Family Dynamics and the Casey Anthony Trial

Cindy, Casey, and Lee Anthony

Since it’s Saturday night on a slow news day, I thought I’d share some of my impressions about Casey Anthony and her family. I’m by no means an expert on this case–I only began following it right after the trial began. I’ll try to briefly summarize the story behind the trial as I understand it, but I’m going to assume that readers have a basic knowledge of the Anthony case.

This case has been covered so extensively in the media for the past three years that it might even outdo the media circus around the O.J. Simpson trial. This is one reason I never read about the case until recently. I thought the public reaction was kind of repulsive and hysterical. But once I started reading about what happened, I was drawn in by the fascinating story and its psychological aspects.


Casey Anthony, 25, is on trial in Orlando, Florida, for first degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee, who was nearly 3 years old. If convicted, Casey could be sentenced to life in prison or death. She is also charged with second degree murder and aggravated child abuse–both of which carry a life sentence.

George Anthony

The story began when Casey became pregnant at age 19. Casey supposedly did not realize she was pregnant until she was 7 months along. Casey’s mother Cindy, a registered nurse, also claims she never realized her daughter was pregnant until then. Casey’s father George went along with the charade too. Once she faced the fact that she was going to have a baby, Casey told friends she wanted to give the child up for adoption; but Cindy pressured her to keep the child, and provide for both of them. The child, Caylee, was born on August 8, 2005 and the mother and child lived with George and Cindy.

Caylee Anthony

No one knows who the father of the child is. Casey named various men as the father, but none has been identified. The FBI tested the DNA of both George Anthony and Casey’s brother Lee Anthony to find out if either had fathered the child. Both have reportedly been eliminated as the father.

Casey has shown herself to be pathological liar, and I assume that behavior must have started long before the pregnancy. She never informed her parents that she wasn’t going to be able to attend her graduation because she was missing one credit. Cindy arranged a party for the event and only found out at the last minute that Casey wouldn’t be able to participate the ceremony.

For a time, Casey had a job working for a photography business on the lot of Universal Studios Orlando. Sometime in 2005–a few months after her daughter Caylee was born, Casey was fired from her job. Instead of informing her family and friends that she was unemployed, she continued to go out to “work,” while claiming to actually be working for Universal as an events organizer. She wove complex fictions about people she worked with, friends, boyfriends, and a babysitter who didn’t exist.

Casey’s lies were so detailed and complex, that this behavior has frequently been compared to Verbal Kint’s lies about Keyser Soze in the 1995 film The Usual Suspects. She was able to maintain an unruffled facade while lying and thus was very convincing.

Casey’s parents accepted these lies, although–at some level–they must have suspected something was wrong. At some point, Casey began stealing money from her mother by forging her name on checks and running up her credit cards. It appears that Cindy and George didn’t do much about this. I’m guessing they probably yelled and screamed and fumed. Casey says her mother constantly told her she was “an unfit mother.”

On June 15, 2008, Casey and Cindy had a fight, reportedly about Casey stealing money from Cindy and Cindy’s mother and father. Casey abruptly left home, taking Caylee with her. Until that time, Cindy had seen Casey every day of her life. Sometime on June 16, Caylee Anthony died, but the cause and manner of death are still mysterious.

For 31 days, Casey did not return home and put off all her mother’s request to see or talk to Caylee. She often told her parents and friends that Caylee was being cared for by a “nanny,” Zenaida Gonzalez, and now she just continued to tell everyone that Caylee was with the nanny. During these 31 days, Casey’s friends thought she was very happy. She spent her time with boyfriends or in clubs, drinking and dancing. She even got a tattoo on her shoulder that read “Bella Vita,” or beautiful life.

Caylee was not reported missing until July 16. George and Cindy had learned that Casey’s car had been abandoned and towed to an impound lot. When they picked it up, the car smelled of human decomposition–an odor that was familiar to both parents, since Cindy was a nurse and George was a former homicide detective. That’s when Cindy finally took action and located Casey and brought her home.

Casey’s fabrications didn’t work as well with the police, and she was soon arrested for child endangerment. Caylee’s bones, clothes, blanket, and other items were found in a wooded area not far from the Anthony home on December 11, 2008. Caylee’s body had been wrapped in a blanket and put inside two plastic garbage bags. Worst of all, several layers of duct tape had been wrapped around Caylee’s face. Her death was declared a homicide because this apparent attempt to hide the body, but no cause of death could be determined. So what happened?

Prosecution Theory

Casey did computer searches for how to make chloroform, neck breaking, household weapons and other sinister things. Chloroform was found in her car trunk and at the scene where the body was found. In addition, Ketamine (date rape drug) and chloroform were found in the air from the trunk.

The prosecution argues that Casey was using these and maybe other drugs to knock Caylee out when she wanted to go out and have a good time. It’s not clear where she left Caylee on these occasions though. The death happened either by overdose or by asphyxiation from placing duct tape over the child’s nose and mouth. Casey’s was happy and nonchalant for 31 days because she was happy to be rid of the responsibility of caring for a child.

Defense Theory

Someone left the ladder on the Anthony’s backyard swimming pool, and Caylee got outside, climbed in and drowned. George found the child and screamed at Casey, saying “your mother will never forgive you! You’ll go to jail for the rest of your life!” George told Casey they should hide the body. It’s not clear why a former homicide detective would put the body in a car truck for 3-4 days, but that’s the defense story.

Casey’s behavior is explained by the fact that she was sexually abused by her father beginning at age 8 and her brother was showing signs of following in his father’s footsteps. Casey learned to lie and obfuscate because of the need to protect family secrets and put on a “normal” face to the world.

