What started out as a simple missing persons case has quickly turned into an investigation of murder. In 2008, after waiting two months, Caylee Anthony was reported missing by her grandmother Cindy Anthony who had not seen her granddaughter in many weeks. In response to the missing person’s case police questioned Casey Anthony, Caylee’s mother, to the whereabouts of her daughter, who then told police the babysitter had taken her daughter. After hearing this, police checked into the alleged babysitter only to find Casey had lied to them.
Going back to Casey, she admitted to lying because she was scared of what the police would say when they found out Caylee Anthony had drown in the family swimming pool. Her father, George had allegedly buried Caylee’s body a few miles from their Florida home in response to the shock. George Anthony, of course, denied this claim. Many question why, if Casey was such a concerned parent, she was seen out at the clubs partying and sporting a new tattoo, “Bella Vita” meaning a beautiful life a few weeks after Caylee’s tragic disappearance.
The answers were still unclear to police after even six months when Caylee Anthony’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near her grandparents’ home and four false testimonies from Casey Anthony. George and Cindy Anthony told police they remembered the distinct smell of decomposing remains in the back of Casey’s car (Warren). Medical examiners could attest to this smell but could not tell the police if it was a human decomp smell or an animal decomp smell.
After four tries of getting the correct story from Casey about her daughter’s whereabouts and then what happened to her, police began a deep investigation on Casey, following every possible lead they could. The police formed a theory that Casey, 22, no longer wanted to be a mother, so she drugged the toddler with chloroform and suffocated her with duct tape over Caylee’s mouth and nose to suffocate the toddler and then dispose of the body in a deserted area. The items leading to this theory?
Multiple searches found on Casey’s computer for “chloroform” and “neck breaking, (Warren)” hair samples and air samples found in Casey’s car. (Tauber) In the summer of 2011, Casey’s case was brought to trial. This trial, being almost as big as the OJ Simpson trial brought a large following. Every day of the trial hundreds of people were lined up to get tickets into the court room in order to see the shocking case unfold. Lines of people showing up as early as three or four in the morning to get in line for tickets. Many believe this to be the biggest social media circus of 2011 (Rawlings).
The court room was filled with people daily; if anyone inside the court room fell asleep a guard told them to leave so more people could take their place. Throughout this case, Anthony, now 25, showed a mixture of emotion, displaying anything from scowls to sobs to blank faced indifference (Tauber). Even after up to 30 testimonies and over 300 pieces of evidence, this case is still as confusing as it’s ever been. Many unanswered questions, such as When exactly did Caylee die? , has put a pause on the verdict of such a large case.
Perhaps the most important question in this case is, could Casey Anthony go free on murder charges? This question has put a thick layer of uncertainty on this case. Many argue that because of Casey’s four lies to police, that makes her a murderer. Others believe that just because Anthony is a liar doesn’t mean she is a murder, just an unlikeable liar (Tauber) For many weeks jurors heard the cases of both the prosecution and defense, taking in the evidence of the case. The jury, containing five men and seven women, had their work cut out for them to deliver a verdict without a reasonable doubt.
For the murder case of Caylee Anthony, that was hard because of the gaps in evidence from both the prosecution and defense. After deliberating for eleven hours, the jury finally came together for a verdict that shocked a nation; Casey Anthony was found not guilty of 1st degree murder but found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of lying to police which could land Anthony in jail for up to 4 or 5 years (Richey) Had Anthony been found guilty of murder, she could have seen many years in prison and a stay on death row in Florida.
Many across the nation are outraged with the jury’s decision, jury members would not speak to the press. What’s next for Anthony? Many aren’t sure. How will Anthony deal with being despised and known for murdering her daughter even without a conviction? Anthony will try to start a new life, while in the eyes of the public she is a murderer. Anthony will also be serving another year in prison to make the total of four years for misdemeanor counts of lying to police.
As the nation copes with the shock of an acquitted murder trial, Anthony will try to cope with the loss of the last three years of her life, the loss of her little girl, and the public scrutiny. Anthony is now not welcome in her neighborhood or by her friends. Anthony now is estranged from her parents, George and Cindy, for accusations made by the defense that George sexually abused Anthony. Also Cindy tried to visit her daughter after the verdict but got turned away (Siobhan).
Upon getting out of jail, Anthony has decided to possibly take up a job in the law, due to her experience with the criminal justice system thus far. She also may take up photography again, which she had an extreme interest in before the case, Anthony’s lawyer, Baez, was quoted saying, “’I’m going to give her a camera first thing when she’s released’” (Siobham). Many in the nation find it a little over the top for Anthony to think she can have a normal life after this horrible case.