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May 30, 201106:58 PM

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

    Casey Anthony's murder trial began last Tuesday, May 24. We've waited almost three long years for the day to come, and during that period, most of the public vilified George and Cindy, her parents, for defending her. The stench of human decomposition in the trunk of Casey's car became the unpleasant smell of rotting pizza, and they continued, day-after-day, to proclaim her innocence while boxing themselves into a corner. Until last week. While George and Cindy made excuse-after-excuse for their daughter's odd behavior, most of us thought otherwise. We didn't bury our heads in the sand or cover our ears, as compelling evidence flowed forth from the State Attorney's Office. Bit-by-bit and piece-after-piece of discovery painted a horrible portrait of Casey, all of which they refused to acknowledge. Something important took place last week. In one fell swoop, public rage against them was over. What happened? What did they do?
    In his opening statement, Jose Baez, Casey's lead attorney, accused George of complicity in the death of his precious granddaughter Caylee. Baez conceded that she did, in fact, die on June 16, 2008, as the state had claimed all along. However, it was not the way anyone thought – that George watched his daughter and grandchild drive off in the early afternoon of that date. Baez accused him of plucking a drowned Caylee out of the family's above-ground swimming pool, screaming to Casey, “Look what you've done! Your mother will never forgive you.” He angrily warned her she'd go to jail for the rest of her life for child neglect.
    To add insult to injury, Casey, through her attorney, claimed her brother Lee had sexually molested her when she was young, but to make matters worse, she implicated her father of the same thing, only worse. George was accused of molesting Casey, forcing her to perform oral sex on him before going to school. The courtroom gallery was aghast at the revelation. The jury stared intently. George and Cindy sat stoically in the back row, never making a sound.
    George came first in a litany of state witnesses that took the stand on the first day. Under oath, he denied everything. With that counter to Casey's claim against him, the state presented witness-after-witness in a shedule that matched the time-line of events, beginning on June 15, the day before Caylee died.
    Most of the witnesses were Casey's former friends, and they testified about her lack of concern in the days following Caylee's disappearance. They said Casey was very happy, as if nothing happened. Her daughter was with the nanny or Cindy whenever asked. She was everywhere except where she should have been – with her mother. While she told lie-after-lie, things were festering at home. Cindy was desperate to find Caylee, who she had seen every day since her birth on August 9, 2005. June 15, 2008 was the last day she saw her alive, and she sensed that something was wrong. The rest, we can say, is history.
    George and Cindy have a very capable attorney in Mark Lippman. He is a caring man and quite smart. He fought the defense over their right to remain in the courtroom throughout the trial, contrary to what the defense wanted. He won, but not before Cheney Mason filed a rebuttal stating that they would likely be “subject to impeachment by the testimony of other witnesses.”
    They were beginning to see the light.
    George was impeached, but not by any witnesses. Not yet. Casey's lead attorney did it all by himself. As we watched the trial unfold, we saw George come and go on the witness stand, along with Anthony Lazzaro, Casey's last boyfriend. He admitted breaking into one of the Anthonys' backyard sheds to retrieve gas cans George uses to house various garden tools, like the lawn mower. George is meticulous about keeping his yard well manicured. I understand that. When my father owned a front-end alignment business, I used to borrow his tools to work on my cars over the years. It would be a bad day for me if I didn't return his tools exactly as I found them – clean and in the proper location. No, I didn't want to feel his wrath. George is the same way, with one exception: he enabled his daughter. Whenever she took his gas cans, he would tell her to leave them alone; that he'd be happy to give her $10.00 instead, but time and time again, she ignored him because no punishment came. On June 24, 2008, it changed. George had had enough. He called 911.Within minutes of an OCSO deputy filling out a report and leaving, Casey pulled into the driveway. After he asked her, she handed back his precious cans, yelling an obscenity. For some strange reason, she didn't want him near the trunk of her car, and within weeks, he'd find out why.
    Simon Birch was the manager of Johnson's Towing. He testified last week. On June 30, 2008, Casey's car was towed from an Amscot parking lot, days after Casey, once again, ran out of gas. When her Pontiac Sunfire was brought back to the tow yard, he noticed the unique and distinctive odor of human decomposition emanating from the car. He'd experienced it several times before. After George and Cindy were notified of the car's location, they went to retrieve it. Both were upset it would cost $500 to get it out of impound, but they had no choice. It was worth more than that, but Casey was up to her usual tricks. She had no respect for anyone but herself. As George and Simon walked toward the vehicle, the odor became more pronounced. After sitting inside and trying to start it, George decided to open the trunk. “God,” he mumbled, “please don't let this be Casey or Caylee.” He knew what the smell was. And because of Casey's constant lack of responsibility, he brought a gas can, just in case.
    When George was cross-examined on the stand, Jose Baez asked him why he would call 911 over missing gas cans, but not after he smelled human decomposition in his own daughter's car. After all, as a former Trumball County (Ohio) deputy/detective, he knew the scent of human decay. Why didn't he call 911 then? It became a puzzling moment. After all, he hadn't seen Caylee in a month, and the last day he saw Casey was three weeks earlier.
    There's a family dynamic involved here. While becoming an important question, there's a plausible explanation, I'm sure. George found no satisfaction in calling 911 over his broken shed door and lost gas cans, but he was sick of his daughter's disrespect. No more! While explaining why he did it the first time, he didn't have a response to the second one when asked. The defense boxed him into the corner.
    Had George been given the opportunity to regroup, he might have told Baez that his wife had been in contact with Casey all along. Caylee was fine and there was no reason to think otherwise. Why call 911? Of course, later that night, their world would come tumbling down, yet, until last week, they continued to put faith in Casey. Accusations forced them to pull their heads out of the sand. They had one hideous wake-up call, and so did Casey.
    The odds are infinitesimal that one family member would sexually abuse a sibling. The odds are even less that a parent would be accused of the same thing. But while we're at it, consider the odds that grandparents would lose a grandchild and a daughter. Last week, George and Cindy lost their daughter, and in doing so, they virtually wiped their slate clean in the minds of the public. Unfortunately, they will never be completely free of Casey's spell, but Baez's horrible accusations helped tremendously. They'd had enough, and with that, Casey lost her best hope. Double, double, toil and trouble, Casey burst the cauldron bubble!

