For this article I will make claims that are sourced in 2 books. The first is Imperfect Justice by Jeff Ashton, one of the prosecutors in the case against Casey Anthony. The second is Presumed Guilty by Jose Baez, the defense attorney in the case. I will source the claims by naming the author when I make them. For further details, see the reviews of their books linked above. I will use this information to build a case for what really happened to Caylee Anthony.
The only thing we can factually know in this case is that Caylee Anthony died in a manner inconsistent with natural causes. Hence, the manner of death was either an accident or a homicide. The State’s medical examiner ruled the death to be a homicide. However, she found the cause of death to be unknown (Baez and Ashton). Therefore her ruling of homicide is suspect.
In order to determine what happened to Caylee, we’re going to have to take a look at what really happened to Casey and George Anthony as well. This is due in large part to the defense offered by Jose Baez in the case.
The prosecution pitched their case to a jury of 12, and it was found wanting. Does this add to the credibility of the theories presented by the defense? Not necessarily. It simply shows the weakness of the State’s case. However, we will look at the arguments made by the defense and see how they stack up.
What Really Happened to Casey Anthony?
Was she a party girl who wanted to be free from her daughter?
This assertion from the prosecution was absolutely laughable to me. Furthermore, every single witness that they presented testified that Casey was a good mother who loved her daughter. According to Jeff Ashton, they wanted Cindy Anthony to testify to shortcomings in Casey’s parenting of Caylee. However, she refused to do so. This was based on a claim made by a co-worker that Cindy had once threatened to take Caylee away from Casey.
Assuming that Cindy had made this claim, it is still problematic to the Prosecution’s case. Even Cindy conceded that Casey loved Caylee. If she had threatened to take her away, this would give Casey a viable option to be rid of her daughter. Hence, it makes murdering the child less likely, not more.
To make the case that Casey wanted to go party, the prosecution presented text messages between Casey and a friend. They talk about partying regularly in the messages. However, Casey more often than not is turning the friend down in the messages where the friend is wanting to party.
Additionally, the prosecution used photos of Casey Anthony partying after Caylee was dead. However, there is a cause and effect problem with this. What the pictures show us is what she did after Caylee died. To argue that she killed the child in order to do whatever she did afterwards is wildly presumptive. Without a doubt, she responded inappropriately to the death of her child. That does not, however, tell us how the child died.
Was Casey Anthony molested by her father?
While we can’t come to a positive conclusion on this, we can look at the evidence presented both at trial and in the books. At the trial, Casey’s boyfriend testified that she had told him about abuse by both her father and her brother. The rest of the evidence is from the books.
- Two psychologists who examined Casey both believed she had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child. (Ashton and Baez)
- The FBI suspected both Lee and George of being the father of Caylee. Moreover, they ordered a DNA test of both men. The results showed that neither was the father. (Ashton on Lee Anthony, Baez on George and Lee)
- Casey told a girl she was in jail with about abuse by both her father and brother. (Ashton and Baez)
Both authors also write about a strange incident. When Casey was 7 months pregnant, they went to a family member’s wedding. Casey was obviously showing at this point. However, the whole family denied that she was pregnant. It’s purely speculative, but if George had been sleeping with Casey and could’ve been the father, this certainly would be a reason to want to avoid talking about the pregnancy. Which leads us to George Anthony.
What Really Happened to George Anthony?
George Anthony’s suicide attempt.
On January 23rd 2009, George Anthony attempted suicide. This was days after the details on the discovery of Caylee’s body were released, and days before the defense was due to receive the results from the DNA test to determine paternity in regards to George. (Baez)
George Anthony’s role in the case.
- George was the witness that named Casey as the last person to be seen with Caylee alive. (Ashton and Baez)
- George lied about using the duct tape that was found at the crime scene with the body. (Ashton and Baez)
- George disposed of evidence from the crime scene in the trunk of the car after saying the car smelled like a dead body and that his granddaughter was missing. (Ashton and Baez)
- George told a witness in the case that Caylee’s death was an “accident that spun out of control”.
What Really Happened to Caylee Anthony?
Looking at all of the evidence from both sides has led me to one conclusion. Caylee Anthony drowned in the pool in her back yard. At the time, she was in the care of Casey Anthony, and George was also present at the house.
After her death, George retrieved her body from the pool. He told Casey about the legal jeopardy that she was in. He then assured her that he would take care of things, and told her not to tell her mother. At some point, George disposed of the body at a location unknown to Casey.
Evidence to back up these claims.
- The day after Caylee disappeared, Cindy reported to her co-workers that the ladder had been left up on the pool the previous day. She told the same thing to law enforcement the day after they became involved, and she testified to that in court. (Ashton and Baez)
- George claimed that Casey left the house with Caylee around 1 pm on the day Caylee died. However, cell phone records showed that Casey was still at the house until 4pm. (Baez)
- On the day Caylee died, George searched for ways to commit suicide before he left for work. (Baez)
- Casey told Baez that she frantically tried to call her mother to tell her what happened. Cell phone records confirmed that she called her mother 6 times in 2 minutes. The calls were unanswered. (Baez)
- Casey was offered a plea deal early on. It required that she tell them where the body was. She told Baez that she wanted to take the deal, but she didn’t know where Caylee was. (Ashton and Baez)
At this point, I am relying on Occam’s Razor. There are things in this case that don’t make sense. However, they all fall into place if we make one assumption. Without that assumption, each theory results in multiple assumptions being required.
Assumptions required for the prosecutions case.
- Casey wanted Caylee dead.
- George and Cindy were lying to protect their daughter.
- Duct tape was used to suffocate the child, despite no evidence suggesting suffocation as a cause of death.
- Casey placed the duct tape over the mouth and nose of Caylee, despite none of her fingerprints or DNA being found on the tape. Furthermore, none of Caylee’s DNA was found on the tape that allegedly suffocated her.
- Casey placed the dead body in the trunk, despite none of her DNA being found in the stain that they alleged was decomposition fluid.
Assumptions required for my case.
- George Anthony molested his daughter.
This one assumption solves every problem with the case.
- Why would they dispose of the body instead of reporting it? Because George was concerned that he was the father. An autopsy would include a DNA test that could prove his fears true. Later, he attempted to take his own life days before the DNA results were released to the defense. If he would take his own life to avoid that disclosure, why wouldn’t he hide a body to prevent the test.
- Why didn’t Casey Anthony act like a typical grieving mother? As a victim of long term abuse by her father, she lived in a fantasy world to deal with the pain. Hence, it wasn’t unusual for her to act as if fiction was reality. Remember, the lie about Zanny the Nanny was a “reality” she lived for a year and a half before Caylee died, not one she made up to explain her disappearance.
- Why did Cindy Anthony send investigators to the exact place where Caylee would be found weeks later? Casey was in jail. All of her correspondence was monitored. She couldn’t have told her mother where the body was. However, George could have.
- Why did Cindy claim that a reporter had asked George about rumors that Caylee had drowned? The reporter actually asked about rumors that her death was an accident. Either Cindy believed Caylee had drowned, or George had told her at that point.
- Why did George tell his girlfriend that it was an accident that had spun out of control? Because it was.
With one simple assumption, all of the mysteries are solved. Of course, we can’t factually know what happened to Caylee Anthony. However, after listening to the evidence from both sides, this is the only story that makes sense to me. I welcome you to tell me what makes sense to you in the comments below.