The Jail's 4-1-1 on Casey Anthony
Allen Moore is caught up in the drama, but he prefers to work behind the scenes.
Allen Moore is built like a wrestler and has a haircut like a Marine.
And he knows what Casey Anthony ate for dinner as well as what time she is scheduled to see her attorney and other visitors while she’s in jail charged with the murder of her missing daughter.
Moore, 61, is the king of information at the Orange County Corrections Department’s jail on 33rd Street and John Young Parkway. As public information officer, he handles media inquiries and internal communication at the jail.
He has had the busiest time of his 12-year jail career since Anthony, 22, was arrested in July in connection with the disappearance of her 3-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie. While Anthony was in and out of jail over the summer, Moore kept the media updated on her whereabouts as a matter of public record.
“I’ve never seen a story that has had such longevity of intense interest on the part of the media,” Moore says.
And that includes the case of Lisa Nowak, the astronaut accused of attempting to abduct a romantic rival in an Orlando International Airport parking lot in 2007.
The Anthony case has Moore working up to 12 hours a day, as well as nights and weekends, updating reporters via mass e-mails he sends from his BlackBerry. Calls and e-mails from reporters have more than tripled since Anthony was first booked. Moore says he handles an average of 400 media contacts every month—the vast majority related to Anthony’s case.
“I don’t think Allen’s hours really know any bounds,” says Jessica D’Onofrio, a reporter who has covered the Casey Anthony case for WKMG Local 6. “Especially when you have high-profile cases. It’s not just [Anthony] getting booked in and bonded out. He’s keeping everybody updated with the minutiae.”
Moore refuses to let the jail overshadow the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as the authority on the investigation. He’s turned down interviews on Good Morning America, CNN’s Larry King Live and other national TV programs. His pet peeve is Nancy Grace, who he says tramples on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” regarding Anthony. Grace’s cable-TV show calls regularly to ask for the jail’s menu while Anthony is locked up. “I have serious ethical concerns about her,” Moore says. “I think due process keeps us all safe.”
Drawn to reporting during a 16-year military career, Moore served as a combat journalist while a Marine in Vietnam. He also spent time in the Army. Law school deepened his passion for criminal justice but convinced him he didn’t want to be an attorney.
While the Anthony case has gotten national attention and tabloid-like coverage, Moore doesn’t fault the media for staying on top of the story. “The media wouldn’t be doing that if there weren’t intense interest on the part of the public,” he says.