Casey Anthony: The Duct Tape

The duct tape was the main weapon for the State’s theory of murder. They alleged that Casey Anthony suffocated her child by forcibly wrapping duct tape around the child’s head covering both the nose and mouth.

Evidence:

Duct tape was located in a few places throughout this case. It was found on a gas can owned by Casey’s father (see photo) and on missing child posters created in 2008. However, this brand of duct tape was sold until 2006; therefore, one can infer that the Anthony’s had a relatively unused roll or multiple rolls of the rare-branded duct tape in the June/July 2008 time frame.

The brand is important because the same kind of rare duct tape was found with the remains of the child (see report) and about 6 feet away from the remains. Unfortunately and thankfully, the photos of the remains were released with significant blurring.  Therefore, I will rely on the testimony by Investigator Hanson (video), Dr. Utz (video), and Dr. Shultz (video) for my analysis. They were very detailed in reconstructing the scene as they found it.

Duct tape was found “adhered” to the hair which matted itself at the base of the skull. This, of course, led to speculation that the child was murdered and the State alleged that duct tape was the murder weapon. But does the evidence really suggest that the duct tape was on the child’s airways before death? That is the major question. I believe the remains, specifically the mandible, shed light on the answer. The following description of events may be too gruesome for some to read.

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Casey Anthony: The Computer Forensics

The computer forensics played a minor or major role in the trial depending on who you talk to. John Bradley, programmer of CacheBack, testified that a website was visited “84” times. The prosecution jumped on this numerous times, but evidence was presented during the defense’s portion of the trial to dispute this claim. Now, Bradley has stated that the website in question was only visited once.

This is the website which was supposedly “visited” 84 times on March 21, 2008: http://sci-spot.com/Chemistry/chloroform.htm. As you can see, there is not much on that page. Frankly speaking, 84 visits to that page means nothing.

But, of course, there were not 84 visits to any chloroform making page. It was to MySpace as the picture above illustrates.

Some have said this does not matter and that one search for chloroform is enough. But look at the timings. From start to finish, the edification took only 3 minutes and, most likely, half of that time was spent looking through the search results. Given the introduction of the MySpace picture (view pic) and the complete lack of physical chloroform evidence, one search seems irrelevant (read “Chloroform Theory”). How many people have searched “chloroform” or visited chloroform related sites since the trial began?

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Casey Anthony: The Chloroform

The State said that Casey Anthony made chloroform to incapacitate or kill her child. This was based on the evidence that chloroform was found in the trunk and a chloroform making site was visited 3 months prior to the child’s disappearance. Since Casey was indicted on first degree murder charges before the child’s remains were found, I believe this was the State’s first theory of premeditated murder.

Evidence

On August 26, 2008 and September 24, 2008, Dr. Arpad Vass submitted reports to the OCSO indicating the results of air analysis done on the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car (report). The primary reason was to ascertain whether or not there was a decomposing body in the trunk. His first report made no mention of chloroform, however his second report did.

Additional components that made up a portion of the total odor signature included gasoline constituents and an unusually large concentration of chloroform – far greater than what is typically seen in human decomposition.

Yuri Melich said that he talked to Dr. Vass on October 7, 2008 and Vass said there were elevated levels of chloroform present in the trunk (report). The FBI lab also acknowledged the presence of chloroform in the trunk. Melich then instructed the computer forensics examiner to search for any chloroform related words on the Anthony’s computer. Obviously, some were found. On March 21, 2008, someone searched “How to make chloraform.” Four minutes later someone searched “self defense.”

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