The Trial

The prosecution case against Casey Anthony was well organized and well presented, and thus fascinating to watch. I believe they demonstrated to any reasonable person that no one but Casey could have done the crime.

Since the defense case began, the testimony has been deadly dull. Jose Baez, a third year lawyer with very limited trial experience, called numerous forensic experts, and tried and failed to elicit from them testimony favorable to the defense. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton, who is a bit of a bully, repeatedly destroyed Baez’s efforts.

Starting Thursday, Baez began calling Anthony family members; and the testimony has been absolutely riveting, and has brought together many puzzling aspects of the Anthony family dynamics. On Thursday, Casey’s mother Cindy was called to the stand and she repeatedly lied, apparently in an effort to save her daughter’s life. She claimed that she had made the computer searches for chloroform, and made other efforts to modify her previous statements in depositions.

Yesterday, Casey’s brother testified. There were rumors that the defense would have bombshell testimony today, and it seems pretty clear that Jose Baez expected Lee Anthony to talk about his or his father’s sexual abuse of Casey, but Lee stopped short of revealing what he knew.

Baez took Lee through his observations of Casey’s pregnancy. Lee said that he had first noticed Casey was pregnant late one night when she came out of the bathroom as he was waiting to go in. He said he asked her in so many words, “what is that?” but she blew him off, saying it was nothing. Cindy had told Lee he should stay out of it, so he did. This sounds strange, but knowing how much denial there was in this family, I believe him.

Some time later when Casey picked him up at the airport, she was obviously pregnant, but she still denied it. In talking about this, Lee broke down crying on the stand, and for the first time I also saw Casey cry real tears. Reportedly these two were once extremely close, and what I saw in the courtroom today seems to validate that. Below is video of the end of Lee’s direct testimony. The relevant part ends at around 5:57.

I have seen “experts on TV claiming that Lee faked his crying episode, but to me it looked genuine. A blogger who was present in the courtroom had this to say:

For the first time since the trial began when Baez asked Lee why he didn’t go to the hospital Lee said he was upset and hurt that he’d not been included in the news. Before he answered he looked at Casey and they both broke down in tears. If you were watching, this is not the behaviors of a brother and sister that had sexual abuse in their past. These two were obviously close. Secrets were a family business but I will never believe the abuse unless Lee admits to it on the stand.

The jury was also affected by this tearful testimony and the pain of Lee. You could tell that there is so much more there though and the jury is going to question that. Lee got just outside of the courtroom and had a pretty severe breakdown. He along with George, Cindy and their attorney Lippmann were ushered into a room (I think the State’s) just outside the court until he could regain composure and the crowd leaving the court had passed to go to lunch. It was gut wrenching to see.

Below is a video of some attorneys discussing the events of yesterday.

It’s obvious that Baez expected Lee to talk about sexual abuse. Lee had recently met with Baez to tell him something. At the end of his testimony, Baez and the other two attorneys on his team had a brief discussion, and probably decided they could call Lee back to the stand later and try to get him to come clean.

Frankly, I think it’s quite likely that Casey was sexually abused. Her bizarre and irresponsible behavior did not come out of nowhere. Most commentators have labeled her a sociopath, and that certainly seems possible. But she didn’t get that way without environmental input.

She is the product of a highly dysfunctional home. Her father may have sexually abused her, and her mother is so narcissistic and controlling that I doubt if Casey was ever permitted to have any real ability to develop a separate identity. I’m not in any way trying to minimize what Casey did, just trying to understand it.

In my opinion, Casey killed Caylee in order to punish her mother. Cindy had transferred much of her loving, doting attention from Casey to Caylee. Cindy was the one who took care of Caylee, who bought her clothes and food, and Caylee loved Cindy in return.

While Cindy played the role of Caylee’s doting mom, she lashed out at Casey at times then turned around and lavished her with love. Most of all, she constantly criticized and manipulated Casey in passive aggressive, guilt-inducing ways. Casey felt she could never be good enough to satisfy her mom. So Casey took away the one thing she knew her mother loved. At the same time, in her mind, she “saved” Caylee from coming under Cindy’s influence and control and turning out the same way Casey did.

I think the reason people are so fascinated by this case is because the story behind it is stranger than fiction. It has all the elements of a suspenseful novel that you just can’t put down. There have been innumerable twists and turns in the story, and there are likely more surprises to come.

Today ended in a cliff-hanger. The judge called the attorneys and the defendant into his chambers, leaving the court stenographer outside. After about an hour they emerged and the judge announced there would be no testimony today because of a “legal issue.” It must be something big, because he sealed the discussion that took place in chambers. What happened? Is Casey asking for a plea deal? Did she recant her charges against George and Lee? Will there be a mistrial? Who knows? We’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.

61 Comments on “Family Dynamics and the Casey Anthony Trial”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Vinnie Politan tweeted that the “legal issue” isn’t a plea deal. He got confirmation of that from one of the defense attorneys, Cheney Mason. No more info on what the big problem is.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Thank you for your post BB, this case has me riveted…from a legal standpoint and this psychological one as well.

    This past week when Cindy was testifying, she mentioned that the outfit Caylee was found in was not one of her favorites, that she really did no like that outfit and rarely put Caylee in it. When she said that, I thought…man, wouldn’t that be just another turn of the screw for Casey to give her mother. Take away the one thing Cindy is attached to, and dress her in an outfit that she really hates. (I can see Cindy being very controlling over every aspect of Caylee’s life, and it does not seem to be such a far stretch that she would complain about Casey dressing Caylee in outfits she did not like.)

