Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Power of One

by Kathryn Casey

Lately, I've had a hard time concentrating on just work. I keep wondering what the heck is going on in Orlando, Florida, with the case of Casey Anthony.

Of course, you all know what I'm talking about, the disappearance of three-year-old Caylee Anthony. We first learned in mid-July that this precious child was missing, when her grandmother, Cindy, called police, saying Caylee hadn't been seen in a month. Since then, we've been astounded, even mesmerized, by the search for the child and the bizarre behavior of both Casey, little Caylee's mom, and Cindy. This is one strange family.

Apparently I'm not the only one having this problem. I belong to a couple of true-crime groups, where I pop in to do everything from sharing recipes and thoughts on John McCain's astonishing VP selection to dissecting the latest cases. In both groups, the posts continue to be dominated by the Anthony case. Let's face it, this investigation is one of those, like the Peterson sagas (Scott and Drew), that many of us find nearly addictive. Air samples analyzed at the University of Tennessee Body Farm detect human decomposition in the car trunk and we're glued to the Internet, searching for more information. Police release Casey Anthony's angry jail-house telephone calls, and we rail about the 22-year-old's depravity.

That said, there's something else about the case that nags at me.

At times it brings to mind one of my favorite movies, a 1951 Billy Wilder noir classic, Ace in the Hole. In the film, Kirk Douglas portrays an unethical, down-on-his-luck reporter who stumbles upon a story with worldwide headline potential, a man trapped in a cave. We quickly learn that the poor sap is a good guy married to the shrew of the century, so vile that while her husband remains in harm's way, she seduces the Kirk Douglas character. Although the man could be easily saved, the reporter and the wife conspire to draw out the rescue for their own gains, until it's tragically too late.

Why does the Anthony case remind me of this old movie? It's something I believe Douglas's editor says in the film, an explanation for why the cave story has legs, endurance in the news biz. I can't quote it verbatim, but it's on the order of: If there were 100 miners trapped it wouldn't be as compelling a story, but one little guy, one common man the readers can identify with, that makes it huge.

Now, I may have parts of that wrong. It's been a long time since I've watched the film. Maybe Douglas's character not the editor muses about what fascinates readers? It's possible. But the point is that little Caylee is like that man trapped in the cave. She's a solitary sympathetic victim, in this case a beautiful, innocent child. We get angry, thinking about all the options Casey Anthony had, how so many families would have loved to adopt, care for, and keep that sweet child safe. We're sad as clues come to light that suggest little Caylee is dead and angry when they point to the possibility that Casey may be responsible.

Why would a young mother do such a horrible thing? Look at the pictures of Anthony partying with friends just days after she claims her daughter went missing. It's hard not to wonder if Caylee was an inconvenience for a sociopathic mother, one willing to kill to get out from under the responsibilities of motherhood. (If the child's death were an accident, wouldn't Casey appear grief stricken, not jubilant?)

But it's not just Casey who frustrates us. The grandmother, Cindy, too, is disturbing. She's appeared to enjoy the media attention. And rather than help she seems to be putting roadblocks in the paths of police. How many of you have wondered if the rest of the world loves the little girl more than her own family? Can you imagine yourself reacting like the Anthonys if Caylee was your daughter or granddaughter?

Sadly most of us are now pretty certain investigators are looking for a corpse, not a living, breathing child. Still, wouldn't a loving family want to help recover the child's remains? Judging by their words and actions, it certainly seems that Casey and Cindy Anthony, like the characters in Ace in the Hole, are more concerned with their own protection than helping authorities find that poor, precious child.

(Since this post was published this morning, more has happened in the case. Information has come out that Casey Anthony may have been researching chloroform on the Internet and that traces of the drug were found in her trunk. Chloroform can be used to render people unconscious, and in high doses can be fatal.)

39 comments:

Leah said...

What I find so outragoeus about the grandmother is that she is a nurse and she knows she smelled a dead body in Casey's car. But she'd rather lie and hinder LEs investigation that be honest and help put an end to this. She, IMHO is as psychopathic as her daughter.

Kathryn Casey said...

You're right, Leah, those two are an odd duo. One thing seems ever more certain - from the DNA evidence - that the dead body in the trunk was Caylee's.

Cindy, IMHO, suspected the day she called 911 that the toddler was dead and that her body had been in that trunk. How could she not have when her daughter was telling her the little girl had been missing for the past month?

Yet it appears that Grandma Anthony has made her decision, and that, rather than seeking justice for Caylee, she's circling the wagons around Casey.

cherry6905 said...

