Above the State Attorney’s Office in Orange County, FL reads the message:
“Seek Truth, the Cornerstone of Justice”
“Justice for Caylee” starts by seeking the truth. And the truth is always in the evidence.
For most people, the premise of a mystery is irresistible. At the conclusion of the trial, I was left disappointed because I felt that the mystery had not been solved. While I was watching the trial, I could see that there were inconsistencies in both the State’s and defense’s version of events. It was painfully obvious that there was more to the story than was being told.
Therefore, I started this blog. I wanted to know what happened. Did Casey Anthony murder her child according to the State’s version of events? I spent countless hours reading the police transcripts and FBI reports – thanks to Florida’s liberal release laws – as well as rewatching trial testimony.
I looked at the chloroform and computer evidence and determined that it was highly improbable that Casey made chloroform (read “The Chloroform”, “The Computer Forensics”). I looked at the trunk evidence and accepted that there was a body in the trunk for a short while (read “The Trunk”). I researched papers on the decompositional process of a human body and concluded that the duct tape could not have been on the face for the reasons the State implied (read “Challenging the Duct Tape”). I read accounts of what Casey was like during the “31 Days” and realized that there was a misportrayal of her behavior in the media (read “The Cover-Up”).
After all that, it became clear that Casey did not murder her child the way the State claimed (read “The Analysis”).
I proceeded to research the character of Casey Anthony and the relationship she had with her child. I spent hours reading transcripts from her friends and family. I could not find anyone who had anything bad to say about Casey as a mother. Psychologists who examined Casey in jail spoke out on her behalf after the trial ended and dispelled misconceptions.
It was then I realized that there was no murder (read “Casey: Loving Mother?”).
This was a mystery that could only have been solved after the trial ended. Evidence was being collected and analysis was being conducted right up until the trial started. We knew what the State was going to present, but we didn’t know what the Theory of Defense would be. The Theory of Defense is either the truth or a theory loosely based on the truth because sometimes the truth isn’t believable enough to avoid a conviction. In this case, it was quite obvious that the Theory of Defense was loosely based on the truth.
No one can blame the detectives for thinking the way they did. They were faced with a missing child and a lying mother. The situation was highly suspect. They had to piece together what happened.
Detectives John Allen and Yuri Melich floated the possibility of an accident (transcript):
If something happened, if there, some accident occurred, if you know, Casey just being a young, twenty-two year old girl with, with a, you know, uh, you know being carefree and being focused on some other things, uh, through some you know, you know she wasn’t watching her for a minute and something happened, then I, I, we both spend a lot of time working child abuse. And I’m telling you uh, it, it, it is, it, it, well often times you know if a child dies, the child dies because the mother wasn’t paying attention for a few minutes or well, one thing or another like that. It isn’t, it, it isn’t always that you know, that the, you know, they did some horrible unspeakable act. Sometimes it’s a horrible accident, you know? Uh, they were on the phone and the kid crawled in the pool. They ran inside to talk to somebody, only planning to be in the house for ten or fifteen minutes and left the kid in the car and something happened there. A number of those things could happen, okay?
Do you think, do you think the reason your daughter doesn’t want to tell us what happened is for fear that her mom might do, might say I told you so, or something along that? Do you think that it would be so disappointing to mom and, and that’s why she’s, she’s, she’s taking this to the bitter end?
Do you think that Casey believes uh, that nobody would forgive her if something happened, if some accident happened, some bad thing?
But it was unavoidable to come up with a theory of murder with the evidence they were collecting. At that point, they were looking for clues to fit their theory of what happened, not necessarily the truth of the matter (read investigative report). To them, decompositional chemicals and chloroform in the trunk plus chloroform searches on the computer equated to homicide. But their theory had significant gaps. What was relevant and what was not?
Possibilities exist in the unknown, but the truth exists in the evidence.
Before June 16, 2008
I’ll tell you exactly what I thought um…she was a very nice person, she is a nice person um …a lot of…she seemed to be very agreeable like if you say something whether or not she’s actually done she’ll say she has and a lot of stuff she’d say I …think it was a little bit BS but it was trivial things so I never paid it too much mind. Um…besides that she was very nice, she was caring, she…like I would I got sick one time even when we were after we were dating she came and cooked for me food, chicken soup and all this stuff like she was a very good person, she did care and I got along with her great.
Um…she’s been really happy she’s just and you I mean…any of my friends that have hang out with her she comes out [and] she’s [a] very, very social person. She’s been cooking for everybody in the house, cleaning up the place…
She’s always been like the mother figure in the group, like, hey, you shouldn’t be doing this. Hey, you shouldn’t be doing that.
She always had to have somebody around her or somebody talking to her. And a lot of people get annoyed because she talks so much.
She was described by her friends as primarily a homebody but went shopping, often with her child (transcript):
She appeared to be more of a homebody. We liked to go shopping. That’s what we did. We went shopping.
A lot of times Caylee would be with us.
She was very adamantly against cigarettes and pot.
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.”
She never was really into [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.
Her friends partied but she didn’t go out with them all the time because she had to take care of her child (transcript):
I do go out. I do party. And most of the time [Casey] wasn’t there… because she had Caylee.
The times that Casey did go out, she lied and said that she had to “work” late. On those days, she dropped the child off with her mother, Cindy Anthony, at work according to co-workers (transcript, transcript):
Yes, [Casey] did bring the child in, usually on Wednesday[s] when I worked late. She was dressed, usually in a hurry to say, “Mom I got to go,” [and] drop the child off about 5.
Ah, there’s been times that she was supposedly, according to Cindy, going to work. So, she would drop Caylee off here and Caylee would stay with Cindy for 30 minutes or whatever. And then Caylee would leave with Cindy.
When Casey did this, Cindy would call later in the evening and tell Casey to come home according to her friends (transcript):
She went out with us maybe once a month. Whether it was a house party or we went downtown, maybe once a month.
Her mom would call almost every single time we went out.
Her mom would just call, “Where are you? When are you going to be home?” You know, “I want to go to bed.” And she wanted her home to take care of her own daughter.
Casey told her parents that she had a babysitter named Zanny (read “Zanny, the Nanny”). Sometimes when she would “work” late, she would stay over at the babysitter’s place with her child. This was actually her boyfriend at the time (transcript):
She’ll come over and stay over probably three or four times a week. Uh most of the time with Caylee, um, very rarely without her.
Despite all of this, however, Casey never found life with her child to be a burden (transcript):
She always told me she wouldn’t change it for anything.
Her friend, Annie Downing, was asked by detectives to describe the relationship between Casey and her child (transcript):
If anything over protective. For, until Caylee was two and a half uh, nobody could hold her because she was so tied to Casey. I mean I was around Casey five days a week for at least an hour or so. I mean when we were good friends we, I mean we hung out almost every single day. And she, like I said, I couldn’t even hold her. I was around her like every single day. She knew my face. She knew who I was. She was okay around me. But she wouldn’t, I mean if Casey were to go to the bathroom and not take Caylee, Caylee would scream.
