December 17, 2017

Holding a Mirror up to Nature in the Caylee Anthony Story

caylee anthonyI was stunned along with the rest of America as the 5-month search for little Caylee Anthony unfolded on the national news back in 2008 and the details of the 2-year-old’s disappearance only became more bizarre and unsettling with each passing day.


There were images of her young mother, Casey, out partying during the time when investigators later said Caylee was already dead. And when the search for the little girl escalated, Casey wouldn’t speak a word of cooperation to anyone, including law enforcement, friends, or even her own defense attorney.


Five months after she was last seen, Caylee’s tiny skeletal remains were found scattered around the wooded area near Casey’s home, duct tape found on her decomposed remains, which would become key evidence in her mother Casey’s murder trial today.


We’ve heard the stories of pathological mothers, but it’s still unnatural and hard to grasp that a mother could kill or even harm her own child. Memories of Susan Smith come to mind, the South Carolina woman who in 1994 held the nation captive with her tears and the story that a car jacker drove her car into the river with her two young sons, 3-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alex, still strapped to their car seats inside.  Later we found out those were crocodile tears; Susan premeditated the boys’ murder so she could be free to be with a lover who didn’t want the burden of her precious sons.


Although I never did learn who Caylee’s biological father was, Caylee’s grandparents and Casey’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony, were depicted as the true parental figures during the toddler’s short life. It was somewhat comforting to know Caylee was surrounded by love from at least George and Cindy, her only semblance of stability and normalcy, with Casey portrayed more as a big sister than a mother.  The grandparents were even the ones who finally reported Caylee missing after Casey evaded them for a month when they begged to see their granddaughter.


Since the trial began earlier this month, there are now accusations that George Anthony is a pedophile and that he is actually the one who concocted the plan to cover up little Caylee’s death after she supposedly drowned in the family pool.  I don’t know if it’s true, but the accusation is crushing. It means that the main male figure in little Caylee’s life is a depraved human being or back to the charge that Casey murdered her own child.  No win either way, but also a poignant reminder that things are not always as they appear.


Just as we couldn’t get a worse composite of human nature from the players in the Caylee Anthony story, video was shown last week of herds of people stampeding one another to be among the first 50 people in line to get a seat at that specific day’s court proceedings. The disturbing images show a woman down on the ground as others storm pass her.  Only one person out of the mob stops to offer assistance. A very young woman smiles broadly as she runs past the older, downed woman, vying greedily for a coveted spot in the courtroom.


Expert witnesses have begun testifying, trying to piece together the facts of the case for the jury. From the law enforcement officials who searched for Caylee, to those who eventually found her, to the medical examiners and forensics experts who thrust science, facts, and their skilled training in the spotlight, they are the ones whose truths I hope can speak for little Caylee Anthony, to hold up and finally reflect what happened so that the person or persons responsible for that innocent baby’s death are finally brought to justice.







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