Almost one-and-a-half years after the verdict, pseudo-investigators are still researching the evidence in the case of the State of Florida vs. Casey Anthony. Longtime TV investigator Tony Piptone has been on this case since the beginning and gained notoriety for his researching skills. This past week he released a report outlining “overlooked” evidence in the case which “may have affected the outcome.” However, the evidence was not exactly new as Jose Baez, Casey’s former defense attorney, revealed it in his book.
What was the nature of the evidence?
I give credit where credit is due. Jeff Ashton was a helluva prosecutor in this case. Like him or hate him, you can’t deny that the man was good at selling a story. It was almost unfair how much better he was than anyone on the defense team. The secret behind his success was his logical reasoning. His theories just made sense, so it was difficult for people to argue against him. However, in this case, his logic was his downfall.
While reading his book, I found myself agreeing with Ashton on many topics. Indeed, if you read his book and read some of my previous posts, you will see that in many places my logic mirrors his – which is a bit eerie. However, on the issue of murder, we disagree. Ashton has repeatedly said in interviews that his book outlines the “truth” as he believes it. I commend him for adding the disclaimer.
Ashton reviewed the case evidence in his book and I’m going to keep him honest. What was true and what was embellished?
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?”).
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?
I hate objections. I hate when testimony is cut short, especially when it is the opinion of a scientist. It’s not right. The truth should never be silenced. However, that is the way the judicial system works. If you do not like what is coming next, object and plead your case. Both sides were guilty of concealing the truth.
The Testimony Never Heard
After the trial, I wondered why the defense did not elicit testimony about the duct tape from Dr. Arpad Vass given his experience with decomposition. Then I remembered they called someone else. Dr. William Rodriguez, a forensic anthropologist, attempted to testify on June 18, but his testimony was cut short by the State (view testimony). They contended that the opinions he was going to render were not included in his written report. Personally, I couldn’t care less for the legal argument. Who cares if his opinions weren’t in a report? I wanted to hear what he had to say.
However, the prosecution didn’t. What was he going to say that had them scared?
The State attempted to portray Casey Anthony as a cold-hearted, callous killer who never had any emotional attachment to her child.
A character profile is necessary in determining what kind of person a suspect was before the crime was committed and what kind of relationship they had with the victim. I missed the first few weeks of character testimony so I went back and read all of the police interviews conducted on her family and friends.
After the fact, we know the story. She lied about her child and seemingly showed detachment when questioned by law enforcement. The police interview at Universal demonstrated that behavior (read interview, listen) and the jail visitation videos showed it.
The State said Casey was heartless and only “appeared” to be a caring, loving mother for the cameras (see photos) but her actions were never genuine. But the statements given by her friends in police interviews paint a different portrait.
Which do you believe?
Many have said that the defense produced no evidence of drowning. True enough, they did not present any direct evidence but they did not have to prove anything. The State had to prove their allegations were true, not just plausible. The theory of defense is beautiful in the cases where innocent people are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Obviously, people felt this situation was a little different.
This is not the defense’s theory where George Anthony finds his granddaughter in the pool. While George Anthony had his fair share of impropriety with the family, it was baseless to associate him with the cover up. I mean, his daughter was arrested. He’d have to be pretty cold-hearted to let all of that happen to her if he was involved. That part of the theory does not pass the believability test. But in order to take all culpability off Casey, Jose Baez needed a scapegoat and George played right into his hands. However, the evidence suggests that Casey Anthony acted alone.
But there was certainly circumstantial evidence to support drowning. In fact, if you threw out the unsubstantiated chloroform claim (read “Chloroform Theory”) and rightfully questioned the duct tape placement (read “Challenging the Duct Tape”), there was certainly as much circumstantial evidence to support drowning as there was murder.
How could it have happened?