Has anyone done a criminal background check on all 3 of them? I'd also be very interested in a criminal profiler looking at all the sound bytes available.

This whole story smells really bad.

But very good story. BTW I loved that movie!

Anonymous said...

You're being too hard on Cindy. She's Casey's mother. I'd want to take care of my daughter, too. I don't think you can know what you'd do in those circumstances until it happens to YOU!

Penny Cook said...

i would jump into a skill saw for one of my sons or granddaughter. when it comes to one of those 3 people i would not be rational to anyone that put them in harms way. that said, if the father of my grandaughter were in this quandry i would be doing everrything in my power to convince him to talk, and do not shut up until this child is recovered. once she has been recovered, through it all, i would support him, love him, and do whatever is humanly possible to keep him from getting the death penalty.

cherry6905 said...

IMHO I don't think this is about the mother or grandparents. It's about the CRIME. Where is little Caylee? Putting that in the light is what is IMPT.

Casey is at least guilty of criminal neglect and maybe much more.

I am appalled at how the grandparents are reacting to the loss of their grandchild. I could never have waited for 30 days to see my grandchild especially when she was supposedly living in their home.

BTW I am a victim of crime and do say these things knowing what they are going through.

The best thing for all of them is for the truth to come out.

Anonymous said...

That sounds good, but if you were in this situation, wouldn't you want to protect your daughter, too? I'm just sayin' that it seems to me that I'd be pretty torn in different directions.

Rae said...

Oh. c'mon, Anon.

Think about this: That tiny little girl is out there somewhere, alone and abandoned. Thrown away like garbage, by the very people who were meant to protect and love her, and who refuse to tell law enforcement where the child is, so that she can, at least, be laid to rest with some dignity.

Yet, you are speaking up in Cindy Anthony's defense? HELLO? Is a child's life so irrelevant to you?

Great article, KC.

TxMichelle said...

Being torn is understandable, but Right is Right.
If a child is missing something needs to be done. That is all there is to it. Afterwards you can do what is necessary to support your child. Protecting them during a time when a helpless little child is missing, more then likely dead, is just absurd. More then likely that type of protection from grandma to mother is what has lead to Caylee being gone.

cherry6905 said...

Anon - I had to make that kind of hard decision. I made it trusting in God it was the right thing to do. I remember being torn but now looking back I am so glad I did what was right. Put the crime in the light, let God take care of the rest.

Nettie said...

I got a link to this site from an Investigation Discovery forum & I have to say, I really like the site! :)
Anyway, back to the subject at hand... I truly believe that Cindy Anthony (and proably George as well, but definitely Cindy) is lying and/or hiding things. But, to me, the question is this, is she lying intentionally to protect her daughter & possibly even herself as she too could be involved OR is she lying unintentially as a greiving grandmother in denial? The Kubler-Ross stages of guilt are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They can intertwine and repeat and come in no specific order. As a defense mechanism, I can see Cindy convincing herself by whatever ridiculous means necessary (the smell is rotting pizza? pft!) to not believe that 1. her precious grandbaby is gone forever and something really horrific may have happened to her and 2. that her own daughter is likely the one who did that horrific thing to her. It's denial. She is also showing signs of the Anger stage. She is taking her anger out on the media, etc. Surely she has done some bargaining as well! Anyway, just my two cents.
Like I said, she's DEFINITELY telling lies and all that, but I am interested to see WHY she is lying? Is she a greiving grandma/mom or is she somehow involved in this sick tragedy?
Any thoguhts?

Nettie said...

I got a link to this site from an Investigation Discovery forum & I have to say, I really like the site! :)
Anyway, back to the subject at hand... I truly believe that Cindy Anthony (and proably George as well, but definitely Cindy) is lying and/or hiding things. But, to me, the question is this, is she lying intentionally to protect her daughter & possibly even herself as she too could be involved OR is she lying unintentially as a greiving grandmother in denial? The Kubler-Ross stages of guilt are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They can intertwine and repeat and come in no specific order. As a defense mechanism, I can see Cindy convincing herself by whatever ridiculous means necessary (the smell is rotting pizza? pft!) to not believe that 1. her precious grandbaby is gone forever and something really horrific may have happened to her and 2. that her own daughter is likely the one who did that horrific thing to her. It's denial. She is also showing signs of the Anger stage. She is taking her anger out on the media, etc. Surely she has done some bargaining as well! Anyway, just my two cents.
Like I said, she's DEFINITELY telling lies and all that, but I am interested to see WHY she is lying? Is she a greiving grandma/mom or is she somehow involved in this sick tragedy?
Any thoguhts?

