Category Archives: Domestic Violence

Notes on the May 26 Gmail chat

Some notes on the Gmail Chat on May 26. It is the last recorded conversation between Jodi and Travis prior to his death, so potentially an important piece of circumstantial evidence in the case. Being “hearsay”, as far as I know, it did not come in as evidence in the guilt phase of the trial, instead domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette referenced it in her testimony, however I think it is still interesting to look at the original chat.

Travis’ initial complaint is that Jodi called him, presumably when they had agreed not to have further contact. He says he is addicted to her. Jodi admits it, and confirms they are addicted.

Jodi: “Honestly, aside from what I wanted to say, it was me that wanted to hear your voice just once. It’s like a little fix. You’re not the only one addicted.”

Travis expresses anger, says Jodi is “not sorry”, and pressures Jodi to admit it:

Travis: “You are not sorry. I’m okay with that if you’ll admit it. It should be liberating to you. So tell me the truth. Tell me that you are not sorry.”

After complaining that Jodi has lied to him, Travis asks whether she has other partners, Jodi is evasive, Travis is suspicious:

Travis: So have messed around with anyone else?
Jodi: You’re the last person I’ve ever been intimate with.
Travis: But you’d like to with someone else wouldn’t you?
Jodi: My sex drive is gone.
Travis: I doubt that.

Jodi deflects, talking about sex, praising Travis extravagantly, which appears to mollify him – bear in mind that Jodi has started an online relationship with Ryan Burns, which accounts for her being evasive.

Jodi: I haven’t dittled myself once since I moved here except for the times when we were on the phone and we did it together.
Travis: Well it didn’t seem to be a problem on the phone.
Jodi: Of course not. That’s the effect you have. Nobody else can do that. Absolute kryptonite. I don’t want to be a whore. I could joke that if being a whore for Travis is wrong then I don’t wanna be right. But this isn’t the time for jokes. I’ve been a bad influence.
Travis: Like I said I’m not mad about that.
Jodi: I know Travis.

Next Travis complains Jodi logged into his Facebook, Jodi admits it:

Travis: Why did you get in my facebook after all of these times I have forgiven you?
Jodi: Because I suck.

Next Jodi talks about their sexual relationship:

Jodi: .. when we made love, I was able to actually convince myself, yes lie to myself. It really felt for that space of time that it was something bigger and better. But that’s the intoxication felt from sex. And you made it so good. You became another person. It’s like you nearly worshipped me. I felt sooo so so loved when we did that. It became absolutely addicting.

Up to here, the chat seems fairly rational. Travis has made some complaints, which seem to have at least some foundation ( Jodi called him, she logged into his Facebook ). However, from this point, Travis starts to get quite irrational, angry and abusive, claiming Jodi never loved him, never cared for him, and she is not sorry about it:

Travis: You are not sorry for invading my privacy either. But at least I know what my value to you is and it’s not much more than that. I was a source of pleasure. That’s it, nothing else. At the core I don’t think you care if I live or die, I really don’t. The pain you have caused is worse than death. At times I thought you were something that you were not. You scammed me and you knew you were scamming me. I think you would choose a dollar bill over my life. It’s the other stuff that is blatant lies that I have a problem with. You are not sorry. You know you are not. So why say it. You know you are not sorry. If I was there you’d prove how not sorry you are. So let’s just leave it at that.

He repeatedly demands she say she is not sorry, Jodi won’t be tied down on that:

Travis: Say you are not sorry for it.
Jodi: Part of me is glad that we did that. Is it wrong to feel that way? Don’t answer.
Travis: I don’t know.
Jodi: It is.
Travis: But you are not sorry. I know you are not.
Jodi: It is a struggle inside of me. I want to take the high road, but the selfish part of me wants to take you and if you were here and the opportunity presented itself then I most likely would.
Travis: I think you are just demented and somehow thought taking from me somehow benefit you.

Objectively this is quite unreasonable and irrational. Jodi is apparently being honest, and has mixed feelings about their past relationship. Travis ascribes ulterior motives, and becomes agitated, says she “hates him” and asks “why did you try to ruin me”.

