Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias

Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias by Jane Velez-Mitchell

Book: Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias by Jane Velez-Mitchell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jane Velez-Mitchell
and Deanna had already known each other for more than a year when they began dating in the spring of 2000. There was definitely a strong chemistry between them. In fact, friends said Travis wanted to marry her. Deanna wasn’t ready, though, and at twenty-one she really wanted to pursue a religious mission in Costa Rica. After only a few months of dating, she left California for Central America. The two stayed in contact via mail, as phone calls and email were not permitted. The church had strict communication policies for members on a mission. They could only call family twice a year, on Christmas and Mother’s Day, and they were forbidden to have telephone contact with boyfriends or girlfriends. There was no limit, however, to how many letters Deanna could write, but she was very busy and didn’t have a lot of free time.
    Deanna had been away for more than one year when she received a letter from Travis in the summer of 2001, telling her that he was seeing someone else. “I was sad at first, really sad,” she recalled. “But I kind of expected it. I actually thought it would come a lot sooner. I kind of expected him to say that all along that he wanted to date other people. I even told him before I left that I didn’t expect him to wait around for a year and a half. I’ve seen that happen. All of my friends went on missions. I know what it’s like when the person you were dating starts dating someone else. It just happens all the time.”
    In June 2001, Travis had fallen in love with a young woman he had met at the Young Singles Ward in Riverside. Linda Ballard was nineteen and a student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Travis and Linda had met once before while Linda was still in high school. He had even flirted with her, but her sister scolded him that she was still in high school and too young for him. When Linda came home for the summer after her freshman year, Travis reconnected with her, and the pair quickly became a couple. Their first date and first kiss were on June 4, 2001, exactly seven years to the day before he was murdered. Travis picked her up at her sister’s house, where she was staying. On his car’s dashboard was a picture of a young woman. “Who’s that?” Linda asked.
    “Oh, that’s Deanna,” Travis replied. “She’s my missionary. She’s in Costa Rica on her mission.” Later, Linda learned that Travis had broken up with Deanna while she was in Costa Rica around the time they had begun dating.
    From the start, Travis adored Linda. She was pretty, smart, and there was definitely an intense spark. She was quite beautiful, with full lips, and a radiant toothy smile. He was particularly attracted to her slender, petite frame. Linda, in turn, was taken in by Travis’s charisma and his easy way with people. Travis was just a few years older than she. At that point, he was selling day planners at Franklin Covey, a retail store in Riverside that sells organizers and offers time management training for companies and individuals. According to Linda, he was very into organization. He didn’t want to stay there long, as he had bigger plans for himself. Linda learned that he had been raised in poverty and she admired his determination to make something of himself. However, she was against his decision to forgo college in favor of finding a quick way to earn big money.
    Before long, the relationship between Travis and Linda became serious. They started talking about marriage almost immediately. In August, Linda had to move back to Provo for her second year at Brigham Young. Travis wanted to go to Provo, too, saying he would find an apartment, so the two could continue dating. But Linda told him not to come yet, preferring to wait a semester before Travis made such a leap. She didn’t want the pressure of having someone moving his whole life to another state for her. She wanted to date long-distance and visit each other as often as they could.
    That fall, Travis was struggling

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