Q: What do you think happened to Caylee Anthony?
A: The case is very bizarre. If we’ve learned anything over the years, it's that you can't look at people like Casey Anthony and compare her to a normal person. People who have kids and are from a semi-functional family cannot even comprehend how a toddler like Caylee can go missing for an hour, much less 31 days, without getting police involved. The mother’s nanny story is a complete lie because there is not one person or piece of evidence that can prove the "nanny" ever existed.
Homicide 101 says you have to clear the mother first and her lack of cooperation has made it impossible to eliminate her as a suspect. Every part of this unfolding story points to the mother having killed her daughter and disposed of the body. Make no mistake. This woman knows what has happened to her child. Her calm, matter-of-fact attitude, her lies to police, and her clubbing with friends after her daughter was allegedly kidnapped, all raise plenty of red flags.
There has been speculation that Casey sold her daughter. We believe if the girl had been sold, Casey would have already given that information up just to get out of jail. We can only believe the worst has happened.
Q: Do investigators have as little to go on as it appears? A: Trust us when we tell you that investigators are not giving out all the information. That’s a strategy detectives use. Sometimes you withhold information so people will come forward with everything they know. People are often scared but if some evidence is withheld, especially in an emotional case like this, the burden will start weighing on the person who knows something.
Investigators are looking at every credit card receipt and every cell phone call Casey made after her daughter disappeared. Every time she made a call, there’s a record of her location based on cell phone towers. If she made calls or bought anything on her credit card from an odd remote place, then that gives investigators more clues to what happened.
Q: What does Casey Anthony's behavior suggest to you? A: Casey Anthony’s completely cold, matter-of-way she discusses her missing baby girl is a disturbing clue not just to any homicide detective but to any normal person. In our experience, this can only mean two things. She is extremely mentally ill, which we do not believe is the case, or she is responsible for what happened to her daughter.
We’ve interviewed parents who killed their kids, and we’ve interviewed parents whose kids were actually kidnapped. There is a huge difference. The killer parents speak cold, calmly, matter-of-factly and are worried more about themselves more than their children. That fits Casey. The only time we've seen her cry is for herself at her bond hearing (shown right). If killer parents do appear upset, you can tell the emotions are not sincere, but in this case Casey isn’t even faking concern. Her hateful phone calls from jail with friends and family highlight her selfishness. She never once during the 13-minute phone call expresses concern for her Caylee—only anger that she had been arrested.
One of us worked with a special F.B.I. task force in June involving a Texas dad who killed his two children but had reported them missing. The dad, Randy Sylvester, waited six hours to report the kids’ “abduction” to police. As Sylvester discussed his missing children, he was calm and matter-of-fact. He led investigators on wild goose chases to ponds and lakes.
After a week of lies, investigators got a somewhat controversial community activist—"Quanell X"—involved. He was able to get the suspect to lead investigators to the bodies. Some people might criticize investigators for bringing in a controversial figure. But we believe you do what it takes to find missing kids and prosecute the killer. When no one else could establish rapport with this father, the activist could. In Florida, the police need someone to help them establish rapport with Casey unless evidence solves the case.
Q: The latest pictures show Casey Anthony clubbing with friends one week after her daughter was “kidnapped.” What does that tell you?
A: This shows us the child was a burden to her and interfered with her lifestyle. When you see suspects enjoying life so soon after a tragedy, especially with a child missing, it almost always means they are guilty.
We worked a case in the early '90s where a father and two sons were killed in an upper-middle class suburb of Houston. The night of the murders, the “grieving” woman who lost her husband and sons was acting weird. She was drinking and cutting up with neighbors. Her behavior was not appropriate for someone who just lost her three immediate family members. A year later, the mother married her tennis coach. All evidence pointed to a murder-for-hire. Unfortunately, we never got the evidence to prosecute her. The woman later died of alcoholism. We believe her guilty conscience killed her.
Q: What should detectives look for?
A: Mistakes, slip-ups, telling inconsistencies. Many murderers are so vain and narcissistic they think they are smarter than everyone else. Most often, they make a mistake through physical evidence or something they said. We believe the investigators in Florida are carefully getting Casey Anthony’s friends to recount every word she said to them in recent months.