Another friend, Melina Calabrese, described the relationship (transcript):
She and Caylee were adorable. I mean, they would call me on the phone and they would sing songs to me. She was, for being, you know, a nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, uh, mother, she, she, I, I just, I I’m you know, I didn’t envy it, because, obviously, I’m not a mother. But, I just, I, I almost hoped for it, you know, because, she was very good with Caylee. She gave Caylee almost everything that a little girl could need or want. She was very good with her when it, you know, when Caylee did get upset, randomly. Uh, you know, Casey was very good with her. Just never raised her voice. Always, you know, and I never once ever saw her touch her in a, in a, in a negatory (sic) way. It, it’s, you know, and to this day I, I, I hope my mother/daughter bond is going to be like that. And, it almost seemed easy.
However, sometimes when Casey was at home, she would leave her child unattended (transcript):
Uhm, I do believe that there are times where Casey would leave Caylee unattended to do things. Get on the computer, talk on the phone.
Caylee would usually, she would hang out in the living room while Casey was in the computer room, or sometimes Casey would go outside to use the telephone and leave Caylee in the living room. Uhm, she also went outside and played with Caylee a lot and then she’d also be playing with the dogs. Uhm, she let Caylee play in her playpen while she’d go do something.
June 16, 2008
Casey’s father, George Anthony, recalled what he witnessed on June 16 (transcript):
Let’s put it this way like 10 minutes to 1 that afternoon on the 16th is when I actually saw Casey and Caylee together. They’re both leaving with backpacks and so my daughter said she was going to work and she was taking Caylee to the, to the nanny, to the babysitter.
Okay, my granddaughter had her white, uh, backpack um, I think it has little monkeys or something on it, like, like brown monkeys. And I know she was dressed in her little uh, blue jean skirt, the white tennis shoes…um.. she had a pinkish color top. One of those, uh, one has a sleeve on it. She had her little sunglasses on, they was white rimmed sunglasses. Her hair was in a ponytail that day, I remember that very, very well.
And my daughter had a like decent pair of like dress slacks on, top that she could be wearing to be going to work. There’s not nothing unusual about the way she was dressed. I know she had a backpack full of stuff. [The slacks were] like a charcoal grey, like a pin stripe, like a pin stripe through it. [The top was] like a beige color, matter of fact almost like, not white but almost like and off white color top.
He said the situation was not out of the ordinary:
She just set it down and she says “Hey” she says. “I’m gonna be working a little bit late, uh, Caylee’s gonna be staying with the nanny, I’m gonna back and stay there and I’ll see you and Mom tomorrow afternoon.” That’s not nothing unusual, she’s done that a few different times so. She said she already had, she says “I already talked to Mom, Mom knows I’m gonna be staying over.” I said, “Okay. Just be careful and I’ll see you tomorrow” type deal.
George worked from 3:00pm to 11:00pm on June 16. Cindy said he usually left home at 2:00pm (transcript):
He usually leaves to go to work around 2 you know at that time.
The cellphone pings show Casey was at home or in the area at 12:50pm and there was no change in position until 4:18pm (view pings).
Casey texted her boyfriend around 12:50pm then had a 13 minute conversation with him at 1:00pm.
She was on the phone with her friend, Amy Huizenga, from 1:44pm until about 2:20pm. Amy described that conversation as normal as per the time period and nothing strange stood out (transcript):
… just life, friends talking.
The normal conversations at that time were that Cindy was leaving the house to Casey (and Caylee) and Amy was going to move in.
The computer forensics show that there was heavy computer activity on the Anthony’s home computer between 2:00pm-3:00pm and the cellphone pings show that Casey was at home. There was no computer activity after 3:00pm.
Another friend, Jesse Grund, called Casey at 2:52pm and described the conversation he had with her as unusual (transcript):
Uhm, it was not, it was not a normal, if that’s a correct choice of words. Uh, [the conversation was about] the fact that her mom was no longer moving out anymore. Casey now had to find a place to live. Uhm, uh, she couldn’t stay at home.
The conversation ended when George called Casey, but she rejected his call.
For the next hour, there was near complete digital silence from Casey Anthony. This was odd behavior when you consider that her routine was to be either on the phone (talking or texting) or on the computer.
She probably left home when she started calling her mother at 4:10pm and left a message at 4:14pm.
Cindy recalled the message that Casey left that evening (transcript):
But I had gotten a phone call, God I don’t know what point in the evening, and said that um, she had a lot going on. And that she wasn’t gonna come home they were gonna crash at Zanny’s that night her and Caylee were gonna just stay at Zanny’s.
Casey drove to her boyfriend’s apartment.
The evening of June 16 she was videotaped at Blockbuster in different clothes than what George saw her in earlier in the day. She was wearing a sleeveless gray top and short jeans with a hat on (see surveillance photos).
When Cindy came home that night, she found the pool ladder attached to the pool and called George. He recalled the conversation (transcript):
But one specific day and I can’t remember which day it was, my wife called and was bitching me out, “George, did you leave the gate open inside”. “No.” “Well did you go swimming today?” “No.” “Well the ladder’s on, the gates open.”I’m like, “Well I didn’t do it”. I don’t know the exact date it was.
All I know, I was working, it could have been 6, 7:00 at night. I wish I could be specific.
She didn’t call George from the home phone anytime in June, according to the records (view records). A local news station obtained the cell phone records for Cindy and stated that she didn’t call George’s personal cell phone from her cell phone (report). But George definitely received a call. Therefore, she called George’s work cell phone from her cell phone. George mentioned to detectives that he had one, but apparently they forgot (transcript):
I called on the company cell phone. I know I called and I can’t think of the lady I talked to.
By this time, or soon thereafter, the child was at her final resting place off Surburban drive. For a more detailed look at Casey’s actions on June 16, please read June 16 Timeline.
The “31 Days”
Misinformation. Misrepresentation. Mischaracterization. All it takes is one person to spin a story. Many people wanted to hang Casey Anthony based upon how they interpreted her behavior during this time period.
Casey told law enforcement what she was doing during the “31 Days” in her written statement (statement):
For the past four weeks, since Caylee’s disappearance, I have stayed at Anthony’s apartment at Sutton Place. I have spent everyday, since Monday, June 9, 2008, looking for my daughter. I have stolen from friends and family, to do whatever I could, by any means, to find my daughter. I avoided calling the police, or even notifying my own family out of fear. I have been, and still am afraid of what has, or may happen to Caylee… Every day I have gone to malls, parks, any place I could remember Zenaida taking Caylee. I have gone out, and tried to find any information Caylee, or Zenaida, whether by going to a popular bar, or restaurant.