Travis: I think I was little more than a dildo with a heartbeat to you.
Jodi: ..I would have been content just cuddling, but I wasn’t strong enough.
Jodi: Again I am so sorry for that. I was way overcome.
Travis: No you’re not.
Jodi: It was wrong.
Travis: I know your not. I ask that you not lie. You are not sorry, you’re not. I don’t ask that you be sorry, I ask that you don’t lie. You’re not sorry and I don’t care. I’m okay with you not being sorry about that. It’s me too.
Jodi: Yeah, but it was more me. I should’ve been better.
Travis: Then why. Why did you try to ruin me. Why. Just tell me why. You aren’t who you say you are. So tell me why. Even now you only talk but your actions show that you hate me. Even right now.

Jodi now apparently misunderstands him, thinking he means financially:

Jodi: I don’t know what you mean by ruin you? I would never deliberately set out to do that. I was bitter, yes, but I tried to be a big girl in other ways: by lending you my few hundred dollars when your re-fi depended on it, by giving you a membership that would have taken me out of chargebacks, by devoting time to pushing through those last few counters at the last hours of the month so you would qualify. It was an endless struggle. I was resentful for other things, but I’ve always wanted you to succeed. I haven’t deliberately set out to try and ruin you. I am so sorry for what I’ve done. Those nice things listed above don’t even begin to add up to counter balance the horrible things I’ve done. It should have all been different. It’s my fault. I am 100% responsible for this.

Travis now says this was to “reel him in”, accuses her of being selfish, says she hates him. Travis is now becoming quite unreasonable and abusive:

Travis: You did those things to reel me in. It was about you. Why did you manipulate me into loving you? Why me? I was a good guy. Why did you have to do it to me. Why do you hate me? What was your objective?

Travis now repeatedly says Jodi hates him:

Travis: I know that. I want you to admit it. Your actions prove you hate me. Tell me the truth I hate you, say it. I want the truth just once and then tell me why you hate me and desire to ruin my life. Why do you only try to harm me. I have sacrificed so much for you. I have taken so much heat for you and defended you, defended the lies you told others with the lies you told me.
Jodi: I’m sorry Travis.

Travis apparently becomes more and more agitated, and his language becomes increasingly abusive, then he accuses Jodi of slashing his tires:

Travis: You can tell the truth. Tell it. Once. You slashed the F’ing tires. You did. I know you did. You are a liar. You don’t care either. Don’t you see your lies is why your life is worthless. It will always be until you tell the truth. You have got to learn. Can you learn. If not you are taking up people air. You are freaking pathetic.

Jodi denies slashing Travis’ tires ( note: there may be some sequencing issue, as Jodi appears to deny the allegation before Travis raises it )

Jodi: I may be a liar, I may be whore, I may be evil, I may be a coward, I may not be worth the air that I breathe, I am most like the most horrible person you’ve ever had the misfortune of knowing, but one thing I am NOT, is violent. I did not and would not and would never slash your tires.

Jodi repeatedly says how sorry she is, Travis refuses to accept any apology:

Jodi: I don’t know what to do. I really am sorry for everything. I know you don’t want apologies. I don’t what to say.
Travis: You are not sorry. What I want is for you to quit blatantly lying. We both know by your actions that view me as pure shit.

Travis attacks Jodi’s character and new job:

Jodi: I’m a full-time bartender now a Mexican restaurant.
Travis: You think I care about your sob story after what you have done to me.
Travis: A bartender. Perfect.
Jodi: It’s not a sob story.
Travis: A slut’s job. Maybe you can’t get tips for BJ’s. Oh I’m sure you can. You are good at that.

Finally, Travis comes up with this abusive tirade:

Travis: Do realize that. I hate you so much. You have been more cause of pain than the death of my father. You are relentless in your torture of people that have loved you and protected and served you and what do you do. You try to destroy them. You are a the lowest of low. You are sick and evil and knowing you makes me want to kill myself in punishment. I’m so stupid. I don’t even know if you are human. Hitler had more of conscience than you.

The chat ends with Travis saying Jodi flirted with Danny Jones, she denies it.