    • bostonboomer says:

      I noticed that she said that too. But maybe Caylee liked the shorts. I know my nephews were able to wear the same clothes for a long time at that age. Their pants got too short, but you don’t notice it as much with shorts.

  3. gxm17 says:

    Hi bb! So glad to see you covering this trial. I began following the case in 2008 but then the presidential race took over my attention. Like you, I just started tuning in again once the trial started. I agree with most of your take and am glad to read the impressions of someone with your psychology background.

    I agree that Casey’s motive in killing Caylee was to hurt her mother. The soap opera family dynamics create a compelling tragedy and it’s a riveting case. But I’m not convinced that George Anthony sexually abused Casey. Not just because he denied it on the stand, but because Cindy Anthony would have testified to it as she seems hell bent on making sure her daughter doesn’t get the DP (not that I blame her) and the defense just hasn’t revealed anything resembling reasonable doubt. Initially, I was open to the idea of an accidental death but the defense team has done a bang-up job of making me believe it was premeditated murder. Casey reminds me of a female Ted Bundy and IMO, as dysfunctional as the Anthony family may be, I think she was just born that way. I have a lot of sympathy for her family and can’t imagine the hell they’ve been through these three years. At this point I’m just hoping that we don’t end up with a hung jury and that Casey receives a very long sentence.

    And I love Judge Perry. I’ve been following the trial online, keeping it up all day at work, and he’s really been a joy to watch in action. The prosecution team has been stellar, delivering just the right amount of passion and theatrics when the occasion demands. And then there’s Jose Baez. Oh dear, he’s a hot mess! A compelling case and a riveting trial. Just the sort of thing us crime junkies can’t get enough of. I think I’ll go through withdrawal once the verdict has been rendered!

    Again, thanks so much for covering this. I greatly respect your opinion and enjoy reading it here.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi gxm17! It’s good to see you, and thanks for reading. Cindy is the type of mother who would have enabled the sexual abuse. She is very very good and denying reality and pretending things are just fine when they aren’t. There is no way she would admit to knowing about the abuse if it happened–even to save Casey. She could never admit something that would make her look bad.

      Even when she got on the stand and claimed she searched for “chloroform,” she could go so far as to admit she tried to find out how to make it or that she went to the website 84 times.

      Cindy puts herself before anyone else. Obviously she didn’t love Caylee all that much either, since she never tried to find out what happened for 31 days, and now she’s trying to help Caylee’s murderer.

      • gxm17 says:

        I respect your opinion bb and will have to rethink the sex abuse angle. Do you really believe it could have caused Casey to act so happy and carefree in the 31 days after her daughter’s death? Jeffrey Dahmer had a similar ability, to remain calm and unruffled while being questioned by police and to the best of my knowledge he was not sexually abused.

        Sadly, I agree that any love Cindy gave Caylee was probably very shallow. Cindy Anthony is a circus unto herself. Unbelievable! I was floored when she began her testimony for the defense. As much as I understand that she wants to prevent Casey receiving the DP, I never imagined she go that far. I certainly overestimated her.

      • bostonboomer says:

        No, I don’t think sexual abuse caused Casey to act carefree. I think that and having Cindy as a month contributed to making her into a pathological liar and a sociopath. I think she is evil and should never get out of jail if she did this. I think she’d be likely to kill someone else.

      • PJ says:

        gxm17, I hope you comment here more often. I always like hearing what you have to say – it always makes me think.

    • Branjor says:

      I don’t agree that Cindy’s lack of testimony as to her husband abusing Casey proves that it didn’t happen. It’s pretty common in families where the father abuses a child for the mother to look the other way and deny that it’s happening. It could be that what Cindy wants as much or more than saving Casey’s life is denying that her husband abused Casey.
      Casey doesn’t remind me of Ted Bundy. Bundy was a serial murderer of women who traveled from place to place over many years killing his victims. I somehow doubt that Casey would travel from place to place over a series of years killing kids. And there’s really no evidence that Casey was “just born that way” with no environmental input.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I think Casey is more along the lines of this case: Jeffrey R. MacDonald – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      • gxm17 says:

        Branjor, I respectfully disagree in that I think Casey is capable of killing again. She was able to put on a charismatic and happy facade while her daughter was decomposing in the trunk of her car. That and her ability to lie are what remind me of Ted Bundy. The unsettling ability to be charming and cool while concealing a heinous crime. Jeffrey Dahmer had the same “ability.” IMO, the only place for people like that is behind bars. I don’t want to see Casey get the DP but I do hope she gets a very long sentence as I don’t think she can be rehabilitated.

      • Branjor says:

        Somehow I fail to see the resemblance to McDonald either. This guy killed his pregnant wife and two daughters.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          @ Branjor 9:44 McDonald had a history of lying, and being good at it. His narcissistic personality, and the way he insisted the murder was commented by hippies, when all the evidence proved it was him. That is what I meant.

      • Branjor says:

        gxm17, she may be capable of killing again, but would she? What would the motivation be? In Bundy’s case, he had an extreme hatred of women and his killings of them were sexual. I don’t think Casey has an extreme hatred of kids, I think she just didn’t want Caylee and wanted to get back at her mother.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I think Casey could easily kill again if she were freed. She doesn’t seem to have any empathy for other people at all.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Most likely the reason Casey was able to “put on a happy facade” is because she learned how to dissociate as a child–she could have gotten that from sexual abuse or the emotional abuse she suffered from Cindy. She was able to partition off things she didn’t want to think about–just like Lee did when Cindy told him to butt out of the pregnancy situation. How else could she have kept up the pretense of having a job for 2+ years?

