Casey Marie Anthony Murder Case
Lies to Freedom
By Monica Ray
I understand how so many people can feel for Cindy and George Anthony’s pain for losing Caylee, but I can’t ignore how much they know and that Cindy feels somewhat responsible for Caylee’s death. Why would her son, Lee, make up the story that she shared with him that she had a big fight about money, and that she threatened to take custody of Caylee from Casey the night before Caylee was sacrificed? That fight included a physical attack by Cindy upon Casey. Yet, when asked by Casey’s attorney, Jose Baez, about it when she was under oath on the witness stand, she denied or, more appropriately, lied that a fight ever occurred. I took particular note of how she answered Jose Baez’s question put to her about knowing about a time when Lee entered Casey’s bedroom when she was a teenager. She said, “No.” What she did after saying that was telling. She immediately glued her lips together and threw off a look that I read to say, so how do you like that answer? It wasn’t bad enough that she denied and lied about her daughter’s pregnancy, but she made the unsolicited comment on the witness stand, when she talked about changing the date of the baby shower, that Caylee was a “preemie”. Originally, claiming she was a preemie was to hide that Jesse Grund couldn’t be the father, but his DNA test proved otherwise. Even young Jesse saw that Caylee was full-term. That’s what made him get a DNA test. The point of making this lying statement at this point is what? Is there any question about where her daughter learned to lie? It must be in their DNA. People inherit all sorts of traits, not just features, hair, eye and skin color.
Armed with the knowledge that a defense attorney is not supposed to perpetrate a fraud upon the court, I had to assume that everything Jose Baez claimed in his opening statement, true or not, came from his client. The problem about the child molestation claim is, unless the child molester admits to being guilty of child molestation, how can it be proved? It can’t. Even if Casey took the stand, it would have been testimony based on he said she said and would ultimately prove nothing. What are the chances a child molester is going to simply admit to committing a crime that could put him behind bars? George Anthony came across as a liar, too, when he couldn’t bring himself to admit to having an affair with River Cruz. I questioned how he knew so much about her personal life, that he was so quick to share, if their relationship was innocent. It exposed him as being just as dishonest as his wife and daughter. I’m not even going to take the time to elaborately comment about his unexplainable inability to take ownership of duct tape or having clear knowledge of how their pets were dressed before being laid to rest.
Just before Casey was released from jail on July 17, 2011, it was said that George said she wasn’t welcome to come home. Then, the day of her release, it was reported that was not so. A family of liars inures to them being able to stay close. None of them is any more or less of a liar than the other, so there is no need to point fingers at anyone, so why would Casey stay away from her lying family for nearly three years, and after her release? I believe it’s because she knows that they know she killed Caylee. Why would they want to see her? Maybe because they need to hear from her own lips admit that she killed Caylee, as if that’s ever going to happen. Do they really need her to confirm what they already know? Getting threats and being “fed up”, can you truly believe she’s welcome to go home? They didn’t even want to act as a decoy when she was being released from jail, so how does that fit in with them still welcoming her to come home?
After the trial, the “babysitter” Leonard Padilla put in the Anthony home to keep track of Casey after she was bailed out of jail in 2008 said on the Dr. Drew show that Casey said, in front of Lee, George, Cindy and herself, that “I’m the only one who knows what happened.” Does this not fly in the lying face of her attorney’s claim in his opening statement, and continuous allegations during the trial, that George knows what happened and had a hand in how Caylee was disposed? How can Casey point a criminal finger at George when she admitted to her family’s face that she is the only one who knows what happened? How unconscionable can a person get? Before Caylee’s bones were found, she pointed the finger at Jesse Grund. She claimed she believed he drowned her because he was infatuated with Caylee. How many people could she not be the least bit concerned about losing their reputation or freedom to spare her own? I’m not even going to get into how she threw Zenaida Gonzalez under the bus.