Aster said...

Good article. I have felt from the beginning that Caylee was dead and that Cindy is more concerned about protecting Casey then in finding Caylee. An innocent child is missing and the grandparents are coddling the one person who knows what happened and where that child is.

Donna said...

This is such a sad case. It is also infuriating.Mom, grandmother, grandad, all want to protect themselves and each other. I believe they all know what happened. They are all covering for the little girl's mom. This family all lived in the same house, the grandparents were like parents to the little girl. I have lived in this situation myself. I cannot imagine how this grandmother could let this little girl go missing for even an hour without demanding to know she was alright. The actions of the mother point to something very chilling. The fact that so much time passed before anything was reported makes it all that much difficult to solve.Without a body it makes it necessary to find other evidence. It's there. There is little doubt the little girl is dead. I wonder if she will ever be found. I am doubtful the mother will ever talk. The grandparents keep telling different stories. That little girl is still missing. So many questions and no answers. Great article Kathryn!

DEE in the NW said...

Good article KC, thank you. I think if or when the truth comes out that they all could be proscuted for their complicity. We had a situation very like this here in Spokane, the grandmother did do the right thing. Her son is in prison for life, her granddaughter is dead. She lost both, her husband divorced her for telling what she knew. But, justice was served. I think they are all as guilty as hell.

Kathryn Casey said...

Thanks, all. You're right, this is a heart-breaker. So sad. I can understand Cindy Anthony being torn, but I agree that she has to do the right thing. There was a post on one forum today that said that LE is getting close to taking action, which I assume means they've figured out what they think about little Caylee's fate and who's responsible. If we're all on the right track, the charges against Casey, who is already in jail on other charges including neglect, I believe, may soon face charges for injuring or murdering her child.

In the meantime, why does this keep happening? Here in Houston, we have laws that allow moms to drop kids off at fire stations and hospitals to be turned over to CPS if they don't want them, without even answering any questions. Yet we have moms and dads still murdering their kids rather than give them up. What the heck do we have to do to change this? Is there anything we can do?

Anonymous said...

You're doing it. Speaking out about such outrageous behavior! People can be way too accepting. Quit enabling and start having a backbone. Fight for justice! Educate the public.

Leah said...

Headline news is reporting that LE has sent Equisearch to a local landfill to search. They believe they found a dumpster in which Caylee's body might have been dumped. It is near a place where Casey called a friend to come and help her.

We have that law here as well KC and over the past 5 years baby's bodies have been found in bathrooms at local gas stations, a college, mall, and I can't remember the other places. I don't understand it. Why would anyone find killing a child a better thing to do than to find it a warm & loving home? And so many couples out there wanting kids that we are going to other countries to adopt.

I think it must have something to do with these mothers not having the nerve to step up and admit that they don't want to raise their babies, after they have already had them and realize that it is a much bigger job than they thought.

Leah said...

Headline news is reporting that LE has sent Equisearch to a local landfill to search. They believe they found a dumpster in which Caylee's body might have been dumped. It is near a place where Casey called a friend to come and help her.

We have that law here as well KC and over the past 5 years baby's bodies have been found in bathrooms at local gas stations, a college, mall, and I can't remember the other places. I don't understand it. Why would anyone find killing a child a better thing to do than to find it a warm & loving home? And so many couples out there wanting kids that we are going to other countries to adopt.

I think it must have something to do with these mothers not having the nerve to step up and admit that they don't want to raise their babies, after they have already had them and realize that it is a much bigger job than they thought.

Kathryn Casey said...

Yup. I think maybe this case is winding up to an arrest. Amazing.

I'm sure you're right, Leah. I don't know how much more can be done than to offer safe harbor and not even ask questions if they drop the kids/babies off, except getting the word out more. But somehow, I guess I wonder if it even helps. Sigh.

So sorry about that poor little girl.

Susan Murphy Milano's Journal said...

Kathryn, great article!

I am still stumped regarding the grandparents role in this case. Very confusing from the start.

What is your opinion regarding the grandparents and their role if any and if you think charges may be file against them in this case.

Kathryn Casey said...

At this juncture, I don't think they have anything to charge the grandparents with, Susan, unless they're actually obstructing the investigation. I haven't heard that they are.

For instance, it doesn't sound like they cleaned up evidence. The blood and DNA were all still in the car. They turned it over to police. (There was a Houston case were a father cleaned up a murder scene to protect his son.)

