King’s version of an extremist for love and for justice. I have changed from a person who didn’t know where the Maricopa County jail complex was located into someone who can easily maneuver a visit with a person convicted of a capital crime and spend 30 minutes synopsizing on the latest season of “Orange Is The New Black” to her. An irony not lost.


Jodi Arias was first found guilty of murder in the first degree in May 2013. It was a hung jury during her first sentencing. A second sentencing trial that started a year ago resulted in a sentence of life in prison. Jodi is now housed at Perryville Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. I continue to send her books, write, and visit her.

Photo Credit: ChrisMiller513 via Compfight cc

  1. I loved reading this. The MLK quote on top was especially inspiring. I relate to this on two levels. One with Jodi as an individual. I feel this strange sense of connection though I have never met her nor been in her situation nor can I understand how something that seems so unthinkable happens. But, I can relate to being scapegoated and things like that. This case is especially interesting because she seems very innocent and warm and sensitive and so it keeps me interested and I believe she and I share some personality traits.

    The other way in which this article spoke to me was about the general questions of justice forgiveness and kindness. I spend two to three evenings a week at the Utah State Prison. I teach drum lessons, mindfulness/meditation and help with their Buddhist sangha. I am only allowed access to the medium security male complex. Most of the men I work with are sex offenders, there are also plenty of drug offenders but it seems like the majority have commited some kind of sexual violence usually against children. I understand the horrific nature of those acts and the devastating affects it has on many people. Sometimes I feel like a bad person for making life nicer for the perpetrators. But, then I think in terms of our own hearts and kindness. What does kindness and compassion and generosity mean if it is only given to those who behave in what we see as an appropriate manner? Also, if we view prison as a form of mental health treatment we have to understand that the perpetrators have plenty of emotional scars from their lives. That’s not excuse hurting someone else but a question I ask is “how can I expect someone to behave kindly if they have never been given kindness?” Also, at the end of the day, no matter what you have done you retain your status as a human being. I think it is important to respect everyone’s humanity and help foster their dignity and even self worth. Remorse is important but shame is not. I feel like part of the prison system is meant to shame and stigmatize individuals. If we view someone as a “bad person” can’t we set up a self fulfilling prophecy in the future for them to behave as such?

  2. @Lauri You obviously have never been with a narcissist or sociopath abuser. They prey are empathetic and giving ppl, ppl who are givers not takers. Ppl who are easy to manipulate and control, persuade, mind fuck. I guarantee you Travis was a taker and Jodi was a giver, her lack of self esteem and giving giving giving him what he wanted, is what landed her in this position in the first place. The lack of self esteem and self dignity that didn’t drive her to say, “I’m off limits,” to such a vile piece of shit like Travis Scott. Look up narcissist and the sick mind games they play, they use sex and the push and pull method to confuse a target a literal mind fuck, Yes she is an adult and could have made another choice sure. Then she should be a lesson to all men and women who think it’s safe to play with ppl like toys. For majority of adult women with very very strong wills, (which that’s what it takes to evade men like Travis who prey on weaker women.) They would notice the red flags asap and go no contact with a man like Travis, although even the strongest women have been targets by Travis Scotts. But as we see here not every human being can take being toyed with and Jodi is a prime example of that. This is why all young girls need to be educated on the red flags. The red flags of men/narcissist and all their tricks/what to avoid. To teach them to walk away from men like this, no matter how much they like them because these type of men are huge charmers and could careless who they hurt. To walk away at the first signs he’s a douche, don’t stick around one f min not one min to see if there is a good/respectful guy in there, cause chances are there isn’t and it could cost you. And as for Travis’s family they’re in denial about their son/brother. He was a religious hypocrite, womanizer, liar, and cheat. He wasn’t exactly the religious and moral young man, (that does exist btw) that his naive family thought he was. He thought he was some Mormon who was better then Jodi. Jodi wanted to be accepted and loved by him so bad, that she even converted to the stupid religion. A religion he didn’t even respect or follow, Becuase of religious family obligation (what I call it) it was just a religion he claimed to be practicing and what a joke. If only Jodi had loved herself and walked away, from a guy who didn’t respect her or give a shit about her, she wouldn’t be in jail and that’s the truth. Educate yourself honey abuse is not just physical, verbal and emotional and brainwashing is just as damaging so is bullying. I don’t blame you and many others to much though, because unless you’ve experienced it you will truly never grasp it.

