WEST PALM BEACH, FL — Casey Anthony, the Florida mother who gained world wide headlines almost a decade ago after failing to report her three-year-old daughter, Caylee, missing for nearly a month, has broken her silence.
Anthony, who was acquitted of killing her child despite a mountain of evidence against her, was driven into hiding by an angry public outraged over the verdict. Since her acquittal in 2011, Anthony has lived in the spare bedroom of a private West Palm Beach home owned by Patrick McKenna, a private investigator hired by her then lead defense attorney Jose Baez.
The trial against the now 30-year-old Orlando native was covered live on cable networks and was the focus of daily commentaries by HLN’s Nancy Grace, who called Anthony “the most hated mom in America.”
Anthony was convicted of four counts of lying to police (two counts were later dropped), and served three years in prison while awaiting trial.
During her sit down interview, which the AP described as “revealing, bizarre and often contradictory”(http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/apnewsbreak-for-1st-time-casey-anthony-speaks-about-case/ar-AAnXwqZ?OCID=ansmsnnews11), Anthony admits to lying to police about the child’s death, about being employed at Universal Studios, about leaving Caylee with an imaginary baby-sitter, about fabricating the story relating to the child’s disappearance, about receiving a phone call from Caylee the day before she was reported missing and about lying to her parents regarding the girl’s whereabouts, yet still insists that she did nothing wrong.
“Even if I would’ve told them everything that I told to the psychologist, I hate to say this but I firmly believe I would have been in the same place. Because cops believe other cops. Cops tend to victimize the victims. I understand now … I see why I was treated the way I was even had I been completely truthful,” says Anthony.
At the trial, Baez told the jury that the little girl had accidentally drowned and that Casey’s father, George Anthony, helped to cover it up because both feared the reaction of Anthony’s mother, Cindy. Baez further accused George Anthony and Casey Anthony’s brother, Lee, of sexually abusing Casey for a period of years leading up to the toddler’s disappearance. Both George Anthony and Lee Anthony have vehemently denied these allegations and no charges against either man have ever been brought.
When asked about the drowning defense, Anthony now says that she doesn’t know how the child died.
“Everyone has their theories, I don’t know. As I stand here today I can’t tell you one way or another,” said Anthony. “The last time I saw my daughter I believed she was alive and was going to be OK, and that’s what was told to me. ”
Despite the glaring contradiction, Anthony refused to elaborate on her latest change of theory.
Belvin Perry, the retired Florida judge who served as the Judge during Anthony’s case, told HLN’s “On The Story” this week that he thinks the toddler’s death was the result of someone overdosing the child with chloroform, based on the results of the child’s autopsy (http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/02/us/casey-anthony-judge-hln/index.html).
“It’s quite evident that whoever did this, and more than likely it may have been Casey, used too much (chloroform),” he said, pointing to high levels of the chemical found in the trunk of Anthony’s car.
Perry went on to say that Anthony often displayed two different sides to her persona depending on who was in the courtroom at the time.
“Casey in the presence of the jury was very calm, very easygoing, mild-mannered, in a very sympathetic-appearing person,” he said. But when the jury wasn’t in the room, she behaved very different.
“She was quite in charge, quite demanding and quite manipulative,” he said.
Caylee’s body was found months after her disappearance in the woods near the Anthony home. Due to the condition of the child’s remains, however, authorities were unable to determine an exact cause of death. In their case against Anthony prosecutors alleged that Anthony dumped Caylee’s body in the woods after smothering her with chloroform in a quest to live a care free life. The jury in the case acquitted Anthony in large part due to the state’s inability to prove how she died. Jury members were also targeted with death threats following the verdict.
As for her life now, when it comes to her ongoing status as a public target, Anthony remains defiant.
“I don’t give a s— about what anyone thinks about me, I never will,” she said. “I’m OK with myself, I sleep pretty good at night.”