Drowning in a Pool of Lies?

    This time tomorrow, I will be sitting in a courtroom located on the 23rd floor of the Orange County courthouse. I am one of the lucky few who gained press credentials to attend the Casey Anthony murder trial. Fortunately, it will be televised live on TruTV's In Session program, and online at several Internet feeds from Orlando area television stations and the Orlando Sentinel site. Most of us are waiting to hear the first few minutes of Jose Baez's opening statement that, he claims, will explain why Casey sat quietly in jail for almost three years, never uttering a word. Why would an innocent person do that? Why remain silent all this time? If her daughter's death was an accident, why wait until now to tell her story? Millions of us have been asking ourselves those very perplexing questions.
    I planned on writing my thoughts on what Jose would say after the state lays out its strategy during opening statements, but it was pretty much covered yesterday in a Sentinel article written by Anthony Colarossi. In it, he pointed out that the defense team would try to throw everyone but Casey under the proverbial bus. There was Roy Kronk, who discovered Caylee's remains, and Jesse Grund, her ex-fiance. Out of Casey's own mouth came Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the nonexistent Zanny the Nanny. Actually, it almost seemed like an unscrupulous game of Wheel of Fortune. Wherever the wheel stopped, a new tale was spun that implicated others as the suspect du jour. One by one, as the trial approached, those names flew off the wheel save one or two - George and Cindy Anthony, who may be accused of being the worst parents ever born.
    Two huge clues emerged recently that may shed light on what strategy Jose Baez & Co. will take. The first one came when defense attorney Cheney Mason discussed possible causes of death with Jan C. Garavaglia, M.D., better known as Dr. G, the chief medical examiner of Orange and Osceola counties. Caylee's autopsy results stated that her death was a "homicide by undetermined means."  During Garavaglia's deposition by the defense, Mason suggested that Caylee's death could have been an accidental drowning in the backyard pool. When Mason confronted Dr. G with this possibility, she said that most people would call 911 for help. No such call was ever made. She also said a good mother would never throw her child's remains in the woods to rot. Of course, Mason will claim someone else did it; that Casey was behind bars at the time.
    The second clue came in the form of an objection Mason filed after George and Cindy's attorney filed a motion requesting that, as grandparents of the victim, the court excuse them from the Rule of Sequestration. Florida Statute 90.616 states that, "At the request of a party the court shall order [...] witnesses excluded from a proceeding so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses..." Judge Perry ruled in favor of George and Cindy, but oh, the implications.
    Although both statements are telling, the one on impeachment is more revealing. According to the uslegal.com Website, "Impeachment may refer to different legal concepts. One meaning in the law refers to discrediting a witness by showing that he or she is not telling the truth or does not have a reliable basis for their testimony." Caylee's grandparents will not be accused of murder. Instead, the defense plans on attacking their credibility; their character. After all, it was what they said early on that implicated Casey. As much as many of us in the public accuse them of being liars, the defense plans on taking full advantage of it. Imagine that, something from the defense we agree on!
    If we take it at face value, the defense has a good point. George and Cindy have lied on many occasions, and it shouldn't be hard to discredit them. However, there's plenty of speculation that it will go well beyond that. As of today, less than one day before the trial starts, it seems likely the defense will paint a picture of Casey as being a victim of her own parents; that the death was accidental. All Casey has to do is raise an element of doubt in any number of the jury members, and convince them that she was frightened of her parent's retribution; the same parents who taught her how to lie at a very young age.
    George seems to be the focus right now according to most legal analysts examining the case. Before Caylee died, Casey told her then boyfriend, Anthony Lazzaro, that she was physically abused by her father, who may or may not have sexually abused her. There is no doubt in my mind that he never did, but once again, what will the jury believe? I guess there are many degrees of ugly coping, as Baez once suggested, including postpartum depression, but will it work? Does it cause people to lie?
    Since we'll never know what she told her defense team, there are certain things they can take advantage of that are truths. For instance, if we examine Casey's cell phone pings, she remained at or very near her home from June 15, 2008, until she left for Lazzaro's apartment just after 4:00 pm the following day. Just before 1:00 pm on Monday the 16th, George said he watched Casey and Caylee leave the house, just like every other weekday morning. Clearly, she didn't go far.
    Most people plan murders ahead of time. In Casey's case, she was charged with premeditated first-degree murder, but in Florida, premeditation could be the moment a person picks up a weapon of some kind. That person still has the option of putting it down or using it. It means that premeditation is not necessarily a length of time, it's the choice one makes. In her case, there's the possibility that she waited for her father to leave for work before returning home. After all, where was she most comfortable? Home was the least likely place in the world to get caught because her parents were gone and she had the house completely to herself.
    On the other hand, cell phone activity could help her, too, if the defense uses it properly. Her cell phone pings bounced off the same three towers from Sunday night through much of Monday, all reachable from the Anthony home. At 1:00 pm, she made a 14-minute phone call to her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. At 1:44 pm, she was on the phone with Amy Huizenga for 36-minutes. At 2:52 pm, she talked to Jesse Grund for 11-minutes. Suddenly, at 4:11 pm, she made four attempts to call her mother within a two-minute period. Was it something that happened? She left the home and traveled north, calling Lazzaro at 4:19 pm. Minutes later, she called Grund, and at 4:25 pm, she tried her mother one more time.
    Could Casey have returned home after her father left for work to take a swim? Will the defense say that during one of those lengthy phone calls, especially the 36-minute call, Caylee climbed the pool ladder and drowned? If so, Casey would only be guilty of being a negligent mother. By Cindy's own admission, she noticed the ladder and open gate when she returned home from work that day. Say all you will about her, but she was a most attentive grandmother. She would never have left the the ladder out and the gate open. Could Casey have been preoccupied on the phone and by the time she hung up, her daughter was already dead? It was a horrible accident?
    In any event, July 15th, the date the 911 calls were made, was not the first time Casey used the nanny excuse. The fictitious Zanny never searched for chloroform on the home computer, and George never stuffed dead squirrels in the trunk of her car. Unfortunately for Casey, if she discredits her parents, the ladder and gate statement goes out the window, along with the accidental death theory. It's a perfect Catch-22.