Curiously, there was some truth mixed in with the lies – which is an interesting aspect to Casey’s lying. Indeed, she stayed with her boyfriend, Anthony Lazzaro, when he was in town. She stole from her friends and family. She didn’t call the police or her family. And she went to malls, bars, and restaurants.
Her friends met together after she was arrested and prepared a calendar of what she was doing during the “31 Days” (view calendar). Other people on the internet have broken down the daily activities of Casey Anthony during this time period (view site).
Personally, I do not see any reason to consider Casey’s behavior during the “31 Days” as evidence. We now know that the child died on June 16, 2008, therefore her behavior as to a missing child is irrelevant. She shopped, partied, and hung out with friends prior to her child’s death and did the same after. It was immature, bad behavior all around. Contrary to the media portrayal, she didn’t party in excess during this time period as her boyfriend told detectives (transcript):
Q: So you wouldn’t call her a big party girl?
A: Not really, I mean, not since she’s been with me, no.
The important aspect of the “31 Days” was the lying. She lied about the location of the child which indicated that she knew where the child was and what happened to her. Accordingly, there were a few incidents that were publicized in the media.
Gas Can Incident
George and Cindy Anthony revealed to Dr. Phil that Casey used to take money from their wallets – most likely to put gas in her car. George said in a police interview (transcript):
She’s always borrowing money from my wife and/or she’ll say Dad, you know, I didn’t get a chance to stop at the ATM last night, do you have five bucks or ten bucks, I need gas.
When she left the house on June 16, that source of “income” evaporated and she had no more money. Therefore, it was not surprising that her car ran out of gas on June 23. She called her boyfriend for help (transcript):
Uhm, I definitely was home. Uh, she gave me a call and she told me to head, you know, “Drive like you’re going to my place.” Uh. Probably gave me directions because I don’t really remember. She was just telling me to go down Chickasaw. So I took, first I went down Chickasaw and I saw her walking towards her house, on Chickasaw. [She had on] A Jansport backpack I think. It looked like a black, uh, black and pink and white backpack if I can remember. She [gets in the car and] says, “Oh, I need to get gas. Drive back to my place.” So we go back to her place. She goes to the gas, we get the gas can in her shed and then we go to her car.
Uhm, I used one of my tire irons [to break the shed lock]. It was just, it looked like it was packed out. Just packed out shed. And I remember the gas cans being on a top of a shelf.
[Her car was facing] Towards her house because uh, the way that we, like I said that, it was like a short like street. And then there was like uhm, you make a left and her car was heading towards where we came from. So I turned around and I parked in front of her car.
Uh, I just held the gas. She…I was going to put the gas tank, like I wanted to put the gas in the, in the car, but she was Ms., she wanted to put the gas in the car. Like, like pour the gas in the car. So I mean I just, uh, there was one point when she handed me one of them and I uh, I put it down. And then I handed her the other one. I don’t think she used all the gas in the second one.
Casey went back to her house the next day but didn’t know her father would be home. George recalled the incident (transcript):
I got home about 2:25, 2:30, started to get ready for work and um, Casey pops in the door. I hear the garage door open, here comes Casey in. I think I startled her sorta being there cause my car was inside the garage. But she comes in, she says, “Hey Dad. How are you doing. I don’t got much time, gotta go back to work for an event.” “Dad, I don’t got time for it, I only got 10 minutes, I gotta get back to work.” Well while she’s in her room, she shouts out to me, “Oh by the way, I talked to Mom, I understand something happened here at the house.” I said, “In reference to..” she says, “Oh the gas cans”. And I said “yeah, isn’t that something”. “Oh Yeah Dad, that’s terrible”.
This investigator thing comes through and I, I know my daughter is not levelling with me. And I know this is what she’s done in the past. I said, “Hey Case.” You know in the back of your trunk in the car we got those metal wedges you put underneath the, your wheel, the car, if you jack your car up so it doesn’t move. I said, “Hey I wanna get that one out of your car cause I already have one in the garage, I wanna get that other one just cause I’m gonna uh, go ahead and rotate your Mom’s tires over this weekend, in case you’re not home, I’d like to be able to do it”. “Oh, Dad, I’ll get it out for you.” “Case, I got an extra set of keys, I’ll go in the trunk and get it”. So her and I got into a little verbal thing.
So as I’m getting ready to go out through our inner garage door before I open up the big garage door, she just blows right past me. “Dad, I’ll get your thing”. She said something very crude to me that I don’t appreciate. So as I’m walking out the garage with her I’m walking at a pretty decent pace and she’s almost running out to her car, she says, “Dad, I’ll get it, I know where it’s at”. I said, “Casey, I’m capable of reaching inside the trunk of your car, unbolting that thing”.
And she says, “Dad, I’ll get it”. As I’m walking, I just get back where the passenger rear tail light is to her car, she throw up in a turn, she says, “Here are your F ing cans”. I said, “Thanks a lot”. I said, “Now I look like a stupid a*s, you know, I made a quick report to OCSO, now you got the cans, why do you have them?” “Well I’ve been dragging, driving back and forth to Tampa to see Zanny.” And I’m like, “Wait a second, you’re supposed to be working and now you’re in Tampa?” “This don’t make no sense to me”.
“I’ll talk to you and Mom later”. She hurries up, she gets in her car, takes off. I had the gas cans because she handed them to me.
One of the fuel cans that Casey took from her father’s shed had a gas and oil mixture which probably didn’t help her fuel mileage when she put it in her car (transcript). Therefore, Casey’s car ran out of gas again on June 27. She messaged her friend Amy (messages):
My car ran out of gas again.
Apparently, she was driving back to her boyfriend’s apartment after coming from her parents’ house. The car ran out of gas at the corner of S.R. 50 and Goldenrod Rd (view Google Streetview). She had help to push it into the neighboring Amscot. Her boyfriend picked her up (transcript, transcript):
She said that she ran out of gas and she’d take care of it later. Because she knew I was busy with school.
Her car was parked like this like kind of cockeyed. Like somebody pushed it in. So uh, she was standing out on the other side facing out the, the road on the cell phone with the groceries on the back of it. But she wasn’t standing in front of the car. She was standing behind the car, by the trunk.
They weren’t actually groceries from the store. It was from her house. She had some freezer pops and some like Tyson chicken, or something to make for dinner that night.
Uhm, and then pulling into the parking lot and she walked right up to the car with her bags. And I said, “I (unintelligible) what do to. Do I need to look at it?” Like, “Do you want me to look at it?” And she goes, “No, you know, my father will take care of it.”
Two days later she texted her friend (messages):
Can I borrow you and your gas can today?
Amy’s gas can was in storage, so the next day both Casey and Amy went to Target to buy a gas can (transcript):
So we went to Target probably between eleven and one-ish that day. Uhm, bought a gas can.
A day or two after, Casey went to the Amscot and found out her car was towed (transcript):
I definitely remember her going and saying, “Guess what? My car was towed.”
