'Jodi Arias: Cellmate Secrets': Killer seduced her way through prison, used her notoriety to sell her artwork
When Arias was not busy manipulating others, she would immerse herself in her art as her followers told her that she could be a tattoo artist
In 2008, Jodi Arias made headlines when she was charged with killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. The two met in 2006 and started dating in 2007 until Arias moved away to live with her grandparents. On June 9, 2008, Alexander was found dead in his home in Mesa, Arizona, a month after he reconnected with Arias. Just days before the murder, a burglary was reported at Arias' grandparents' house where a gun was stolen.
The gun was of the same type that was used to shoot Alexander, who was also stabbed nearly 29 times. Arias reportedly killed Alexander after the latter changed his mind and decided to take another woman on a work trip to Mexico after he initially planned to take Arias with him. She was convicted of murder and sentenced for life in 2018.
While Arias initially denied having been in Alexander's house on the day of the murder, the police later found a camera in Alexander's washing machine, according to ABC News. They recovered images taken on the day of the murder which depicted Arias and Alexander in sexual scenarios. Alexander was in the shower moments before the murder and some photos even featured shots of Alexander's bloody body that seemed to have been taken by accident when the camera was dropped.
In jail, Arias soon met Tracy Brown and Donavan Bering, with whom she shared cells. Brown was in on charges of kidnapping while Bering was incarcerated on charges of being an accessory to arson. Arias, Brown and Bering spent time together in Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona. In Lifetime's latest special, 'Jodi Arias: Cellmate Secrets', Brown and Bering — who are both free women today — share details about their experiences with Arias.
Bering said that Arias would use the fact that she was an attractive young girl to her advantage and that male guards were completely enamored with Arias. Brown concurred that Arias would bat her eyelashes and flirt with them. Arias also spent a lot of time with the women as Bering and Donavan became romantically involved. Brown recalled an instance where she and Arias did a striptease dance for Bering and while they never had threesomes, Arias would refuse to leave the room when Brown and Bering had sex.
Arias even interjected herself in the couple's other intimate moments. When the two decided to get married, Arias convinced them to let her officiate their wedding. When Arias was not busy manipulating others, she would immerse herself in her art as her followers told her that she could be a tattoo artist. Arias tattooed Brown and Bering a total of eight times, even once signing her name onto Brown's body.
Arias would win over other inmates by giving or selling her artwork and her paintings would always have hidden meanings of some kind. In one of her paintings, she represented her suicidal threats — which she reserved only for Brown and Bering — as she painted a cyanide pill between the teeth of a woman. In fact, Arias used her notoriety to make money off her artwork.
Before eBay banned Arias, she made thousands of dollars selling her paintings. Later, she relied on a close group of friends — including Bering — to make sales through another website. Her highest earning was for a portrait of Grace Kelly, which sold for $3,050. A portrait of Frank Sinatra sold for $1,075. 'Jodi Arias: Cellmate Secrets' airs on Lifetime on August 8 at 10/9c. An encore presentation will air on August 9 at 1 am ET.