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Unexpected Revelations at the Casey Anthony Murder Trial

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The ongoing trial of 25-year-old Casey Anthony, accused of the heinous murder of her sweet and innocent three-year-old daughter Caylee Marie, a child who went missing in mid-2008, took an unexpected turn in court today, June 23, as Casey’s mother made a plausible and reasonable explanation for searches on a home computer for dastardly items, particularly chloroform. The prosecution is seeking to prove that Casey, employed as a “shot waitress” in a Florida tavern, put the toddler to sleep with chloroform, then taped over Caylee’s mouth, so that the sleeping girl died of suffocation. The body was later found in a somewhat remote wooded area, in a plastic bag with duct tape found on the decomposed remains.

Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, who has been involved in the case since she called police to report the missing child, testified that she had been the one to make the computer searches. She said that at one point, prior to the absence of Caylee, she had suspected that a family pet, her small dog, was being poisoned resulting from eating leaves in the backyard of their home. Her search originally was for chlorophyll, then went on one thing leading to another, to “chloroform.” Investigation bears out her story. She recalls searching for “alcohol,” “acetone,” “peroxide,” and even “inhalation.”

During the period in which she had the concerns about the dog, Cindy Anthony was also concerned about substances found around the home, in hand sanitizers for example, that might be injurious to small children. She indicated that a friend from work – Mrs. Anthony was working as a nurse at the time – had told her that many such substances were dangerous for young children. Since she didn’t have access to a computer at work, Mrs. Anthony often did such internet searches from the family’s desktop computer, in the home. She specifically mentioned the website druglibrary.org, which she said she viewed “all the time.”

Cindy Anthony’s testimony shed new and different light on the case, which could include a sentence of death for her daughter, Casey. During the prosecution’s examination of deemed-relevant facts, stains and smells from Casey’s car were connected to the child’s disappearance. Cindy Anthony described the Pontiac Sunfire, usually driven by Casey, as a family-bought car. She said the “few little stains” had been in the vehicle when they picked it up from a tow yard.

Also, now, as the defense has begun its testimonies, evidence about hair found at the scene of the discovery of the young Caylee was discussed, and the point was made that that evidence has been ruled inadmissible earlier in the trial.

There have been a number of speculations as to the facts, objective or extenuating, leading to the death of Caylee Anthony. In the end it may be that the allegations of the child’s mother, Casey Anthony, of ongoing abuse from her father, and at the hands of her brother, played an inescapable role in the disappearance. Claims that the child drowned in a small swimming pool have been made. Claims have surfaced too that it was George Anthony, Cindy’s father, Caylee’s grandfather, who played the decisive role in the murder.

Speculation that a lifetime of paternal abuse had an overwhelming effect, beyond Casey’s control, may sway the jury. Did he constantly berate Casey as an unfit mother? Did he make accusations that he was the baby’s father, and that any decisions as to the baby’s care were his sole responsibility? Did his vehement need to control the lives of his daughter and granddaughter bring Casey into such confusion and trepidation that she saw herself acting on impulses she hardly understood?

Or was the child killed by someone other than the baby’s mother, someone able to wield such pressure that those involved made efforts to conceal the murder, or to give the child’s death the appearance of a gruesome homicide at the hands of an unknown killer?

The jury will have to keep their minds, and perhaps their hearts, open during what will be the final days of this trial that has held the attention of so many, for so long.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Glenn Contrarian

    About those internet searches – would the mom really have been searching for “chloroform” and “neck breaking”? Those were also among the searches made.

    To me, Cindy Anthony is doing what many mothers would be readily willing to do – lie through her teeth in order to save her child from going to prison for the rest of her life. But if you look at Casey Anthony, very rarely has she shown much emotion…and almost zero empathy. IMO Casey has marked sociopathic tendencies – a lack of empathy and little regard for social mores and expectations. This is borne out by her behavior in the days following Caylee’s disappearance…and by her apparent perception that there is nothing wrong with lying.

    Casey A. has serious mental problems and should not face the death penalty (disclaimer – I am opposed to any death penalty). That said, if she is found guilty, then in addition to the punishment she will face (likely life in prison) she needs professional psychological help.

