Dateline   |  May 10, 2013

Obsession, Part 3

Jodi takes the stand in her own defense, shocking the courtroom by admitting she killed Travis.  But, she claims, she had her reasons.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: she told police she wasn't there.

>> were you at travis ' house on wednesday?

>> absolutely not.

>> reporter: next that masked home invaders had killed travis . then in court came version number three.

>> do you solemnly swear to tell the truth.

>> this time she swore she was telling the whole truth.

>> did you kill travis alexander on june 4th , 2008 ?

>> yes, i did.

>> why?

>> the simple answer is that he attacked me and i defended myself.

>> having a client that's lied in the past makes it very difficult for a defense attorney . you are trying to play catchup the entire time, trying to prove your client is credible.

>> he has tried criminal cases but isn't part of the arias trial and he said the defense team was right to put jodi on the stand, as risky as it was to try to connect with the jury.

>> they do need to have the jury feel some sense of sympathy, some sorrow for her. it was very important to humanize jodi .

>> reporter: the defense started with the claim that jodi had suffered long-term physical and emotional abuse . first around the age of 7 from her parents.

>> i think that's the first year my dad started using a belt. my mom began to carry a wooden spoon in her purse.

>> reporter: jodi 's parents who were there for much of her testimony won't say whether her claims are true. the defense theme of jodi as a victim continued with her accusations that she felt used and debased by travis alexander .

>> what do you mean that you felt used?

>> it is a hotel room . i show up. we hang out. we have sex. i'm getting a lot of attention but only when we are engaging in sexual activity . i felt like a prostitute sort of.

>> the graphic sexual testimony goes to the heart of the question as to whether travis was physically and emotionally abusing her through the sexual relationship they had.

>> reporter: the jury heard a recording jodi made, she said, at travis ' request of a steamy phone call .

>> you're mad. you make me feel so dirty.

>> you are dirty.

>> did you and travis ever videotape yourself while having sex ?

>> yes.

>> who's desire was it for that to take place?

>> at his.

>> reporter: defense expert who co-authored a book about battered woman suggested e-mails from travis ' friends to jodi show travis took advantage of women.

>> they advised her to move on from the relationship. that mr. alexander has been abusive to women.

>> that testimony heard by millions and the jury was stricken by the judge. jodi 's defense lawyers never called to the stand the author of those e-mails, chris and sky hughes who say their words were twisted by the defense .

>> it does not exist. abuse does not exist.

>> what is it like to see your words used as a murder defense when the victim was your friend?

>> it is gut wrenching. they are using our words to make travis look like somebody he absolutely you not.

>> he called me a bitch and kicked me in the ribs.

>> during her 18 days on the stand, 11 under friend di defense questioning, said travis had become enraged over they argued over money.

>> he went to kick me again and i moved my hand out.

>> what happened after that.

>> i screamed out and yelled out to my finger or hand or something to that effect.

>> jodi showed the jury that she claimed was the result of travis ' outburst. whatever concern she may have had about violence she and travis didn't stop seeing each other.

>> he seemed happy to see me.

>> jodi came to travis ' house in 2008 , that day there was sex, a lot of it, she acknowledged. after all there was no denying all of the photos they took.

>> we were trying out different poses.

>> she described a happy, erotic day until travis ' new camera slipped out of her hands.

>> he was screaming i was a stupid idiot and he body slammed me again on the tile.

>> jodi testified that she remembered travis kept a gun in his closet and ran to get it.

>> i grabbed the gun. i run out of the closet. he was chasing me.

>> she described travis lunging at her. the gun going off without her even knowing it. she said that travis then kept coming, even with a bullet in his head.

>> he fell and he is screaming angrily and after i broke away from him, he said [ bleep ] kill you, bitch.

>> do you remember i stabbing travis alexander .

>> i have no memory of stabbing him.

>> do you remember dragging him across the floor.

>> no.

>> do you remember placing him in the shower?

>> jodi had lied so many times before she must have hoped she would get away with it one last time with the 12 people who mattered the most, the jury. but so many people watching on tv and the internet had by now heard enough of jodi 's stories that they had already reached their own