From the sound of the tapes, Cindy Anthony was originally dedicated to finding her granddaughter. Her change in attitude came when it began to appear likely that her daughter might face charges.

Leah said...

The last thing I heard on Headline News last night was the bondsman Padillo saying that we would all know very soon what happened becuase charges were close to being filed. He also illuded to the fact that the brother Lee and the mother/grandmother Cindy were involved to some degree in a cover up but the dad, George was oblivious to all of it. Not sure how credible the bondsmans is though so I wouldn't bet my paycheck on any of it.

Leah said...

The last thing I heard on Headline News last night was the bondsman Padillo saying that we would all know very soon what happened becuase charges were close to being filed. He also illuded to the fact that the brother Lee and the mother/grandmother Cindy were involved to some degree in a cover up but the dad, George was oblivious to all of it. Not sure how credible the bondsmans is though so I wouldn't bet my paycheck on any of it.

San Antonio Lawyer said...

Can't imagine what i would do if i lose my daughter! I'd probably go crazy and just kill my self too. Unbelievable that there are people like them!

Kathryn Casey said...

Yup, unbelievable. Cindy Anthony wants to fire the Equusearch folks, I gather, because they're looking for a body not a living little girl. And now I read in another group that someone is bailing Casey Anthony out of jail again. This saga continues to get stranger with every passing day!

Leah said...

KC, you have probably heard by now that the other group consists of George and Cindy Anthony. This family makes me angry because of all the resources that are being wasted when someone could speak up and put an end to this.

Leah said...

KC, you have probably heard by now that the other group consists of George and Cindy Anthony. This family makes me angry because of all the resources that are being wasted when someone could speak up and put an end to this.

cherry6905 said...

Last night Geraldo Rivera on Bill O’Reilly stated another news media channel (not Fox) are the ones footing the bill for Casey's release (under cover). He also reported there is a big book and movie deal in the making.

Regan said...

Has DCFS opened a child-abuse investigation involving Anthony? When did they open it? If done recently any speculaltion as to why?

Rae said...

I am under the impression that DCFS was called in very recently, and the primary goal of their investigation is to provide cause to appoint a guardian ad litem for Caylee, possibly to provide the authority to hire a lawyer to protect the child's interests. Obviously, whether they find her dead or alive, her family can't be relied upon to act in her best interests. At least, I hope that is the case - Caylee deserves a voice, too.

Kathryn Casey said...

You're right, Rae. Caylee's is the voice that deserves to be heard. How horrible that anyone would pay the Anthonys for a book or movie deal! I hope no one buys the book or watches the movie. If this happens, we need to start an Internet boycott of both/either! Makes me sick. I hope that's not what's happening here.

Leah said...

There was a rumor earlier this week that a PR/News entity in Tennessee was the one footing the bill for the second bond and that they did it in exchange for a book/movie deal with the Anthony's, but I think that was all a hype to get the attention away from the fact that Cindy & George Anthony were the ones that posted the second bail.

Rae said...

Well, either that, or the PR/News entity in TN provided the money for the bail, and Cindy and George Anthony were used to cover up the source of the money.

Kathy, I agree...and would happily participate in such a boycott.

Leah said...

That could be the case Rae because Leonard Padillo said that C&G Anthony didn't have that kind of money. But C&G did sign the promisory note using their house as collateral for the $50,000 which they will have to pony up when Casey goes to court. Guess we'll find out then because someone is going to have to pay it.

cherry6905 said...

Was the PR person talked about by Dana Pretzer? Was it Larry Garrison? Susan or Robin might know as they were on Dana's show recently.

Just curious. I found it interesting.

Rae said...

Could be, Leah, but then I have to question why C&G didn't put up their house for the first bail, and only for the second? Which makes me think that they received some sort of financial guarantee from this PR/News Entity that prompted them to arrange the promissory note...a guarantee they didn't have the first time Casey needed bailing out. It's all rather odd.

Susan Murphy Milano's Journal said...

The commentary on www.scaredmonkeysradio.com related to a post someone left claiming to be Larry Garrison and it bashed Tim Miller of Texas EquuSEarch. I did a post on www.waroncrime.blogspot.com yesterday regarding the press release sent by Garrison.

There are deals on the table and as Kathyurn stated it "makes me sick". I think there is our answer.

Leah said...

There may be deals on the table but if they think G&C Anthony are going to cooperate and help/let them write a story that doesn't go along with their version of what happened, I am afraid they have made a huge mistake. They are just being used as Padillo was used. This will be very interesting.