Thursday, July 14, 2011

Was a Fraud Perpetrated Not Just by Casey but by George and Cindy too?

By Michelle Golland, Psy.D.

I begin this article being very clear that I am not a lawyer and I do not look at cases or tragic situations within families from the perspective of examining evidence for trial.  As a Clinical Psychologist I observe behavior, actions and narrative to get underneath the story that is unfolding before me whether in my practice or as a media psychologist.  I have been working with victims of trauma and sexual abuse for over 2 decades.  My experience and clinical intuition told me as early as September 2008 that there was something deeply and characterlogically wrong not only with Casey Anthony but also with her parents George and Cindy Anthony.

Many solid clinicians have been able to see that Casey Anthony meets all the characteristics of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Which is a chronic personality disorder that impairs functionality and has a negative impact on all relationships.  These individuals are manipulative, charismatic, lack empathy and create chaos in their lives as well as those around them.

The question is how did Casey Anthony become the person she is today.  For some by simply asking this question we clinicians are seen as terrible evil people blaming the poor parents of this crazy psychopathic person/murderer.  This is the problem with the media and the sound bite culture that really doesn’t want to hear the long tragic truth of how a vulnerable innocent child becomes the Casey Anthony we have seen in the courtroom.  We want to only pity George and Cindy, who of course are in pain and have tragically lost their granddaughter Caylee.

This is what we, as psychologists, know about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The most critical factor in developing this disorder is poor or uniformed parenting.  These include repeated emotional, physical or sexual abuse by someone within the family or outside the family itself.  Also, inconsistent care and unsupportive care or early separation from one or both parents can contribute to the formation of this personality structure.  We also find a parent who has failed to protect the child from repeated abuse by the other parent, another family member or an outsider.

In watching George and Cindy in front of the media they seemed either coolly detached from their daughter Casey or ragingly connected in a defensive posture.  I had no doubt that Casey Anthony had severe emotional problems when she lied about her daughters disappearance and because of her strange and immature responses around where she was during those notorious 31 days.  I also noted odd behavior by her parents, and it felt to me that they knew more about Caylee’s disappearance than they were revealing.  

The facts that came out in the case regarding George and Cindy’s denial of Casey’s pregnancy, as well as the perfect persona that Cindy Anthony seemed to want to show to people around her, as well as her undercurrent of rage which bubbled to the surface on many occasions showed me that she was a narcissistic mother who was self-involved and lacked empathy.  

The jailhouse letters in which Casey began to reveal the possibility of sexual abuse made sense in the reporting of the incidents and also her hedging around them as well.  Often with victims of sexual abuse when they begin to reveal the shameful family secrets it is let out a little bit at a time to see how they will be responded to before they keep going on to say what the whole truth is for them.  What really made it clear that something was not right in the Anthony home was Cindy’s response to Casey, “So that is why you are a whore?”  This is sadly a classic response by a mother not wanting to face what she may actually already know herself.  This was also reinforced by Lee Anthony’s testimony about the extremely conflictual relationship between Casey and their mother.  Lee’s testimony also reinforced to me clinically that this was a deeply disturbed family with each person struggling for power and control wrapped with rage, anger and confusion.

George and Cindy Anthony's various interviews in the media while “looking” for Caylee felt contrived, confusing and strangely self-focused (but not on their granddaughter) with a martyrdom quality that didn’t sit right with my clinical gut.  In watching the interviews with Tim Miller, who investigated Caylee’s disappearance early on in August 2008, his reactions appear to be the most convincing that something was being covered up and not only by Casey but by George and Cindy as well.

It is my impression that George did know that Caylee was dead close to when either the “accident or murder” occurred in June 2008.  His actions around deflecting Cindy and her brother seem odd and show me a consciousness of knowledge and also a desire to keep distance from the truth of her being dead.  His actions when her car that smelled of a “dead body” at the tow yard, which he testified under oath that he did believe it smelled like a human decomposing body, also seemed suspicious to say the least, and guilty of trying to hide evidence at it’s worst.  George, a seasoned former detective, did not call the police worried and sick that something has happened to his daughter or grandchild.  George drove that car home and parked it in the garage.  It was Cindy who called the police hysterical.  George had gone into work.  

It seems to me from the variety of interviews before and after Caylee’s remains were found in December 2008 that George, Cindy and Casey were all possibly spinning a variety of stories to try to keep themselves and the Anthony name clean of any wrong doing.  George and Cindy appear to be in part fighting for the image of themselves and their family.  As with narcissistic and possibly an incestuous family dynamic within the Anthony home they are doing just what that type of family does, which is to deflect the obvious (like Casey’s pregnancy), protect their own image as good parents all the while trying to maintain that they are actually looking for a live Caylee.  

In part, what the Anthony’s may fear the most at this point is an investigation into the fraud that there daughter perpetrated in keeping the “Caylee is Missing” story going until her remains were found and identified in December 2008.  If my clinical observations are correct about George and Cindy and what seems to be their own knowledge of and active participation in this enormous lie and manipulation upon the police, investigators and the country maybe, just maybe they will be held accountable financially and morally as much as Casey is at this point in the eyes of the public.


James said...

When George was asked under oath if he had molested Casey he did not say "No I did not."

He said "I would never do that".

He replied (if I recall the correct grammatical term) in the future conditional tense, not in the simple past tense.

The defense attorney did not pick up on this.

My thought at the time was that if Casey had been found guilty George could have testified in the penalty phase, admitting he had abused her and, since he did not clearly deny doing so under oath, without the risk of perjury.