  3. Hey dori I’m 27 years old and when I started watching jodis case I MYSELF was in prison. I lived in a room with 8 people, 6 of them being lifers who were murderers. I will never forget my roommates. We were like a family. I personally don’t think Jodi deserves to never have a CHANCE of getting out. Nobody besides her and God at this point know what really happened but hearing the way he talked I can relate to that kind of emotional abuse and I know there have been so many times that I’ve done physical acts against my boyfriend and had to leave because I wanted to “snap”
    It’s unfortunate that Travis is no longer here but if he was a great man as others say then he’s having a way better time than we can even fathom! I just wanted to share that I don’t see her as this crazy monstrous killer. She just snapped . None of us know what made her do it AT THAT TIME. I believe that she regrets it and is truly sorry . But yeah I just wanted to share my opinion. Just because someone makes a mistake no matter how horrific, they can always be forgiven

  4. Do you know the email of Ms. Arias as I wanted to send her a message about the wonderful art work she does. I enjoyed her singing as a musician myself.

    Thank you and could you forward my message to her.
    Marilyn Bloch

  5. Enjoyed your article about the Arias case and the identifying of that emotion hate with a need for revenge? There are many of us who believe had Jody been tried elsewhere she wouldn’t be looking at life without parole. her sentence was a political football for the group that runs Phoenix. Like your writing style, Thanks for posting.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to read the essay and commenting. With Jodi’s specific case aside, my questions were about justice and injustice, and who really is in a position to cast judgement on another. I do not support the death penalty for anyone. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. But what I do believe in is a merciful God who allows redemption for everyone. This, I believe, is the first step towards forgiveness and acceptance. I really appreciate your comments!

  7. I’m amazed! Not about anything this says about Jodi, but rather what it says about Dori. Thanks for taking us there with you. It’s your point of view that is the most thought provoking.


  8. Lauri, thank you for reading the essay and taking the time to comment. I appreciate and respect what you have written. As I wrote in the essay, the theme is about humanity, forgiveness, and redemption–and my questioning of all of these values. At this time, now that Jodi is in Perryville Prison, I spend about an hour every few weeks writing to her. The rest of my life is quite full. As I’ve mentioned to others, I have a volunteer job with a nonprofit here in AZ that helps the underserved population in Mesa with medical, dental, Head Start, and an after school program for parents who can’t afford child care. Most of my time with them every week is spent preparing for a Santa Shop which provides Christmas (clothing, toys, books, stocking) for families who would not have a Christmas. This is where I spend half my week. The other half is spent caregiving for my 84 year old mother (which is why I moved to AZ from CA) who requires my help, sadly, more and more. I cannot bear the thought of losing her, so every minute with her is precious to me. In between all of this, my life balance hobbies are knitting, sewing, and painting. I make “chemo bears” with little knitted caps about every few months and bring them to the cancer children patients at MD Anderson here. I also occasionally write to a young local girl in Perryville for a DUI who has turned a very bad mistake into a Don’t Drink & Drive program. So, this is how I spend my time. Thank you again for writing, Lauri, I respect your opinion and appreciate your honesty.

  9. Lauri,

    I understand what you are saying. My support for Jodi Arias isn’t about the crime she committed. For me, it is about my belief in God and caring for those who are in prison. She was vulnerable when it came to Travis Alexander but she never should have killed him. She knows this. I appreciate your view.

  10. Excellent post. Why spend so much time with a murderer who finally admitted to everything at sentencing. Is it just fame seeking, interest in the macabre? There are so many people who would give their last shirt on Earth to help another who actually need help themselves, but what makes things so interesting is different strokes for different folks.
    I do hope that finding this murderer charming, interesting and smart is not a surprise as those are the very same qualities said of many serial killers aka Ted Bundy , the Night Stalker and Charles Manson. I have no sympathy for her as she was an adult who made her choice not some innocent helpless child. She used domestic violence as her excuse but forgot one little thing, victims of DV are dependent on the abuser and running away is a dream that has cost many a life trying to run away from the abuser. Her story never did fit reality.

