The Gas Cans

Much ado has been made about the number of fuel cans Jodi supposedly had in her possession. The State claims she had three cans whereas she says she had two from Darryl and purchased a third, a kerosene can, at a Walmart but returned it that same day. Because Walmart could not produce the return receipt the absence of evidence was used as evidence of absence to support the State's contention that she was lying on the stand. First off, that's a ridiculous thing to lie about but, saying she did, why would she then say she returned it, thus opening a door to have that claim refuted? Why doesn't the "great liar" just say she misplaced it somewhere in one of the western states, something that could never be refuted?

The following analysis is intended to show that only two gas cans (and not two gas cans plus a kerosene can) would be required to make the trip. This is not meant as proof but only as a plausible scenario. After all, that is all the defendant is required to do in a court of law, show that their version of events is reasonable and plausible, not prove that it actually happened that way.



The gallons highlighted in yellow are gas purchases for which receipts exist. The unhighlighted purchases at the pump are built on circumstantial evidence. For instance we know that after her drive to Monterey she would have only had approximately 3 gallons of gas in her tank so, using deductive reasoning and common sense, she must have re-filled somewhere in the vicinity of Monterey and certainly before Pasadena. We also know that she filled the two gas cans in the West Jordon/Salt Lake City area so it is safe to assume she used the 9.594 gallons in the gas cans prior to that, say in Mesquite.

There are varying mpg averages for each leg of the journey based on numbers, population density, length of drive on open highway, and time of day or night. For instance, traveling into the Los Angeles/Pasadena area during Tuesday rush hour would not be as fuel efficient as, say, driving up through the Arizona desert toward Hoover Dam in the middle of the night. Obviously there will be those who balk at adjusting those averages. It should be known that, as admitted to above, these are used (along with other factors) to fit the mileage and gas usage. But, again, this is not meant to be proof, just a reasonable scenario. It is up to the prosecution to prove that it is not before they can say she is lying.