Friday, May 27, 2011

Attending The Casey Anthony Trial

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Jose Baez, Casey Anthony - Day 2 of Trial
(RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL / May 25, 2011)

Taking a departure from crafts today...
giving you a peek at the crime fighting Cathie.

I have been following crimes and trials for a very long time.  It was my friend Laura, who first introduced me to the idea that one could follow or learn about criminal cases.  We were in college and she had the book The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, it was the chilling story of Ted Bundy.  I was hooked.

Of course the next biggie was OJ and then came Scott Peterson.  I followed the Peterson story from the first day they broke into our news with the report of a missing Laci.  Steve and I were at the thrift store prepping season one of Creative Juice when my husband called to say the jury had reached a verdict in the Peterson trial. We raced back home, grabbed paper bags (in case I hyperventilated) and plopped in front of the TV to watch Beth Karas deliver the news that Scott was guilty.

Other cases I have followed are Natalee Holloway/ Joran Van der Slout, Amanda Knox and Susan Powell.  Thankfully the internet has many great resources for following.  Forums like Scared Monkeys, InSession and Websleuths offer chat, photos, links and theory swaps with other armchair detectives.


My heart melted, when the first news of a missing Caylee Anthony broke.  Her big brown eyes and sweet song to her great-grandpa were enough to draw me in.  Then I learned about her mother.....How could a mother not report her daughter missing while she partied and carried on for 31 days?  I was in disbelief and again, totally hooked on seeing this story to the end.  I have read all the depositions, watch every "bombshell" on Nancy Grace and have even visited the key locations in the case.

When I got the news that I would be doing an appearance at HSN right around the date the Anthony trial was set to begin my brain started to race.  By my calculations, I would be 85 miles away from the courthouse and my mom would be less than an hour away.  I called mom and asked her if she wanted to meet me and try to attend the trial.  It was an instant yes and my plan went into motion.

Here is my journey to Florida.


After flying from Los Angeles, I finally landed at 7:00pm in Tampa. The drive from the Tampa airport to St. Petersburg is very pretty, the sun setting on the water was beautiful.  I am thinking...How am I ever going to get up at 3:00am to get to HSN at 4:00am for my 7:00am show....I am on west coast time.  UGH.

 Late-night halls of HSN.

I made it HSN - got my tables prepped, went into hair and make-up and waited to go live.


I am up next!  I am not even thinking about my drive to Orlando yet. Focusing only on my tween silk-screen kits, the presentation and how hungry I am.


The show was a success!  I wrapped up the supplies and hightailed it to my hotel.
OPENING STATEMENTS were happening in less than 1 hour!!!!!!

I ordered up breakfast, had my monkeys on my ipad and the TV set to watch the opening arguments.



I was on pins and needles waiting for Linda Drane Burdick to begin her opening statements.  She did such a wonderful job.  While attending the trial, I got to quickly speak with her.  I congratulated her on a job well done.  She smiled sweetly and said "Thank You" - then her smile grew bigger.  I was so excited to share an exchange with her.   She is such a smart firecracker.

Woo Hoo!!  It was time to head up to Orlando and for my adventure to really begin!  I did not want to miss a moment so I streamed the audio on my ipad.  For safety sake, I decided not to play the video...lol.  Keep my eyes on the road!!!



I arrived!  First stop.... find the courthouse.

Day 1 - Casey Anthony Trial
Exterior Courthouse

 The front courtyard of the courthouse.  The protester boxes had been removed.
Will they need them on verdict day?

Beautiful Building.
Orange County Courthouse
425 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801

 Mom and me in front of the courthouse.


Media Camps.

Security....everywhere.

Time for bed.
We have to get up at 4:15 am to get in line.

Day 2 - Casey Anthony Trial
Exterior Courthouse

 6:00 am - Day 2 - Anthony Trial

We arrived at the courthouse at 5:00 am and we promptly got in line.  We were near the beginning so I was now positive we were going to get in.  I was feeling a little guilty for pressing my mom so hard about getting ready quickly...lol.  I texted my hubby and family to let them know the news and updated my twitter / facebook.  I met some nice people in line.  Magpie from The Hinky Meter was the first person we met.  We also met a nice lady from Florida who has a Vacation Home Business.  We met a group of ladies (flgirl & xmygrits) from the insession boards who all met up to attend the trial.  The line also included a small group of law students who sat on the ground studying for an exam.  One woman had been in line since 11:45 pm...wow!  One gentleman was a little off and security had to tell him he was not going to be able to attend.  He took the news in stride and we never saw him again.