  11. Jodi Arias is not by a long shot “one of the most cruel and heinous murderers in recent history”. I will grant you that she is indeed one of the most notorious, if not the most notorious in recent history, due to nothing other than the preponderance of naked shaven butt and genitalia shots produced in court by the prosecution in an attempt to belittle and degrade her. These photographs were taken during a monogamous relationship the murderer was having with the victim at the time; one she and he had been in for quite some time. No murderer who has killed her significant other can be classed as one of the most cruel and heinous murderers in recent history. This is known and recognized world wide and classified as a crime of passion, which indeed it was. It was not without provocation, and this was proven in a court of law, which listened to hours of vile and belittling raving from the victim, directed at his then significant other half, recorded on tape. The pair was in a sexual relationship, one on one, without any shadow of a doubt, right up to minutes prior to the incident which led to the murder. Crimes of passion do not come into the category that you have attempted to put it in. Every day, around the world, women kill their abusers and every day, around the world, men kill women with whom they want to dispense, who are bothersome, clingy and won’t let go. In all those cases, it is a recognized fact that these are crimes of passion. If you have been led into mistakenly believing this crime was other than that, then all I can say to you is, you have been grossly misled by a hyped up media, and have not bothered to educate yourself as to the truth of the situation. Jodi Arias is not unlike thousands of other young women around the world who have ended up killing the men they love. She is more to be pitied, I believe, rather than condemned, because she too is a victim.

  12. Your attitude is refreshing and I wish more supporters and opponents of Jodi Arias would be more like you.

  13. I didn’t read anywhere in this blog or others where Dori stated that she believed Jodi should not have been punished. Because you and others believe in a death penalty does not mean that there isn’t room for others to not believe in one.

  14. Zuri, I am so sorry to hear that you are a homicide survivor, I cannot begin to imagine the pain this must have brought into your life. I also can understand why any homicide case would be hurtful to you–I’m so sorry for this. Indulge me in explaining how I spend my time, as I did with another commenter, who asked similar questions. I have a volunteer job with a nonprofit here in AZ that helps the underserved population in Mesa with medical, dental, Head Start, and an after school program for working parents who cannot afford child care. Most of my time with them is spent preparing for a Santa Shop which provides Christmas (clothing, toys, books, stockings) for families who would not have a Christmas. I also assist the CEO with special projects, the last being writing a volunteer manual. This is where I spend half my week. The other half I spend caregiving for my 84 year old mother (which is why I moved to AZ from CA) who requires my help, sadly, more and more. I cannot bear the thought of losing her, so every minute with her is precious to me. In between all of this, my life balance hobbies are knitting, sewing, and painting. I make “chemo bears” with little knitted caps and about every few months I bring them to the cancer patients at MD Anderson here. And, yes, once a week I write a letter to Jodi in Perryville. There are no more 30 minute visits. At Perryville Prison, visits are now much strictly enforced to once a week for family and friends who pass a background check. I also occasionally write to a young local girl, also in Perryville, for a DUI who has turned a very bad mistake into a Don’t Drink & Drive program. My essay was not about how I spend my time, how I choose my volunteer projects, or about my biggest priority–spending time with and caring for my mother. Your points are vey well taken and I hope this explains more to you. Thank you for your honesty, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment and sharing your perspective.

  15. Dave, I appreciate you reading the article. I agree–there can never be enough love or compassion. And kindness! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts!

  16. davidpetersgv56@hotmail.co.uk

    Hi dori,
    Please continue to support and visit Jodi, it’s a great thing to do. We need love and compassion in this world.
    Best wishes

  17. As a homicide survivor, I am puzzled as to why you chose to have 30 minute visits with one of the most notorious, cruel and heinous murderers in recent memory. Someone with your gift, depth of compassion and kindness would be so appreciated in Veteran hospitals, filled with returning Iraq War vets whose lives have been altered forever; Or with dying patients with cancer or some other disease. I am sure you could reach out to a larger population to discuss books or tv shows and they too would enjoy giggling and laughing for a change. This has nothing to do with hate or revenge. It has to do with doing the most good with the time we have here on earth and sharing joy with as many people as possible. Including those that are truly deserving of your time.

