I had forgotten how much I dislike Dr. Phil. Unfortunately, George and Cindy Anthony decided to talk to him in exchange for a donation to their charity. In an exclusive interview, they revealed what was happening behind-the-scenes in the Casey Anthony case for last three years and their thoughts on the matter. It certainly was an interesting, albeit frustrating, interview to watch.
I believe both were honest as to what they believed. But were they really telling the truth? To figure that out we have to look at the evidence in this case.
How did their responses fit the evidence?
Cindy Anthony is a strong woman. She was hurt by her husband and hurt by her daughter, yet she still loves them both. She is an eternal optimist who tries to find the good in people. People like that tend to make excuses for others rather than hold them accountable.
George Anthony is a broken man who holds his cards close to his chest. While I do not think he was involved at all, his past certainly creates doubt. I question what kind of detective he was considering he blew $30,000 of the family’s savings on a Nigerian scam email. It was interesting when he stated that he started seeing his characteristics in Casey.
The interview didn’t really reveal anything unknown. However, both challenged the evidence.
The Hot Body Contest
Cindy Anthony said that a shot girl did not show up for the hot body contest and someone asked Casey to fill in. Was this true?
The emcee of the contest, Nathan Lezniewicz, had this to say in a police interview back in 2008 (transcript):
Uhm, they were running short on girls that evening for the hot body contest. Someone had asked her, I’m not sure if it was Tony or one of the other promoters had asked her ‘hey, would you do it?’
So she changed. At that point she had like a skirt in her car or something. So she changed into that blue outfit at that point. Based at the realization that hey, I’m about to get on stage and do some dancing, she did proceed to pound some shots and some drinks before she got up on stage…
Cindy Anthony said that she was not excusing or condoning Casey’s behavior. She just wanted people to know that the whole story was not told.
Cindy stated that Casey Anthony had seizures. It was well documented that Casey had a seizure in 2007 according to her ex-fiance (transcript):
As I got up her eyes popped open. Uhm, it looked like she was just staring straight and I said her name a couple times and then she started foaming at the mouth and shaking uncontrollably. And from my limited first aide experience it, it looked like a grand mal seizure to me. So I moved a table out of the way, turned her on her side. Her lips turned slightly blue. She continued seizing for probably about, I don’t know, six to eight seconds. Uhm, once she got done she let out this ahh, sigh, and then her eyes popped back open again and then closed and she was non-responsive.
I sat in the hospital for a while. Uhm, we went, we ended up going back later on that night because she was admitted because they didn’t know why the seizure happened.
Cindy said that she witnessed Casey have a seizure while she was home on bond in 2008. Dr. Phil said this was new information, but Casey actually wrote about this specific seizure in her jailhouse letters back in 2008 (read excerpt):
I started having seizures when I was home in September – we think they were caused by stress. I’ve had a few others while being here [in jail]. So if I ever complain of a headache, please remind me to take something for it. That was the only sign before it happened – and always in my sleep.
One of the psychologists who examined Casey Anthony in jail said that she had 6 documented seizures while incarcerated and was taken to the hospital for one of them (source). She wrote about two others in her leaked jailhouse letters (read excerpt):
I bit my tongue two nights in a row in my sleep… and unfortunately that means that something very unpleasant happened, again: seizures. That’s the best and easiest way for me to know. Add waking up soaking wet from sweat and somewhat disoriented – definitely a seizure. I don’t walk or talk in my sleep, and even if I did, more than likely I wouldn’t almost bite my tongue off… I need to tell Jose and see what I need to do about this. I don’t care how stressed out someone gets, headaches and seizures don’t sound very normal to me. Am I making too much of this?
Casey probably told Jose Baez about the seizures. Cindy revealed that she mentioned them to the defense as well but was told to keep quiet. A seizure-based defense may have been more truthful but definitely would not have gotten Casey off the hook.
Nevertheless, seizures don’t exist in a vacuum, therefore something had to trigger them. They could very well be caused by stress. Or they could be idiopathic. Perhaps, she should call Dr. House for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, he’s as real as “Zanny, the Nanny.”
Someone Else Was Involved
The Anthony’s believe, or want to believe, that someone else was involved in the death or burial of their granddaughter. However, there is no evidence to implicate anyone else. The majority of people closest to Casey Anthony in the summer of 2008 were interviewed and investigated by law enforcement. They spied on Lee Anthony (report) and conducted polygraph examinations on Casey’s friends (report). Unless the other person involved was someone that Casey’s friends or family never knew, Casey Anthony acted alone.
The Anthony’s do not want to believe that their granddaughter’s body was in the trunk of Casey’s car.