It doesn’t seem like Casey intentionally abandoned her car at one of the busiest intersections in Central Florida. Apparently, she left her driver’s license and ID in the car (transcript). However, it doesn’t seem like she was in a hurry to get it either. Her boyfriend had schoolwork to hand in and was leaving for New York so she chose to spend time with him.
Hot Body Contest
Um…and I manage the nights and I usually DJ so, I mean, she would just come up there, you know, try to help out with whatever ’cause I have the shot girls and she tells the shot girls she wants to have some kind of help, so I would let her, you know, manage the shot girls.
What happened is she had gone there [Fusian] uhm, with Tony. Uhm, she didn’t work there. She was uh, Tony’s girlfriend. Uhm, Tony and Clint had the promotion company in conjunction with two other gentlemen. Uhm, they all ran Friday nights there. She would just sit with Tony uhm, at the front door, you know, checking ID’s or whatever, whatnot.
The emcee of the hot body contest told detectives what happened that night (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…
A friend who knew Casey well stated that there was something wrong with the pictures (transcript):
I would look at those pictures and I just didn’t feel like [that was] the Casey I knew. She was trying too hard to be someone she was not. Those seem like she was trying too hard to, you know, smile for this camera and do these poses. Something about those pictures is just not sitting right with me.
Casey Anthony did a good job at hiding her emotions from the people who were around her, most of whom were new friends. But there were clues that something was amiss – besides the fact that a mother didn’t have her child for a month.
At some point during the “31 Days” before her boyfriend left for New York, she awoke in the middle of the night when she thought everyone was asleep, sat up in bed, turned on her laptop and cried to a video of her child (view video).
Nathan Lezniewicz, a roommate of Casey’s boyfriend, told detectives what happened (transcript):
Tony said that she [Casey] had had woken up before crying.
Uhm, I guess it was, he had just told me this maybe a couple weeks ago that she had sat up one night [and] that he had woken up. I guess maybe between the hours of three and five he had woken up and she was sitting up in the bed next to him crying.
Tony, Casey’s boyfriend, recalled the event (transcript):
One time, a couple times that I had her, she had nightmares and she had these sweats, but I can’t remember exactly what days those were.
Uhm, I remember, I would say it wasn’t at night. It was in the morning. And she was already awake. And she was just on her laptop watching uh, this video and she was crying.
The video where I guess it shows like Caylee with the gr…her [great-] grandfather, that was shown all over the news.
She was uh, uh, sitting up in my bed and like at, like at the end, like … Indian style or whatever. And then uh, and she had the laptop in here, in her lap.
Let’s be clear. Many of the mental health experts have been yelling psychopath, sociopath. However, in my mind specifically when it came to anti-social personality or sociopathy, there was a specific provision [in her character] that ruled out her being diagnosed with that disorder.
I do not believe – based on all of my interactions with her, as well as the psychological testing, I don’t believe that she has any diagnosable mental illness… [like] a psychiatric or a psychological disorder. She doesn’t have [borderline] traits either.
Her behavior throughout the “31 Days” was immature and Casey eventually recognized that according to a psychologist (transcript):
She can’t believe how immature and how she behaved. And again, I emphasize that I am seeing a Casey who has been in jail for close to three years when I start seeing her. So she, herself, when she looks back in time, has a real hard time understanding how she behaved the way she behaved.
Casey Anthony told him (article):
I’m embarrassed when I look at my behavior now. I can understand why others think the way they do.
The “31 Days” were not devoid of any criminal activity by Casey. She stole hundreds of dollars from her friend, Amy, and wiped out her bank account. It was only a matter of time before Amy found out. Casey was on a collision course with her own fate one way or another.
The Kidnapping Story
Cindy Anthony found her daughter, Casey, on July 15, 2008 and brought her home. Casey’s brother, Lee Anthony, recalled the night (transcript):
I met them outside in the driveway as they were pulling in. My, when my sister and my mother uh, get out of the vehicle, it’s very obvious to me that they had been at least yelling back and forth with each other. Uhm, my sister conveyed something to the extent of uh, “You know you won’t even listen to me and why do I even bother.” Uhm, my mother uhm, when I’m trying to ask her what’s going on she just says, “Your sister knows where Caylee is and she won’t take her to me,” or, “She won’t take me to her,” sorry. Uhm, and then she continues to say, “I’m going to call the police and you need to talk to your sister.”
So Casey immediately went inside, sat in on her bed, and I stood in her doorway and was trying to being a mediator through, from my mother who is in the living room and my sister who was in her room, trying to mediate the situation to frankly not have the police being called on my sister because it didn’t make any sense to me why she’d want to go through that unnecessarily. Uhm, for what seemed to be a better part of thirty or forty-five minutes I tried my best to stall my mom and get through to my sister that as she maintained, “I know where Caylee is. She’s with the nanny. Uhm, Casey maintained that you know uhm, “Caylee’s at the nanny’s house.” Uh, “She’s sleeping. I don’t want to take her out of you know, what’s been normal for her lately. We can go get her in the morning.” Uhm, “I don’t want to interrupt her.”
So I was trying to facilitate other options to my sister by saying, “I will go. Tell me where I can go to, to see Caylee myself. I’ll go for five minutes. I’ll do it your way. I’ll go and just make sure that she’s okay.” I even offered to have my roommate, a good friend of mine and a good friend of ours, go to verify that she’s okay. And my sister maintained that you know, “Mom won’t allow it to happen.” While my mother continued in the background to say, “That’s unacceptable. I want her here. I want her home. I, I don’t, I don’t want just to see her. I want to hold her. I want her to be here.” So I didn’t really force that issue very much longer.
At this point, Casey maintained that she knew where her child was. Lee and his mother believed the child was with the babysitter but Casey wouldn’t take them to see her. When her mother left the room, Casey started to open up and confess a few things:
So every time my mother would go outside I’d try to ask something to my sister that maybe she wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in front of my mom. You know, asking what’s, you know, “What’s going on? You know what’s the deal?” And she still maintained everything, but she would say, uhm, that’s when she opened up to me and said, uhm, uhm, “Mom has uhm, thrown it in my face many times before that I’m an unfit mother and you know, maybe she’s right and maybe I am.” She offered up to me for the first time that uhm, my mother has referred, said to my sister that uhm, even though Caylee’s been the best thing and the best mistake that she was indeed a mistake. That she was Casey’s mistake.
She did uh, when it was uhm, when I kept saying, “Well I don’t get it. What’s in it for you? Why are you letting, you know, the police get involved with this? The, this seems, this doesn’t make any sense to me.” She’s like, “Well maybe this should have been done a long time ago. I’ve stolen money from Mom. I’ve been a bad daughter.” Uhm, “You know I’ve been,” she said, “I’ve stolen money from you. You know I’ve untrustworthy, you know.” And she goes, “And maybe I have been a, a, a, you know, a bad, a mother, a daughter and sister.” And she said, uhm, “You know so this should have been done a long time ago.”
