Party mum trial for murder reaches media fever pitch
Hundreds of media outlets have sought accreditation to attend the court, thousands of tv and radio stations will run it wall-to-wall and there’s even an online daily news site running up to the minute developments.
The Florida trial of single mum Casey Anthony (25) for the murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee has entered its fourth day of jury selection as the frenzy of coverage mounts ahead of next Tuesday’s opening statements.
Experts are watching Casey Anthony's every move in court. Her mug shots, her crying, her not looking at the jury are all being analysed.
The Caylee Daily www.cayleedaily.com is devoted entirely to the case running pictures, video and real time commentary.
Renowned body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass has been writing a blog about what every move by the accused mother means.
Her facial expression screams "fear" in the latest courtroom pictures of her while her wide bulging eyed appearance, you can see the whites of her eyes as an indicator of fear, says Dr Glass.
“We saw Casey cry a number of times during jury selection. As soon as Judge Belvin Perry began speaking about Casey, her she started crying. Perry told potential jurors to ignore Casey's emotional display. As soon as he said that, Casey immediately stopped crying,” she explains.
Dr. Glass said this is important because usually when you are filled with real and non-manipulative emotion, even if someone tells you to stop crying, you can't stop. You continue to cry if your tears are genuine. If you stop immediately, they most likely are tears of manipulation.
The prosecution believes that Casey Anthony is an ace manipulator. She is accused of the first degree murder of her daughter, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and providing false information to law enforcement. She has pleaded not guilty and says a baby-sitter kidnapped Caylee.
The child left the Orlando home that she shared with Casey and grandparents Cindy and George Anthony and their son Lee in mid June 2008. For four weeks Cindy says she sought to see Caylee, but was fobbed off by her daughter.
In mid July 2008 the Anthony’s were alerted that Cindy’s car, being used by Casey, had been towed and was ready for collection. When George Anthony, a former police officer, picked it up he was overwhelmed by a smell he identified as a ‘smell of death’ in the car. Cindy Anthony rang the police, initially to report that her daughter had stolen the car, but in a second phone call to report that she had not seen her granddaughter for weeks and to report her missing.
A massive search was mounted for the little girl whose mother Casey claimed she had left with a baby sitter Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, but when she went to collect her child the woman was missing. A civil action for defamation against Anthony is pending from Zenaida Gonzalez in relation to these claims.
The Anthony family appeared repeatedly in newspapers, on radio and TV in a bid to find the little girl. They kept up their campaign from July 2008 until December when Caylee’s body was found buried about a mile from their home.
Casey Anthony was first arrested in July 2008 for neglect of a child and making false statements to police. She was subsequently arrested and charged with stealing more than €600 from a friend, before being charged with the murder of her daughter Caylee in October 2008, even before the body was found.
While in prison awaiting trial Casey alleged that she had suffered sex abuse as a child at the hands of her father George and brother Lee, allegations they strongly deny. In early 2009 George went missing and was later located at a Daytona beach hotel under the influence of medication and alcohol. He had written a five page suicide note.
A woman who says she had an affair with him later came forward and claimed that he had told her Caylee died in an accident.
When police searched the Anthony computer they found evidence of recent searches for the effects of chloroform. DNA evidence taken from the towed Anthony car was consistent with decomposition and traces of chloroform.
When Caylee’s body was found the remains of a heart shaped plaster was on duct tape that had been placed over her mouth. A Winnie the pooh blanker, similar to one that had been in her bed, was found with her.
Some of the most damning evidence against Casey appeared on social media sites in the time period her daughter was unaccounted for. She appears in many pictures drinking and partying with friends and journal entries at that time revealed her happy state of mind.
The case opens on Tuesday in Orlando, Florida.