Jodi Arias’ Fake Crying and Prosecutor Martinez’s Body Language

Right before Jodi Arias first dramatic emotional fake breakdown on Wednesday
We see Arias who for days has had a much smarter than you smirk towards the prosecutor getting cornered.  We see her start hooding eyes and the face turn down crinkles of fake sadness.  This fake sadness doesn’t fit the line of questioning.   Liars are desperate they use strong emotions like anger, sadness to manipulate our perception.  

How can you tell if a person is really remorseful versus someone who is crying because he or she got caught?
Here is what you can look for.  I train human resource officers to question suspicious employees. If someone is innocent she wants you to see she is innocent. She will typically move towards you and look at you to be sure you believe her. She won’t suddenly SNAP and hide behind a hair curtain and face block so you can’t see them. Face blocks for Jodi Arias include hand to eye, hand to mouth block, block with Kleenex, and block with arm to take off glasses. When someone is truly remorseful they are responding from the emotional brain. You will typically hear the emotion cry or sob or gulp just before they speak.  They will struggle to get the words out as words are in the neo cortex. Listen when someone is really upset they are acting from the emotional brain.

In your expert opinion -- those tears -- is Jodi Arias faking it?
She is faking it. It’s an “I’m caught” moment. If you looked at just the body language you might think poor, poor Jodi.  She is shown exhibit 78, the photo of the murder, and she knows she’s caught and wants to disappear and SNAP… but look closely and you notice the overacting.   She is using facial blocking motions and hair curtain to protect herself so she doesn’t have to look at the prosecutor. You know she feels caught and is acting because he calmly delvers her standard “I don’t know” there is not the vocal stress or word breaks.

Let's watch another key moment. Arias says she had to shoot Alexander because he attacked her like a linebacker. The prosecutor asked Arias to reenact how Alexander did it.       
Look at her hands. Hands show emotional state.  If Travis had really come at her like a linebacker to grab her remember and show the tension and gripping of his hands. It didn’t happen he didn’t grab her so she can’t fake those complex hunching, grabbing, forward motions. 

If you watch prosecutor Juan Martinez's tone and body language.
Back and forth he pushes her, then backs off, pushes her then backs off.  His behavior looked overly frenetic and at the beginning of his question it actually worked.   He steps forward to attack and backs off so she feels she’s safe.  She thinks she’s won then he is right back again.  On this day he clearly changed from a frustrated parent talking to a smart aleck teenager.  He vocally breaks into the middle of her lies cutting them to shreds. 

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at