And this is why I am never chosen for jury duty.
That and the fact that I still have a Virginia license and haven't lived there for over 2 years. I should go to the DMV. Ugh.
OK, so look who's back!! I said I would and I am! YAAAAY for the shoddy blogger!
I know that this post is literally weeks late. We've already discussed here why I am not a journalist. But when it comes to stuff like this, I like to have all of the (or as many) facts as I can possibly get before giving my opinion. I think it's only fair to all those involved.
A little background on Connie quickly... I went to college and received a degree in Criminal Justice and minored in Political Science. I wanted to be a detective or a lawyer. I didn't pursue the detective position because I was completely uninterested in doing the street cop work first. Can you imagine? I am in no way manly, and those stupid bullet proof vests are cumbersome. Also? Navy is only my color in small doses. Not every day. So I decided to go after the lawyer position. I went to DC to get some experience. I realized that the amount of paperwork you have to do as a lawyer is total crap. Also? Corporate lawyers make way more money than criminal lawyers because it takes so long to get to the point where you can charge clients an arm and a leg for your services. Otherwise you work for the state. Let's not even discuss how little money you make that way. If I'm putting that kind of money towards law school, I want to be crazy rich!
So I went a different route... event planning! Yay!
But I digress. This kind of case is still incredibly interesting to me. I love fact searching and interviewing people. I find it all fascinating. And then the game that is the court room with the strategies and rules... I love it! So this Casey Anthony thing was right up my alley.
My roommate mentioned it to me a while ago, and I sort of blew it off. OK, another crazy mom going off her meds and committing horrible acts against her kids. That's not something I want to spend a lot of time on. Very morbid.
But then when Casey Anthony was found Not Guilty, and Facebook exploded with outraged followers, I had to check it out. And so I started reading. First I read full interviews of friends and family. Then I looked at pictures from throughout the trial and of the evidence collected. I read short articles from The Globe and got the bare bones of the trial.
Then I found this blog that linked to a Florida news site. I was able to go through each day of the trial and see how things progressed. I was able to hear how each side was argued and what was expected. I watched 176 videos from the trial including testimony, opening and closing arguments, and some rather hysterical Contempt of Court cases (One guy was sentenced to 6 days in jail and a $600 fine for giving the prosecution the finger.) during the Casey Anthony trial.
As I read all of this, I got to know a little bit about who Casey Anthony is. On the outside, Casey Anthony is a really pretty girl.
According to everybody she knew, she was holding down a pretty good job at Universal Studios (an Events job that I would probably give anything - except a child's life - to have). She had a beautiful daughter, an active social life, good friends and was doing well enough to pay a nanny to take care of her daughter more often than not. She was a lot of fun, loved to go out and party, drink, dance, all things most 22 year olds love.
But the more you find out, you realize there was a completely different side to Casey. A side that showed her as not so together. She didn't actually have a job. There is no one named Zanny the nanny. There's no nanny at all. She is a frustrated single mother who just wants to hang out with her friends sometimes. There are tensions between Casey and her mother. There are a LOT of boyfriends.
Casey craved the attention of men. From what I could tell, she didn't have a best girl friend. And most of the men she was so close to were ex boyfriends. When she got a flat tire, she didn't call her father or brother or even the guy she was currently seeing. She called two ex-boyfriends. She needed to take a shower before work, and so she called an ex-boyfriend to see if she could use his. For the short time Tony, her current love interest at the time, was out of town, she took up flirting and spending time with a new guy that she met. She was very charismatic. People liked Casey. She was fun!
The evidence in this case is so so confusing. Half the time you think that she is absolutely guilty with no question in your mind. The other half of the time, something doesn't add up and you can't decide if she really did that to her baby girl.
There are a few things that stood out to me:
1) Just before Caylee went missing (although unreported) in mid-June, Casey ran into an ex-boyfriend at a night club. This interaction was very different from the interactions with the rest of her ex-boyfriends. Apparently this encounter upset Casey very much, to the point of tears. It is rumored that Casey had a miscarriage with this particular boyfriend a few years prior. It is also unclear who exactly Caylee's father is. There is speculation that she was conceived during a one night stand with a friend who was upset with his girlfriend at the time. I wonder if, perhaps, Caylee was the supposed miscarriage, and the ex boyfriend had found out about her, causing Casey distress?
2) There is a two week period where Tony was gone, whom she had been staying with. Her friends were also gone on a trip to Puerto Rico at this time. She was able to drive Tony's car or her friend Amy's car around at this time. Friends commented that it was strange how she never wanted to take her car anywhere, instead deciding to drive Tony's while he was out of town. Shortly after this two week period, Casey's car was found abandoned and towed to a local lot. Employees with the towing company noticed the stench coming from Casey's car, as did her father when he picked it up. Her mother couldn't believe Mr. Anthony could stand being in the car even for a short time because the smell was so over powering. However, Casey made a comment to her friend Amy weeks before regarding a smell in her car. She mentioned it sort of out of the blue and didn't know what it was. She thought maybe she had hit something and it was stuck on the car. A few days later when Amy asked Casey if she figured out where the smell was coming from, Casey said that two squirrels had crawled up into the engine and died.
