|Little Caylee Anthony with her mother Casey, who many believe killed her|
Little Caylee Anthony was first brought to the attention of law enforcement, the residents of Florida and the whole of the United States on July 15th, 2008. Her maternal grandmother, Cindi Anthony, had made a frantic 911 call insisting she hadn't seen her granddaughter in 31 days and that her daughter Casey's car smelled 'odd', like she had had a dead body in there. Cindi Anthony explained that Casey had given her and Caylee's grandfather a variety of excuses to account for their granddaughter's absence over the previous four weeks. However, things had come to a head that day, when Casey had told her mother she hadn't seen Caylee in weeks either. This started a series of lies Casey Anthony would tell, with the most consistent being she had left Caylee with a nanny, appropriately called "Zanny". According to Casey Anthony, when she returned to Zanny's apartment to pick her daughter up nobody was there. According to Casey, she had been too scared she would be in trouble with the police and her family for leaving her daughter with someone she didn't know very well and so she had kept the disappearance to herself,, She went on to insist she had been trying to locate 'Zanny' herself. Police soon found out that Casey Anthony hadn't mentioned her daughter's alleged kidnapping to anyone, not even the man she was having a relationship with at the time. Soon after, a woman, whom Casey Anthony insisted was the mystery nanny was taken in for questioning by the police. She was released when law enforcement were happy she had nothing to do with Caylee's disappearance. Police were also happy that the nanny called Zanny did not exist and Casey Anthony was arrested and charged with murder in October 2008. She pleaded not guilty.
On December 11th, 2008, a trash bag containing a Winnie the Pooh blanket and the skeletal remains of little Caylee was found in a wooded area not far from the Anthony family home. The Medical Examiner said, due to the state of the remains, he had no choice but to register the death as a 'death by unknown means'. However, he said that three pieces of duck tape found on or around the skull gave him cause to believe Caylee's death was actually a homicide.
Casey Anthony's trial began on May 24th, 2011. The prosecution told the jury Casey Anthony murdered little Caylee using a mixture of chloroform and duck tape to free herself of the burden of parental responsibility. Prosecutors also sought the death penalty. The first shock of the trial was when the defence, led by Casey's attorney Jose Baez, countered with a story that little Caylee had accidentally drowned in the pool at the family home and that her grandfather and Casey's father, George Anthony, had disposed of the body.
Casey Anthony's entire defence revolved around her alleged dysfunctional upbringing and the sexual abuse she had allegedly endured at the hands of her father. The defence team did not produce any evidence of the alleged abuse, nor did they have any evidence to support how they said Caylee really died. The prosecution on the other hand appeared to have plenty of evidence supporting their opinion that Casey Anthony was guilty of premeditated murder. A forensic researcher told the jury how he had found compounds associated with decomposition in samples taken from the carpet, spare tyre cover, wheel well and air in Casey Anthony's car. A hair found in the car was also proven to have come from a dead body. Mitochondrial testing proved the hair had come from Casey Anthony's maternal line, as Casey, Cindy and Cindy's mother were allegedly ruled out - that only left Caylee as the most likely owner. The prosecution also submitted records of several Google searches that had been taken off the Anthony family's home computer, the searches included 'how to make chloroform' and 'neck breaking'. According to the computer investigations expert, the word 'chloroform' had been searched 84 times. However, it emerged that the expert made a mistake and had misread the data produced by certain software he had used. It transpired that the word chloroform had only been searched for once. Still determined, the prosecution revealed that the Winnie the Pooh blanket was part of a set from the Anthony home. Altogether 400 pieces of evidence were entered in the trial.
The trial lasted six weeks and on July 5th, 2011, the jury returned their verdict. Much to the shock of the prosecution, law enforcement and virtually everyone all over America and the World, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder. She was also find not guilty of aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. She was found guilty of four counts of providing false information to the police for - lying about dropping Caylee of with Zanny at her apartment, lying about working for Universal Studios during 2008, lying about informing two other people that Caylee had disappeared and for falsely saying she had talked to Caylee on July 15th 2008, which had led to police expanding the search area and increasing manpower. Although the defence wanted all four counts to be counted as one, so as the sentence would run as one, the judge refused and instead acknowledged that the July to December 2008 search for little Caylee had cost a significant amount in police time, resources and costs. Casey Anthony was fined $1000 for each count and sentenced to one year in prison. However, she was credited with 1043 days for time served and she walked free on July 17th 2011.
Today, almost seven years after little Caylee Marie Anthony died, Casey Anthony allegedly lives the life of a virtual recluse. An apparent 'victim' of her own notoriety, only the odd picture and interview has surfaced in the press since her trial ended. While some people will show her some sympathy, many more believe the real victim, Caylee Anthony, was denied justice and that her mother literally got away with murder.
I have to say the Caylee Anthony case frustrates me. The prosecution dropped the ball more than once. The defence were able to counter the prosecution's claims about the chloroform found on the carpet of Casey Anthony's car because the prosecution's expert used a technique never before used in a homicide investigation. Add to that the Google searches mistake and the fact that the hair found in the car, that was said to have come from a dead body, was not 100% reliable, and it is no wonder the jury could not convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Considering the mountain of evidence, it almost feels like the prosecution jumped the gun and they ended up paying for it, or Caylee Anthony did. Her story just did not make sense. What sort of mother waits 31 days to tell police and her family that her 2-year old daughter is missing? I tell you what sort, a guilty one! A mother whose child has a fatal accident calls for help! A mother who has something to hide, comes up with one ridiculous excuse after another in order to cover up what really happened.
What are your thoughts on the Casey Anthony case? Was she really just a compulsive liar who lost her young daughter to a tragic accident? Or was she really guilty of premeditated murder, driven by a need to have no responsibility in her life?
|Casey Anthony Today|