 

 


    

 

 

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Comments, page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next »
May 30, 2011 03:56 pm
 Posted by  Mary Jo

Dave, this is an amazing article! I was so glad to see that George and Cindy are not trying to protect Casey anymore and are sticking up for themselves. She deserves everything she gets now after what she is trying to do to all of them, but mainly George. I am glad that they have finally seen the light. I wish George would have said that Cindy was in contact with Casey everyday and that is why he didn't try to contact her. I kept yelling that at the TV, but he wasn't listening. LOL. Maybe if he is given the chance again he will. I can understand why he called 911 for the gas cans because he knew that there had been break ins in the neighborhood and the shed door was broken into. I can also understand why he didn't call 911 when he smelled the car. Even though he is former LE he was probably in shock and wasn't thinking at that point as LE. He was thinking as a father and a husband. Once they got it home, then Cindy took control like she always has and sent him back to work since he had just started that job. I hope for the rest of the trial that George, Cindy and Lee can stay strong, tell the truth and stop protecting Casey. I am sure that Lee will tell the truth and let the jury know that he did not molest Casey in any way. I am waiting to see how it is going to go when Baez starts questioning Cindy. Will he be as hostile to her as he was to George? I don't think he will be as bad, but he won't be as gentle as he has been during the hearings before the trial started. I wish the jury could have seen Casey's melt down on Saturday when Cindy got off the stand. They would get a picture of the real Casey. Thanks for being our eyes and ears in the court room. I know there is lots that we miss because the TV doesn't get it all, plus we don't get the feel of the atmosphere through the TV either. Your articles are getting better and better!

May 30, 2011 04:49 pm
 Posted by  Dave Knechel

Thank you, Mary Jo. It certainly did surprise me when Cindy reacted the way she did in court on Saturday. I think the accusations against George were what broke the camel's back. Enough was enough.

I know I have had my thoughts crossed at times, especially when under duress. The things you really want to say escape you, then you say, I should have said..., but it's too late. I'm sure George will have the wonderful opportunity (just kidding) to take the stand again. Yes, I agree. He was thinking like a father and grandfather, and at that time, nothing directly pointed to anyone's death. How easy it is for outsiders to exclaim exactly what they would have done in the same situation. That's just wrong. George isn't the first person to expect the best.

