Sunday, April 12, 2009

George and Cindy Anthony: Beyond Denial

Those who have followed the disappearance and murder of Caylee Anthony have been forced to focus attention on the slain toddler’s grandparents. At first, most people thought they were in denial. They couldn't believe that their daughter may have murdered their granddaughter. Both Cindy and George obviously loved Caylee very much. They also love their daughter, Casey, although reports from family and friends point to difficult relationships within the family.

In my coverage of the case, I have tried to refrain from comment about their unusual behavior. I chalked it up to denial, deep denial as did many. I allowed that, in their overwhelming grief, they were lashing out in all directions. I made it my focus to report on the legal proceedings which, at the present time, seem to be leading to a murder trial for Caylee’s mother, Casey.

In this labyrinth of a case, we have had a lot of distractions from this central focus. We’ve had the "Todd Black" distractions. We have had Casey’s lawyer, Jose Baez, investigated for possible shady dealings in the entertainment field to fund the defense. Private investigators Dominic Casey and James Hoover investigated the site of Caylee’s remains, supposedly led there by a psychic whose "dream" led them there. There is the meter reader, Roy Kronk. There has been talk of a "dream team" of lawyers and expert witnesses who have flocked to defend the alleged murderer. There is the undercover sting by ex-boyfriend Tony Lazzaro to ferret out information from Casey’s brother Lee. In the past week, we have seen the judge on the case and private investigator Dominic Casey file charges against Baez with the Florida Bar. It’s been a three-ring circus with an extensive side-show thrown in.

Most of all, we have had George and Cindy Anthony.

From the very beginning, Cindy Anthony took the offensive and blasted the media, law enforcement, and the public at large for not doing whatever she deemed necessary to find her granddaughter. Almost immediately, Cindy started to shovel blame for Caylee’s disappearance on Casey’s friends, most noticeably Jesse Grund, Ricardo Morales, and Amy Huizenga. She appeared everywhere on the media to plead for people to search for a living Caylee and at the same time put every roadblock she could on the efforts of TES to search for her granddaughter.

At first, George Anthony stayed in the background and allowed Cindy to rant and rave. As time went by, his temper flared and we caught sight of his tantrums. I clearly understand that he has been anguished about having to testify against his daughter to the grand jury.

However, in many ways, the Anthony’s have only themselves to blame for a good deal of the negative attention they have garnered. While they were begging the press to publicize the picture of there missing grandchild, they were antagonizing everyone at the same time. By denying the possibility Caylee might be dead, they were denying searchers the opportunity to find her remains in a respectful manner. They avoided the possibility that their own daughter could possibly be responsible. At one point, Cindy exclaimed that her daughter, when it was all over, would be called the "Mother of the Year."

Here are a few video links which demonstrate the manner in which George and Cindy dealt with the media and the public to push their agenda forward:

Cindy on Geraldo, July 19
Fox Interview with Cindy, July 21
Cindy on Greta, July 21, 2008
George’s Stinky Pizza Recipe, about August 3, 2008 (after seeing Casey in jail)
Cindy Anthony lashes out at the press, August 29
George Anthony Freaks Out: August 29

Indeed, they were under tremendous stress. Casey was home on bond that was posted by Leonard Padilla and they were constantly confronted by protesters in front of their property. However, instead of staying inside and allowing the police to handle disturbances, they still felt that they had to personally confront those people.

Once Casey was returned to jail on October 14, without bond on murder charges, the protesters left and George and Cindy were afforded a blessed peace and quiet at their home. However, they did not did not stop their continuing efforts to paint their daughter in a positive light and cast aspersions on those they attempted to blame for the crime. Every time there was a release of documents under the very liberal Florida Sunshine Law, it seemed there was another "sighting" of a live Caylee somewhere in the country. Most famous is the picture in an Orlando Mall of a little girl playing in a children’s area. In December, George and Cindy made a trip to California, ostensibly to personally check on a live-Caylee sighting tip. While they were there, they decided to plead their case on Larry King Live.

Here is a link to the first part which will lead you to the remainder if you have a desire to watch the entire program: Part 1

Caylee Marie Anthony’s remains were discovered the next morning, December 11, 2008. Nothing much was heard of from the family until George’s "suicide attempt" on January 23, 2009. He was hospitalized and eventually released for follow-up care near his home in Orlando.

Fast-forward to Thursday, April 9, 2009. After having delayed the depositions in the suit and counter-suit for defamation between Zenaida Gonzales due to George’s fragile emotional state and the fact that George and Cindy were seriously grieving the loss of their granddaughter, the couple appeared for depositions at the Morgan&Morgan law firm, accompanied by their attorney, Bradley Conway.

