The Trial of Casey Anthony — Sourced Exclusively From Trial Evidence

A New Narrative, New Evidence, And a New Perspective of

Casey Anthony

The Social Media Trial of the Century Time Magazine

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton: “There had never been any trouble at the house. The Anthonys seemed the definition of blissful suburbia.”

The Anthonys’ home on Hopespring Drive, was built in a picturesque suburb of Orlando, Florida. “There had never been any trouble at the house, even when Casey and her older brother, Lee, were at the height of their teenage years. The Anthonys seemed the definition of blissful suburbia, especially with the addition of the angelic, bright-eyed baby girl, {Caylee}.” [1]That was how the home of George and Cindy Anthony seemed to detectives in the summer of 2008, when they first started investigating the death of two-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony.[2]

The subsequent trial became the most sensational news story of 2008. The Orlando court in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit issued 600 press credentials,[3] and Time magazine dubbed it the social media trial of the century.[4] Casey Anthony, a 22-year-old single mother, was charged with three felonies including first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and manslaughter. When pictures of her at a nightclub during the month after her little girl went missing surfaced on the internet, media and the public went ballistic.

Thirty-one days passed before police were ever notified that Caylee was missing. It wasn’t Casey, but her family who called authorities – pointing fingers at Casey –with her mother, Cindy, demanding police arrest her daughter immediately.

More time passed as thousands all across the nation searched for the toddler.[5] Videotaped jailhouse interviews between Casey and her parents were released on YouTube, and none of them showed the young mother with any apparent signs of remorse or grief.[6]Then in December of that year a grisly discovery was made: Caylee’s remains were found in a wooded area, only a few feet from a main road, and just blocks from the young mother’s home.

Today, the name “Casey Anthony” remains synonymous with murder and engenders a visceral animosity. She was named the most unpopular person in America after her trial in 2011.[7] Another poll in 2012 reattached the same dishonor to her name, more than a year after her trial ended.[8] The public spectacle of the Casey Anthony trial was close in many respects to resembling the days of the Roman Colosseum, when the public thirsted to see lions devour the prisoner in their arena.

In our own contemporary times, social media became our own media arena, and Casey Anthony emerged as the main attraction. What the social media audience wanted to see was an embodiment of Caesar give his final “thumbs down” and issue the order to execute their captured prize. Time magazine reported during the trial, “Virtually no one doubts that Anthony was involved in her child’s death,” then added, “but if you see murder in Casey Anthony’s big brown eyes during a live feed of her trial, you can tell all the world how delectable you will find her execution.”[9]

Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, said before the trial even started, “The evidence is overwhelming. No one else in the world except Casey Anthony could have done this.”[10] It was literally impossible to find a single reporter or media commentator before or even after the trial who considered this woman could be innocent. The Chicago Tribune reported, “Just when you think Casey Anthony cannot nauseate you anymore, there is this: she wants more children.”[11]

On July 5, 2011 the nation waited for the jury’s verdict to be heard from the twenty-third floor of the Orlando court house. Judge Belvin Perry’s clerk read the jury’s decisions. “As to the charge of first degree murder, we find the defendant not guilty. As to the charge of manslaughter, we find the defendant not guilty. As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, we find the defendant not guilty.”

Although there was not a single reporter or news commentator who believed the defendant could be innocent, 12 sequestered jurors came to that conclusion. The jury was not at all sympathetic to the defendant yet their first vote was eight to four for acquittal. They deliberated a total of 11 hours before unanimously finding her not guilty.[12] So this sets up a very interesting difference of opinion. The jury was sequestered by the court and reached its decision based on evidence heard within the four walls of their courtroom. The public, on the other hand, had an information environment supported by mainstream and social media.