Unfortunately, she was taking too long to come out with it, so Lee gave up and told his mother to call the cops:
Because at that point when she continued to maintain that, I had finally looked to my Mom kind of with an approval and said, “Fine, call the cops because I’m with you. I want her to prove it. If she won’t allow us to go,” even me, or my friend to go just make sure that she’s okay and come back. I was like, “I want, I want you to have her prove it too.” Absolutely. My Mom goes outside to call the police. While she goes outside to call the police I go and sit in the, in the living room. So at this point my, I feel like my brain’s fried and because I’m going I don’t know how else I could have had her open up to me.
Lee went back to his sister’s room and approached the situation from a different angle. He roleplayed what would happen when the cops arrive:
I was like, “Let’s go through this right now.” I said, “Because I don’t understand what, what you’re going to do here.” I said, “The officer is going to say, “You know, good evening Ms. Anthony. Uhm, where’s your daughter? That’s exactly what he’s going to say. And what are you going to say?” And she says, “She’s with the nanny. She’s sleeping.” And then again, playing the role of the police officer and the scenario, I say to my sister, “Great Ms. Anthony. I’m so happy to hear that. That’s going to be a relief for everybody. So hop in the car. Your Mom’s going to follow. Let’s go get her.” And when I look at my sister for the response she’s, she’s got this look on her face like… I’m going to have to tell them what’s going on, you know.
That’s exactly what they were going to do because that’s what they did do when they came. Uhm, and when I, so I gave probably a good ten, fifteen seconds to respond until I gave her just kind of like a shrugged shoulders look of you know, what’s it going to be? What, what are you going to say?
Lee gave Casey a “slap of reality” and she broke down:
And then at that moment is when Casey began to break down and cry and she said, “Lee, do you want to know the truth? I haven’t seen Caylee in thirty-one days.” And then she repeated herself, “I haven’t seen my daughter in thirty-one days.” And at this point her hands are in her face. She sitting her hands are in her face and she’s crying.
This was make-or-break time right here because Casey was actually telling the truth. Lee followed up with some questions:
And I take, her repeating herself actually gave me enough time to let that sink into me, and instead of getting completely worked up, just get, try to start getting the facts of, “Where have you been? Where is the last time that you’ve seen her,” and all these type of things. I was trying to whisper to her, because for whatever reason she hadn’t opened up to my mother yet. And I felt like she was only willing to open up to me at this point now that I’ve gotten through to her. And I was trying to ask her who took her. You know, “When’s the last, when, when,” you know and all these questions.
That’s when the light bulb illuminated in Casey’s head. She found an exit strategy. She didn’t have to admit the truth, which seemingly was on the tip of her tongue. Instead, she made up a story:
And and that’s when she goes, “She was kidnapped.” And she wasn’t speaking in details. She was speaking in generalities.
And as soon as that started happening my mother realized that I’m whispering to my sister, she gets you know, smart to the situation and realizes my sister is saying something and she busts into the room. And again, the door wasn’t shut or anything, but she comes into the room, sees that my sister was crying, and she said, and actually the first thing that she asked her, she says, “What have you done? Why are you crying? What’s going on?”
And I can tell you she. She, her eyes were watered. She had been crying. Now it’s not bawling mind you, she had been crying. But when my mother came in and started, “What’s going on,” and when my sister said, “I don’t know where, where Caylee is,” again her voice escalates when my mom gets in the room almost combatively. Uhm, my sister, when she explains that to my mom, “I don’t know where Caylee is,” and then my mother immediately goes, “Who took her? Who took her?” And, and, and then Casey goes, “Uhm, the nanny did. She was kidnapped Mom.” And then that’s when my mother kind of hit her fist on the bed and said, “We could have found her a month ago. Why did you wait?” And at that point my sister is done crying. She’s, now they’re fighting about you know, this stuff in the past instead of trying to focus on the information that we need to get.
The rest is history. At this point, Casey began ironing out the finer points of her story. She would stick with it long after it was refuted.
Casey Anthony cannot say she didn’t see this coming. When she took the detectives to Universal Studios on July 16, 2008, they sat her down and explained the scenarios (transcript):
I’ve had to sit down with.. with mother’s who rolled over their babies accidentally. I’ve had to sit down with mothers whose kids have drowned in swimming pools. I’ve had to sit down with mothers who had boyfriends who beat their kids to death. Ah, you know who.. who felt horrible about what happened. And then try, and I had to go to them and help them try to explain to their families okay. And then I’ve also had to deal with people who have done horrible, unspeakable things to children. And then lied about it and lied about it and lied about it okay. And I’ll bet you somewhere I probably dealt with somebody who maybe made a mistake, but continued to lie about it. Maybe they weren’t such a bad person. But maybe the whole world didn’t see it that way. Maybe their family didn’t see it the way ‘cause they kept lying, lying, lying and lying about it. And then when it finally.. and then months down the road or days down the road when they finally decided to come forward okay. People were past it, you told me that you lied to me for the last time. I.. I would’ve listen to what you had to say. Don’t talk to me anymore okay.
But here’s.. here’s.. here’s what we’re trying to get by is that there’s… you’re.. you’re you fall under one or two categories. And I’m sure he explained it and I explained it. Is that if this is something that an accident happened and, and no matter how you think people are gonna look at you. They’re gonna look at you a lot worse if they show… it you continue to show that you’re callous or not caring and that you just show complete dispassion and disregard for human life.
Or they can look at you as someone that, you know what, I can understand I’m a young mother. Or she’s a young mother, first child, something horrible happened. She’s thinking oh my God my life isn’t going good right now. I already know my life is struggling. People don’t see me in that great of a light, I know I got problems at home, I’ve got problems with friends. I know I got problems at work, or lack of work. All of a sudden something bad happens to my child, people are gonna think I’m just the devil.
See there’s a difference between this person who makes a mistake and says, listen I’m sorry this is the reason that I lied to you. This is the reason I was scared. Compared to the person who might sit here and say, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
They got fed up with her lies and told her what they thought of the situation:
Here.. here’s where it comes down to. None of us are sitting here believing what you’re saying because everything that’s coming out of your mouth is a lie. Everything. And unless we start getting the truth, unless we start getting the truth we’re going to announce two possibilities with Caylee. Either you gave Caylee to someone that you don’t want anyone to find out because you think you’re a bad mom. Or something happened to Caylee and Caylee’s buried somewhere or in a trash can somewhere… and you had something to do with it… either way right now it’s not a very pretty picture to be painting. Either way, either way right now with everything that you’re telling us. You’re painting yourself as a very bad person. Your family’s gonna suffer for this. Your friends are gonna suffer for this. And remember what I told you about all these people coming? They’re gonna crucify you for this. Because of all the lies that you been telling us. We need to stop that right now. Everything you’ve told us is a lie. You’re looking me in the eyes, you’re looking at… everything you’ve told us is a lie. Every single thing.