What followed will go down in legend as examples of how not to behave at a deposition. George Anthony, emotionally fragile, was ready to do battle with attorney Keith Mitnik. He argued, refused to answer key questions, and accused Mr. Mitnik of "flipping the bird" at him whilst pushing his glasses up on his nose. He too terrible offense at the term "remains" being used to describe the scattered bones of his granddaughter. Personally, I have used the term "remains" frequently in my posts. One can’t say "body," nor would one want to say "carcass," indicating bones. Unfortunately, "remains" is the most civilized way to describe what was left of little Caylee after the ravages of months in the Florida heat and torrential rains which flooded the area where she was found. One positive aspect of George’s testimony was that he totally abandoned the "stinky pizza" defense and repeated the facts as he told them to LE. He admitted it was the odor of death in the trunk of his daughter’s car.

Cindy behaved just as badly, if not worse. She chomped on her gum throughout the deposition and flounced around in her chair as she disparaged and insulted the attorney questioning her. She was so totally uncivilized and rude that, just watching the video, I am amazed how well the attorneys kept their wits about them and attempted to treat her with more kindness than she deserved.

At this point, both George and Cindy need a great deal of help. They have moved way beyond denial. They are out to prove someone else's son or daughter has done what they refuse to believe their own child has done. They are playing verbal games and positioning their testimony somewhere between fact and outright perjury. Most of all, they are trying to help Casey.

The best way that George and Cindy Anthony can help their daughter is to get some serious counseling and listen to the professional lawyer who has volunteered his time to help them through the ordeal. There is no way that I can believe Bradley Conway advised his clients to behave the way they did at the depositions. What they did there was exactly the opposite of helping their daughter. Instead, they left the impression that they had things to hide. By refusing to answer with a quick yes or no or giving short, succinct answers to questions, they drew attention to their outlandishness. By attacking the Morgan&Morgan attorneys and by acting in a smug, demeaning, and childish manner, they showed a contempt for this legal process. If they take the stand in the trial and attempt the same kind of behavior, they will not impress any jury as "grieving grandparents." Instead, they will be seen as contemptuous of the law. This will also not help Casey. If Casey Anthony is innocent, as she claims, the truth, and only the truth, will gain her an acquittal.



Unknown said...

You are so right. The Anthonys have no one to blame but themselves for the negative feelings toward them. THey are dragging totally innocent people through the mud while refusing to believe even the most basic truths about their daughter. They both lied shamelessly on the depositions which is all too clear to those of us who have watched all of the videotapes. They deserve to face charges of obstruction for impeding the investigation into this child's death. While supporting one's child is certainly understandable, the lengths they have gone to is going to come back and bite them in their lying asses.

Sprocket said...

Absolutely excellent write up on the latest drama ritanita. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

After watching Cindy's performance, Casey's string of lies is no longer a surprise. Indeed the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

grumpykitty said...

Thanks for the really terrific write-up, Rita. Casey is exactly like her putrid parents, right down to her unchecked violent behavior. Poor Caylee never had a chance.

ritanita said...

Sprocket, I do love compliments!

Anonymous @ 5:23, While listening to comments by the TH's after the depositions, I couldn't believe how many times the apple/tree saying was used. In fact, that phrase has been used quite frequently on any number of message boards where lurk. My favorite comment of all came from someone who said that George and Cindy may have garnered a lot of sympathy for their daughter. Unfortunately for Casey and her parents, it was all for the wrong reasons.

grumpykitty, feel better soon. You do have a way with alliteration! Love ya!

CaliGirl9 said...

Like so many apparently simple cases, defense attorneys are going to throw a lot of spaghetti at the walls and hope some of it sticks, thereby confusing a jury.

I felt bad for George. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

The Anthony's need professional help and fast. They are all going through the stages of grief and it is obvious they cannot do this without help. I pray that in time they will come to accept what has happened. This will only happen if they stop with the public outrage. It is totally displaced as their anger is at Casey. The reason we are all so drawn into this case is because we can see a totally dysfunctional family and its dynamics and how it is played out. We feel relieved that are family, while dysfunctional, can't be as bad as the Anthony's. I think Mr. Padilla has great in sight into this family and Nancy Grace needs to get off his back when he blames Cindy. He totally has her number and now after this depositon we all do. While Lee's laughter throughout his depositon was not normal, at least he promised Caylee to find out the truth.

katfish said...

Another great write up about this very strange case Ritanita! I know how difficult it can be to do an analysis of this case and remain objective, but you have done a very good job.

I have read both George and Cindy's deposition transcripts but have yet been able to sit through the videos. The double talk makes my head spin. When reading, I can go right back and and assure myself....did they really say that? Oh yes they did. Unbelieveable.

I'm afraid if they continue in this vein they won't just have Casey's legal problems to worry about....and rightly so. Outright deceit under oath.
katfish shaking her head and saying tsk tsk!

ritanita said...

Hey katfish!

I heard you on the blog-cast tonight.

It is hard to write fairly about them. It took me a long time to get it the best I could.

I haven't read the transcripts yet, but I have viewed the videos. Well, I'm almost finished with the videos. It's taken a while.

I'm aghast that Cindy refused to answer questions about the credit cards. She tries mighty hard to cover for Casey's thieving ways.

She admits to as much as $200 from her bank account.

