Casey Anthony: She didn’t do it

The co-author of the new book about the Anthony case lays out the story that never got told.

Share on Nextdoor

Page 2 of 3

At Casey’s request, both George and Lee Anthony stopped living in the family home for a while. When George returned, after the baby turned 1 year old, Casey quit her job. Her father didn’t go to work until 3 in the afternoon, and rather than leave Caylee with him, she made up a story about going to work, took the child with her, and spent every day with her daughter as much to protect her as anything else, returning around 5 in the afternoon after George went to work.

Her parents wanted to know what she did with the child when she went to work. She made up a fake baby-sitter, a nanny she named Zanaida, and for two years she told her parents that she was taking the child to the made-up nanny before going off to work. In actuality during those two years, she spent the day with Caylee in parks, shopping centers, friends' houses.

During this time Casey had no job, no income, and had to steal money from her parents.

Then on June 16, 2008, according to Casey’s statement, she was jolted awake by her father. He was yelling at her, “Where the hell is Caylee? Where the hell is Caylee?”

Caylee usually slept in Casey's bed, but on this morning Casey had slept alone. She and her father started looking around the house. Her 3-year-old daughter was nowhere to be found. They went outside. Casey noticed that the ladder to the aboveground pool was up. One of the family cardinal rules was to make sure to take it down after swimming. Caylee loved to swim, and the fear was she might try to go it alone.

Casey had started to walk toward the house when she saw her father carrying Caylee’s limp, wet body. The little girl was dead. When Casey saw her father carrying the body, her first thought was that it wasn’t an accident.

He did something to her, she thought, and this is how he’s covering it up. (There was no evidence this was the case.)

When she told the story to her attorney, Jose Baez, tears began running down her face.

“My father started yelling at me,” ‘It’s all your fault. Look what you’ve done. You weren’t watching her. You’re going to go to fucking jail for child neglect. You weren’t watching her, she got out of the house, and look what happened.’”

Casey said she cried the whole time her father was yelling at her. In shock she went inside and lay on her bed. She said her father walked into her room and told her, “I’ll take care of her.” And he walked away.

After George Anthony went to work that afternoon, Casey said he called her on her cell phone and told her, “I took care of everything.” She said he warned her not to tell her mother.

For the next 30 days Casey, in a daze, did everything she could to keep the death of her daughter from becoming known to others and a reality to herself. She carried on as though nothing happened. She spent a few days with her boy friend. She went to a nightclub or two. She got a tattoo that said La Bella Vita, a tribute to her dead daughter. Two psychiatrists, Dr. Jeffrey Danziger and Dr. Weitz, each testified in depositions taken by the prosecution that such behavior is called denial and compartmentalization. She suffered, said Dr. Weitz, from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Said Dr. Weitz, “She was basically still in emotional shock and traumatized, and she was basically functioning in denial, suppressed mode. Essentially she was dealing with, one way or another, the loss of a child she loved.”

After 30 days, Cindy Anthony called the police when Casey couldn’t account for Caylee’s whereabouts. To cover her tracks, Casey told police a long series of lies, and when the cops ran out of patience, they arrested her and charged her with murder. Later, without any evidence as to how the child died, the state charged Casey Anthony with capital murder.

The police, meanwhile, were so sure she had murdered her daughter that they focused their investigation on Casey Anthony alone.

From day one when the Orlando cops interviewed Casey and saw she was lying about Zanny the nanny and about working at Universal Studios, law enforcement leaked every piece of negative information about her to the eager, riveted media. This was a case ensuring every sensational media outlet high ratings. Nancy Grace — the Rush Limbaugh of crime, for whom every defendant is guilty no matter what the verdict — led the way. But she had plenty of company in the anti-Casey vendetta: Greta Van Susteren, Nancy lite; Geraldo Rivera, who once was a great investigative reporter but who has become a shill for the right wing; Fox and Friends, the weirdest TV show in the history of television. Hosted by Gretchen Carlson, who makes Michelle Bachmann look like a moderate, she and her two goofy sidekicks stir up the crazies every morning with their mix of laughter and nasty propaganda.

Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.