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          It is like the entire family was dominated by Cindy, and even scared of her…I don’t think that George said “your mother will never forgive you” about an accidental drowning…but I could see that Casey is expressing some truth with this statement. She had a twisted motive for killing Caylee to get some sort of revenge on Cindy…if that makes any sense. I think that is why she had that expression when Cindy said “I love you” a couple weeks ago. It was a look like she would have said out loud, yeah right… with a sarcastic thanks mom.

          It was reported that when Caylee was born, Cindy was the one who held her and bonded with the baby…Casey was not the “first” to hold her own child and she was very angry about that. (I wasn’t the first to hold my kids when they were born, my husband was, and there is no resentment towards him from me about that.) I think her relationship with her mother is one of the keys to the death of this baby.

      • paper doll says:

        as I don’t think she can be rehabilitated

        her life is a testament to that fact. Her behavior has only escalated thought her life….I don’t see that changing. People like this find regular life to boring to bare..let her be nuts in the big house

  4. Adrienne in CA says:

    Thanks for the summary. I’d consciously been avoiding reporting on this, figuring it was the media’s typical “Evil Demon Mom Kills Kid” story. Sounds like there’s a lot more going on in this familiy.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Me too, until I had some time on my hands and read a little background. Then I got hooked and it was all over.

  5. PJ says:

    Excellent insights BB. I too am riveted by this story. I am starting to believe that it could have been premeditated – for the reasons you stated – to hurt Cindy and also to save Caylee from Cindy. I have always thought that Caylee looked very much like Cindy. It would have been a way of “killing” Cindy in more ways than one. However, I could just as easily believe it happened by accident. Fortunately, either way, Casey could be found guilty of 1st degree murder (even without the premeditation).

    With Cindy’s lies, it always seems there is a grain of truth. A caller to one of the news shows asked if maybe Casey was trying out chloroform first on the dogs to see their reaction. Cindy said she was concerned as to why the dogs were tired – and that was why she was searching chloroform… Just kind of weird.

    I don’t think this is the “big thing” but I would love it if they have found proof that Cindy was lying about being at home and not at work, searching the web for chloroform…

  6. paper doll says:

    Why can’t it just be she wanted to party and gave the kid drugs when she did…..that time she gave her too much and when the child died, Casey said wahoo and partied more until Mom finally bought a clue and called a halt to it?….I don’t see why it has to be more …oh would the problem be that’s not murder one?…. but depraved indifference? In any case Casey is now soooo patently crazy she has to be kept from society imo …she’s gone over the edge. She’s been nuts for years and they have been very permissive….and that leads to people like Casey to get ever more nuts. I have seen strong parents be totally defeated by a wacky kid…and who spend their lives cleaning up the messes. and putting out the fires …they couldn’t this time, but they are still trying for some reason… If I was Cindy I would have checked with the school before ordering the cake…by that time she would have many, many experiences of Casey lying about such things ….I don’t understand the surprises at her lies by then…figure it out , she lies .

    • PJ says:

      I think that Cindy believes it was an accident (and George and Lee because they’ll believe whatever Cindy does). I think at some point Casey told Cindy “the truth” and said, “ok, it was me – I gave her chloroform but I didn’t think it would KILL her.” And Cindy says, “what??? You gave my granddaughter chloroform and thought she would be just fine?” And Casey says, “yeah, I tried it on the dogs and they were a little tired and groggy, but it didn’t KILL them.” And Cindy thinks back and says “dammit, I KNEW something was going on with those dogs.”

      So because Cindy believes it was an accident, she’ll now do anything – including lying about the chloroform searches – to save Casey. (well, that’s one wild theory…)

      It could just be that Cindy likes being in control and SHE will decide what happens to Casey – she’s not going to just let it play out and have “dummies” make that decision.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t believe Casey ever admitted it to her parents. How would she have done that without the police knowing? Every one of her phonecalls and vists was taped and every one of her letters was read by authorities.

        But if the defense theory is right and Caylee died in the pool, I can imagine Cindy knowing and then blocking it out and covering up. Once she even said something about Caylee not being “in the woods,” or something like that. That may have been a Freudian slip.

    • bostonboomer says:

      If she knocked Caylee out with chloroform or date rape drug, that would still be aggravated child abuse, which would be a life sentence. I think that is probably what the jury will decide on. Even aggravated manslaughter of a child is pretty serious I think. The FL supreme court recently found the state death penalty law unconstitutional, so that might affect this case too.

      There have already been many many examples of both parents lying and behaving pathologically to believe that Casey just turned into a sociopath without any environmental influences. Cindy lies exactly like Casey does, with lots of complex details. If you saw her testify for the prosecution, you know that she also remembers every detail of Casey’s lies. She needed to believe her child had a great job and was a perfect mom, even though unconsciously she knew it was all fantasy.

      Cindy did find out from the school that Casey couldn’t be in the ceremony. Casey never told her parents. They didn’t find out until the day before. It was just like the denial of the pregnanacy and the denial that Caylee was dead. Cindy even claimed to believe Caylee was alive and with the “nanny” after she knew Caylee’s bones had been found and the “nanny” didn’t exist.

      After the way Cindy lied in her defense testimony, I question whether her tears when she testified for the prosecution were even genuine. She was probably crying for hersself and not Caylee.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I missed this great summation yesterday and the only thing I disagree with is the sex abuse charges. Remember the Menendez brother resorted to the same defense when they knew the evidence was overwhelming in their case as well.

