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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trial and Tribulation: My Take on the Anthony Case

Nancy Grace's propensity for sensational news makes me question her mental stability. As a result, I followed very little of her coverage (and other media coverage) of Casey Anthony's landmark trial. Instead, I checked the highlights after the verdict had been made, and it seems to me that much of America has been swept into a media frenzy and is jumping to major conclusions. Personally, I am caught between A) wishing all discussion of this issue will simply dissipate and B) feeling inspired to provide people with a new perspective on the tragedy. The second tendancy has prevailed, so read on for my personal opinion of the case:

To my understanding, Casey Anthony allowed her daughter Caylee to die in a pool because she wasn't watching her. When Casy found her child, she freaked out, dumped the body in the woods beside her house, made up the story about how Caylee had been kidnapped and then pretty much tried to fake her daughter's kidnapping and murder by going so far as to look up details about creating specific injuries in a frenzy following her daughter's death. She even attempted to place duct tape on her daughter body and then ripped it off in what must have been a moment of clarity, grief and disgust. Casey is most definitely ill. However,a group of jurors deemed that she is not the "party mom" who murdered her child to have more "party time," as much of America has framed her to be, and I believe those jurors are probably correct.

A mother who deliberately harms her children is easily villified. Villifying her can also become fodder for commercialized news & entertainment because people are thinking, "I may not be a great person, but at least I'm not THAT bad. That woman is TERRIBLE." However, if you consider the idea that Caylee did tragically die in a pool while unattended, then this humanizes Casey just a little too much, and makes her seem just a little too relatable to all the moms whose kids have unknowingly slipped out the back door. After wrapping that thought around your mind, think about the familial and social factors that may make a woman actually believe it's better to fake a kidnapping & murder (as Casey did) than to simply report her child's horribly accidental death. The conversation gets very complex, quite sticky, gravely important and not nearly so suitable for info-tainment. The media points to Casey's infamous "party pictures" as evidence that Casey was seeking a party lifestyle. I think they may be just as easily held as evidence that she'd cracked after finding her deceased child and was filling her mind with as much fluff as she could to keep from going more insane with grief. All told, the case really makes for a pretty deep sociological/psychological​ study, but I regret it is just going to go down in history as a sensationalized event.

At a minimum, I think all parents have at least 3 things to learn as a result of this incident:
1. Do not be a person so filled with fear that you turn your life into a nightmare.
2. Pay attention to your children's whereabouts.
3. If you have an above ground pool, remove the ladder after use so that wandering 2-year-olds can't fall in.

That's my stance. Air your thoughts and move on.


  1. I agree to disagree, there is an evil in this world and Casey Anthony is of that in itself, evil. I'm not a holy rolling christian do not profess to be but I believe in good and bad, that's what this world is made of. There are two sides to every story, but there was really only one side to this tragedy. Casey killed her daughter whether it was an accident or not she in her right mind should have reported it immediately. There is no excuse for what she's done, but I'm not her keeper, I'm just a outsider looking in as is everyone else. My opinion doesn't matter to anyone but me, right?:)

  2. All opinions matter. Thanks for sharing yours.

  3. "However, if you consider the idea that Caylee did tragically die in a pool...then this humanizes Casey just a little too much, and makes her seem just a little too relatable to all the moms whose kids have unknowingly slipped out the back door."

    Makes her relatable?!?!?! Even if one was to believe the accident scenario,I don't see how that situation would make Casey ever appear relatable.
    I live in Florida and sadly hear quite frequently about accidents with children in the pool. It's tragic. But it happens. And I've never heard a parent think its better to have society think they are victims of some hideous crime instead of accepting what occurred. Last year a friend lost her 4 year old son while she was vacuuming the house. Her son found a way out back and fell into the pool. I know she will always carry a feeling of guilt (that society here has NEVER directed at or on her) but I also know that there is no way she would have felt compelled to hide the accident. She cared about her child more than her own image.

    If Caylee really did have an accident, I still do not find myself sympathetic to her mother. I would have been had she called the authorities immediately. But she didn't. Instead she threw her child away because she had some misconstrued view of what people would think?! Her actions only show she cared more about what people (whether her family, friends, or society) thought of her than what she felt for her daughter.

    Living in Florida, I know how hot the summer days get. I know how rainy and torrential the brief yet rampant summer storms are. I can not find any sympathy for a woman who would dump her child out into the elements like garbage.
    Accident or intentional- that is coldhearted. And maybe that doesn't warrant a lifetime in jail- but Casey Anthony will never get an ounce of my sympathy.

    Anyway- all the Casey stuff aside, I love your website. Best of luck to you!

  4. Teachingstars! Thanks so much for finding my site and for adding to the discussion. To clarify: I think Casey suffers from mental illness. I don't excuse what she did. Nor do I find her personally relatable or believe that many people do. However, I do understand the ease with which a small child can slip out the back door, and I do think that considering Caylee's death as a drowning rather than a murder makes Casy seem much more human and less like a monster. What I disagree with in our culture is the tendancy to make events like Caylee's death sensaltionalized media events in which the "cast" is portrayed as either "good" or "evil." I prefer to discuss why things happen from a sociological perspective and to see what this teaches about our culture. Personally, I read about the case of Leiby Kletzky yesterday, and I find it VERY easy to portray his abducter as the embodiment of evil. However, I'm also quite fascintated by the fact that Leiby's abducter didn't turn into a murderer until he reportedly "became scared," seemingly of the consequences of turning over the child he kidnapped to his parents. The cases of Caylee and Leiby are similar not just in their horror but in the fact that the guily parties each acted, allegedly anyway, out of a sense of fear. They believed their tragic circumstances would be made better by taking more extreme actions and were woefully mistaken. Why did they think this way? Are they just mentally ill and filled with darkness? Or, is something different, rooted at the center of our social structure, also a factor? I don't know the answer but think it's a question worth considering---not necessarily in the framework of my blog (which I want to focus on more positive things!), but in society in general. Thanks, again for your input. I'm not out to provide answers but rather to stimulate minds and get people active about articulating and sharing their beliefs in an intelligent way, as you have done. :-)