I wrote about the trunk evidence in another post (read “The Trunk”). In my opinion, there was compelling evidence to suggest that the child’s body was in the trunk. The trunk smelled like a dead body to people who have smelled that before. Two cadaver dogs “hit” upon the trunk. A hair found in the trunk was microscopically similar to the child and exhibited characteristics of apparent decomposition. And analysis of the odor in the trunk revealed chemicals somewhat consistent with human decomposition.
Admittedly, any one of those pieces of “evidence” could be challenged – as the defense did. However, it is either really, really bad luck on Casey Anthony’s part for all those things to happen to the trunk, or something more.
As Cindy Anthony stated, the body had to get to the woods somehow.
Casey’s Drug Use
Cindy Anthony stated that Casey’s friends told her that her daughter did not abuse drugs before June 16, 2008. Was this true?
Jesse Grund (transcript):
I never saw her use a single drug in my entire life.
Sean Daly (transcript)
Casey was always the type that would scold people if she went to a party and saw people with pot. She was like, “Don’t be doing that s**t.”
Annie Downing (transcript):
She never was really into that [drugs]. Like I said, whenever we went out she would rarely drink to get drunk. We’d go out and she’d have a beer because she’d most of the time drive.
Melina Calabrese (transcript):
She was very adamantly against cigarettes and pot.
Ryan Pasley (transcript):
She never, ever did drugs.
After June 16, she moved in with her boyfriend and his roommates smoked pot.
Nathan Lezniewicz (transcript):
When Casey first started staying… every single night she was not a, she was not a smoker. I would always, and if anyone’s ever at the house, I always [asked] like, “Hey, do you want any?” If you say no, whatever, fine. She had said no, you know, several times. “No, I’m good.” Tony, you know, doesn’t smoke at all or anything like that.
I remember the first time she did say that, “Oh, yeah sure.” You know, “I’ll, I’ll smoke tonight.” And Tony was in class. Me and Cameron were just sitting there. Uhm, it was kind of funny because she insisted that she didn’t know how to use a lighter or how to even you know, hold it. You know she had to like, we had to like hold it for her and light it.
It was approximately three or four times that she did smoke with us in the evening.
The drug use is to my knowledge uhm, was non-existent.
I’ve never seen her intoxicated at the house. Now at the bar, that’s a different story.
Casey used to drink, which was well known to all her friends. But she was against drugs. When asked to try marijuana, she initially declined but later changed her mind. However, this was after June 16, 2008.
Death by Drugging
George Anthony floated the possibility that his granddaughter was drugged. While we don’t know exactly how the child died, we know how she didn’t die according to the evidence. She didn’t die by traumatic injury and she didn’t die by poisoning.
The remains were tested by a UF toxicologist and an FBI toxicologist. The UF toxicologist tested the bone, bone marrow and hair for volatiles, such a chloroform, as well as drugs, such as Xanax. The results were negative (report). The FBI toxicologist utilized more sensitive instruments to test the hair for drugs such as Xanax and the results were also negative (report).
In my opinion, the most telling revelation was when George Anthony admitted he bought the State’s theory hook, line, and sinker. Obviously, this blog is about how the evidence challenges the State’s theory of murder (read “The Analysis”). That tells me that he let other people do the “figuring out” of what happened.
When George stated that he thought his granddaughter was sedated, Cindy retorted by pointing out what the evidence said. That tells me she’s been doing quite a bit of thinking. As she said, she won’t rest until she finds out what happened to Caylee – and Casey – on June 16, 2008. Given how many of her “excuses” actually fit the evidence, I believe that she’s pieced together more of the puzzle than George has.
George, seemingly, cannot get passed the psychological aspects of this case. He stated that he doesn’t understand why Casey didn’t tell him anything if it was an accident. Why didn’t she tell him she wasn’t graduating from high school? Why didn’t she tell him she was pregnant? Why didn’t she tell him she really didn’t have a job? Why is he still surprised that his daughter didn’t tell him anything about her child’s death?
Cindy has accepted that her daughter is “not all there” and has moved beyond that. She’s looking for answers. Perhaps thinking out loud on national television was not the best thing for her to do. Dr. Phil and the “talking heads” misinterpret this and say she’s looking for excuses. They write her off and say that poor Cindy Anthony is in denial and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Make no mistake, she knows the evidence and she’s looking for answers.
Is George Anthony blaming his daughter for his granddaughter’s death? Yes, and rightfully so. Is Cindy Anthony trying to rationalize and downplay what her daughter did? Yes, most definitely. But she’s not as delusional as the media makes her out to be.
We were at the mercy of editing with the Dr. Phil interview. A 9-hour interview was condensed into less than 3 hours. Undoubtedly, pieces were moved around and parts were sensationalized for emotional effect.
The only person this interview really benefited was Casey Anthony. Now she knows where her parents stand. Her father has given up on her and it seems she gave up on him a long time ago anyway. But it appears, no matter what, she’ll always have her Mom.