  18. Sandra, thank you for telling me about your mother. You’re so right, it can be difficult at times, mostly because she can be difficult! My relationship was primarily with my father after my parents divorced many years ago, so we had drifted apart. But now, like you say, it really has become a gift because spending so much time together has allowed us both a second chance to really know each other. And I treasure every moment. Even he difficult ones! I’m so glad you wrote, it’s so nice meeting you! P.S. I recognize that most people are not JA supporters, and I completely understand this point of view. Some of my friends feel the same way. I believe that respect is key in voicing our opinion–on anything!

  19. Thank you Dori! You have a very warm giving heart. I’m not a supporter of Jodi Arias, but curious as to what drove you to visit Jodi, so I appreciate your honest answers.
    I was a caregiver for my mother also. It was difficult at times, but I have no regrets. At the end I saw this time as a gift. We were able to spend time together, reflecting, talking, laughing and hand holding. She was my hero and deserved nothing less.
    I wish you the very best for the future, and hope you and your mother find comfort in one another.

  20. Hi Pandora. No one , and I mean no one should be the most hated ever. I love you. I am never going to forget the wonderful people I have gotten to know through th I s situation. You my dear are one of those people. I also just LOVE Jodi’s Aunt Sue. Great people. Jodi, if you get to see this…I love you too and I pray fir you daily and I will never give up on you.

  21. Margaret, you are so right about many things. It is time for all of us to move on. Everyone. Yes, Jodi does feel remorse. She said this in court, as well as wishing she could turn back the clock. Like you, I hope that everyone can find forgiveness, too. As I said in my essay, I believe in forgiveness as well as redemption. Moving on is a step in this direction. I would encourage you to keep writing to Jodi. Letters are her connection to the outside world. And it’s especially nice to get letters from people you know. You’re a good friend to Jodi, Margaret!

  22. I’m just curious. How do you know what she does and doesn’t do in her life based on this one article? How do you know she doesn’t take care of other people or in involves herself in charitable works? Just because she visits a woman you, yourself is obsessed with, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a life aside from the times she visits or writes. What do you do for the elderly when you are too busy online attacking people? Should I assume that because you are leaving ignorant and nasty comments that you don’t have time for anything else in your life? Instead of focusing on Arias, why not try reading what she has to say and get the actual message!

  23. Geri, thank you so much for reading the essay and taking the time to write these wonderful words. I appreciate every one of them! Lots more blogs for you…

  24. Ah, Lisa, who could have predicted how everything turned out? You have been a loving friend to me for years. I appreciate your support so much, and I’m so glad you had the opportunity to read this essay. It did come from the heart!

  25. Thank you, Edd! Those are some mighty nice compliments! I am also glad I got a chance to meet you in person as well. Thank you for reminding me that probably one of the nicest benefits in knowing Jodi was getting to meet her family. They are warm, wonderful, caring people. Her mother has become one of my closest friends and I only wish she lived closer. You should be thanked equally for everything YOU have done. It’s not easy–this is one of the hard truths I’ve learned. Be well, my friend. xD.

  26. Truthsayer, first allow me to say I appreciate your candidness and honesty. I have always appreciated people who can be direct, rather than passive aggressive. From my side, this is what my directness looks like. I have a volunteer job with a nonprofit here in AZ that helps the underserved population in Mesa with medical, dental, Head Start, and an after school program for parents who can’t afford child care. Most of my time with them every week is spent preparing for a Santa Shop which provides Christmas (clothing, toys, books, stocking) for families who would not have a Christmas. This is where I spend half my week. The other half is spent caregiving for my 84 year old mother (which is why I moved to AZ from CA) who requires my help, sadly, more and more. I cannot bear the thought of losing her, so every minute with her is precious to me. In between all of this, my life balance hobbies are knitting, sewing, and painting. I make “chemo bears” with little knitted caps about every few months and bring them to the cancer children patients at MD Anderson here. And, yes, once a week I write a letter to Jodi in Perryville. I also occasionally write to a young local girl in Perryville for a DUI who has turned a very bad mistake into a Don’t Drink & Drive program. So….this is who I am and what I do. I sincerely hope that how I spend my time meets your expectations of a life well spent. Thank you again for writing, again, I respect your opinion and appreciate your honesty.