  • Marcia Neil

    Actually, the family was concerned about alligators — most FL transplants are not very familiar with large reptiles. Such concern was the vocalized content of a telephone call-demand info-pool strategy.

  • John Lake

    Some of today’s testimony influenced me more than I can tell. There are many new questions now being asked.

  • STM

    I don’t reckon she’s getting a fair trial, no matter what. The case was discussed ad infinitum in the US but PRIOR to it starting. Had I been chosen as a juror in this case, it’s almost certain that much of the stuff constantly broadcast or printed or available on the internet would have influenced any normal person.

    People may say what they like about juries being able to dissect the evidence presented and rule only on that basis, but it’s well known that juries are influenced by massive media binges prior to cases and that these have influenced cases in the past.

    That is, where a person’s character is the subject of minute examination and all kinds of theories are thrown up around this which, despite not ever meeting the requirement of “beyond reasonable doubt”, and are often based on hearsay only, will without a doubt influence those members of the public who will eventually come to sit on the jury tasked with delivering a fair and just verdict according to law.

    It is particularly true in small towns, prejudiced small towns especially, and even within states where a trial has been moved from one town to another, perhaps a larger one, in the interests of “fairness”.

    One of the cornerstones of Anglo-American jurisprudence is a swift and fair trial and judgment by a jury of our peers.

    Whether we think Casey Anthony is guilty or not, given the discussion of this case all over the US, and you’d have to think especially in her home state, she was never going to get a fair trial under the kind terms everyone charged with a criminal offence should not only expect, but is entitled to under the law.

    Yes, justice for Caylee is paramount, but once we remove this cornerstone of our justice system that offers EVERYONE a fair trial, it becomes open slather.

    Probably Casey Anthony’s chance for a fair trial might only have been possible had it been conducted outside the US, say in Britain, Australia or New Zealand.

    And even, maybe not, since I’m writing from Oz and have read enough about it here to form an opinion.

    Like I say, whether we think she’s guilty or not, the way the entire thing has been conducted is actually a travesty of the justice system we all hold dear.

    With that in mind, the prosectutors in the US should have witheld all details of this case from the press, and suppressed names and publishing of specific details, BEFORE she went to trial.

    We might not like that idea, but it used to be common – standard – practice, and is able to be done within the law, in the interests of not jeopardising fair trials and influencing juries.

    Once we no longer care about that, a person is thus presumed guilty from the moment they are arrested, rather than from the moment any verdict is delivered, one way or the other.

    Whether we think she did it or not is a red herring in this situation. And if a person is presumed guilty by those who will eventually form that person’s jury from the moment of arrest because of information released by the state, there’s a very high chance that person will be found guilty even if they are not.

    We are treading on dangerous ground, and it’s ground that has sunk many innocent people, ruined the lives of their families, offered no real justice to victims (who might also be swayed and influenced in the wrong direction on occasion), and destroyed the reputations of many police officers and criminal lawyers, both prosecutors and defence lawyers.

    A standard exists, that standard is beyond reasonable doubt. The only place that it should be judged is in a courtroom … no matter the guilt or innocence of an accused in the final wash-up.

    Otherwise the risk is that they become show trials. The justice process is not a Holltywood drama, it is serious business and a cornerstone of modern democracy.

  • STM

    Remember the oft-quoted aphorism of Lord Chief Justice Hewart (commonly repeated as a fine piece of rational judicidial thought and by lawyers and judges and politicians in all Anglo-American criminal jurisdictions from Boston to Bombay, from Brewarrina to Brixton): “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

    It’s as true in 21st century America as it was in 20th century London. Simply, you cannot get a fair trial when virtually every aspect of what might be in that trial, including much of the evidence upon which her fate hinges, has been picked over and dissected for months and months before the actual trial.

  • Marcia Neil

    …that would, e.g., behoove themselves to ‘recommend’ any wayward creature to specific people or restaurant grills, a sort of callous attitude that counts snaps and bites as a potential entree on their plates (i.e. a positive outcome).

  • S.T..M

    Ah, you’ve lost me there Marcia. Hopefully you haven’t lost yourself in the process.