ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- One of the biggest murder trials of the year created a worldwide mania that drew thousands of people to their TV`s and computers. There are three women from the St. Louis area who say the trial it reached far beyond Arizona state lines.
Amy Markham and her sister Dawn Johnson are very close they hang out and travel together. Their hobby of choice is watching high profile court cases on TV. The sisters love watching trials so much they decided to take it to another level. In April their vacation destination was the Jodi Arias trial in Phoenix, Arizona. Markham says they have been following the trial from the beginning.
"My sister Dawn called me out of the blue and said do you just want to go to Phoenix and watch the trial and I was like that`s crazy," said Markham.
The two sisters spent a week at a downtown Phoenix hotel and woke up at 3:30 every morning to get a spot in line at the courthouse. Their ultimate goal was to catch a glimpse of the courtroom drama of Arias who was convicted of murdering her boyfriend. Their obsession with court cases started with the OJ Simpson trial. They are now known as trial tourists.
"The whole idea of this couple being a so called perfect couple and then something so happening at the very end was very interesting," said Markham.
"There were some people from New Jersey and some from Nevada. There were people like us who showed up for a few days then there were the regulars they would argue about what seat they were going to sit in," said Johnson.
Meanwhile, 30 miles away Pevely native Heidi Tucker spends her days making personalized necklaces for the family of murder victim Travis Alexander. She`s wanted to help the family with expenses because her husband was friends with Alexander who went on church missionary trips in the past. Her inscription of choice 'Justice for Travis.' So far more than 250 necklaces have been sold and $2,000 has been sent to the family to cover trial expenses.
"I want people to remember who Travis Alexander. Jodi Arias is not the one who should be remembered. Jodi committed the crime but justice for Travis is the most important thing," said Tucker.
The trial may be over and the sentencing is not far away. But no matter the distance, the sisters and jewelry maker will always have a piece of a trial that will forever leave an impression on their lives.
"We had a great time it was an adventure we didn`t know what to expect from day to day," Johnson said.
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