        Cindy Anthony controls that whole bunch. She forced her 19 yr old daughter to keep an unwanted child, turned her into the “family babysitter”, and curbed her desire to party at will and did this by ignoring the signs that this girl was not only promiscuous but was unemployed all along.

        What the jury will not hear is that Casey had another pregnancy scare about a year after Caylee was born. The father was some married man from out of state who was living in Florida for a time.

        There is a tape online of George Anthony meeting with the FBI shortly after Casey went to jail the first time asking the agent to keep this meeting from his wife’s knowledge. In it he basically offers a firsthand look at how Casey operated in that home.

        She was able to access the family checking account where she withdrew enough money that left them short of their mortgage payments for two months. She stole the money he had taken each week from the bank account he had set up for Caylee and she was granted access as co signer. She stole from both of their wallets while forging checks against her grandparents nursing accounts that George and Cindy had to make good for.

        Somehow she was able to “create” fake employment sheets listing Universal Studios as her employer and told them at one time that she was also employed by a sporting store that George later discovered was not so. She has lied over and over to them and the hatred toward her father stems in large part to the fact that he saw through the bullshit while the mother chose to ignore it. For a father who is supposedly “covering up” his involvement in this case he went out of his way to essentially paint a picture of a young woman who had caused them nothing but heartache for years.

        If you listen to Cindy’s testimony it is clear she was in complete charge of that baby. She is the one who cleaned out her drawers for clothing that no longer fit. She is the one who washed her clothing. She is the one who purchased her toys and food, She even knew the number of teeth the baby had at the time of her death. But in listening and watching Cindy testify it is also very clear where Casey learned to lie. Cindy spared no details in describing those computer searches and did so with the same creative narrative that is the hallmark of Casey herself.

        The “lies” they refer to within that family have more to do with how they dealt with Casey and her behavior than in hiding any secrets surround “sex abuse”. How convenient now that just as this trial is taking place they march out that theory in order to explain her monstrous behavior toward this baby. It’s all they’ve got in an attempt to convince the jury that this young woman, seen partying and smiling after the death of her child, did so out of the need to hide abuse.

        There are letters she wrote in jail where she indicates that she is “not sure” if her father had abused her when she writes about her brother’s attempts to molest her. These are nothing more than handy excuses to wipe away the simple fact that she did indeed have a hand in the death of that baby either by accident or intent since child killers do not fare well in prison. What better excuse than to claim “abuse” and become the victim herself.

        What she has done to her family is inexcusable and though I understand the agony of their loss I am unable to understand why they would subject themselves to perjuy on her behalf.
        She has done nothing but exploit, manipulate, and denigrate them throughout by misleading them to believe that the child was alive. And listening to the testimony of expert witnesses who describe that baby laying in the woods and being eaten by small animals and insects should be enough to convince them that this girl needs to remain behind bars for a long, long time.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Hi Pat,

        Thank you so much for your insights. I knew you would know more details than I do. I will try to read that interview with George. I’ve read some of Casey’s letters, and I knew about the stealing and included it in my post.

        I agree that the sexual abuse story could be fabricated–probably based on Keyser Soze type hints from other inmates, like the drowning story. However none of this precludes the possibility of sexual abuse. That could explain Cindy’s ability to dissociate. It could never explain murdering a child. I’m convinced this woman is just plain evil, but she wasn’t born that way.

        I have seen lies from George too, although not as Casey-like as the ones Cindy tells.

        Again, thanks for reading this and sharing your insights!

      • paper doll says:

        and though I understand the agony of their loss I am unable to understand why they would subject themselves to perjuy on her behalf….

        guees it’s part of a larger patteren they have lived under for many years…leaping to mop up after Casey…..just this time it’s on a national scale! My sister says the family ( Cindy) doesn’t want to admit just how crazy Casey is….so they do this sort of circling the wagon number … it’s almost knee jerk.

  7. bostonboomer says:


    Is there any evidence the dogs were really sleepy or is that another of Cindy’s elaborations–like all the nonsense about the shorts?

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I remember being in the hospital at Emory in Sept. of 08, and watching this interview with George and Cindy and Greta Van Susteren. It was the one where Greta got George to admit that Casey stole the gas cans. When they were in the back of the house, showing places the dogs alerted to, the place near the sand box is where Cindy made a remark about the bamboo. That she kept cutting the sprouts as they came up because the dogs were eating it and getting “sick.” But at the time it sounded like sick meant puking and diarrhea. The reason I say that is because when Cindy said they were sick, I think she scrunched up her nose, in a sort of disgusted way. But you know, the fact that I am so interested in this case makes myself ill.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Interesting. I read that Casey used the place she left Caylee as a “pet cemetery” when she was a kid. Do use suppose any of the animals died at her hand? That would really nail down the diagnosis of psychopathy.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          Do use suppose any of the animals died at her hand? That would really nail down the diagnosis of psychopathy.

          Wow, that would be interesting to know.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    The reason that I discount the abuse charges is that it is a “handy excuse” that is offered so often in case of custody hearings in divorce. It places the accused in the untenable position of having to defend themselves against accusations that were never in evidence during the marriage itself but only when custody issues were at stake.

    Had George abused Casey why now is this only coming to light? She has sat in jail for 3 years and this would be the time to “come clean” by telling the truth rather than wait for a trial that promises nothing but more ugliness as a reason why she behaved like an uncaring monster.