It was disturbing to hear the investigators claim in their post-trial press conference that, until December 11, 2008, they believed they were always looking for a live child. If they believed that, they should go into another line of work and, yes, I would say this to their face. They had a car that smelled of death; a certified liar taking them on wild goose chases who was eventually seen on camera to be movie shopping on the night of Caylee’s death; she unconscionably went shopping with her friend’s funds within days; never showed a single sign of mourning her child’s disappearance (death), and they believed they were searching for a live child the whole time. (Ahem. They forgot Casey was indicted for murder eight weeks before Caylee's remains were found in mid-October.)
What angered me most was that the State prosecutors filed this case as a capital murder case. I was immediately incensed about this for an array of reasons, even before I came to see their case was circumstantial and they didn’t have a cause of death, admission of guilt or witness. (I have wondered what brought about the rumors early on by neighbors that Caylee drowned. Did someone know she was in the pool at some point that afternoon? Did someone see or hear something?) There are a lot of heinous murders that are not charged as capital murder cases, so I was troubled by why these prosecutors were so hungry and happy to put a person as young as Casey to death. It seemed like an overkill when life in prison would be a better punishment for someone so young, and certainly a whole lot less expensive for the State since the State would be footing the now very expensive bill for the State to prosecute and her attorneys to put on a defense. It was even more outrageous when I saw how they couldn’t prove a cause of death. With a capital murder case where the known defense is accidental drowning they had some big problems. Even Jeffrey Ashton in post-trial interviews admits he couldn’t put on what he believed the motive was for Casey killing Caylee - that Caylee got all the attention that Casey once enjoyed. (Ahem.) I believe it was all about a seriously volatile mother-daughter relationship and Caylee’s existence prohibited Casey from escaping her parents’ clutches. Imagine being choked by your mother amidst a heated threat to take custody of your child and maybe prosecute you for grand theft of your grandfather’s funds. Her parents admitted Casey lived life on the edge. Here she went as far as jumping off a cliff and still managed to survive her diabolical ways.
If the State can’t prove motive, and motive has to be proven when you make the decision to bring a capital murder charge, then lower your charge. When a jury is put in the position to have to weigh if it was an accidental drowning versus some convoluted non-provable chloroform and duct tape theory, they’re in a quandary where convicting on first degree capital murder is concerned. If they don’t have enough evidence to prove first degree murder, where is the evidence to convict on second degree murder or even aggravated manslaughter? At best, given the defendant’s accidental drowning claim, they could only convict on gross negligence that resulted in Caylee’s death, and criminal disposition of her remains, but they weren’t given the option to come to that decision. If they were, Casey would still be behind bars. I was shocked when, during his closing argument, Jeff Ashton said to the jurors, after he gave his opinion of what happened to Caylee, if the jurors come up with some way of their own, that’s okay. It was even more disturbing when he said, “We can only hope chloroform was used before the duct tape was applied.” OMG!!!!! Try putting duct tape on a nearly three year old who is awake. Using the word “hope” confirmed their theory was mere speculation. You don’t leave it on the jury’s back to come up with how the victim was murdered.
Quite frankly, it’s the State’s duty to hand the jury the case on a silver platter when they’re asked to consider the ultimate penalty of death. This just angered me more that they filed this as a capital murder case. Even they knew they didn’t have evidence to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt. There was evidence that may have satisfied that charge, but they couldn’t or didn’t want to bring it on, and the witnesses that would have helped to secure that charge would rather lie under oath than to secure justice for Caylee. True, Casey’s lying and post death conduct was outrageous, but no more outrageous as her pre-death conduct. How can one expect a pathological liar to suddenly tell the truth, even about an accidental drowning? Her first thought is going to be how was she going to lie her way out of that one? She wasn’t going to all of a sudden conduct herself in an honest fashion. This is where her life-long lies inured to her favor. Besides, at age 22, with a confrontational and domineering mother like Cindy, it isn’t so outlandish that she would freak out if it was an accident (not that I think it was accidental, its just that this is a different kind of defendant). I thought it was rather unintelligent for both of the prosecutors to say, “Why would anyone make an accident look like a murder?” Casey didn’t make it look like a murder. No doubt, she never expected Caylee’s remains to ever be found. It didn’t help the State’s case for them to make so many unintelligent statements like they did.
