Looking Back

By Dennis Griffin

Following the Caylee Anthony story breaking in July 2008, I posted several blog entries about it on my In One Man’s Opinion blog. I took a walk down memory lane today by reviewing some of those posts. They refreshed my memory about why I developed the attitude I did toward Casey, her parents and Jose Baez.

In one of them it is even mentioned that the defense floated the “terrible accident” theory back in November 2008, just before Caylee’s remains were officially found, but around the time private investigators Casey and Hoover were snooping around the area where they were eventually recovered. But at that time the accident involved an overdose of chloroform or a sedative.

These events could be pure coincidence. On the other hand, a skeptic might think the location of the remains had been divulged to Cindy, George or Baez, and the defense strategy was all ready being put in place. I’m a skeptic.

I’ve pasted three of those old posts below if you’d care to take a look.


Posted 9/18/08

Points to Ponder

By Dennis Griffin

Have you ever watched any gangster movies? If you’ve seen enough of them you have probably heard lines like these: “Don’t worry about Joey, they won’t get anything out of him.” Or, “Relax boys, I didn’t tell ‘em nothin’.” Statements such as these are made by the criminal associates of a gang member who is undergoing questioning by the police, or the suspect himself after the cops turn him loose. They mean the hoodlum’s cohorts don’t think he’ll admit to any wrongdoing himself, and neither will he rat them out.  When released, the man who had undergone the interrogation could brag that he toughed it out and gave the cops no information about himself or anyone else. Surviving a session with the law without admitting to anything or squealing on his pals, earned the mobster an enhanced reputation for toughness and loyalty. 

I heard those same words Tuesday night, but I wasn’t watching a mob film; I was tuned in to the Nancy Grace show. A clip was played in which Casey Anthony’s lawyer, Jose Baez, lamented his client’s treatment at the hands of detectives after Caylee was reported missing on July 15. He said the police investigators questioned Casey for hours without an attorney and “they got nothing.” To me, those words were uttered as a boast to Casey’s ability to stand up to the bullying of several veteran cops.

From what I know, Mr. Baez was right: Casey Anthony provided absolutely no credible information as to what happened to her missing daughter. But remember, in this real-life scenario Casey started out as a mother whose daughter had allegedly been kidnapped, not as a suspect in a crime. You’d think someone in her position would at least have been upset, if not frantic. You’d think she would have told the officers anything and everything she knew that would have helped to find Caylee. You’d think they’d have had trouble shutting her up. It was after Casey’s entire story proved to be a lie that the detectives began to question her as a “person of interest.”

The Anthony forces — including Baez — maintain Casey is completely innocent regarding her daughter’s mysterious vanishing. If they truly believe that, it’s my opinion that Baez’ words were poorly chosen and would have been more appropriate when talking about a criminal suspect rather than an innocent mother. And is refusing to cooperate when the safety of a three-year-old child is at stake something to be proud of? It sounded to me like Baez thinks it is. The lawyer also said that the tactics being used by police and prosecutors have not intimidated him, and they won’t.

In a move I thought took a lot of gall, Baez even tried to rally the taxpayers to stand up to the authorities and demand that they stop wasting money by continuously re-arresting his client. 

I think Baez is setting the table for his public relations efforts should Casey end up being charged in Caylee’s death: A powerful and out of control law enforcement system is picking on a young mother who has suffered a tremendous loss. Americans generally like to root for the underdog, so maybe he’s on to something.

Nancy then mentioned some things that may provide a clue as to Baez’ legal strategy. According to motions the lawyer is filing, he’s challenging the quality of the forensic testing being done; and raising questions as to whether the lab personnel involved have their own agenda. He is alleging that for unexplained reasons, they may not want the truth to come out about the evidence and are only interested in seeing Casey prosecuted and found guilty. His client may be the victim of a frame.

