Why we care about the Casey Anthony trial
Yesterday I said that it would be the only time that I addressed the Casey Anthony case on my blog. Of course, that was before the article got over 200 views! Apparently I should have been covering this topic for weeks. The bar chart showing the trend of page views over time looks like a skyscraper sitting in an empty field.
Anyway, I’m going to swallow my pride and follow my wife’s suggestion to do a follow up article on the topic. Yesterday she asked the question – “Why do I care so much?” She wished that she had never gotten caught up in the trial. The outcome was so bitterly disappointing that it would be less painful if she had been completely ignorant of it.
I started to think about her question. Why do we care about this situation so much more than the other hundreds of trials where parents have done terrible things to their children. I certainly didn’t expect to care. I can’t tell you how many times I left the room while she was watching the trial or the number of times that I asked her to watch it in a different room. Yet somewhere along the way it started to matter to me.
I’ve come up with a list of the 5 things that I think grabbed the world’s attention. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.
Justice for Caylee – I think this is the starting point. This is the factor that all of the others build upon. Justice is the reason that the judicial system exists to begin with. Caylee’s life was snuffed out before it could really begin. I think all of us want to see the person who did this identified and brought to justice, regardless of what you felt about the trial’s verdict.
The Parental Aspect – The fact that the victim in this situation was a defenseless little girl, one who was just beginning to talk, grabbed the attention of everybody. Then to find out that the evidence was pointing towards the girl’s mother, her sole guardian, grabbed the attention of parents in a big way. They thought about their own children and hard a cathartic experience. They wanted to understand how she could do it. In addition, they hated her. It’s like the situation with Howard Stern listeners. The people that hate him listen even more than the people that love him. These parents hate her; they couldn’t pull their eyes away.
The Party Girl – In the beginning people’s interest might have been 5 out of 10. That was until the pictures surfaced of her partying after Caylee was already “missing”. When that happened people’s interest broke the scale. It’s so unthinkable, so brazen and inappropriate, that people immediately realized that this girl is something new. They could only think of 2 options. Either she killed her baby and was so happy about it that she had to celebrate or her baby was truly missing and she didn’t care at all. Either thought grieves the heart of a moral person and creates a deep dislike for Casey. This created an emotional attachment to the case that exceeded either of the first two reasons and the cry for justice became deafening.
Catching the Liar – We all have a desire to see lies be exposed to truth and to see liars get caught. Casey Anthony has been proven to be one of the most unrelenting and unremorseful liars in modern history. She lied about multiple employments. She created fictional people and then piled additional lies on top of that to explain why they were never seen. She even lied to police when her baby was “missing” to throw them off the trail. With a history of lying so well documented the thought of her telling the truth about her innocence was laughable. We wanted to see the liar confronted with her lies and told in no uncertain terms that we saw through them. I think this is one of the more disappointing parts of the verdict for people. To have the jury acknowledge the lies, but not follow through to the logical conclusion was shocking for many of us.
The Defense Tactics – I admit this one might be specific to me. The tactics of the defense grabbed my attention and increased my level of interest. The fact that they grabbed George Anthony and dragged him through the mud galled me. The fact that they dragged Ray Kronk through the mud, even after police ignored him, angered me. The accusations that had nothing to do with the case and did nothing but tear the family apart made me sick. The thought that all of these things came from the girl who is a proven liar made me angry. I feel like there is an additional reckoning, an additional punishment required for what she put these people through.
What about you? Were there other reasons that you got caught up in it? What grabbed your attention the most?