Listen, something happened to Caylee. We’re not gonna discuss where the last time you saw her. I.. I’m guessing something bad happened to her sometime ago and you haven’t seen her. So, that part is true if you say you haven’t seen her because she’s somewhere else right now. She’s either in a dumpster right now or she’s buried somewhere, she’s.. she’s out there somewhere and her rotting body is starting to decompose because what you’re telling us. And here’s the problem the longer this goes the worse it’s gonna be for everyone, everyone. The worse it’s gonna be for everyone. Right now everything you’ve told us we’ve locked you into a lie. Every single thing that you’ve told us has been a lie. We’re proving all that. Now right now it’s gonna be one of two things. Either we find Caylee alive, which is gonna help you out extremely by telling us the truth. Or we find Caylee not alive, which if you start telling us the truth. Might still paint you in a better picture. But here’s where it needs to end. Here’s where the truth needs to come out okay. No more lies.
This is gonna be your only opportunity to tell us. Because what’s gonna happen, we’re gonna find out.
In my opinion, it was a mistake to arrest Casey Anthony so early on in the investigation. The detectives were already set on arresting Casey before she took them to Universal Studios on July 16, as they told George (transcript):
I think it was Yuri [Melich who called me]. And he just says that they were coming to my house to take Casey in for some more questioning. And I remember he was very specific. He says, “George, she might not be coming back home.”
Had they not arrested her, she would have gone home and been forced to face her family and friends. They knew her better than the detectives so they would have interrogated her on a more personal level. In all likelihood, she would have broken down.
Instead, they put her in jail and cut communication. From that point on, she was in control of the show. She could regulate what she said and not have to face any interrogations. Essentially, her incarceration was a continuation of what she was doing for the 31 days prior: evading her parents and hiding the truth. By the time she was released on bond, the situation was beyond repair.
She had five months to come clean and announce what happened. When the body was found, her opportunity expired. No prosecutor in their right mind would have accepted any “truth” she might have offered after that. Apparently, she was offered a plea agreement, but turned it down and reaffirmed her innocence to the crime alleged (affidavit) Therefore, she had to wait two and a half years for her trial. Apparently, it was well worth the wait.
Casey Anthony texted her friend on June 27, roughly 30 minutes before her car ran out of gas (messages):
There was definitely part of a dead animal plastered to the frame of my car
Casey’s brother, Lee, told detectives what she said regarding the smell (transcript):
Uhm, I sat down with her and uh, when I referenced the car smell she said, “Well it, it actually started around Mom’s birthday when,” uhm, which is again June 5th. She said, “It started around that time when uhm, two dead squirrels crawled up under the hood of the car uhm, you know, and, and they died in there.” And I immediately questioned that uhm, just because per, at that time per her timeline with my mother’s birthday being the 5th, and my mother last seeing Caylee she believed at that time the 8th, my sister saying that the last time that she had saw Caylee at that time she said the 9th of June, I questioned, “Well either Mom or Dad would have smelled that.” My dad specifically because he always enjoys to clean the cars, especially on the weekends. If not every weekend every other weekend. He would have noticed that smell.
There was a bag of garbage found in Casey’s car trunk that presumably had been in the Florida sun for 18 days. Logically, it would have smelled quite bad. Had Casey specifically placed the garbage in the trunk to disguise the smell, that was her chance to use it as an excuse. Instead she went with death, in the form of squirrels. The interesting aspect of the smell was neither her boyfriend nor her father smelled it when they came close to the trunk on June 23 and 24.
When Casey ran out of gas at Amscot, she had groceries from her house; therefore, she was probably at home when she texted Amy and implied that she had found and taken care of the smell. She probably sprayed some cleaner on the actual source of the smell – the stain in the trunk – and wiped it up with a napkin, which was later found in the trash (view picture). The napkin was analyzed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory which concluded there was adipocere present (report). Adipocere is a by-product of decomposition. Because it was found in the bag of garbage, it can be inferred that Casey tried to clean the trunk.
The lab concluded that there may have been a body in the trunk for 0-3 days. The smell probably got worse over time because the decomposition chemicals in the stain volatized due to the summer heat and the odor was trapped in the car.
The Duct Tape
Four pieces of Henkel brand duct tape was found at the recovery scene. Three pieces were found loosely attached or near the skull, which was the primary deposition area. Another piece was found 6.27 feet southwest of the skull. The State said the duct tape was on the face of the child prior to death; however, there were problems with that theory (read “Challenging the Duct Tape”). The skull was found upright, with the mandible attached, buried up to the eyesockets. Instead of the tape being found against the frontal area and embedded in the soil, it was found loose with some of it above the leaves.
As I’ve stated before, the pieces of duct tape are of odd size. The lengths of duct tape were too long to cover only the facial area of a child and not long enough to wrap around the head. If you were going to wrap tape around the head, you would use one long piece – not three (or four) separate pieces attached end on end. And if you were going to cover only the nose and mouth area of a child, you wouldn’t need to use 8-10″ pieces of tape. Also, there were no indications that any parts of the body were bound (e.g. hands, feet).
The key to understanding where the duct tape was near the time of deposition is Roy Kronk. He uncovered the skull in December 2008, but he also found something that looked “like” a skull in the same area four months prior in August.
He called 911 three times in August (transcripts):
Behind one of the trees was a gray, vinyl-like bag… and there was something round and white…
He recalled the events to detectives when he found the skull in December (transcript):
I saw something white that was protruding up out of the water. It appeared to me, it just looked like the top of a human skull.
At that time [in August], the bag was submerged in water. Just the top of this was sticking out.
Kronk did not investigate the scene further in August because the area was wet and he found a snake. From a distance, gray duct tape on a partially-submerged bag can look like vinyl because of the pattern. In this case, that was what Roy Kronk saw. No gray, vinyl-like bags were found near the skull from the recovery scene – only duct tape, black bags, and a white laundry bag.
Indeed, one of the more bizarre lines of questioning during the trial was when Casey’s attorney, Jose Baez, elicited testimony about how the Anthonys buried their pets. How did he know about that? That was not mentioned in police reports and I doubt the family volunteered that information in depositions. Only one person could have alerted Baez about this and she told him for an unfortunate reason.
It can be reasoned that all four pieces of Henkel brand duct tape were from the same roll (analysis) and were all on the bag at the time of deposition, yet one piece was found more than 6 feet away (Q104 above). Therefore, the environment – in whatever form – played a factor in moving around the four lengths of duct tape.
Roy Kronk is the voice of reason when it comes to the site off Suburban drive (transcript):
This doesn’t look anything like it did in August. Because in August there was much more foliage, much more vegetation. This whole place was underwater. When it’s filled with water and, you know, there’s other debris in the area and the water drains away and, you know, we had [Hurricane] Faye come through – it didn’t look like the same area. There was, what, five months in between.