Overall, Travis is always dominant, extravagantly aggressive and abusive and complains bitterly, in spite of Jodi saying she is sorry. He refuses to accept her apologies, but doesn’t break off the relationship. Jodi by contrast gives way at every turn, apologising, says she did love him, and did not slash his tires.

Travis also shows signs of sexual jealousy, even though he is in relationships with other women, and they do not have any agreement to be faithful to one another. On the basis of Jodi being evasive about other partners,  Jodi telling Travis (in the sex tape) that she was going to Utah on her trip, and non-verbal communication on June 4, it’s likely Travis would have suspected she was in a relationship with another man, Ryan Burns. This could easily trigger abusive controlling behaviour.

Summary: Travis shows anger and abuse issues, and also sexual jealousy. Jodi should have kept away, but instead continued the relationship, and apparently failed to respect his privacy. It supports the hypothesis that Travis lost his temper on June 4, starting a fight that eventually led to his death.

Footnotes:

(1) It is unknown who slashed Travis’ tires. There was an anonymous email sent to Lisa Andrews on December 12, 2007, around the time of the incident, which advised Lisa in religious language to break off the relationship.

(2) It is unknown who took Travis’ journals ( or if they were just lost accidentally ).

(3) Travis accuses Jodi of deleting an email. She denies it. There is no evidence regarding the accusation.

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No visible bruises

“Strack went back and studied the case files of three hundred non-fatal domestic-violence strangulation cases. Strangulation turned out to be a critical marker. Not only did it dramatically increase the chances of domestic-violence homicide, but only fifteen per cent of the victims in the study turned out to have injuries visible enough to photograph for police reports.”

from No Visible Bruises: Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury by Rachel Louises Snyder, The New Yorker, December 2015

If we’re serious about ending men’s violence against women and girls, we need to listen to feminists

Karen Ingala Smith writes:

“When we talk about intimate-partner violence and sexual violence, it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men upon women and girls”.

In Jodi’s case it was her ex-boyfriend’s violence which caused the reaction that ended with him dead from a gunshot and multiple stab wounds, but he was the initiator of the violence, as you might expect.

Karen Ingala Smith

The UK’s lack of “a consistent and coherent approach to tackling violence against women”  has been criticised in an official report  by the UN special rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo .  In addition, last week Professor Sylvia Walby, UNESCO chair of gender research at Lancaster University, criticised official statistics for drastically under-representing the scale of  violent crime against women.

Whilst the UN report commends the  “excellent policy framework” created by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, in the Government’s Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls, it notes that “isolated pockets of good practice” are compromised by the “lack of a consistent and coherent human-rights based approach in the government’s response to violence against women and girls”.

Walby explained, at a meeting at the UK Statistics Agency, that the Crime Survey of England and Wales fails to account for nearly half the attacks on women as it caps the number of separate…

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Stacey Hyde : defense team letter to Guardian

Wrongly Convicted Group Website

It is quite extraordinary that the chief crown prosecutor in the Stacey Hyde case complains (Letters, 16 June) that your article is not balanced as you fail to represent the full facts of the case, citing a key piece of evidence as “fact”, whereas it was strongly disputed at trial. The defence did not accept that Stacey “left the original scene only to return armed with a kitchen knife” and it is likely that the jury also rejected this prosecution evidence when returning their not guilty verdict.

The claim also shows a worrying unfamiliarity with the evidence, as the “original scene” was in fact the kitchen and hallway in which the 32-year-old deceased had strangled the 17-year-old Ms Hyde in an attempt to kill her and had repeatedly swung her around by her hair. Ms Hyde was heard screaming in pain (on the 999 call) for nearly two minutes while…

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Dr Jane Monckton Smith on Stacey Hyde verdict

[ BBC 10pm News, 21 May 2015 ]

My notes:
Criminologist Dr Jane Monckton Smith, Live from Cheltenham.

Dr Smith is surprised at verdict, but says was “a good result”, more awareness of domestic abuse.
Need to take DV more seriously. Not just passion and anger, does escalate to homicide.

Question: Could the conviction happen again?
Dr  Smith: Yes, but would be surprised and saddened.