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Comments, page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 Next »
May 23, 2011 03:26 pm
 Posted by  Mary Jo

Dave, great article! I am looking forward to reading your future articles regarding this trial. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about being in the court room for this very high profile case and what the atmosphere was like. It is nice to have someone be our eyes and ears for us since the TV doesn't show us everything that is happening in there. I am waiting to see and hear both of the opening statements. I sure hope the Anthony's are ready to have that bus roll right on over them. I don't think that there is anything that Jose can say that the jury will buy. He also has to make sure that what he says in his opening statements is what will take place during this trial. He can't say anything that is too unbelievable if he wants this jury to believe it.If there really was a compelling reason for being innocent then he wouldn't have let his client sit in jail for almost three years. I am waiting to see if George and Cindy seem to be okay with the defense running them over with the bus, or if we will see them act a little different and actually tell the truth. Thanks again for this article. It is appreciated!

May 23, 2011 03:49 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

You pose an interesting scenario Dave. I might buy it, had I not had a better one of my own. Casey carried Caylee over to the side of the pool and simply deposited her into the water. If you can't swim, you sink. After a good amount of time passed, she put the ladder into the pool and stepped in to retrieve her. For good measure, she placed three pieces of duct tape over Caylee's mouth and nose should she spontaneously revive, topping the duct tape off with a heart shaped sticker. She then wrapped her daughter in the Winnie the Poo baby blanket before placing her into a laundry bag and then into the garbage bags. Caylee was then placed into the trunk of the white Sunfire. The rest, as they say, is history.


May 23, 2011 03:52 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

It's infuriating to me that the defense is likely to implicate the grandparents. They are the real victims in this case. Not only did they lose Caylee, they're losing Casey, and eventually they will have to confront the sickening reality that she, their own daughter, is a callous and depraved murder.

Anyone who's listened to their early interviews, calls, jailhouse visit videos, or 3rd party reports from friends and family can see clearly that these are 2 people who were utterly destroyed by the loss of Caylee. More than that, all their efforts showed their desperation to find her and to get information out of Casey. The phone call and visit with Casey while she was in jail --the parents plead with her, beg her for information. And she mocks and guilt-trips them.

The idea that she fears them is laughable. The prosecution better make darn sure the jury sees that.

May 23, 2011 03:54 pm
 Posted by  Peggy

I am so glad you put this up Dave. I was worried about you but I read where your computer crashed, not a good time for that to ever happen but days before the trial starts, horrible.

You do such an amazing job with your journalistic writings. We are so lucky to have you not only write your incredible posts but to be our eyes and ears in the court room too.

I am very anxious to hear what the State says. I am getting up at 5:00 so I can get some things done, go to the gym and then come home and watch it all day. I do not want to miss a minute. As far as the Defense and what they have to say, I can not even imagine what Jose is going to say, I wonder if he does. He says he is going to explain the 31 days in the first minute, that should be very interesting. They have thrown so much crap at the wall for the last three years, it can only be one more piece as far as I can tell.

