Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interview with Diane Fanning, Author of Casey Anthony Book

As the jury selection in the Casey Anthony trial came to a screeching halt this week, WCI's own Diane Fanning sat down with us for a question-and-answer session. Diane authored Mommy's Little Girl, a critically acclaimed, serious look into the disappearance of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony. When court adjourned May 18 in the midst of jury selection, Diane shared her insights about the murder that grabbed the nation's attention as Caylee's mother Casey was charged with the death of her little girl.

Q: Diane, what's your take on the difficulty in seating jurors in this case?

DF: The latest is that Judge Belvin Perry suspended jury selection at lunch time on Wednesday, May 18. Many in the jury pool say she's guilty. One potential juror was released because he posted on Facebook that he was writing a book; another, because she admitted watching Nancy Grace's daily TV [case] coverage

The Casey Anthony case has received more pre-trial publicity than any case, including the O.J. Simpson trial. Surprisingly, though, Mommy's Little Girl has been the only book published on this case. This widespread publicity has made it difficult to find jurors who have not already reached a conclusion in this case. I think the judge would have had a bit easier time if he had paid attention to the media survey that showed the least media coverage in the state was in the Pensacola area. I think he made a mistake going just 100 miles away in Clearwater for the jury panel.

Q: Do you think the media attention in this case has tainted potential jurors?

 
DF: I think it has had an impact on some, but it is still possible to find people who have not been as absorbed in this case and are still capable of making a decision based on the information presented in the courtroom. Personally, if I were on Casey's defense team, I would challenge strongly for cause against any juror who has read my book.

Q: A cottage industry -- mostly T-shirts with a variety of sayings, good and bad, key chains, coffee mugs -- has exploded. Have you seen anything like this before?

DF: Certainly not to this extent. The products started coming out within a month after Caylee was reported missing by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony. Early products included voodoo dolls with Casey's face on them. Now they are everywhere. The two most common you see are ones that say "Justice for Caylee" and others with "Casey Did It." If I were Casey's parent, I would not be bothered by the former, but I would by the latter.  For some reason, though, it is the "Justice for Caylee" merchandise that has raised the Caseys' ire and legal action.

Q: Given your book, Mommy's Little Girl, and your probe, what is the most damning evidence against Casey?

DF: I do not think the jury can ignore Casey's lies or her behavior after Caylee's disappearance. She partied like a single 21-year-old without a care in the world. She never reported her child missing.  Forensically, I think the combination of the testing in the trunk of her car, the anecdotal remarks like the spontaneous utterance of Cindy Anthony ("It smells like a dead body in that car") and the response of the cadaver dogs definitely placed the blame for the death on Casey. The duct tape around Caylee's skull proves murder with malice. Casey's computer searches on ways to kill a child months before Caylee's death seal the premeditation.

Q: As Casey sits through the jury selection process each day, she fusses with her hair, flexes her hands, smiles and jokes with her team of attorneys. What do you make of her behavior?

DF: She is obsessed with herself and she is nervous. Can you imagine sitting in a courtroom looking into the faces of people who say to the court they are capable of sentencing you to death? Casey's stress must be over the top, as well it should be for any guilty person.

Q: Cindy and George lost their granddaughter, but, with the trial and a possible conviction, they face losing their only daughter, should the death penalty be handed down. Do you think that's why they're supporting Casey?

 
DF: They should not abandon their daughter no matter what she has done. But they have gone beyond that by proclaiming her innocence and even obstructing justice when you consider the hair brush incident.  Cindy intentionally gave law enforcement a hair brush that had been used by Caylee and others instead of giving them the one that was Caylee's alone. I think they have adopted the idea that they have lost a granddaughter and now do not want to lose their daughter, too.

Q: Casey refused to see her parents before the jury selection began. Why do you think that is?

 
DF: Only her mother asked for a visit and she did so on the day before Mother's Day.  I think it was heartless to deny that to any mother. But I think the reason Casey did it is because her legal team told her to do so. They knew Casey could not control her temper, could not control her mouth, and was incapable of doing anything during that visit that would not place her in a bad light.

