Acquitted of Murdering her Daughter, Casey Anthony Speaks in New Documentary: ‘I Lied. But No One Asked Why’
On July 16, 2008, a 22-year-old Orlando mother named Casey Anthony was arrested on suspicion of the murder of her
On July 16, 2008, a 22-year-old Orlando mother named Casey Anthony was arrested on suspicion of the murder of her daughter, Caylee Anthony.
In May 2011, a trial started which captivated the world.
A young single mother who seemed to have a penchant for partying and a dead 2-year-old girl were the subjects on everyone’s mind.
Speculation ran rampant with people speculating everything from the fact that little Caylee’s death was an accidental overdose and Casey panicked, to a much darker speculation among trial-watchers that Casey’s dad had been abusing Caylee and killed her to cover his crimes.
About a month and a half after the trial commenced, Casey was found not guilty of murder. She was convicted a few less serious crimes and sentenced to time served.
The whole case was a mystery, filled with lies, twists and turns – and more questions than answers.
Now in a new documentary, more than 10 years after the highly publicized, trial Casey Anthony is speaking out.
A Quick Recap of the Death of Caylee Anthony and the Trial Against Casey Anthony
After 11 years, Casey Anthony breaks her silence for the first time on camera.— Peacock (@peacock) November 8, 2022
Casey Anthony: Where The Truth Lies, a 3-part limited series, premieres November 29 only on Peacock. pic.twitter.com/TMHXFQfiNA
Before looking at what Casey now has to say about her daughter’s death, it’s important to look back at the death of Caylee, the trial, and why people hold such a bad opinion of the Florida woman.
The facts in retrospect will be presented as they were understood during the trial, although if Casey’s account is truthful, it would change much of what we know about the timeline.
- Caylee Anthony was born August 9, 2005, when Casey was about 20 years old.
- A single mom still in the prime of her party years, Casey reportedly chafed under the frustration of parenting a toddler. But by all accounts of those who knew her at the time, Casey was a loving mom and Caylee a happy child.
- Casey and Caylee lived with Casey’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony, in Orlando.
- On June 15, 2008, Casey reportedly fought with her parents. The next day, she took Caylee and left and refused to make amends.
- July 15, Casey’s parents discover that her car has been impounded and George goes to retrieve it from the tow yard. George is overwhelmed by a foul odor, and initially chalks it up to a bag of trash left in the trunk. But the smell persists even after the trash has been removed.
- Cindy finally tracks her daughter down. She then calls 911 and says that Caylee has been missing for a month, and tells the 911 dispatcher, “It smells like there’s been a dead body in the d–n car.” She demands her daughter’s arrest.
- July 16, 2008, Casey is arrested. But the information she provides investigators leads police to a number of dead ends, including uninhabited apartment of a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, who Casey said ran off with Caylee on June 9, and then she leads them to Universal Studios, where Casey pretended to have a job. Casey is charged with child neglect, lying to investigators and interfering with a criminal investigation.
- On July 22, Casey attends a bond hearing and her bail is set at $500,000. Investigators reveal that a cadaver dog alerted to the smell in Casey’s trunk, and at a spot in the backyard of the Anthonys. The judge is struck by Casey’s seeming disinterest, and she is declared a “person of interest.”
- August 20, 2008, California bounty hunter Leonard Padilla posts Casey’s $500K bond, hoping she will lead them to Caylee.
- August 30, 2008, Casey’s bond is rescinded. She will be released from jail and taken back into custody again once more.
- October 14, 2008, Casey is charged with first-degree murder. She is also charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and four counts of providing false information to law enforcement. Casey’s attorney, now-famed Jose Baez, says that trial will make his client’s actions clearer and easier to understand.
- October 24, 2008: In a forensics report, hair retrieved from the trunk of Casey’s car is said to be “microscopically similar” to hair taken from Caylee’s hair brush, and shows signs of decomposition. An air sample from the trunk also shows chemical signs of decomposition.
- December 11, 2008: the skeletal remains of a little girl are discovered less than half a mile from the Anthonys home, contained in a black trash bag. The man who found the remains, utility worker Ray Kronk, reportedly tried to get authorities to search the area months earlier. The body is found with duct tape over the nose, mouth and jaw.
- December 20, 2008: the remains are confirmed to belong to Caylee. The bones showed no signs of trauma and her death was reported as “homicide of undetermined means.”
- January 23, 2009, George Anthony is taken into custody after a suicide attempt.