    Her family is well aware of her issues. They are trying their hardest to make her into someone she is not. She is a “creation” of their inability to deal with her directly and as we saw on those jailhouse videos how they tiptoe around her as they beg for information she refuses to supply. Someone was always there to offer excuses on her behalf and she sits there now waiting for the same to play out once again. Cindy to the rescue!

    The child died at her hands, no question about it. Since she has never had to face the consequences of her actions before (she should have been thrown out of the house after she stole their mortgage payments at least) they are burying the fact that the night before the baby’s disappearance she was involved with a physical altercation with Cindy which led to Cindy placing her hands around Casey’s neck in an angry confrontation concerning the check stealing from Casey’s own grandmother.

    It was supposedly then that Cindy threatened to throw her out and seek custody of Caylee which may have triggered the events that followed.

    The jury will not hear about this since it was Lee himself who told this to Jesse Grund, a former boyfriend, and is considered “hearsay” evidence through a third party. Cindy to Lee to Jesse which Cindy has now since denied ever happened.

    Casey began seeing Jesse Grund when she was already about a month or so pregnant with Caylee. She named him as the father. His own father had the sense to demand a DNA test which exonerated him in that claim. Casey probably has no idea who the father was since her own friends have stated that she “slept around” a lot, “hooking up” on the first date with some of them.

    Unless George himself takes the stand and admits to this abomination I do not for a minute believe the veracity of her claims.

    She is a spoiled, willful, self centered young woman who has never had to consider the consequences of her actions since her family stood by and looked the other way.

    As her own grandmother has stated, Casey hated her mother more than she loved Caylee and removing that child from her mother was the ultimate reason for “getting even”.

    The saddest piece to all of this is that those delusional parents are still defending her actions even in the face of evidence which is undeniable in its scope.

    As her mother has shown her willingness to lie for her we are watching a dynamic of dysfunction that cannot be explained. It all depends now on how far her father is willing to go when we know from his own testimony to the FBI that he is fully aware of her ability to have killed the child from the outset. The brother is on tape via a hidden microphone telling her last lover Tony Lazzaro that Casey is a “pathological liar” and cannot be believed.

    However, he did manage to change that belief months later when he sits for a deposition and insists that he “believes” everything she says. Even down to Zanny the Nanny that has been thoroughly discounted. These people are not above lying to cover for her and their own mishaps in never dealing with the truth of who Casey had become.

    She is an evil parasite that they helped create.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Very well said, Pat.

      I totally agree with everything you have said, except that sexual abuse could never be an excuse or explanation for Casey killing her child. It could explain her promiscuity, stealing, and other acting out behavior, but again–that could never be mitigating factor for murder, IMO. She could very well have manufactured this, but again–I don’t see how the jury could consider this a mitigating factor. It would only explain partially her hatred of her parents and her acting out.

      I agree that Lee was more cognizant of what Casey was and that he has repeatedly lied like the rest of the family.

      You wrote:

      “As her mother has shown her willingness to lie for her we are watching a dynamic of dysfunction that cannot be explained.”

      The family dysfunction can be explained by Cindy’s narrcissistic mothering and her domination of George and her children. I hope you will read the links to information on narcissistic mothers that I included in my post.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I just hope George doesn’t go on the stand and admit abuse of Casey. If he does, I’ll know he’s lying. Would Cindy push him into it though? I just don’t see her doing anything to make herself look worse if she can help it.

        I think they know Casey is going to spend life in prison. They just don’t want her to die. I don’t blame them for that, but I wish Cindy would be call to account for her perjury. I doubt that will happen.

        On the other hand, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Lee went on the stand and testified to abusing Casey. It was obvious that Baez expected him to either say that or that George did it.

  9. Pat Johnson says:

    Here is what we don’t know:

    George admits to having seen Caylee and Casey around 1pm on June 16th shortly before he left for work.

    Casey informed him that she was dropping Caylee off at the babysitter’s and was planning on staying over night as she had to “work” the next day as well. She also mentioned that “Mom knows” as they left the house.

    George left around 2pm and his work records show that he was there for the next 8 hours.

    The cellphone records show Casey back in the house after 2pm during which time she was also on Facebook laughing it up and yukking with her friends over photos she had published online regarding “shot girls”.

    At 4pm there is a flurry of calls made to Cindy both on her workphone and cellphone but were unanswered since Cindy has admitted that she was in a meeting at that time.

    Tony Lazzaro has testified that Casey showed up at his apartment around 7pm that night without Caylee. She is then recorded on tape around 8pm from Blockbuster perusing the aisles selecting videos with him.

    What happened between 2pm and 7pm that day? At no time on that video does Casey appear to be distraught, emotional, or grieving. And according to Tony’s testimomy they returned to his apartment that night, watched videos, and the next day, the 17th, they spent the entire day in bed and in sight of one another. He even managed to include that he “played hookey” from school in order to spend the day with Casey in bed.

    Which begs one of two questions:

    Had she merely knocked the child out with chloroform and put her in the trunk for the chance to spend time with Tony then why is it that she left her there for over 24 hours unattended?

    Or had she already smothered her in the home, wrapped her in her Winnie the Pooh blanket, placed the sticker on her mouth, stuffed her body in the trunk, and then just waltzed out the door to get to Tony’s knowing full well there was no need to check on her well being that entire Tuesday?

    Either way you view it, she was fully aware of what she was doing with regard to that baby’s welfare on the 16th of June and her nonchalant behavior surrounding either scenario displays a person with a complete lack of conscience.

    The prosecution is in possession of those e-mails made after 2pm which does not show anything untoward as having happened prior to this supposed “drowning” and cover up.

