The Casey Anthony story was all over the news during her 2011 court trial for murder. For those who aren’t familiar, Casey Anthony was a 25-year-old single mother who was accused of premeditated murder against her two-year-old daughter. She was acquitted of felony charges in the case, but was convicted of misdemeanor charges such as child neglect. Her time served was included in her sentence, and therefore Anthony was released soon after the verdict was handed down. There was a large amount of media attention surrounding the trial, and the general public sentiment was that Anthony was guilty.
Where Casey Anthony is now and what she’s been up to is a mystery. Understandably, she has removed herself from the public eye entirely since the trial, and has been receiving substantial hate-mail since her high-profile acquittal. In the years since the trial, and over the course of the trial itself, details have become a bit hazy. Most people assume she’s guilty, and while there is substantial evidence that she may have killed her daughter, there was also enough of a reasonable doubt presented for jurors to agree that she should not be convicted. Only Casey Anthony knows the full truth of what happened to her daughter, but here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the story, the case, and Casey Anthony herself.
15 Casey Anthony’s Mother Implicated Her
A lot of the circumstantial evidence in the case against Casey Anthony looked bad, starting with how her daughter came to be reported missing in the first place. Caylee Anthony’s grandfather, George Anthony, was the last one to see Caylee alive. His wife and Casey’s mother, Cindy was the one who reported her missing granddaughter to police a month later, as she was worried about her granddaughter. During the phone call to police, Cindy told them that her daughter’s car smelled as if there was a dead body inside. The fact that she was reporting her granddaughter missing and immediately implicating her own daughter in the murder is extremely telling. As someone with inside information in this situation, it’s hard not to take her implication seriously.
14 The Evidence
The evidence against Casey Anthony was stark. She was originally charged with child neglect upon the original disappearance of her daughter, as she reported leaving her at a babysitter’s house and could not account for the entire month she was missing. This was later proven false, and when police searched the area around Anthony’s home they found her daughter’s partially decomposed body with duct tape on her skull. They also found chloroform and evidence of a decomposed body in her car. With all of the evidence stacked against her, it was hard to imagine anything but a guilty verdict for Casey in the death of her daughter. The prosecution laid forth the argument that Casey knocked out her daughter with chloroform, duct-taped her mouth shut and buried her body in the woods. The situation was even more damning when authorities found Google searches for “neck breaking” and “how to make chloroform.”
Casey Anthony was a notable party-girl, and while this didn’t have any direct implication on the case, the photos that were taken while her child was missing were not a good look for her. Multiple photos surfaced during the course of the investigation that showed Anthony at night clubs partying with her friends. Obviously, a worried mother would not be spending her time at night clubs when her young daughter is missing. The pictures were presented to the jury during the trial, and they could not have been helpful to the defense. While the pictures don’t offer any direct evidence of Anthony’s involvement in her daughter’s death, they do offer insight into how she was acting and what was on her mind when her daughter was gone. Is it out of the realm of possibility that Casey felt trapped as a mother and yearned for the freedom she had when she was unattached?
12 Casey Anthony Was Abused
One of the allegations that were thrown out during the defense of Casey Anthony was that her father had abused her since a young age. It was even considered amongst the defence and Anthony herself that George might be the father of Caylee, as he allegedly had sex with his daughter around the time she got pregnant. There was also the consideration that Casey’s brother might be the father, as he reportedly started abusing her just as his father had done. Casey even theorized that George may have had a hand in the death of Caylee, and that he may have been covering up for abuse he was committing. George denied the accusations on the stand, and said that he would have done anything to save his granddaughter.
11 Her Side Of The Story
A lot of people who followed the trial or heard about it from afar may know the evidence that was stacked against Casey, but they may not know her side of the story. Many people didn’t believe what she said, but it was compelling enough to evoke reasonable doubt in the jury. The story was that Anthony was home with her father when she noticed her daughter was missing. She searched her home and her father looked outside. George Anthony found his granddaughter in the above-ground swimming pool, and started yelling at Casey that she was going to go to jail for child neglect. It was then, in a frantic scramble that Casey and her father disposed of the body to cover up the evidence of neglect. As stated above, the defense even theorized that it may have been George Anthony that was responsible for the little girl’s death, as he was covering up for abuses he had committed.
10 Prison Conversations
Part of what was so confusing about Anthony’s defense is expressed in the conversation she had with her parents before Caylee’s body was found. The conversation was recorded and shown to the jury, and in it her parents seem perplexed by the explanation that Caylee drowned in the pool. If this was truly what happened, and her father was there to see it, then it shouldn’t just have been something that “people are saying,” it would be the truth of the matter. Casey also appears to be close with her parents, which contradicts many of the arguments that the defense was making in her later murder trial. The whole conversation seems suspicious, which is why the prosecution showed it to the jury.
9 The Chloroform
The presence of chloroform was one of the foundations of the defense’s argument. They were seeking the death penalty for Anthony, claiming that she used chloroform to knock out and kill her daughter. The evidence from her car, as well as the Google search found on her computer showed premeditation, which is a requirement in death penalty cases. The chloroform levels, however, were in debate by some of the experts that were brought to testify. If chloroform was not present, or could be perceived as accidental, this piece of evidence could be thrown into doubt. Because so much of the prosecution’s argument relied on the premeditation of the chloroform, the defense was able to capitalize on the opportunity and establish reasonable doubt.