A lot of sh*t can happen in five months.
The only real mystery in this case was the chloroform in the trunk. One has to be careful when speculating about where chemicals could come from because two chemicals can mix together to form a different third chemical.
As I stated earlier, it’s highly improbable that Casey Anthony brewed chloroform given the evidence, the exothermic nature of the reaction, and the character of Casey Anthony herself (read “The Chloroform”). Allegedly, she couldn’t even work a lighter (transcript).
One problem with the chloroform evidence was that no one knew exactly how much was really there. In order to get a better picture of what chemicals were in the carpet, the analysts had to concentrate the mixture (report):
Only a few compounds were observed in this sample (primarily chloroform) so it was deemed necessary to concentrate the sample in order to improve the signal-to-noise and increase the sensitivity for lower abundance compounds (if present).
When you concentrate the sample, you increase the “strength” of the chemicals so that they show up on the output. At that point, you can get a sense for the relative amounts of each chemical compared to each other but the amounts are meaningless on an absolute scale.
The FBI chemist used simple ratios to find out how much chloroform was in the trunk. He compared a known amount of chloroform (in this case 100 ppm) to the amount found, as I demonstrated in the picture above. He found residues of chloroform in the low parts per billion range on the left and right sides of the open trunk liner and on the open spare tire cover area. On the cut-out pieces stored in cans, he found levels in the low parts per million range in the middle (report). But during his testimony, he said using ratios was not the correct way to quantify the levels of chloroform.
Another problem was that the analysts had little experience with finding residues of chloroform on carpet samples. They didn’t know what was high or not. The FBI chemist said the levels he observed were not the highest he had ever seen, especially when compared to what is in cleaning products. I did a brief comparative study and found that chloroform can exist in levels as high as 18 ppm in a pool treated with chlorine (read “The Drowning Theory”). Another report said that the effects of chloroform are felt when levels reach 100 ppm, which is way higher than was detected in the trunk (report). However, it must be noted that chloroform is a volatile chemical, like gasoline, and evaporates readily. It has a half-life in air of at least 55 days according to the World Health Organization (report).
The chloroform levels could not have been that high because maggots were living in the trunk when the car was found on July 15, 2008. Chloroform is a chemical used to preserve insects and definitely would have affected insect activity if it were at really high levels in the trunk (source).
Ultimately, the chloroform was probably due to cleaning products because tetrachloroethylene and other chemicals were found in the trunk which exist in cleaners and carpet spot-removers (report). We don’t know what chemicals existed in the Anthony garage or household because investigators didn’t care to look for them.
The chloroform mystery started with Dr. Vass and I’ll end with what he said in a deposition (transcript):
I’m not going to speculate on the source of the chloroform. I’m just reporting on its presence in the car trunk sample.
Much Ado About Nothing
I didn’t mention anything about a mysterious journal entry (view entry) or a misinterpreted tattoo (view tattoo) or a juvenile scribble (view doodle) or outdated computer searches (read “The Computer Forensics”). In my opinion, some things just are not relevant or related to the big picture. People spent so much time reading into the evidence and Casey’s actions that they failed to realize just how far away from reality they really were.
One of my favorite absurdities was the movie rentals. Casey rented Jumper and Untraceable on June 16 with her boyfriend. People researched the plot of those movies and read deep into their meanings. They said it was a clue. I looked at the rentals from a reasonable point of view. Untraceable was released to DVD on May 13, 2008 and Jumper was released on June 10. When I used to go to Blockbuster, I would usually rent from the “New Releases” section. Both would have appeared in the “New Releases” section of the video store on June 16. Everything has an explanation and some things just aren’t relevant.
Casey Anthony is intelligent, as the psychologist who examined her in jail stated (transcript):
She’s an intelligent woman… She has average I.Q. She’s in the 70th percentile compared to the overall population.
But she’s not a criminal mastermind. In fact, I question her analytical skills. For example, on July 15 Cindy texted Casey (messages):
Call me asap major prob
Hmm, what could it be? Casey could have thought that her parents wanted to question her about what she was doing and where Caylee was. Instead, she texted her friend, Amy, about what she thought the problem was (messages):
I think your camera is at my parents. I’ll check later to be sure.
My mom had texted me something about it.
Seriously? She thought the “major problem” was the camera that Amy ordered had arrived at her parents’ house. Okay.
People were so concerned with the elements of the “crime” that they never considered whether or not the “criminal” could actually commit them.
How Did Caylee Die?
We know her death was not the result of a traumatic injury because there was no evidence of trauma before death (report). We also know her death was not a result of poisoning because the toxicology results were negative (report, report). Therefore, only a few reasonable possibilities remain: heat exhaustion, choking, suffocation, and drowning.
Casey left in her car at 12:50pm with her child. She came back home shortly after 2:00pm. It’s possible that she left her child in her carseat when she went into the house, but it’s not probable. It would be inconsistent with the character evidence (e.g. she was described as “overprotective”). She was carefree but not careless.
When Casey came home, she engaged in heavy computer activity between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. It’s possible that the child may have choked on something. Casey, most likely, would not have heard anything because of the child’s inability to talk or cough (source, source)
Similar to above, while Casey was on the computer, the child could have suffocated by placing a bag over her head or something to that effect. One minute there would be noises coming from the child and the next minute there wouldn’t.
That State said that Casey Anthony intentionally suffocated her child, but this would be inconsistent with the character evidence. Furthermore, a psychologist who examined Casey in jail corroborated the character evidence with his findings (transcript):
[Murder] would have been out of character for… what I’ve learned about Casey. It would be out of character for what I’ve learned about her parenting, that she was not a negligent or abusive parent. I don’t think anybody has ever suggested that. And it also would have been out of character for – in comparing to her prior history or lack of history of violence.
So if there was a homicide, it would have been out of character for her.
Cindy Anthony revealed to Dr. Phil that three weeks before the trial began, Jose Baez called her into his office and told her how her granddaughter died. He said that Caylee drowned and Casey panicked.
In response to George Anthony’s claim that he believed Caylee was drugged so Casey could party (read “The Anthonys vs. the Evidence”), Baez said, “Caylee died on a Monday afternoon… there are not very many parties on a Monday afternoon” (source).
Many people implicitly do not believe Jose Baez or anyone on Casey’s defense team. Obviously, this is quite ridiculous. In their numerous post verdict interviews, they have told the truth – just not the whole truth. From these interviews, one can ascertain what was true in the Theory of Defense and what wasn’t. For example, none of the attorneys will comment on how the child got into the woods or George Anthony’s involvement. It can be reasoned from the evidence that Casey put the child in the woods and George was not involved. Therefore, they keep quiet on those topics. However on the topic of the child’s death, they say, without hesitation, that Caylee Anthony drowned in the backyard pool.