    The unanswered question is just where was Caylee during that 5 hour gap between 2pm and 7pm that day. Sleeping, overdosed, or already dead?

    And how to explain an “accidental” overdose resulting in her death when she was left unattended in that car trunk for a period of over 24 hours? It is beyond callousness to suggest otherwise.

    The child was dead when Casey left that house to get to Tony’s. That is the only way to explain her inaction of checking on her on the 17th.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You know more of the timeline than I do, Pat. Didn’t Tony say that he went to sleep one night with Casey and Caylee in bed with him and in the morning Caylee was gone? He said that was the last time he saw Cylee. I think Casey killed Caylee in the middle of that night, and left her body in the car trunk. Would that work with your timeline?

      Casey showed no signs of grief because she was glad to be rid of Caylee and happy at how much losing Caylee would hurt Cindy. Casey isn’t able to experience emotions in the same way most of us do. She’s completely lacking in empathy. If something isn’t about her, she can’t feel anything for anyone, including Caylee.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        It wasn’t Tony who had that experience but another boyfriend named Ricardo who admitted that when Caylee slept over the 3 of them shared the bed. Great mother right?

        He testified that Caylee had been in bed with them one night but the next morning she was not there. He asked Casey where Caylee had gotten to and she said that her mother had phoned during the night and demanded that she bring Caylee home right away. Casey said she did then returned to Ricardo’s after.

        But according to Cindy in earlier depostions this never happened. So the question remains just what did Casey do with Caylee that night if she did not take her home?

        Ricardo by the way is the boyfriend who posted that “chlorofom” message online in March that supposedly led to Casey doing a search on her home computer. Ricardo is also the same boyfriend she slept with during that same month that Caylee disappeared after Tony the new b.f. went to NY for a week’s vacation and did not give Casey permission to stay in his apartment.

        Casey was able to swap men whenever the moment presented itself. According to Amy, on the same day she was so giddy about picking Tony up from the airport after his vacation in NY she was tweeting some other guy and making plans to go on a helicopter ride just moments before Tony’s plane touched down.

        This same guy testified to that for the prosecution. Always lining up her prospects, she was also on Facebook shortly after her return home from jail the first time flirting online with another guy who thought she was “cute”. This while the family, law enforcement, and volunteers were searching for her missing daughter.

      • bostonboomer says:


        What night was it that Ricardo said Caylee was gone in the morning? Do you know? If Casey put her in the trunk or even in the car and left her there, I can’t see how she could survive–even at night. I wonder where Casey left Caylee during all the other times she told her parents and other people Caylee was with the “nanny?”

    • bostonboomer says:

      If Casey put her in the truck while drugged, I don’t think the child would have lasted long in the summer in Florida.

    • PJ says:

      Pat, you make an excellent case. I think Casey knew Caylee was dead when she made the flurry of phone calls at 4pm.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    Casey returns to the house on the 18th knowing both parents are at work. Backing the car into the garage, she takes the baby and heads to the backyard.

    She places the baby in the backyard near the playhouse with the intent of burying her in yard. She borrows the shovel from the neighbor but finds it too difficult to dig.

    She then places the baby back in the trunk and leaves her there for at least 3-4 days.
    During this 31 day period she is in constant touch with Cindy but keeps offering one excuse after another as to why they have failed to return home.

    Cindy’s panic sets in when they are alerted to the car being found abandoned days before and the smell indicates death. It is then that Cindy goes into motion in tracking down Casey through Amy Huyzienga. This leads her to Tony’s apartment and the “story” unfolds.

    The stories are bizarre and unbelievable but Casey has always managed to “talk herself” out of trouble by her convincing act. The police may not be buying it but her parents are.

    But Cindy, who seems to have a complete hold over Caylee’s upbringing from her own testimony, is unable to identify this Zanny whom her daughter has had “babysit” for almost two years? Who for a second believes that?

    If nothing else, Cindy is a control freak and would have made it her business to know who had access to Caylee during those times. But she “believes” Casey whose position is that she is “protecting the family” by not seeking help in locating her own child. B.S.!!!

    Casey lies; Cindy enables. And George goes along for the sake of peace. Lee is just another dupe in this charade, afraid of alientating Cindy and he agrees to play along. Cindy won’t put up with it. Even his girlfriend testifed that Casey and Caylee had an “amazing bond”. Another one going along with whatever Cindy dictates.

    And offstage a poor little innocent child, a “pawn” in this storyline between a control freak and a narcissitic fool, never lived to see her third birthday as her little body was reclaimed by nature for 6 months in the open is all but forgotten.

    And all for the sake of a young woman who loves only herself and is willing to throw the entire family under the bus knowing full well that whatever she says and does they will “forgive and forget” as they have always done.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Cindy also uses a whole hell of a lot of denial. I think when she had any thought about Casey doing bad stuff, she pushed it out of her mind until she absolutely had to confront reality at the last minute. I don’t see a whole lot of concern for the child from Cindy either. First she doesn’t lay down the law with Casey for 31 days. Then she tries to protect Casey and cover up for her for months. Then even after Caylee’s body is found, Cindy claims she’s still alive and with the nonexistent “nanny.”

      I don’t believe Casey ever had any kind of “bond” with Caylee, and whatever relationship Cindy had with Caylee was all about controlling the child and using passive aggression to manipulate and guilt-trip Casey (too bad the guilt-trips couldn’t work because she had already enabled Casey into a textbook psychopath).