3) Casey's father had done cop work in years earlier. He said he knew the smell of a decomposing body. And that yes, that's what the car smelled like. He also said that when he picked the car up from the impound lot that he made one of the employees check the trunk with him because he was scared it was either Caylee or Casey dead in the trunk. But there was nothing back there. He didn't report the smell, or the fact that the car had been oddly abandoned. He allowed Cindy (Casey's mother) to spray an entire bottle of Fabreez in the car and trunk as well as remove items from the car (including Caylee's beloved doll that had been left in the back seat which Cindy claimed struck her as odd). There was a lot of speculation about the lack of flies that were in the trunk. Apparently Blow Flies are most commonly seen in conjunction with a decomposing body, or where a body has been. They found maggots in bags of trash that had been in the trunk, and a leg of a Blow Fly, but no Blow flies. The expert witness did say that these flies typically would be trapped within the trunk with the dead body. That they are in there, they feed there, they're stuck there, they die there. There is no escape for them. So how did just 1 leg remain? The expert said that he would expect thousands of these flies in a trunk where a dead body had been, but there were none. Did Cindy vacuum the car clear of these flies when she was Fabreezing? I know that when something smells that badly, I do everything I can think of to get the smell out. Vacuuming definitely is included in that cleaning regimen. Or did Cindy and George know that their granddaughter Caylee had been back there? Were they covering up the fly evidence that George's experience told him would lead investigators to know his daughter had done something to Caylee?
4) Casey's demeanor in the month when Caylee was "missing" is not... typical I guess would be the correct term. She was happy, partying, excited, animated. She was the same person she always was. Even if you were trying to handle finding your daughter on your own (as she claimed she was)... your daughter is MISSING. She's gone from your life. There's no way you would be able to be that happy. Or willing to party that much. Or lie to that many people day in and day out about the whereabouts of your child. You would have to break down at some point. Some sort of emotion, some sort of behavior would have to be seen by someone, right? After Casey was arrested, and even when she was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher when Cindy first called to report Caylee missing, Casey was calm. She didn't appear sad. She mostly seems annoyed at everyone around her. While in prison, Casey's mother tells her that someone is saying that Caylee drowned in their family pool. Casey's response? She rolls her eyes as she says "Surprise surprise." and that's it. However, that later becomes her defense.
5) Speaking of her defense, I was completely baffled by the route her defense team took. They claimed that not only had Caylee drowned in the pool at the Anthony home, but that George had held Caylee's lifeless body and helped Casey hide her. They also claimed that George and Lee (Casey's brother) had sexually molested Casey from the time she was 8 years old, and went as far as having Lee tested to see whether he was the father of Caylee. Casey looked angry and shook her head as her father said, under oath, that he knew nothing about Caylee's death, and certainly didn't help to cover it up.
6) Casey's ex-fiance, Jesse, was a cop. Jesse resigned his position the same day that Casey called to inform him that Caylee was missing. In fact, he says that the phone call from Casey regarding Caylee was the call directly before he called the guard at the back door to the police station that was letting Jesse in to complete his resignation. It is never disclosed why Jesse resigned. It has been my experience with cops that you don't enter or exit that field lightly. It takes a lot of thought and consideration. And most people that become cops have wanted to enter that field for a very long time. If they leave, it's for a good reason. This reason is never disclosed. I find it strange, but I can't pinpoint why. And oddly it's the day that Casey tells him about Caylee. Jesse had known Caylee her whole life. Jesse and Casey had started dating just a month after Casey became pregnant with Caylee, and had eventually proposed. I feel like that alone would be reason enough to remain a cop. To help in any way he could with the investigation. Why resign?
All of these little facts, combined with the serious lack of physical evidence, is what makes this tough for me. Caylee's remains were found 6 months after she was reported missing in a wooded lot just a half of a mile from the Anthony home. They were merely skeletal remains. They were strewn about the area thanks to animals, and her bones had evidence of animal teeth on them. Around her tiny skull were 3 pieces of duct tape. It was stuck in the hair that was still intact to the skull. One expert says that this tape was placed there after decomposition. Another says that this is how Caylee was killed. But nobody knows. No one actually knows how this little girl died. There is no tissue to test for chemicals. No lungs to check for water suggesting she drowned. There is no damage to her bones or skull suggesting she was beaten in any way that would have killed her.
This is what I believe.
I believe that Caylee died at the hands of someone she knew.
I believe that Casey knows when Caylee died, and how.
I believe that Casey covered this up for someone for some reason.
I believe that George and Cindy know what happened.
I believe that George and Cindy are covering this up for some reason.
I believe that Casey is not the person who killed her daughter.
I believe that Casey is a liar, and a neglectful parent.
This is what I don't know.
I don't know how Caylee died.
I don't know who killed her.
I don't know how long her body was in the car, or by her play house in the back yard, or in the wooded area.
I don't know if Casey was sexually abused by her family.
What I do know is that the reality of all of these unknowns will go to the grave with Casey. The truth will never be found out. Casey is walking free even after lying to investigators, allowing her child to go missing for a month, and for probably having some part in her murder. I know that Casey is probably the most hated woman in America right now.
Post-trial, these are the things I've heard. Nobody (at least publicly) knows where Casey is staying at the moment. Nobody knows her future plans. She has mentioned that she's interested in having more children.
How do you move on from a trial like this? You were found not-guilty (by a jury that cried over the verdict simply because they didn't have the proof to vote the way their hearts and heads told them to), but you know the general public literally thinks you got away with murder of a child. YOUR child. How do you get a job? Would you want to be faced with a resume with the name Casey M. Anthony at the top for a position available in your office? Where do you live? All of your friends have testified against you. Your family is practically being run out of the home you grew up in by angry neighbors. What kind of life do you have now?
I will say that I can't imagine being on that jury. And what made it even more difficult was that Casey never did testify. Even if Casey got up on the stand and just told lie after lie, I think it would have been worth something to see how she twists things. To see her demeanor. To see her reactions. Were they alligator tears in the courtroom? Was she really sickened at the sight of her daughter's remains?
There are so many questions that are going unanswered. But do I think Casey is guilty? Yes. Of First Degree Murder? Probably not. Of conspiracy? Of aggravated manslaughter? Yes. But we live in a country of innocent until proven guilty, and reasonable doubt. And normally I would argue that those are good principles to live by.
But in this case? It seems cruelly unfair.