I just had taken Caylee for the day to see my dad. [I got home] I want to say somewhere around 4:00 whatever because – just because I remember I fed Caylee dinner when I got home and then we went swimming.
We were in the pool when Casey came home. She started to [get in the pool] and I told her it would be too cold for her because we were just – the sun was starting to go down. We were getting a little bit chilled, and I told her I was about ready to take Caylee out.
The media reported that neighbors overheard a fight between Casey and her mother. Cindy denied that any “fight” took place. She does not strike me as a liar, but she tends to trivialize certain matters. Casey came home around 7:30pm and started texting her boyfriend constantly between 7:36pm and 11:04pm. Therefore if there was a fight, it was over in a few minutes.
More likely was the possibility that there was a heated “discussion.” Casey came home and wanted to get into the pool with her daughter, but her mother said “No.” That it was getting late and she should have come home earlier. In the confusion, perhaps one of them left the ladder attached to the pool. The sun went down and they went inside and forgot about the ladder in the darkness.
The next day Casey left the house shortly before 1:00pm and returned around 2:00pm. She was on the phone with Amy until 2:20pm having a “normal” conversation. The computer forensics show that when Casey got home she went on the computer. Casey probably listened for her child’s noises while she was on the computer. The sliding glass door was on the opposite side of the house from the computer room (source). Either Casey opened the door to let the dogs out when she got home or the child opened the door.
I mean we put the child proof uh, locks on the door type thing so she couldn’t open the door but she’d be – easy enough she could flip open the uh, sliding glass door.
Caylee knows how to open the [sliding] door. Casey was the one that went out and bought all the protectors – child proof protectors. ‘Cause she learned very early how to turn the knob.
The child got out of the house and saw the pool ladder still attached. Casey probably stopped hearing her child’s voice and went looking for her. She found her in the pool.
A few minutes later, Jesse Grund called and had that “abnormal” conversation with her. Casey probably answered his call initially wanting to tell him what happened, but she realized he would tell everyone. So, she lied. She changed her clothes and stashed them in the trunk, then left the house.
She called her mother six times. Judging from the evidence (read “The Trunk”), the child’s corpse was already in the trunk; therefore, it’s unlikely that Casey was reaching out for help. Rather, she wanted to tell her mother she wouldn’t be home. Then she hid her child’s body in the woods. I doubt she realized the macabre nature of what she was doing at the time. A few days later she returned to place a balloon next to her child. It read, “Winnie the Pooh, Hugs for You” (source).
Thus, she covered up the death like she covered up everything else in her life. Except this time it cost her.
Casey’s psychologist explained her reason to lie (article):
Casey did not want to disappoint her family or feel rejected by her family, and so her first alternative was often to lie to family. The way Casey deals with things — she was raised in a family where I think there were some pretty inadequate ways of coping with conflict and stress (with) denial and secrecy.
Most assume that the way people react to the loss of a loved one is by accepting the loss, grieving a little, and moving on. But not everyone reacts in that way. Some act as if the death never happened and others fall into a spiraling depression.
Another psychologist who examined Casey in jail had this to say about her reaction to the death (article):
What is known is she suffered many losses, significant losses, and so, obviously, the issue of trauma and reactions to trauma could be explored as a reasonable psychological consideration.
It is very difficult to cope with those experiences and so, traditionally, I have seen over many, many years of practice that individuals typically respond in certain defined ways, and some of those ways have to do with repression and denial of the event, detachment of emotions.
Casey Anthony said in a police interview (transcript):
I saw my mom’s reaction right off the bat and it would’ve been the same from the get go.
My mom flat out told me yesterday she would never be able to forgive me. And I even told her, I’m never gonna be able to forgive myself. Everyday I’ve been beating myself up about this. Every single day.
She said in her leaked jailhouse letters (letters):
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Caylee and wish that I could have protected her better. I tried my hardest and it wasn’t enough.
The evidence is incontrovertible. Caylee Anthony died while Casey was on the computer. It completely fits the character evidence and the timeline of June 16, 2008. Casey was a loving, but sometimes inattentive, mother. On June 16, there was heavy computer activity sandwiched between “normal” and “abnormal” phone calls. There really is no doubt as to what happened.
Every parent is guilty of leaving their child unattended for a few minutes, especially when at home. Unfortunately, accidents do happen more often than we want to believe. All it takes is a few seconds.
I’m not defending Casey Anthony’s actions or behavior. I don’t know what it’s like for a young mother to find her young child dead, but how Casey handled the death was inexcusable regardless of the psychological factors at play. And the behavior she exhibited in the month following was inappropriate by conventional standards.
For those wanting accountability, she’s already faced jail time and the ultimate penalty for her actions: the death of her child. Any and every other form of punishment pales in comparison.
This is not a “story” that I’m trying to sell. This is a conclusion based on the evidence, the tens of thousands of pages of released discovery, the testimonies in trial, and the psychological insights given afterwards. There are many stories out there. Some involve George Anthony and some don’t. Some involve murder and some don’t. However, most of these stories are based on speculation and interpretation of behavior rather than evidence.
If this is the way the events unfolded then Casey Anthony is not guilty of murder or child abuse. She did not exhibit a reckless disregard for human life, therefore she is not guilty of manslaughter either. Admittedly, she is guilty of other things, but those charges were not levied against her – and it’s too late now to go back and prosecute her.
Nevertheless, some people will still twist the facts. They really want this child to have been murdered. They find pleasure in vilifying her mother. They’ll say Casey was looking up chloroform on June 16 – no, she wasn’t. They’ll say she abused her child when no one was looking – no, she didn’t. They’ll supplant the character testimony with their own inaccurate image of Casey Anthony. They will hang on to their murderous delusions despite the evidence. There was no heart-shaped sticker (report). There wasn’t 84 chloroform searches (post). Open your eyes: the facts were tainted, the story was sensationalized, and the media was wrong. “Justice for Caylee” is about seeking the truth, not believing a lie.
It’s time to leave this case alone. It’s time to leave Casey Anthony alone. It’s time to leave the entire Anthony family alone. But that’s not going to happen. In the coming months, there will be at least 4 books regarding this case on the market. Jeff Ashton will talk about how he failed to sell his story (source). Keith Ablow will psychologically profile someone he’s never examined (source). Aphrodite Jones will spin a good story rooted in misinformation (source). And Jesse Grund will talk about who knows what (source).
My goal with this blog was to uncover the truth. It was to solve the mystery. Unlike the State, I cared not to prove guilt. Unlike the defense, I cared not to prove innocence. I included sources in every post because I didn’t want to pull a fast one. I wanted you to do the research. I wanted the evidence to speak for itself. The truth is always in the evidence.
From day one, this was a psychological case, not a murder mystery. Case closed, mystery solved.