Anyway, lets get this started, we are finally on our way for Justice for Caylee. You are going to do an amazing job Dave, looking forward to day one of the state of Florida vs. Casey Anthony.

May 23, 2011 04:01 pm
 Posted by  Waterfall

Thank you Dave, this post has presented theory we can chew on, especially the time of the different phone calls, pings, etc. at the crucial time supposed to be so near Caylee's time of death. You have always leaned toward Caylee dying at home. one way or another. I have always stated, that nothing leads me to pre-meditated. On the spot/1sec before committing an act of violence tends to draw me more to a mental disturbance (illness? maybe not) out of control than premeditation. We all walk the very fine line and are so fortunate when we are able to have control over not slipping past that line to the destructive side, unplanned. Wishing you good days ahead. Being issued a pass to attend the proceedings and invited by OM to write about this trial is a wonderful all around compliment. You must be very excited.

May 23, 2011 04:02 pm
 Posted by  Sherry

Is there verification that Cindy called George at work and asked him if he left the pool ladder against the pool? George told LE that she called him about it but unless there are records to prove it, I wouldn't take their word for it even in a LE interview. The jury may well believe that it did happen without thought for further recorded proof. They may very well believe George saw Caylee on that Monday afternoon. Who remembers what someone last wore from a month ago? I see Cindy's hand in the cover up from the start but the jury may not-or, most likely, will not.

Another informative post, Dave! On with the trial! I'll be lookin' for ya in the courtroom! : )

May 23, 2011 04:37 pm
 Posted by  guardianangel

Dave, your certainly did your homework for this one. Bravo! I just hope Baez or Mason do not come in and read it. If they do, they will be up all night thinking of ways to change their strategy.

If the defense tries to go with the accidental, I honestly don't think they can pull it off. It is one thing to be petrified of your parents but the jury will not buy the 'lack of remorse.' They may try and say that Casey went into shock and blocked everything out when she realized Caylee had drowned. This wont work either because Casey was able to perform. The duct tape was applied and the body wrapped and put in garbage bags. The story about the ladder being left at the pool I am chalking up to some of Cindy and Geo's damage control.

If Caylee was murdered on June 16th, I think Casey smothered Caylee with the duct tape right in Caylee's bed. Casey left her to die while she chatted on the phone with Jesse and Amy. When Casey made the call to Tony, he told her she was welcome to come over but not to bring Caylee. After the big fight the night before, Casey decided to spite her mother and eliminate the one who was standing in the way of her freedom.

Keep up the great work Dave! Hey, you are still numero uno in my books!!

May 23, 2011 05:23 pm
 Posted by  guardianangel

It's me again. I can't seem to leave this one alone so here goes...

If Caylee was murdered on June 15th, it took place just prior to midnight. Casey snatched Caylee from her bed and took off after the choke hold fight. She overdosed Caylee with chloroform and put her in the trunk of the car. Casey stayed in the car and had that marathon phone call until 3 am with Tony Lazzaro. Casey stayed in the vicinity of Hopespring and shortly after 3 am, went home and locked herself in her bedroom.

Geo did not see Caylee and Casey leave on June 16th. Cindy did not hear Casey and Caylee in the bedroom. She may have heard Casey snoring behind the closed door. Casey was home because she used the desktop computer that morning. She may have told Geo that Caylee stayed over to play with the kids that the Nannie baby sat.

Once Geo left for work, Casey put the duct tape on Caylee's airways and then bagged her and put her back in the trunk. Caylee remained in the trunk until Casey borrowed the shovel and tried to bury her. When that failed, Casey took off down to the wooded area at Suburban and tossed the remains.

Cindy has been covering for Casey since July 16th. Her pleadings with Casey was to try and find out where Casey put the body. George, on the other hand, in the beginning, tried to come clean with LE but after being brain-washed by Cindy, he gave in and spun his lies as well. JMO

May 23, 2011 05:43 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

JMO, Cindy and George are as guilty in the death of Caylee as Casey. If not by participation, certainly in their coverup efforts and should be charged as accessories to the crime. They are a self centered, evil family who will say, do, anything, to protect self.

Tomorrow will be a most interesting day, although we'll never know the whole truth, it is a fresh beginning in: Justice for Caylee.

May 23, 2011 05:58 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

GUARDIAN, OH NO!! Not the June 15th theory! Do you not know what you're doing by mentioning the possibility of Caylee being murdered on 15 June. You'll set a tantrum in motion, the likes of which you have never seen. LOL

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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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