Dateline   |  May 10, 2013

Obsession, Part 4

Jodi's lurid and dramatic testimony makes the case a media sensation. The trial starts to resemble a reality show-- with sometimes dangerous consequences.

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

>>> the many faces of jodi arias and a steamy four-month saga of sex, lies and videotape quickly made her trial the hottest show in town. every morning at daybreak, people would line up, hoping to get a seat for a closeup look at moments like these.

>> mr. martinez --

>> yes or no? my question is are you talking, yes or no.

>> mr. martinez , are you angry at you?

>> is that important to you, is that relevant to you?

>> please refrain from laughing in the courtroom.

>> one sold her spot in line to a late comer for 200 bucks. the judge unhappy to hear tickets to her trial were being scalped, ordered the money refunded. and this juror dismissed for reasons unknown returned to court the following day. apparently she was hooked on the action.

>> i knew that my life was pretty much over but --

>> as were millions of people who just couldn't get enough of a story of boy meets girl , girl kills boy. it wasn't just televised but streamed live, raw, unfiltered, across the internet.

>> people aren't con toent just watch. they want to participate. they are doing research on the players.

>> arizona republic reporter michael keefe who are has been writing and tweeting about the trial say many were ready with their verdicts long before the testimony was over.

>> nirn who takes less than an approach of well, she deserves the death penalty and just deserves it now is considered biased.

>> reporter: and any perception of bias for the defense, even by the defense witnesses, could bring a hostile reaction from jodi haters. this all became dangerously interactive. when the physchotherapist testified for the defense, supporting jodi 's claim she had been sexually used by travis.

>> what does he do?

>> he tells her he is horny and they have oral sex . she performs oral sex on him.

>> while her testimony was calm and measured the vitriol on the anything anything but. she was she was personally and professionally attacked and her book about why battered women stay with their accusers was hit with hundreds of on-line mud-slinging reviews.

>> she got hundreds and thousands of those kinds of remarks over the internet. people calling her office, threatening her. they had to call the police.

>> if i were to walk up to her in the hallway of the courtroom and say, you know, i don't like your testimony and i may hurt you. and i'm go ing to try to ruin your career. that's a felony.

>> reporter: she wasn't the only target. michael kiefer reported that jodi 's lawyer, jennifer willmont also receive threats. jodi also took to social media with a twitter account that drew 51,000 followers. she did it through a friend she met in jail. donovan became jodi 's unofficial spokeswoman and twitter administrator. you actually operate the twitter account.

>> yes.

>> but those are jodi 's words.

>> everything on there comes from jodi . those are her thoughts and opinions.

>> jodi used twitter to sell her own original artwork and to make points she couldn't make on the witness stand . in one, she talked about martinez , anger management problems anyone. and another was more snarky, saying that he was inflicted with little man syndrome. that comment has since been deleted. but all of the attention helped to elevate the pub he lick persona of martinez , a once bull dog of a prosecutor and now a prominent co-star in the jodi show. just ask some of the trial tourists. the mostly women who traveled from around the country to witness the trial firsthand.

>> juan martinez , you never know what he will pull out of his hat.

>> he is travis' voice and we admire him for that.

>> oh, yeah.

>> sisters amy and dawn both took the week off from their jobs in st. louis in hopes of getting a ring side seat here and maybe meeting some cable tv celebrities.

>> once you go in to the courtroom it is so surreal like you have been seeing all of these people on tv --

>> and here they are in person.

>> like hollywood. o

>> one of the stars the sisters were hoping to see is katie wick.

>> what a crazy day.

>> reporter: every night, katie gives her take on the trial during hln's "dr. drew" show.

>> i have a lot of respect for juan martinez .

>> she is not an attorney but a regular spectator that caught the eye of a cable news.

>> people want to take a picture with you.

>> yes.

>> to the audience fixated on the jodi arias trial you are a celeb.

>> in essence i am. i'm not going in as a lawyer or doctor. i'm just going in as a person.

>> just a regular person in the jodi arias show.

>> this is not " jersey shore " this is not like did you see it when jay popped the situation in the eye. this is life and death . this is a death penalty case.

>> and america is reacting to it like a reality show .

>> like it is a reality show .

>> reporter: this reality show was about to get real. why are