Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jodi Arias trial: Criminal psychologist Michelle Ward discusses Jodi Arias the Stalker (videos)

On Feb. 26, 2013, HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky invited criminal psychologist and Investigation Discovery host Dr. Michelle Ward to his show panel, where she proceeded to give insight into Jodi Arias as a stalker. Arias is facing the death penalty and has been charged with first-degree murder for the June 4, 2008, slaying of her lover Travis Alexander.


Alexander's body was found five days post-mortem. An autopsy determined he had been stabbed 29 times and shot in the head. His neck had been cut from ear to ear, nearly decapitating him. Arias first denied any involvement, then later placed herself at the scene of the crime and alleged two strangers had broken into the home, before finally stating she killed Alexander in self-defense.

Arias is claiming a battered woman syndrome defense with severe memory loss and PTSD.

The prosecution in the case has brought forth evidence that not only did Arias stalk Alexander, but she has a history of stalking ex-boyfriends and harassing their girlfriends.

Dr. Michelle Ward described Jodi Arias as stalker on the program. Here is what she said.

"Look, she is the most typical type of stalker. The classification that we often use just because it`s simple is called zonus classification, and she would be considered as a simple, professional stalker, and that simply means she targets somebody who`s a former intimate partner.

"More technically, under a different classification, she would be considered a rejected stalker, and they make up the majority of the stalkers. They can`t let go of a relationship. They tie their identity up with it, and they go back and forth between pursuing this target because they want to get back together with them or they want to punish them. And that`s what Jodi did.

"She was pursuing him and stalking him because she wanted him back, but then, she also needed to punish him for rejecting her. It is very standard stalking behavior, but not all stalkers are psychopaths. So, she really is a mixed bag of crazy, like Darren said."

Dr. Drew then asked about Jodi Arias' psychopathic behavior. "And do you think that she sort of crossed into psychotic stalking when she became a killer or is she -- maybe she had, you know -- maybe it wasn`t psychopathy and stalking, maybe it was stalking that became psychotic stalking."

Dr. Ward responded, "She could have been delusional. I`m not sure. I mean, usually, when the stalkers are delusional, they have this fantasy that not only do they love this person who they don`t know but that the person also loves them. I mean, maybe she had some sort of psychotic break during all of this.

"But when we see stalking go violent, it usually is a rejected stalker or a simple obsessional -- simple obsessional stalker like Jodi, and they just - - they literally feel, if I can`t have you, no one will. I refuse to live on this planet anymore with you on it. I`m not going to kill myself, I`m killing you. And I think that`s what happened with Jodi."

You may hear an interview with Dr. Michelle Ward on Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell in the video player below.

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