Q: In your in-depth coverage of this case, what was your experience like when dealing with police, private investigators and contacting the family for interviews?

DF: I was knocked into a concrete wall by a member of Jose Baez's entourage. I was threatened by private investigator Dominic Casey. George and Cindy refused to speak to me. The State's Attorney Office was very helpful, and interviews with relatives outside of the immediate family and with friends and neighbors were very worthwhile.

Q: What was the family's response to your book?

A: The family has made no response to the book. I do know from someone who was close to them that they read the book, but I know nothing more. However, I am fairly certain that they did not like it at all.

Thanks, Diane!

Watch for updates about the Anthony case on Diane Fanning's blog, Writing is a Crime, as well as here on WCI.

11 comments:

A Voice of Sanity said...

DF: I do not think the jury can ignore Casey's lies or her behavior after Caylee's disappearance.

You mean that you hope and assume they won't.

DF: She partied like a single 21-year-old without a care in the world.

And Charlie Sheen blew a $2 million a week job to do more hookers and blow.

DF: She never reported her child missing.

She knew she was dead.

DF: Forensically, I think the combination of the testing in the trunk of her car, the anecdotal remarks like the spontaneous utterance of Cindy Anthony ("It smells like a dead body in that car") and the response of the cadaver dogs definitely placed the blame for the death on Casey.

That's a guess, not proof. All you have is evidence of improper disposal of human remains.

DF: The duct tape around Caylee's skull proves murder with malice.

It proves the reverse.

DF: Casey's computer searches on ways to kill a child months before Caylee's death seal the premeditation.

Nope, another fail.

FRG said...

Mrs. Diane Fanning,

I read your book and I loved it! Please, write the sequence!

Any person with common sense can connect the dots and come to a conclusion KC did it! It is just a shame Caylee's remains were not found before, and all the evidence was washed away, unfortunately!

Diane Fanning said...

Sanity, Sheen has his problems but he never killed a small child.
Thank you,FRG!

Gilly said...

Diane,
Could you please comment on your statement that Dominic Casey threatened you and also do you think Cindy told him where to look for Caylee's remains?
Thanks you.

Diane Fanning said...

When I called him, he started yelling at me, intimidating and insulting me. He threatened to take legal action if I used his name or his company's. I used both.

I'm sure someone told Dominic where to look. I change my mind all the time about whether I think it was Cindy or Lee.

A Voice of Sanity said...

Diane Fanning said: "Sheen has his problems but he never killed a small child."

Neither has Casey until evidence proves it. You, and the prosecution, are using the No true Scotsman fallacy. Where's the evidence?

Anonymous said...

AVOC, the evidence is coming. And at least Charlie Sheen had a job and the money he spent was his own! Unlike Mother of the Year!

A Voice of Sanity said...

I see zero evidence of anything except accident or misadventure.

Death doesn't equal homicide.

http://www.sudc.org/

A Voice of Sanity said...

PS: But would you let Charlie babysit your child?

Diane Fanning said...

Voice of Sanity, You introduced Charlie Sheen into this conversation and I've only responded to that. But not, I would not let Sheen babysit my goldfish.
I am not one of those who assume every defendent is guilty. To the contrary, I have played a role in getting wrongfully convicted Julie Rea a new trial--she'd been sentences to sixty-five years for murdering her son. I have been a strong advocate for the injustice perpetrated against Hannah Overton where her adopted son's death did not appear to be homicide to me.
However, in this case, I have reviewed thousands of pages of documents and reached the conclusion that Casey is guilty of murdering Caylee--both by the totality of evidence available and the heartless behaviour of casey after the death of her child. Since I am not on the jury, I am entitled to have an opinion prior to the completion of the trial.

barhopper said...

Just finished the book. Hoping the next one picks up where the last one left off and takes us through this trial and into the cell where Casey will spend the remainder of her life for the murder of this precious child.