- April 2009: prosecutors announce a plan to seek the death penalty against Casey.
- May 24, 2011: the trial begins. Casey is painted as a party girl who has no time for a toddler, and used the month that the child lay dead as proof that she callously murdered her child. As Caylee’s remains rotted, Casey drank and partied and shopped. It was damning to anyone on the outside.
- But Jose Baez came out swinging. Baez kicked off Casey’s defense by saying that Caylee drowned in the family swimming pool and that George sought to cover up the accidental death. Baez also alleged that George molested Casey, thereby catalyzing her habit of lying to cover up the pain and that Kronk, the utility worker, had found Caylee’s body and planted it in the woods.
- When he took the stand during the trial, he denied ever molesting his daughter and plead ignorance over her claims about Caylee’s body.
- Early June, 2008: One expert testifies that the chloroform detected in the trunk suggested to him that a dead body had been present in the trunk, but his testimony was contradicted the next day by an FBI scientist who successfully compared the chloroform levels found in the trunk with levels found in common household cleaners.
- On June 8, a software engineer testifies that someone in the Anthony house searched for “chloroform” 84 times and also looked up such terms as “head injuries,” “ruptured spleen,” “chest trauma” and “internal bleeding.” He says the searches occurred during the work hours of both George and Cindy. Later his testimony is amended to acknowledge that the person only visited the website pertaining to chloroform once.
- June 23: Cindy testifies that she was the one who searched for chloroform. She also says that the stain they investigated as decomposition was there when they purchased the car second-hand.
- July 3: closing arguments. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton says Casey was a mom who didn’t want to be burdened with a child, adding, “Something needed to be sacrificed, that something was either the life she wanted or the life thrust upon her. She chose to sacrifice her child.”
- Defense lead Baez effectively points out that there’s simply not enough evidence to prove that either 1) Caylee was ever in Casey’s trunk or 2) that she had anything to do with the child’s death.
- July 5, 2011: the world is stunned as Casey is acquitted of her daughter’s murder. There simply wasn’t enough direct evidence. And on July 7, she is sentenced to time already served for lying to police.
- July 17, 2011: Casey is released from prison and starts her life as one of the country’s most hated recognizable figures.
Casey Anthony Speaks Out
Now, over 10 years since she walked out of prison, Casey is having a chance to tell her side of the story – and she’s dropping some doozies.
PEOPLE reports, “During her extensive interview, Anthony drops several bombshells — and elaborates on allegations that she had been sexually abused by her father, George, and her brother, Lee. (Both men vehemently denied her claims in court and have never been charged. They did not return PEOPLE’s messages for comment.)
In the documentary, Anthony alleges that her father staged Caylee’s drowning in order to cover up that he may have been abusing his granddaughter.”
Casey recounts the last time she says she saw her daughter alive, June 16, 2008. “I wasn’t feeling that great, and I wanted to lay down. I had her lay in bed with me.”
She continues, “”I was awoken by [my father] shaking me and asking me where Caylee was. That didn’t make sense. She would never even leave my room without telling me. I immediately started looking around the house. I go outside and I’m looking to see where she could be.”
PEOPLE adds, “‘He was standing there with her,’ she says. ‘She was soaking wet. He handed her to me. Said it was my fault. That I caused it. But he didn’t rush to call 911 and he wasn’t trying to resuscitate her. I collapsed with her in my arms. She was heavy, and she was cold.’
‘He takes her from me and he immediately softens his tone and says ‘It’s going to be ok.’ I wanted to believe him. He took her from me and he went away.’
Anthony says she went to stay with her then boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro — but didn’t tell anyone what had happened. She says she wasn’t under the impression that Caylee was dead.
‘During the 31 days, I genuinely believed that Caylee was still alive,’ she says. ‘My father kept telling me she was ok. I had to keep following his instructions. He told me what to do. I tried to act as normal as I could.'”
Casey says that there was no way Caylee could get into the pool on her own and believes her father placed her there intentionally to cover up his crimes.
In the documentary, she also recounts what she says she experienced at the hands of her father, explaining, “He’d put a pillow over my face and smother me to knock me out. That happened several times. I’m sure there were times where I was incapacitated as a child where my body was limp and lifeless.”
Anthony wonders if Caylee eventually became his newest victim. “That’s what I think about,” she says. “I wish every day I had said something to someone about something. Maybe then things would be different.”
Casey Anthony: Where The Truth Lies will begin streaming on Peacock on Nov. 29.