I can understand Baez’ logic. If Casey is prosecuted on a homicide-related charge — and especially if Caylee’s body isn’t found — the results of the forensic tests will be crucial; they have to be discredited. And although I find his initial contentions somewhat incredible, there is no certainty that they won’t work. Here’s why I say that: OJ Simpson.

Those of you who remember that trial in which Simpson was accused of killing his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, will recall that the DNA evidence against him was thought to be overwhelming. And then we heard from the Dream Team the phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out.” We also heard about incompetent lab techs, rogue cops and planted evidence. Simpson was acquitted and ever since has spent his time searching for the real killers.

Maybe something similar will happen with Casey. If it does, much like OJ, she can resume her own investigation into finding Caylee.

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Posted 11/7/08

Are Casey’s lawyers hedging their bets?

By Dennis Griffin

Last night on Nancy Grace it was said that attorneys for Casey Anthony are preparing papers in which they state that “if” Caylee is dead, it would be as the result of a terrible accident, possibly involving an overdose of a sedative or chloroform.

Up until now the Anthonys - Casey, her parents, and lawyers – have maintained that Caylee is absolutely alive; and in the custody of dangerous people. Casey’s lack of cooperation with authorities is due to her fear that if she breaks her silence the girl will be harmed.

If the Anthony side really believes that, why now raise the possibility that Caylee is deceased? Is it possible the the lawyers know – or at least suspect – the little girl is dead and her body may be found? Therefore, they are getting the “accidental overdose” defense out there ahead of time.

Tim Miller is leading a huge search over the weekend that will hopefully find Caylee’s remains. I certainly pray that effort is successful.



Denial or Strategy?

The term that someone is “in denial” is often used to explain the actions of a person going through a traumatic time. It has been applied to George and Cindy Anthony numerous times during the investigation of Caylee’s disappearance. And looking at the pair as parents and grandparents that have suffered a granddaughter who has gone missing,  and whose daughter is allegedly involved in the incident, I think it is tough to argue that Cindy and George don’t qualify to be in denial. However, when I look at the case in its entirety, I can’t help but question the “in denial” explanation as it applies to them.

The reason for my doubt is fairly simple: As more and more investigative details have been made public – particularly tapes and transcripts of law enforcement interviews with George and Cindy - I see changes in their stories. In my opinion, these changes along with the Anthony’s  actions, can be perceived as part of an intentional strategy to assist in Casey’s defense, rather than simply attributed to their not accepting reality.  

Particularly troubling to me is Cindy’s initial statement during her 9-1-1 call that something dead had been in the trunk of the car Casey had been using. After Casey’s arrest, Cindy changed the cause for the smell of death she had originally been so emphatic about, to rotting pizza or a dead squirrel stuck to the bottom of the car’s frame. Denial or strategy?

Even more disturbing to me is what George said in his FBI interview as opposed to his public posture. He told the agents in no uncertain terms that as a former lawman, he had experienced the odor of a decomposing body before; and that it is a smell one never forgets. He said that was the same smell that came from Casey’s car when it was retrieved from the tow yard.  He even said that he was so fearful of finding a dead body – possibly Caylee or even Casey – in the trunk that he asked a tow yard employee to be with him when he opened the lid. George’s description of the strength of that stench was confirmed by Lee Anthony during his police interview. You’d never know that from listening to George’s public statements, though. Denial or strategy?

 At one point, Cindy Anthony even tried to explain the odor away by alleging that persons unknown had planted a corpse in the trunk after the car was at the yard; and then they removed it before George claimed the vehicle. When that explanation literally didn’t pass the smell test, it fell by the wayside. Denial, or a lame attempt to explain the unexplainable?

I’m becoming more inclined to look at George and Cindy as defenders of their daughter not because they don’t believe that Caylee is dead, but because they do.  And now they are doing whatever they can to prevent their daughter from possibly spending the rest of her life behind bars.

 Anyway, that’s how I see it and why. Your thoughts?

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