  27. Kitz, thank you! Both for reading the essay and taking the time to write a comment. I am so glad you enjoyed reading it. It was actually a bit difficult to write. Next time something a little more fun! Thanks again, Kitz!

  28. Sandra, thank you for reading my essay and taking the time to comment. A good friend of mine, who knew the Arias family, asked me if I would consider visiting Jodi, as her family lived in California and couldn’t afford frequent visits. I live in Phoenix. This was a big request to me, one that I felt I needed to seriously consider. I spoke to a psychologist who counseled inmates and discussed the pros and cons of the impacts on me. After about two months, I said yes to the visit. This is how I first met Jodi. It was in November 2013, after her trial. As far as differences in Jodi–our conversations are limited to books read, book recommendations, updating her on my mother (I caregive for her), and I often tell her about movies or television shows I’m watching. I tend to be talkative, so time passes quickly. Overall, she has always seemed upbeat, funny, and very well-mannered. I cannot project what will happen in the future in legal terms, I have no law background, but I have read that the appeal process is very long. It is difficult for me to speculate about her release. I’m not young, and I’m not trained in release orientation. I may not be the best choice for Jodi. I also caregive for my Mom and may be doing that 100% soon. Jodi has family and friends to support her, so I would imagine it would be everyone. But to answer your question in light of all these circumstances–yes, I would give her any help I am able to. Thank you again for writing, Sandra. Good questions!

  29. I have to say that when I write to Jodi I usually don’t mention the crime. I did however tell her once that I earnestly believe that Travis has forgiven her. I hope that his family and friends can do the same. The ongoing hatred is not good for anyone. Jodi does feel remorse. I could see that from day one. She is a very vulnerable woman in many ways, and very strong. I haven’t written in awhile but I do care a ton. To hear or see the media and other people say that Jodi has no remorse is not true. YES SHE DOES! It’s just that anything and everything she said or did was twisted around. If she showed remorse she was called names. If she didn’t say anything she waa called names. So i can understand why she was often expressionless. But I also saw great sorrow. Thank you for writing this article.

  30. What prompted you to start visiting Jodi? Have you noticed any difference in her since she was moved from Estrella? Also after visiting with her and becoming friends, do you think she should be released at some point, and if that should happen, would you help her?

  31. Why prompted you to start visiting Jodi? Have you noticed any difference in her since she was moved from Estrella? Also after visiting with her and becoming friends, do you think she should be released at some point, and if that should happen, would you help her?

  32. I really enjoyed reading your article. Great insight, well written, inspirational, and thought provoking. Looking forward to reading more from you, Jodi Arias related or not. Thank you!

  33. I wish people would take the time to spend with the mentally ill, old and feeble, poor and neglected that have NOT committed murder that you have taken with this convict. I believe if you are genuine in your love and care for others, there are many much more needy and deserving who have not decided to lay waste to two lives and two families, people who could truly be redeemed, who still have a chance. But that’s not nearly as exciting, is it? And, I must say, doesn’t pay as well, either. People like Pandora above have been brutal and come here acting like they have not. I’ve pretty much stayed out of the Twitter wars and extremist behavior of hate on both sides, but I question your true motive. Sorry, but it kinda stinks to high heaven.

  34. I’m so glad I finally got to meet you Dori. You are so sweet and welcoming. Just so you know.. You have made a huge impact on Jodi and her family’s well being. You a hero in my book. Thank god for people like you. You are fabulous my friend

  35. I am so glad that you and Jodi hit it off. You were just what she needed. Everyone deserves a second chance and needs love and compassion. This was so well written. I am so proud of you Dori and glad to call you my friend.

  36. Hi Dori. I just want you to know that I admire what you do and you did the most wonderful writing. My prayers go out to you that you keep a deserving happy life. I do expect to see more of your blogs in the future. Thankyou for being you.