Having said all of the above I am still agnostic on the matter: I'm not convinced he did, and I'm not convinced he didn't. His use of the "wrong" grammar could have been a simple error.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I think this post is BS. I was molested by an uncle when I was 3 years old. I guess it means you're molested if a middle aged man takes his penis out and tells you to play with it when you are 3 and not to tell anybody cause you'll get in a lot of trouble. I was also abandoned by mother when I was 4 months old, another uncle and aunt took me in. Very good loving people, not the perverted uncle. Then when I was 3 my mom came back and jerked me away from my Aunt and Uncle who I knew as my mom and dad and it was back and forth until I got grown and out on my own. I didn't kill my children, or become a pathalogical lier. I raised three good children, stayed in my first marriage for 30 years. My kids are good kids, two are college grads and they are all productive citizens who make a living by working hard as me and their dad always did, and still do. I think some people are just evil, warped and broken people. Some of this Phycological stuff is just babble.

Anonymous said...

Look to Cindy's deposition about Zenaida for a glimpse into life in general would be like with her. She acted melodramatic and lied when she didn't have to. She was angry and antagonistic when she didnt have to be. As far as George goes, I really think he was in deep denial about the trunk smell etc. Life with Cindy and psychopath Casey would not be easy.

Stephanie said...

Don't get me wrong...George should have called the police from the tow yard and so should have the man in charge there, because he also knew what that smell was. But, as far as George saying daughter and granddaughter was missing, they hadn't seen them. But, Casey was in regular contact with Cindy, including after the car had been towed and George did know this. The fact is Cindy is the boss and unless she says you can make a don't, imo. Go back and watch her interviews with police/fbi. Watch how they point something out to Cindy to not be true and she acknowledges it, then goes on like she never heard them. There is even a point where she tries to manipulate her way with a touch of the officers knee...she tries to take control. Also go listen/read the police interviews of Kio/old friends and Jesse Grund. This argument Jesse and Cindy had I don't believe for a minute was the first time Cindy said these types of things about and to Casey. I believe it started long long ago and in reality CIndy didn't want to see Casey succeed in life. She needed Casey to beat up so she can feel better about herself, imo. She also was never going to let go of Caylee...she was Cindy's property and she wasn't going to share her.
George did tell the officers that night when he found out Caylee was missing about the smell in the car. Of course he had to sneak to do this...He also had to sneak to the station to tell them his concerns it was Caylee. Don't get me wrong...I am not giving George a free pass. I don't believe he abused Casey, but I do believe Cindy abused her emotional/mentally and it was George's responsibility to get those kids out of that environment.
I hold Casey and Casey alone for the murder of Caylee. Even if people wanted to say this was an accident, there is no way. There was no grief and only relief that Casey felt. But, I do understand wanting to understand how she became who she is today. I feel for the little girl Casey was at one time. After watching this family for three years...I don't believe for a minute Casey was born this way.
Again go back and watch every interview with police including the old friends interviews. Kio is the friend that talks about the perfect American family Cindy wanted Casey told her she wasn't the perfect daughter. Kio wasn't allowed in their home when CIndy was there because she was Hispanic.
Long winded, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Golland, it is possible there was sexual abuse, but there is no reason to believe there was. Manipulative people are very prone to claiming abuse and Casey is a supremely manipulative person. Also, there are other kinds of abuse that are just as damaging as sexual abuse.

I think that we have all seen what a controlling, manipulative, abusive person Cindy Anthony is, throughout the course of this investigation and trial.

It is true that George drove the car home, but George (and everyone else) does what Cindy tells him to. I believe he drove that car home against his better judgment because Cindy demanded; he appears to have done most things against his better judgement because Cindy would demand he do it her way and because she is constantly gaslighting him so that he does not trust his own perceptions. Look at his suicide letter. He refers to her as the person "who corrects him." Not completes him, corrects him.

Cindy immediately set about cleaning the car and when she got Casey home, only called the police after she found she could not get Casey to tell her what she wanted to know. George continued to try to alert the police to the situation but Cindy would undercut him.

There is no resisting Cindy's will. George and Lee were able to zone out but Casey was the direct recipient and the battle under the surface was intense. Caylee's murder was the crescendo, but the push-pull battle continues to this day.

Unfortunately, Cindy has made Casey even worse than herself.

Bon Dobbs said...

You say:

"The most critical factor in developing this disorder is poor or uniformed parenting. These include repeated emotional, physical or sexual abuse by someone within the family or outside the family itself. Also, inconsistent care and unsupportive care or early separation from one or both parents can contribute to the formation of this personality structure. We also find a parent who has failed to protect the child from repeated abuse by the other parent, another family member or an outsider."

Actually, the most recent research into BPD would suggest that those factors are key in developing PTSD, which makes BPD worse. If you read the most recent studies indicate that BPD is biological and probably genetic. The whole idea of personality disorders are being turned on their head because of research by Barbara Stanley, Antonia New, Larry Siever, John Gunderson and many others.

Anonymous said...

If George wasn't the abuser, but Cindy didn't handle Casey well, Then why accuse George of abuse.

Look at all the choices Casey made. Not good ones. I have to think that George stayed in the background when Casey needed to be dealt with because she has falsely accused him before and he was afraid of that again.

It would be easy not to know how to deal with her. Now the court system is stuck with her for God knows how long.

Sandy said...

I am not a professional in mental health, but picked up on the family dynamics early on and felt that everyone in the family knew far more than they were saying publicly, and they are still covering up something. I don't know if we will ever get at the truth and perhaps that is why so many of us are fixed on trying so get answers...

Anonymous said...

Caseys' jail letters were pure fiction designed to garner sympathy from someone like you. Look at the way you have turned a made up quote from Cindy into "fact", like it's proof of something!!

Of course Cindy and George lied for her. Yes, they are totally messed up as a family unit, but you are making the sexual abuse leap just because Casey's FEMALE. What if a male had done all this?? Would you still have that bad feeling about George or would you transfer it to Cindy?