 The sun is coming up!  The time is near.

 A court official passed out rules documents to each person in line.  It was really sobering to be holding an official document in a case that I had been following for so long.  I was smitten seeing Judge Perry's signature.  I must admit to a bit of a crush on him.  

 Love me some Judge Belvin Perry.

This is what a ticket looks like.  I was seat 15 and mom was seat 16.  As it turns out we were in prime seats for being televised.  While we were in court my emails and facebook were going nuts with folks emailing me and asking if I was at the Casey Anthony trial.  I guess the red hair is a giveaway.

 You can see our assigned seats here.  This is a picture my hubby took of the TV while the trial was live.  This was after lunch.  Some folks did not return.  After a little while the seats began to fill back up.




While we were waiting to go in I did a few interviews.  You can see one here.

Media is waiting for council, George Anthony and Cindy Anthony to arrive.

Jeff Ashton arrives.

George and Cindy Anthony arrive and the media goes crazy.  I really can't imagine being in their shoes for one moment.  Life as they knew it is over.  At the end of the day it got really hairy when a young man got in their face.  Security quickly ushered him away.  I felt really bad for them - it was scary.

During the past three years, I have not been a fan of the Anthony family and often felt that "Save Casey" became their focus instead of "Justice for Caylee."  As the trial gets under way, I see their shift to the state and for that I will take a second evaluation at my opinions. 

I was furious with Baez's opening statements and personally feel like it was criminal of him to throw everyone under the bus.  At this point in time, I don't believe anything he said about a drowning, George or Roy Kronk.  It was just more lies lies lies from the Casey Camp.

I was really glad George Anthony was "Team Caylee" when he took the stand on Day 1.  Holding out hope for the rest of the family.  One thing to note is the during court, Casey never looked at her parents and I really did not see them trying to look at her.  Also, they are positioned away from direct view of the jury.  During court, Cindy and I made eye contact and exchanged a small acknowledgement of each other.

Inside the courthouse.

The ceiling.

The view from the 23rd floor where the court room is located.

I spotted lots of Crime reporters, authors,
producers and legal analysts!

(I sat by him and heard all his commentary)

(Insession correspondent)

(She was the first crime reporter I listened to on radio.
KFI Los Angeles she covered the Peterson Trial)

(Had a quick chat in the ladies room with her)

(My hero - I sat by her and complemented her on her coral dress)


COURT IS NOW IN SESSION


This was almost my view of Inmate Casey Anthony.   I had direct eyeline with her the entire day.  She rarely looked around.  I saw her look and watch Tony Lazaro.  She looked at all of her friends.  She never looks to the media or public.  Her stature is very small.  She has lost a ton of weight since she was first incarcerated.  Her eyes appear sunken and her skin is ashen.  She knows how to play the game.  Serious and focused when the jury is in the court room, light and smiling when they are not in the room.  She behaves as if she is lead council.  Shuffling papers, making notes, summonsing her other attorneys with with a crocked finger motion.

It was really really really unbelievable.  She is one specimen.

This pretty much sums up what Casey and Baez look like when the jury is not in the room.

Inside the courtroom.  From my view, I could see Jeff Ashton's computer with the evidence photos before they were published to the jury.  It was interesting to see where they were going a little bit ahead of the time.

For me, seeing Anthony (Tony) Lazaro testify was pretty amazing.  He was directly involved with Casey during the 31 days.  It was heartbreaking to hear his story.  He, like so many other people who knew Casey, was hit with the news of a missing Caylee like a Mack truck.  He was completely in shock.  He only looked at Casey when the prosecution made him identify her.  She was very upset when they made her stand.  I must admit I had a secret smile on my face.  When he walked out of the courtroom, he walked with purpose.  I think he did good.

What is in the bag?  I guess we will have to wait and see.