  37. Thank you SO much for reading and commenting! I am fully aware of exactly to what you refer. In fact, I’ve chosen to ignore the negativity, it’s such a waste of time and energy. Yes, she committed the crime. Yes, she is serving her life sentence. I, too, did not want her (or anyone) to receive the death penalty. May we all move on now? I have nothing but compassion and sorrow for the victim’s family. It would be so heartless not to feel for them. You are a very kind person to recognize compassion for others and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  38. Thank you, GR, I am so appreciate of YOUR point of view. I actually did discuss the idea of visiting a high-profile inmate with a psychologist who did inmate counseling before I made the decision to go. It’s interesting that you mention the effect on me, because other than the therapist–you are the only one who has said it. Honestly? I do have to draw boundaries with the rest of my life which is very full. It cannot be an all-encompassing project, as much as I care for her. Definitely a therapy topic! Thank you again for reading, commenting and the unique view!

  39. Grieta, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and understand the complex issues involved. There is far too much tragedy for so many people and not nearly enough kindness and compassion—as you say. I really appreciate your observations. xD.

  40. Thank you, yet again, for your interesting insight on something so controversial. I truly hope this gives the zealots, on both sides of this issue, a better perspective into what true support really is. I hope it shows them that spewing obsessive hatred to the convicted or the victims, makes it more about themselves (attention and baiting) and not the people they claim to support. It’s about kindness, compassion and understanding. You are a beautiful soul!

  41. I’m an old broadcast jounalist/News Director who appreciates the approach you have taken with Ms Arias. I have no doubt but that she committed the crime and absent some technicality that would change the verdict, she’ll most likely remain in prison the rest of her life. But this outreach your doing is interesting to me both in its potential effect on you as well as her. I look forward to your continued articles.

  42. I can’t begin to tell you how refreshing it is to see a person who supports Arias with nothing more than an open heart. On one hand we have groups like the “State vs.” who spew hate against Arias daily. On the other hand, we have (jaii) Jodi Arias Is Innocent who claim to be supporters. This group promotes vile and hateful attacks against the victim’s family thus reflecting badly on Arias.

    Although I didn’t want the death penalty for Arias, I do agree with her life sentence. I respect your compassion and forgiveness and thank you for a very well written blog.

  43. Thank you so much, Nicole. Please know that I hold you in the highest regard as well. Without you as my muse, I don’t believe these words would ever tumble out of my brain! xoD.

  44. Thank you for reading this, Pandora, and for your kind words. I believe that forgiveness and a belief in redemption are at the core of what makes us compassionate human beings. xoD.

  45. Thank you Feminine Collective for publishing a piece of writing which could be seen as controversial. Compassion, understanding and lack of judgement are 3 essential elements lacking from our modern society. Writing about Jodi Arias without taking the more popular hateful point of view is courageous and to be admired. Thank you Dori for sharing your experience with us.
    Jodi Arias is a much misunderstood person.

  46. Dori Owen you have a kind soul, sharp wit and eloquent way with words. This piece is the best example of humanity, and what we’re all aspiring to be. Non judgmental, open and questioning our very own beliefs.

    Thank you, Dori and Feminine Collective for raising and elevating the world daily outside of your comfort zone.


  47. This was a great blog. I think it is amazing that she maintains a relationship with her. I believe everyone deserves support. And love. This piece was enlightening.

  48. Brilliant! Thank you for sharing, Ms. Dori.

    I must say that I, as you, believe in love, forgiveness and second chances.

    You have my utmost respect. It is very courageous and brave to write in sympathy about a woman that has been deemed ‘the No1 most hated woman in the USA’. Going against the tsunami of rage and hatred and exposing yourself to possible verbal wrath only proves that you are a generous soul and will not be intimidated by the masses.

    Congrats! I hope we will soon read more from you.

  49. Dori,

    I am so grateful to know you. Your compassion and empathy is rare to find these days. You are an extraordinary woman and someone that I hold in the highest esteem. I wish the world had more people like you in it. Thank you for sharing your story.

    With so much appreciation and admiration,


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