The media’s court of public opinion was fed by a carnival of pictures, videos, and opinion on blogs all over the blogosphere. Here is an example: “Are you kidding me…you still have a daughter that you knew was dead while you party. Who cares what you have… you don’t have Caylee because you don’t pay attention. You’ll never have freedom. Watch out now dog!!! Damn you are insane!!!!”[13]

Outside the courtroom, crowds, television cameras, and media reporters filled the streets. Gasps were heard when someone shouted, “She’s not guilty!” Crowds grew angry, venting disbelief and exasperation.[14] Across the social media world, pent up emotions and opinion erupted in unison. Throughout the Twitter universe of 140 character messages, 325,000 tweets texted screams of incredulity during the first hour after the court’s decision.[15] News of the jury’s decision spread quickly; a bare one per cent supported her acquittal.[16] Tweets like this one were the rule: “The jury was inept and lazy. That’s why we have a baby killer being set free.”[17]

Inside the courtroom the acquitted defendant hugged her attorneys and wiped away tears. Immediately she was escorted into a small ante room, where she celebrated privately with her attorneys. The verdict was a twist of irony for the then 25-year-old girl who spent nearly three years in solitary confinement awaiting trial. Though the justice system declared her to be not guilty, the court of public opinion refused to grant her freedom. She has not dared show her face in public since that day of her acquittal. After her release, she has had to remain in seclusion for her own protection.[18]

In her video diary reported January 5, 2012, six months after her acquittal, she said from her hiding place, “It’s just a little surreal how much things have changed since July, {2011 when she was acquitted}, and how many things haven’t changed.”[19] Research into the personal story of Casey Anthony reveals the social media frenzy against her replicated in the public square what her dysfunctional parents did for years in the privacy of the Anthony’s home. Casey Anthony lived in a hostile, antagonistic environment that neither encouraged nor listened to what she wanted to say.[20]

The media’s prison of negative public opinion was not unlike the prison she experienced in her home at 4937 Hopespring Drive. Each had the same effect of muting what this young woman had to say.[21] For that reason alone, the public and media need to take a breath and hear what Casey Anthony herself said contemporaneously with her arrest, trial, and ultimate acquittal. It has been many years since her own mother, Cindy, asked police to arrest her daughter July 16, 2008. New evidence has been unearthed to solve the mystery of what happened to Caylee, and who is responsible for her death.

What is surprising about this case is that Casey Anthony actually had been trying to tell the truth {in a unique way, given her circumstances} every step of the way.[22] This story takes her words and presents them for the first time in the context of the family relationships that defined her, and in the light of the public record and acquittal by her jury which leads us to the truth of who left a two-year-old baby in woods, just blocks from her home. It would be no surprise to learn someone in the family covered up the crime. The surprise will come when the identity of that person{s} is revealed.

We discover the people George and Cindy Anthony were before Caylee was born, and the kind of parents they were to Casey. This new information provides startling insight into Casey’s behavior as she burst onto the public stage with the announcement of her arrest. Casey instantly emerged as the prime suspect by police. It is significant that it was her mother, Cindy, who brought her to police asking them to arrest her.[23] Did Cindy lie to investigators to protect her husband, George? Or even herself?

We learn answers to key questions never before understood about the case: Why didn’t Casey Anthony report her daughter missing to police the day of the incident? Why didn’t this 22-year-old mother show grief at her daughter’s death? Why did Casey invent stories for police claiming it was a fictitious babysitter “Zanny the nanny” who had taken Caylee? With those answers we can confirm who is responsible for the crimes associated with the death of Caylee Marie Anthony.


[1] Jeff Ashton book [2] Jeff Ashton book [3] News article [4] Time magazine [5] Police reports national tips [6] Jailhouse visits [7] poll [8] poll [9] Time magazine [10] Orlando Sentinel [11] Chicago Tribune[12] Orlando Sentinel [13] Blog item [14] Orlando Sentinel [15] News report [16] News report [17] Blog item [18] Huffington Post [19] News report [20] Police interviews [21] Cindy police interview [22] Psychologists’s depositions [23] 911 call July 16, 2008


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