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Accused killer Jodi Arias talked to 48 Hours shortly after being arrested in 2008 for murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, and now in a dramatic trial, Arias' conversation is back to haunt her. Portions of her two interviews with 48 Hours recounting the night Alexander died in 2008, their illicit sexual relations and her penchant for capturing those moments with her camera, are now being used in her death penalty trial.
"I've been sitting a lot in my cell thinking, 'what a waste,' you know? I did have my whole future ahead of me," says Arias, in a story 48 Hours has been covering for four years. "I had everything to lose and nothing to gain if I killed Travis. I loved him and still love him."
Travis Alexander, a businessman, was savagely murdered in his home and was found a week later when worried friends called police.
Arias first told 48 Hours that after another of their sexual encounters they were the victims of a home invasion and two people dressed in black armed with a knife and a gun attacked theM. Alexander was stabbed and on the floor. She ran, she says, never telling anyone about what happened in the house that day. She was sure he was alive when she fled the house.
"It was the scariest experience of my life," Arias says in the interview with 48 HOURS: "Picture Perfect - The Trial of Jodi Arias" to be broadcast Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. "It was just so unreal. It was like a movie unfolding. Like a horrible movie."
At trial, her attorneys say Arias lied, and that she actually killed Alexander in self-defense because she feared she would be killed first. Alexander, Arias claims, had been abusive.
The prosecution and the defense both plan on playing the 2008 48 Hours interviews as evidence for the jury as they make their cases in the death of Travis Alexander.
Alexander was a successful businessman living in Mesa, Ariz., at the time he met Arias. She was an aspiring photographer who was raised in Northern California. He was a devout Mormon, which meant premarital sex was forbidden. She became a Mormon, began introducing herself as his girlfriend and frequently photographed their sexual encounters.
But there were other women, friends say. Arias found out about the others and they broke up, she says, adding they remained friends. It was after one of their sexual liaisons that Alexander was murdered, raising the question of whether she killed him in a jealous rage or if there really were intruders. Police say all evidence points to Arias, including images from a digital camera found in Alexander's washing machine.
"It was a true whodunit, right from the beginning," Detective Esteban Flores tells 48 HOURS. "We had no idea."
Correspondent Maureen Maher and the 48 Hours team piece together the tumultuous relationship between Arias and Alexander, as well as the investigation into the murder, using interviews with Arias, Alexander's friends, police and new trial footage. "Picture Perfect - The Trial of Jodi Arias" is produced by Josh Gelman and Jonathan Leach. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.