Will Baez be as harsh with Cindy? I don't think so. He watched the jury on Saturday. While I wasn't there, I'm sure they sensed her pain. Of course, Baez is cold, but if he expects the jury to understand him, he'd better understand how to treat her.

I will be there tomorrow!

May 30, 2011 05:00 pm
 Posted by  Carole

Dave,
You laid it on the line!! Before Cindy and George knew for sure tha Caylee was dead they held onto anything they could, hoping all of the speculation was not true.

I truly feel sorry for them now. I hope that Lee is allowed to sit in the court room with his parents in a show of solidarity. They all loved Caylee,except her mother. What a shame.

As Baez was cross examinatint George I was yelling at my tv.....that Cindy had called her everyday!! And all she got were Casey's lies as to where Caylee was. It was shameful the way Baez tried to badger George into loosing his temper, but, thankfully he did not break....

Yes, I do have a better opinion of Cindy and George, although it took a long time fot them to see the light!

May 30, 2011 05:32 pm
 Posted by  Dave Knechel

Hi Carole - And something snapped in Cindy's mind 6 weeks before she testified on Saturday; something that caused her to stop looking for the elusive nanny. Something opened her eyes and let the light shine in. In the end, it's never a good thing to learn how bad your child could be, but I now believe they got a heavy dose of the truth and it finally sunk in. As much as we say innocent until proven guilty, Casey's actions point only at guilt. It's sad. Very sad.

May 30, 2011 05:51 pm
 Posted by  LORIE

Yes I also have a much better opinion of George & Cindy. They have finaly had enough of Caseys hurt & pain. It's bad enough what happend to Caylee, but for her to throw them under the bus like this!!! It's terrible.
Jose is an awful lawyer, He has done more damange to Casey trial. People all around the US are in shock that he would stoop so low to try and save her this way, knowing that the public knows how George felt about Caylee. No one will buy it Jose, it's a cheep shot and it will hurt you BIG TIME in the end.
God Bless George & Cindy.

May 30, 2011 06:22 pm
 Posted by  Carole

Dave,

I wonder if the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was the fact that the Anthony's found out 6 weeks ago how Baez was ready to attack George.

Anyone with any sense could see that George was grieving for caylee! Not just overcome with grief, but ready to see the last of his days. But, hearing the defense theory was a cruel thing to do to a Papa Jo.

Now I am really interested to see what Lee has to say in court. It would be wonderful if the family could unite against the killer of Caylee.

May 30, 2011 06:46 pm
 Posted by  Dave Knechel

See, Lorie? Everyone can be rehabilitated. I'm glad the long nightmare is over. By that, I mean how people have felt about them for two-and-a-half years. Their nightmare is far, far from over and it may never be. Yes, God Bless George & Cindy.

May 30, 2011 07:14 pm
 Posted by  Dave Knechel

Carole -

I think that's pretty much the way it came down. Something had to be big enough to alter their perception of Casey. You know, attorneys work quietly behind the scenes. Mark Lippman may have gone through the proper channels to find out some of what the state has on their daughter. Maybe, Casey did want to do something to them, too, but I doubt we'll ever know. Yes! Lee made a deal with the state to keep him from being prosecuted. His testimony should be very interesting.

May 30, 2011 07:40 pm
 Posted by  Waterfall

Dave, With all the turn about of Cindy and George that has been mentioned in above comments and perhaps Lee, yet to come. Will they be the ones sending Casey on to cinch the Death Penalty? How long do we wait to find out what Cheney Mason is planning to present to save Casey? It is hard for me to look at this as the only attempt of the defense except to claim "accidental". So if George says it is not true that he found Caylee in the pool and yelled at Casey etc. how can they claim any other kind of accidental death. Maybe George will agree with the scenario Baez painted about the pool, Caylee did drown, but the rest about molesting Casey is not true. Wouldn't the state have to prove she did not drown accidentally, therefore no death penalty?

May 30, 2011 07:51 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave - why was Lee going to be prosecuted? Julie

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About This Blog

'Marinade Dave' Knechel

Dave Knechel has been blogging about the Casey Anthony case since late 2008, drawing readers from all over the world. Best known as “Marinade Dave,” a nickname he got when he made marinades and also blogged about marinade recipes, Knechel is on assignment to blog about the case exclusively for orlandomagazine.com as Anthony goes to trial for first-degree murder. His posts will appear regularly on this site.

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