      BTW, there’s a good chance “Zanny the nanny” started out as a sly name for Xanax. Did Casey steal that from Cindy too and then when she ran out switch to chloroform and ketamine? I can just imagine how much fun Casey would have had using that name “Zanny” (street name for Xanax) to fool her mom.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I agree that Casey did not share a bond with Caylee.

        Another little known fact that I can produce for following this case is the following:

        Casey lived on her cellphone. When the police subpoened the records her monthly calls added up to over 1,000 which included phone and text messages. Her monthly phone charges totaled over $350.00.

        Now take into account that one month equals approximately 30 days. How much time, dividing the number of calls by the number of days, was Casey actually paying attention to a toddler during those hours where both parents were at work? Not much.

        She also had numerous postings on both Facebook and MySpace that were done during the daytime hours as well.

        So it would seem logical to suggest that Casey spent most of her time either texting or e-mailing during those hours when a small child needs to be watched and entertained.

        She may have gotten away with it by placing her in a playpen or a crib when she was smaller but an almost 3 yr old child needs constant supervision and attention which I doubt she was receiving from a mother who was busy texting or playing on the computer.

        One reason she stole from her own grandmother by writing a check in the amount of $347.00 was to pay for her cellphone.

        Why they refused to place her in daycare and insisting that Casey find a real job to help support her is another mystery yet untold. She seemed to be always short of cash, stealing from anyone she could find.

        Casey was merely Caylee’s babysitter if the truth were told and not the “amazing mother” Cindy would have us believe.

        I appear to be a “fountain of information” about this.

      • PJ says:

        It is so profoundly disturbing to think that Casey drugged Caylee on a regular basis – and yet the facts seem to fit exactly that – how else could she have kept up her activities? (I also appreciate all of your info Pat)

        BB, the Zanny the nanny (for Xanax) makes perfect sense. I could see Casey thinking that was quite funny.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Pat, I watched a video that Casey took of Caylee. I’ll see if I can find it. In the video Caylee is practically begging for Casey to pay some attention to her or pick her up and hold her, and Casey just ignores her. It’s heartbreaking. If I can find it, I’ll post it here.

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    bb: Diagnose me please! I am becoming obsessive!

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re not the only one. I refuse to diagnose you because I want to cannibalize all your detailed knowledge!!

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    bb: Since Ricardo said from the witness stand that his relationship with Casey went from late January ’08 through April ’08 it would seem that this event of not finding Caylee in bed with them in the morning took place just a few months prior to her disappearance.

    When she returned to his apartment during that 31 day abscence while Tony was in NY she indicated to Ricardo that the baby was with the Nanny or with her mother.

    His apartment was a place for his friends to “crash” which is how she first met Amy, a friend of Ricardo, who was there between apartments. It was Amy whose checkbook she stole during that 31 day spree of freedom.

    Amy also had been deposed talking about $400.00 that Casey was suspected of stealing from Amy. When Amy discovered it was missing she approached Casey for help in trying to locate it within the apartment. Casey “helped” her by looking but also tried to impress on Amy that Amy “sleep walked” and probably hid the money unbeknowingly.

    The money was never found and though Amy said she had never before suffered from sleep walking, she apparently “bought” this excuse as she remained friends with Casey right up to the day Cindy found her at Tony’s.

    It was a week or so later that Amy discovered that her checking account had been drained while she was vacationing in Puerto Rico with Ricardo and a few others.

    It was during this vacation in July 2008 that Amy allowed Casey the use of her car where Casey was able to get ahold of the checkbook that Amy left in the glove compartment.

    Casey managed to drain up to $700 from Amy’s account. This was the money she used to get the tatoo, order pizza, shop at Target, and buy her drinks at the clubs.

    An all around “sweetheart”.

  13. bostonboomer says:

    This isn’t the video I was talking about, but….

    • bostonboomer says:

      Here’s the one I was talking about.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oh wait, that one cut off before the end. At the end Caylee is just stretching her arms out to Casey and gets no response. Even in this video Casey isn’t interacting verbally with Caylee at all. Kids need that.

  14. Branjor says:

    The way this case is being handled and talked about just reminded me of a long ago case from my childhood in New York – that of Alice Crimmins.

    • bostonboomer says:

      What was the case about?

      • Branjor says:

        It happened some time in the early 1960’s. Alice Crimmins was separated from her husband, Edmund, and one morning she went into the room of her children, Edmund Jr., 5, and Alice Marie, 4, and they were missing! A window was open. Police were called, Edmund Sr. came, and the detective didn’t like Alice’s impeccable grooming while her children were missing (she was a cocktail waitress). A few hours later, Alice Marie’s body was found in an empty lot and the detective decided to “test” Alice. He didn’t tell her her daughter had been found, but he took her to the lot and she saw the body. She said something like “That’s Missy!” (Alice Marie’s nickname) and swooned, but she didn’t cry. When she arrived back home, the media were there and she started sobbing. Detective thought “huh, she only cries for the cameras.” Edmund Jr.’s body was found a few days later. Anyway, Alice was charged in the deaths of her children and it was sensationalized in the New York papers and I read about it nearly every day in the Daily News my father brought home. Anyway, everything about her, her clothes, her hair, her occupation, her sex life, her character, her motherhood, her worth as a human being, were picked apart and she was tried and convicted of being a “child killing bitch” right there in the newspapers. She was convicted and sentenced in both deaths. I actually believe that Alice was innocent, while I don’t believe that Casey is. Why this case reminds me of the Alice Crimmins case is the picking apart of virtually every aspect of her character and being and the heavy judgements made on her worth and character, worse than anything I’ve ever seen done on a man accused of killing his children. That’s a condensed summary of the Crimmins case.