What her friends say about how Casey was acting while she was conducting “her own investigation” will be a major clue. She may have told a friend that her life would be a lot easier if she didn’t have a daughter. That would be compelling evidence to a jury. It’s part of the puzzle.
Q: What do you make of the 911 calls?
A: Those initial 911 calls to police by the grandmother are instructive about the family. Is the grandmother that naive? Her daughter (Casey) had lied to her for a month about her grandbaby Caylee, but during the first call, Grandma wants Casey arrested for stealing her car and her money? . . . Then Grandma frantically calls back and tells the dispatcher "it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car."
As homicide detectives, we have smelled hundreds of dead bodies. We can tell you that the smell of a dead body is unmistakable. Once you’ve smelled it, you know it’s not a decaying animal or "rotten pizza." Death's smell is unique and unforgettable.
Last year, our homicide squad solved a murder where a man confessed to killing his girlfriend and then barbecuing her body. Neighbors described his “barbecue” as the most foul odor they’ve ever smelled. Detectives found plenty of evidence that Tynesha Stewart, an intelligent 19-year-old freshman engineering student, had been mutilated in the house, dismembered. After all, you can’t barbecue bones.
As for the trunk of the car in the Anthony case, the sheriff’s spokesperson said in his first statements that forensics found a blood stain, dirt, and hair in the trunk consistent with the child's hair. The investigators are playing their cards close to the vest, as they should, and not releasing much information.
Q: What if investigators never find Caylee?
A: It’s not impossible to prosecute a case without a body, but sometimes it takes patience. We’ve done it successfully. In the case of beautiful 24-year-old Tracy Jo Shine, we never found her body because the killer cut it into pieces and destroyed it in barrels of acid. It was 1987, and we didn’t have the advanced DNA testing we have now. We confiscated the refrigerator that we believed the suspect used in some way. We later determined he used it to move the body before he dismembered it.
A decade later we reopened the case. DNA testing confirmed the victim’s DNA was on the back part of the refrigerator on the wiring harness. Her DNA was not found anywhere else in that refrigerator because the boyfriend-killer had cleaned it thoroughly except for that wire. The killer is sitting in prison today.
Q: What's it going to take to crack this case?
A: We are confident the detectives in Orlando will solve this case and determine what happened to Casey. If we were questioning Casey Anthony, we would try to keep her talking about anything. She’s defensive. She has been watching the news and she knows the nation believes she is guilty. A strong-arm approach with her would shut her down and make her more defensive.
The public might not understand this but we would approach Casey in a friendly, "we want to help you" manner. It takes incredible patience with lying suspects like Casey. The first thing you need to do in an interview is establish rapport. Confrontational methods rarely work. The key reason we’ve successfully secured so many confessions is extreme patience.
Often we say “We know you did it, but we know it was a mistake. We just need to know why.” If they curse and deny it, we must stay calm and friendly. A great homicide detective exercises extreme discipline and never loses his or her cool with the suspect. We’ve often stayed up straight for twenty-four hours questioning suspects we knew were guilty of murder.
Q: If Casey is not "extremely mentally ill" . . . could she still be a sociopath?
A: We’ve dealt with sociopaths. They don’t have any feelings for other people. Casey seems to have no conscience in her daughter’s situation. If Casey’s story were true, she should be feeling very guilty for leaving her daughter with a babysitter who would kidnap the child. A normal mother would blame herself for even a kidnapping. The public hasn't seen a morsel of guilt or remorse for supposedly leaving her child with the “kidnapper.”
Sociopaths are known for having an abundance of charm and wit. Casey was a cheerleader in high school (pictured left)—a social, outgoing girl. The pictures of her in the bar show her outgoing nature. Yet the photos also reveal she has no moral conscience for the well-being of her child.
A homicide detective always does a background on the family. Casey’s mother’s behavior alone sets off big warning bells (pictured below smiling and running from media after visiting daughter in jail last week). She goes onto news programs and thinks she can use the public’s airwaves how she sees fit. She shows arrogance and refuses to answer questions about her own daughter’s involvement.
We believe Casey is not a real mother. There are evil people out there and they do evil things—things that are unimaginable to most normal people. We believe the investigators will prove Casey Anthony is a beautiful, sociopathic monster.
Read more about the careers of Legendary Detectives Fikaris and Wedgeworth below in our Mystery Man column promo. Make sure to click on their Biographical Video.Tweet