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Jodi Arias Trial Coverage Inspires New Book; She’s Already Inspired a Movie and a Song by the Last Surviving Member of the Bee Gees

By Tony Sokol | July 13, 2013 10:53 AM EDT

Jodi Arias’ trial inspired a Lifetime movie and a new upcoming song by the sole surviving member of the sixties British pop band, the Bee Gees, and now a new book will be released on the sensational coverage of the Jodi Arias Trial.

The Jodi Arias trial hypnotized America with a grisly murder and a sensational court drama, that coverage is being explored in the new book “Killer Girlfriend: The Jodi Arias Story,” by Associated Press writers Josh Hoffner, Hoffner who was the lead editor on coverage of the Phoenix-based murder trial, and fellow AP journalist Brian Skoloff. Skoloff covered the Jodi Arias trial every day for five month. Hoffner was the lead editor. The pair also conducted a jailhouse interview of Jodi Arias shortly after she was convicted in May.

Before covering the Jodi Arias trial Josh Hoffner was the lead editor on dozens of major stories all across America. Hoffner worked on stories about the the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Airways rescue on the Hudson River, the Virginia Tech massacre and the assassination attempt on Gabby Giffords. Hoffner covered the trial of the first-degree murder conviction of Jodi Arias in Arizona. The Jodi Arias trial was sensational and sexy. The prosecution said she was a jealous stalker of her Mormon lecturer boyfriend Travis Alexander. Arias said she acted in self defense because she was a victim of domestic abuse and the virginal Mormon speaker’s sexual desires.

“Killer Girlfriend: The Jodi Arias Story” was published by Beaufort Books of New York City. Hoffner said “You had a woman scorned who knifed and shot her lover in a jealous rage. She stabbed him nearly 30 times in the chest, slashed his throat and shot him. The crime was five years ago, and it drew worldwide attention because it became such a sensational trial. It became a tabloid sensation and gained such widespread interest.”

Hoffner said the trial contained a lot of explicit sexual material, “There were the email, phone calls and text messages for the jury (to see and hear). It was mind boggling, that (the couple) had phone sex for an hour. You had an attractive defendant and victim, and an enormous amount of sex and lies. You tell yourself each day that you can’t make this up.”

Hoffner said “AP had an interest in seeing how an e-book would work for a story that was still breaking news. The AP gave its blessing for us to do the book on our own time. If we came across an exclusive, something we discovered later, the AP had the right of first refusal. They wanted to see if reporters could produce an e-book. With the e-book, we wanted to put it out the week of the verdict. We will have a new e-book printed when they decide the sentence.”

The coverage of the Arias trial was a trial itself for the two intrepid journalists well-versed in deadlines. Hoffner explained “Jodi was interrogated on the stand for days. It was incredibly revealing, and only snippets could make the story. Brian had more than enough notes and transcripts. We also had this huge public record of interviews, transcripts and testimonies.”

The book has 24 chapters and runs 131 pages. It ends with the verdict. They wrote the book in a month and it was published as an e-book within 72 hours of the jury beginning deliberations.

Hoffner said “The writing started in early April, and we finished in early May. I would start writing in the morning, then work my day shift at the news desk, then start working again on the book. It became 14-hour days. My fiancee is a journalist, so she understood, but even she was glad when the book was done.”

Hoffner explains the popularity of the grisly trial “It wasn’t just murder — people were captivated by the sex, lies and videotape. Travis and Jodi had a stormy, tumultuous relationship filled with jealousy and anger. Travis referred to Jodi as his ‘dirty little secret.’ There was this intense clash where he wasn’t living his Mormon faith.”

 by Tony Sokol

Tagged :  Jodi Arias, trial, coverage, book

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