The new owners of the home where Travis Alexander was murdered describe a normal life despite the media frenzy and daily gawkers.
As the Jodi Arias trial enters its aggravation phase Wednesday, the family that lives in the Mesa, Ariz., house that belonged to Travis Alexander — Arias' former boyfriend, whom she was convicted last week of murdering — is finding itself in the middle of the media frenzy.
The homeowner, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke to MSN News about her decision to purchase the controversial property; how she remodeled the shower where Alexander was found shot and stabbed 27 times, his throat slit from ear to ear; and the connection she feels with him.
Q: Do you regret buying the house now, just because of all the attention?
A: I don’t have any regrets buying the home. Of course, it has always been really busy, and it has just gotten worse since the trial, with people showing up to take pictures and media vans parked outside during the verdict. We have been dealing with the media since we bought the house in 2009. Our neighbors had to deal with it a lot longer, since they were here after the murder, in 2008. Some of the neighbors have had it, and others have tried to stay patient.
Q: What was the house like when you saw it for the first time?
A: I know that there are photos out there of the tragedy — it was not like that at all. There was a hazmat crew in here cleaning up, another crew cleaning up, and the bank selling the house had been in here cleaning up. I don’t think people realize we did not see gore anywhere. There was no odor, only little bits and pieces of damage. We saw a home that needed a little TLC, and we were willing to put in the time and money to make it ours.
A lot of the damage was not just in the bathroom and closets, it was all over the house. There were loose wires, ceiling and light fixtures had gone missing, the countertops were chipped, and the back door was shattered ... There were things missing upstairs ... there was carpet missing.
When we first saw the house, we thought it had been vandalized. Our real estate agent told us to Google the address after the bank chose to disclose the murder in our closing papers. I came across a couple of newspaper articles and the "48 Hours" episode. I was a little nervous about it, my significant other was not. We talked about it and decided to move forward.
Q: What's it like to live there? Any hauntings?
A: There are some things that I would like to keep personal to myself. My three boys, two of whom are still in elementary school, do not know the extent of what has happened here.
As far as anything weird happening, it's the exact opposite. This is really just a family home in a wonderful community. The atmosphere is very happy ... We celebrate holidays and birthdays and have amazing neighbors who support us a lot.
When we moved, there was a palm tree in the backyard which Travis had planted. I was not able to rejuvenate it, but I am going to plant a palm tree in his remembrance. I don't know if people will think this is weird, but I know that Travis took pride in the home, and I really take pride in this home.
Q: Some examples of the most obnoxious people who showed up at your doorstep?
A: For the most part, people have been respectful. There were a couple of instances. One was when my neighbors called me to complain about this one gentleman who was on our property taking pictures and had behaved obnoxiously with them. Another time, we had someone pull up right next to our driveway who sat there and videotaped my children and me doing yard work. I thought that was really rude.
A lot of the people who knock on the door want to get closure. We've had people from Utah, California, Philadelphia and China ... They just want to talk. My husband won't open the door anymore. He's done. He'll be glad when it's over. I don't know when it will be.
Q: At work, are you known as the one who lives in "that house"?
A: For the most part, we have not told people. Our parents know, but as far as friends and acquaintances and co-workers are concerned, this is just a home.
We are kind of known as "that house" or "Travis' house" or "Jodi's house." I don’t mind being associated with Travis, I don’t like being associated with Jodi.
Q: What's happened to the bathroom where Travis Alexander was found?
A: The master bedroom and bathroom and closet upstairs have all been repainted. They have new carpeting, baseboards and new shower doors. We did keep the shelving in his closet. I have added a lot of floral patterns in the bathroom, splashes of reds and creams, as well as paisley fabric.
Q: Are you watching the trial? Do you care about the outcome?
A: I am watching the trial, and I did care about the outcome. I am very pleased it was first-degree murder. It was very emotional when I heard the verdict. I have met different people who have known Travis, and he just seemed like a very remarkable person. I don't know if it will be the death penalty or life in prison for Jodi. I don't want to say what I hope it is. I was just praying that those jurors had an open mind and saw through everything.