Gee... I wonder why Cindy confiscated the JC Penny card and Amy's $200 from Casey's wallet the night she was arrested?

I think there's something about the JC Penny card that rubs the wrong way somewhere.

Guess we'll have to be patient for that.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article.
Have to say, though, I do feel for Cindy and George. Casey had to have been a nightmare of a daughter from a very early age. What I see in her parents is pure frustration and I do think they doubt Casey, just cannot admit it. Yet.

Sedonia Sunset said...

Rita, you are far too kind to George and Cindy Anthony. It shows that you are a person of kindness, compassion and class, unlike the Anthonys.

Frankly, I was HORRIFIED by their behavior in a court proceeding! Cindy's exaggerated, open-mouthed gum-chewing was incredibly tacky and I couldn't believe they allowed her to keep her gum in her mouth throughout the lengthy deposition! She is now being compared all over the internet to a cow chewing its cud, and there's really no denying the striking similarity.

The gum-chewing, however, was a minor thing. The outright lies, obfuscation and, most of all, combative smugness was absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! That wink she gave her attorney when she thought she had pulled something over on the opposing counsel was downright OBSCENE (in a frightening kind of way)! She was downright MANIC!

George was also combative and childish, right off the bat and I think he lost a LOT of ground as far as the sympathy he had previously been given by so much of the public.

Clearly they strongly resented being there and I certainly don't blame them for that, nor do I blame them for bringing their own camera. I think the big PRODUCTION Cindy made about their own camera was over-the-top, but I can think of many reasons to have my own recording. I DO blame them for being childish, malicious, self-entitled, dishonest, snide and obnoxious throughout the proceedings. Neither of them seemed to understand that THEY could not call the shots and that refusing to answer questions would subject them to contempt of court charges, as would walking out.

They made it crystal clear that they were FULL of contempt for the court. They may not have been in a courtroom in front of a judge, but they were under oath, just the same. You'd never know that from their behavior, though.

donchais said...

Their attitude and behavior during the depositions was appalling especially because they knew the tapes would shown to the public.

Brad Conway either didn't or couldn't prepare George and Cindy for the depositions.


Well done ritanita.

Anonymous said...

Sedonia Sunset said all that I was going to say. The gum chewing on Cindy's part was the ultimate disrespect for the justice system. Who does she think she is? I think if she was in a court of law, rather than a deposition, the judge would have had either her gum or her removed from the courtroom. She has caused people to really, really, really dislike her. And...her performance at the deposition was playing to the potential jury pool. I think Casey is much like we know where she gets her ultimate narsicism (sp). This family is so beyond dysfunction. I can't imagine what they have gone through in the way of double grief for Casey and Caylee, but, their behavior is so bizarre.

Anonymous said...

I was feeling sympathetic towards George and Cindy, but after watching their over-the-top behavior during the deposition, I no longer feel ANY sympathy for them. I thought they loved their little granddaughter? They dodged, whined, got nasty, probably lied, etc., and no longer seem to be balanced in their beliefs regarding Casey or supportive to their granddaughter. That cannot be good for the defense if they continue this and are called as witnesses during the trial as the jury will see that they aren't sticking to facts but are spinning everything to try and help Casey.

Anonymous said...

Great write up, I've followed this case from the get go and pegged the grandparents as crazy long ago.

PS---just wanted to mention, the date of the April 9th, not March 9th.

ritanita said...

Thanks! All fixed.

Anonymous said...

I have seen murderous gang thugs in courtrooms act more respectful than Cindy did in her depostion.

katfish said...

I love these radio shows,instant gratification when you call in and also a great chance to hear our blogging friends speaking voices.

Above you said, "I'm aghast that Cindy refused to answer questions about the credit cards. She tries mighty hard to cover for Casey's thieving ways."

I was also surprised that George refused to talk about those charges...according to Cindy's Mom, during her interview with LE, George opened a few accounts under Cindy's name as well.

I thought that maybe the reason Cindy wouldn't show LE the JC Penny's statement was because Casey had replaced that Pooh blanket with it. After Cindy told the police the blanket was missing I changed my mind....kinda.

I don't know if the state has any grounds to subpoena that charge statement...they might just find some attempts at coverup or premeditation if they did.

As you said we'll have to wait and see how this plays out.

Anonymous said...

Casey if far from the Mother of the year. Ant the Anthonys are the one that have covered up for Casey, protecting her. You do not impead a investigation and throw everyone us under the bus. Grow up Anthony's and tell the truth, your game is not going to work. Casey will be found guilty, because she is guilty. And I pray no one contributes to there new foundation, so they can sit on ther duff and be in charge of a foundation and never work again.

ritanita said...

Katfish, In the latest doc dump there is ample evidence LE has all their credit card receipts. It's in the file labeled EVIDENCE.

On the chart, they show whose credit card was used, when, where and if there was video. If there was video, it mentioned who was on it!

There are at least 3 of Casey using Mom's JC Penney card while she was "on the lam."