8 The Mystery of Paternity
The question of who fathered Caylee Anthony was present in the media during the time of the trial, but it wasn’t brought up much. There were accusations made by Casey herself that her father or brother could be the father to her daughter, as they allegedly both sexually abused her around the time she got pregnant. They were both cleared by way of DNA, as was Anthony’s boyfriend at the time, Jesse Grund. Grund had adopted the idea of being Caylee’s father, and said that he had convinced himself Caylee was his. Still, though, there were no true answers as to who the father was, as Casey herself claimed she didn’t know. One theory that Casey’s mother presented was that the father could be Jesus Ortiz, one of Anthony’s boyfriends who died in a car crash in 2007. At this point, with Caylee gone and the trial in the past, we may never truly know who fathered Caylee Anthony.
7 Vasco Thompson
Vasco Thompson was a surprise witness by the defense in the Casey Anthony trial, but many people forget his involvement. Thompson is a convicted felon from Orlando, who spent time in jail for kidnapping. The defense linked him to the case because they reportedly found four cell phone calls from George Anthony to him, leading up to Cindy Anthony’s call to the police to report her granddaughter missing. Thompson denied the claims, and said that the only knew who George was from television. The prosecution claimed that the defense was using racial stereotyping and a “the black guy did it” defense to take away from Casey’s involvement. It’s unclear where he fits, if at all, in the Casey Anthony story, but the cell phone calls with George Anthony raise questions to his and George’s involvement in Caylee’s death and the subsequent cover-up
6 The Nanny Story
When Caylee Anthony was only missing, before her remains were uncovered, Casey's story was that she left Caylee at a babysitter's house and that the babysitter wasn't telling her where her daughter was. The name she gave for the sitter was Zenaida Gonzalez, and this thrust an unsuspecting woman into the middle of a high-profile missing child case. Of course, this account of events was later proved false, and Anthony abandoned this story in favor of her formal defense of an accidental death. Zenaida Gonzalez is now suing Anthony for defamation in relation to the case, saying that she received negative attention because of the implication Anthony made. While there is no doubt that the story was fictionalized, Anthony still maintains that Gonzalez was her daughter's babysitter.
5 Casey Vehemently Opposed a Plea Deal
Of course, with death penalty murder cases such as this, a plea deal is always in the discussion for a lawyer. When Anthony’s top lawyer, Cheney Mason, mentioned making a deal to Anthony, she became angry and combative. She always maintained that she did not murder her daughter, and said that she would never take a plea deal and admit guilt. Of course, not everyone who is innocent of a crime accepts a plea deal, and not everyone who is guilty takes one. When you’re facing the death penalty and the evidence is stacked against you, the alternative could be compelling even if you didn’t do it. Still, the fact that she would never admit guilt, even if it meant her life, is interesting to note. So many people in the public think she’s guilty, but this fact is often overlooked.
4 The Courtroom Was A Madhouse
If you remember the Casey Anthony story, then you remember the media attention that surrounded it. This was one of the most high-profile court cases of the last 20 years, and everyone wanted to be a part of the madness. There were lines outside the courthouse every day, and people were literally fighting each other for a chance to see the trial unfold live in front of them. If you watch the footage without any context, you might think there was some sort of celebrity meet-and-greet or concert taking place. People were cheering and chanting in line, as the seriousness of the situation was all but lost. After the final verdict was read, the names of the jurors were not released for some time. There was so much publicity and outrage after she was acquitted of murder that the judge feared that there would be backlash against the jurors.
3 A Similar Story
One of the most interesting anecdotes that came along in the investigation of Casey Anthony is her interaction to another inmate in Orange County Correctional Facility named Ashley Whalen. Whalen had reportedly spent some time in the cell next to Anthony during her stay, and in investigation was started when it was alleged that the two may have discussed Ashley Whalen’s own story. Whalen’s toddler had drowned in her swimming pool and was found by Whalen’s father, who alerted police. This was the same story (albeit with a different outcome) as the one Anthony used in her defense. The entire basis of the defense was a surprise to many in the court, and any interaction with Whalen would call the argument into question. The investigation never found conclusive proof, and therefore had little impact on the case itself.
2 Casey Admitted To “Knocking Out” Caylee
One of the most damning anecdotes that came to light during the trial came from an inmate that Anthony befriended while she was in jail. Robyn Adam of Florida told investigators that her and Anthony had become close, often discussing their upbringing and family. Adams said that Anthony didn’t have a coherent story of what happened when Caylee disappeared, but that Anthony would often knock Caylee out with Chloroform when she wanted to go out and party. According to Adams, Anthony didn’t want to leave the child with her mother, so she would instead use chloroform to make her fall asleep. Of course, the use of chloroform was a large part of the defense’s case, and even if these conversations could never be proven it is quite a surprising revelation.
1 She Lost Her Family
Whether she was guilty of killing her daughter or not, Casey Anthony’s life is undoubtedly in shambles following the trial. In an interview with CNN, her lawyer said that Anthony stays in her house all day to avoid facing the public outcry that is still very much prevalent. She gets regular death threats even after nearly six years, and is forced to keep a low profile everywhere she goes. On top of that, her testimony destroyed her family. Telling the world that your father and brother r*ped you and that your father may be the one responsible for killing your daughter will take its toll on a relationship, and it is reported that Casey and her parents no longer talk. Of course, if these allegations are true, then her father is a complete scumbag. The problem comes if they aren’t true, and Casey merely used them as a scapegoat to avoid being convicted of murder.
Sources: Huffingtonpost, people, CNN
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