Monday, September 6, 2010
by Dr. Lillian Glass
Despite grandmother Cindy Anthony’s comments concerning what a good mother her daughter Casey was to her granddaughter Caylee, or how much Caylee loved Casey and vice versa, a body-language analysis of Caylee and Casey since 2008 shows something different. Based on my observations of photos of Casey and Caylee over two years, it doesn’t appear as though there was a lot of TLC and bonding between mother and daughter.
That may be attributable to the interaction of Casey's mother Cindy early on. After all, Cindy was the first to hold her newborn granddaughter. Perhaps Casey so resented her baby getting all of Cindy's love and attention that Casey didn’t think twice about getting rid of her own daughter.
The girl's remains were found in a remote area about a mile from the Orlando home of Casey's parents. Casey, charged with first-degree murder in Caylee's June 2008 death, has denied having anything to do with her daughter's death. One of the most disturbing videos, to me, which we have seen over and over again, is of Casey “playing” with Caylee on the floor. Caylee kicks her feet as she tries to get away from Casey. At the end of the video, we see Casey turning her head away as Caylee keeps kicking to escape Casey’s grip.
To me, the last frames of video say it all. Casey’s facial expression shows disdain, aggravation and frustration at innocent Caylee’s existence. Caylee doesn't look happy, either. You can see the red marks under her eyes which may be indicative of a lot of crying and emotional abuse. Since the beginning of her tragic life, Caylee didn’t feel comfortable around Casey. Casey seemed to treat her like a prop -- an object, instead of a loved daughter. In fact, it's hard to see love and affection between the two in photos taken of the two of them.
Even early on in her life, when she is being held by Casey, Caylee seems to want to get away. She doesn’t nuzzle into Casey’s body but instead turns away. She also clenches her little fist in anger and makes a facial expression indicating discomfort and upset. One of those photos shows that she clearly has not bonded with Casey.
You can see that as a toddler there are no smiles from Caylee when she is held by Casey. That's not a good sign. Caylee looks sad and serious. She doesn't look like a happy child around her mother.
As Caylee gets older, it's still difficult to detect any affection or bonding between daughter and mother. Instead, Caylee’s attention is elsewhere as she points and pulls her body away from Casey, as though she wants to get away from her. There is no nuzzling or cuddling.
In the photos where Caylee is smiling, it's not a genuine smile with cheekbones raised. Instead, around her mother, Caylee's smile is forced, crooked, uncomfortable, tense and contrived.
It's as though someone told her to smile, and she obediently complied. But her smile does not appear to be heartfelt.
In one photo, there's lack of love and affection as Casey grabs her daughter's wrist. She doesn’t hold Caylee’s hand and looks down as though Caylee isn’t even there. Caylee does not seem happy about this, as revealed by her little fist-like hand position which indicates that she appears to be upset in her mother’s presence.In one of the last photos of mother and daughter together, the two are completely disconnected. Caylee is not smiling and looks very unhappy. What is most disturbing is the little mark on her cheek along with the bags and circles under her eyes.
Caylee appeared to be very capable of being happy, affectionate, connected and loving around other people. She's cuddly and comfortable in a pose with her great-grandfather, taken the last time her grandmother, Cindy Anthony, saw Caylee alive.
And look at Casey’s genuine smile with family friend Ryan Paisley.
Caylee’s relaxed facial expression and comfortable body language show up in a photo with her Grandpa George. That's in marked contrast to photos when Caylee appears with Casey.
As demonstrated in her body language in the photos, little Caylee did not feel comfortable with her own mother. She may have instinctively feared Casey. From the beginning of her short life, she may not have felt safe with her own mother. Ultimately, Cayley was right.
Photos courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel and The Associated Press.