Caylee Marie Anthony
August 9, 2005 - June 16, 2008

At the end of the day, mom and I were exhausted. It was very interesting and I am glad I made the journey.  If you made it all the way to the end of this epic post, you might be wondering about the Jury.  I opted not to write about the jury to protect them and the entire process. Instead, I will just look into this beautiful child's eyes and say a silent word that justice is coming.  Rest in Peace little Caylee.

16 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Thank you for sharing your trip. I am not sure that I would be able to stomach seeing Casy in the courtroom. I believe she is guilty.

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  2. Cathie, do you follow the West Memphis Three case at all? If not, you should really look into it. It's an intersting one, but so sad.

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  3. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Cathie,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us...I cannot believe the case has had so much exposure in a positive way too....If there is anything positive to recollect it can be found in the hearts of those who fight for Caylee Anthony's justice. I have worked in the courthouse of Fort Lauderdale Florida, and cannot begin to imagine the hoopla each day to sit and watch the trial and case unfold now in this technical savvy world. I know some of these people, Cindy, George,Lee, Mallory and Casey's friends are going through a very intense and traumatizing time in there life, though their nervousness will soon be over the time spent with Caylee Marie Anthony will live on....Justice is so difficult to attain, let alone suffice to the circumstance. This precious angel will live on in many of our hearts and we shall never forget her, at least people who took time from their busy lives to pay attribute to her will....Its a shame those who had her, and were blessed with her couldn't treasure that blessing... Thank you for sharing, beautifully and very tastefully written...My best....Ramona

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  4. Anonymous3:04 PM

    What a FAB read.


    Cheers from Toronto, Canada.

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  5. Andrea - I know a little about the story - I must dive in for more. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Thanks Ramona. I appreciate your thoughts and your story.

    Cathie

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  7. Thank you Cathie, from a fellow monkey! Your pics and words give those of us not lucky enough to attend the trial, a glimpse into what things are like behind the scenes. Reading along with you gave me a feeling of having been right there. How awesome it would have been to meet Linda! And others who were there as well. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  8. Thank you Wyks, It was something I will never forget. Now let's get a conviction.

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  9. Sue in Georgia4:43 PM

    I throughly enjoyed your observations about the trial-thank you so much for sharing!

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  10. wow... amazing. Thanks for sharing and attending for those of us that couldn't. I have followed this case since day one and am embarrassed to say that i am infatuated with it. I agress with you cathie... let's go for that conviction. For little Caylee's sake

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  11. Darla6:09 PM

    From a fellow Monkey....Thank you so much for the pics and your wonderful post. Felt like I was there with you!

    JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE!

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  12. Well, you nailed it girl! I told you what got me started in crime at the tender age of 11. I have site upon site of true crime, famous cases, etc. I'll hook you up. Growing up with The Boston Strangler, Kennedy Assasination, Richard Speck, Charles Manson, Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, The Hillside Stranglers, Richard Ramirez......and so many more. When Mike and Icame out to CA to some of my old stomping grounds, we went straight up the Cielo Drive to check out the Tate/Polanski house. That was one year before it was demolished and that ugly piece of crap was built. Big case for us in TX, well there have been many but one I continue to follow is the Darlie Routier case in which she was convicted of killing one of her two boys. Very interesting case, another Mom kills. We've been to the house it occurred in. THAT is an excellent story for you true crime fans with slot of questions still floating around and conspiracies to boot. Check it out.

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  13. Amazing Cathie! What an opportunity you had?!? Wow!

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  14. Cathy,

    Thanks for the in person perspective of the trial. I don't know how you have time for so many things in your life. Great blog, as well. When the trial is over, maybe I will have the focus to start crafting again!

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  15. thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing with us your journey. i needed to hear all of this, especially her dual personalities when the jury is in or out of the courtroom. i've always felt she is highly manipulative, egotistical, and well, essentially a sociopath. that poor, beautiful child deserved so much more. i feel the same way you do about her & even if she did drown (which i DO NOT believe she did) how could a mother simply toss her daughter out in a wooded area to decompose in the elements. they couldn't...at least not one with an ounce of love & compassion in her heart for her child. again, thank you for sharing!!

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  16. Wow! Thanks for sharing your experience in the courtroom! It pretty much sums up what I thought of Casey A. all along! I am glad you got to go!

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I love comments and questions. Sometimes it takes me a few days to reply. Have a wonderful day!

Cathie

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