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article imageOp-Ed: Casey Anthony — Her contribution to popular culture

By Alexander Baron     Jul 5, 2013 in Crime
Orlando - Two years ago today, Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder of her young daughter. How will she be remembered by future generations?
There are those who believe there will be no civilisation on this planet a hundred years from now, but with that very minor caveat, how will the name Casey Marie Anthony be recorded, not only in the history books but in popular culture?
You will find a timeline of the case here, a case that was absolutely extraordinary, indeed unique. What other mother has "lost" her young daughter and not reported her missing after 31 days?
Defendants and litigants often lie in court proceedings, including innocent ones. Casey Anthony didn't take the stand at her trial — she didn't dare — but she lied repeatedly and grotesquely to the police and to all and sundry from the moment her daughter disappeared.
The trial was notable for many features:
The senior criminal trial judge in Florida.
Two people gaoled for contempt of court on two separate occasions.
Jose Baez, arguably one of the most bellicose lawyers ever to set foot inside a courtroom, a man who threw allegations and innuendo against anyone and everyone.
Grotesque allegations of sexual abuse against family members.
A media frenzy.
A shared hatred that united the nation across barriers of race, age and class.
And the dumbest jury ever empanelled in the State of Florida.
Lizzie Borden of Massachusetts was charged with the August 1892 double murder of her parents. Her acquittal spawned the child's rhyme:
"Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one."
Casey Anthony went better than this, inspiring a number of songs including Pants On Fire, although to date — unlike Miss Borden — she hasn't had a rock band named after her.
The expression "thrown under the bus" is of fairly recent origin, but did not originate with the Casey Anthony trial. Nevertheless, it was popularised by pundits who commented on the trial tactics of Jose Baez.
It is quite likely the word "kronked" has likewise been used here and there too, but if it is eventually accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary, it will be on the strength of its useage in this trial. Roy Kronk was the man who found Caylee Anthony's body; a rather sad, isolated individual, he was the subject of vicious smears by people who never knew him, and at least one who did.
On occasion, bad guys (and gals) find their images pinned to dart boards; Casey Anthony went one better by being dunked in effigy at a fair.
After her shock acquittal, there was speculation that Casey Anthony would "sell her story" and make a small fortune. There has been an ad hoc campaign by several parties - including Roy Kronk - to ensure this does not happen. Anthony has been declared bankrupt. In the UK, a bankrupt is said to be "on Carey Street" — the location of the bankruptcy court. Perhaps in future we will see the American version alluded to as "on Casey street".
There have been a number of documentaries of varying length about the life of Casey Anthony and the death of her daughter, and a full length TV film Prosecuting Casey Anthony, which was released earlier this year.
There have also been a number of books, including by Jeff Ashton, who together with Linda Drane Burdick mounted a stellar and impeccably honest prosecution of what was surely an open and shut case. His book is called Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony, and can be found on Amazon.
Other books on the case include Presumed Guilty: Casey Anthony: The Inside Story by Jose Baez — for what it is worth; this is either a collaboration with or was ghost written by Peter Golenbock. On the subject of ghosts, there is also Casey Anthony's Curse by an anonymous author, a kindle that is said to be "a satirical short story mocking the infamous Casey Anthony and her estranged relationship with the Devil". There is also Casey Anthony: Sentenced To A Living Hell, by the same author, who also goes by the name David H. Screws.
These last two may be her greatest legacy. Perhaps a hundred years from now, young mothers will discipline their offspring with warnings like this:
"If you don't brush your teeth, Casey Anthony will come and get you, and you'll end up in a rubbish bag in the swamp."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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