The one thing I don’t think Cindy intentionally lied about is what everyone thinks she did lie about - the chloroform searches. I just think she was a year off in her calculations, before her dogs died which was before Caylee died. I’ll get to the dying dogs in a minute. I wrote a novel titled The Last Page. My weapon of choice was chloroform. I searched it on the internet and recall that neck breaking came up. I also recall that the word shovel came up, too. I do believe, however, that the searches done at the time in question were done by Casey; however, don’t forget the fact that the 84 searches was dispelled by the defense. The State talked about the searches occurring over a two day period. Who would make 84 searches in two days? At the investigators press conference, while they said there was nothing they would do differently (ahem), the admitted not so experienced forensic computer expert said she learned a lot from this case and is getting better at her job. (lol) This was in reference to the 84 searches being a mistake. About the Anthonys’ dying dogs, it’s common knowledge among professionals who work with abused children that they often abuse and kill animals. (Hmm.)
I don’t even know where to begin when assessing psychologists and psychiatrists who can’t bring themselves to say Casey has clinical mental problems short of declaring that chronically confabulating lies, cheating, criminally stealing, and killing as if its no big deal in no way constitutes having mental problems. I do wonder why Judge Belvin would court appoint Harry Koft to assess Casey when years earlier, while a prosecutor, Judge Belvin wiped the floor up with him in one of the cases he prosecuted. Until this case, that was the only time they professionally crossed paths.
What could the prosecutors have done? They could have brought an intentional drowning case to take the wind out of the defense’s claim that it was an accidental drowning. That would have brought a cohesive case to the jury and make better sense of all of the post death conduct by Casey. There theory of what happened was just that, a theory. They couldn’t prove any of it, so why not go with what the defense was going to use? It was no less a theory than the one they put on, and was very likely true – not that it was an accident, but that she drowned. There was no way to prove otherwise. This wouldn’t be the first notorious case where mothers drowned their children. (Susan Smith and Andrea Yates, to name a couple.) I don’t recall any evidence or testimony stating Caylee’s death could not have been a drowning. If they could prove that with dry bones, then testimony proving it was impossible for Caylee to have drowned would have been put on, and it wasn’t. Based on the defense’s claim it was an accidental drowning, and the interview Detective Edwards had with Jesse Grund on September 8, 2008, wherein Jesse said Casey was saying she believed he drowned Caylee, I happen to believe Caylee drowned – at her mother’s hand. It’s the prosecutor’s job to out smart, out wit, and out play the criminal. Here, they let an immature lying ass 22 year old get over on them at the cost of millions of dollars. What a damn shame.
Some of the questions I would ask Casey were I to interview her are:
1. Your defense was that Caylee drown. Describe exactly what happened from 1:00 p.m., and until you arrived at your boyfriend’s house around 4:00 p.m., on June 16, 2008.
2. Why didn’t you report her drowning immediately?
3. Why did you hold on to Caylee’s remains for so long?
4. What made you decide to put her remains where you did?
5. Who is the most important person in your life?
6. What makes [name of person] the most important person in your life?
7. In one of the letters you wrote in jail you said you wanted to adopt a child. You probably will want to have another child of your own some day. What about having a child and being a mother would make you happy?
8. During all of those months you pretended to go to work and left Caylee in the hands of someone else to care for her, where did you go and what did you do all that time?
9. What was going through your mind during that first month after Caylee died about how you were going to have to eventually explain what happened to Caylee?
10. According to your friends, you had nightmares after Caylee died. Is that true ? If yes, describe the nightmares you were having.
11. How were you able to go about your life as if nothing happened after your daughter died?
12. Why did you point the finger at Jesse Grund, Zeniada Gonzalez, and your own father for being involved when you admittedly said to your family that you are the “only one who knows what happened” to Caylee?
13. If you could live your life over again starting at age twelve, what would you change?
14. During one of your parents’ visits with you when you were in jail, you screamed “I will lie! I will steal!” Do you believe you can live the rest of your life without ever lying and stealing?
15. It’s been said you would like to become a paralegal. Redeeming qualities an attorney employer must rely on are integrity and confidentiality. How would you convince an attorney of your ability to be honest and trustworthy?