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Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery Recap 'Little Girl Lost'

Updated on April 12, 2017

Casey Anthony: An American Murdery Mystery On ID

The many faces of Casey Anthony.
The many faces of Casey Anthony.


Before the recap, I would like to make a few things clear. Before the airing of this special, I knew little to nothing about the Casey Anthony case. All I've heard and seen were quick sound bites and snippets of Casey in handcuffs. And of course, the famous acquittal. Other than that, I'm going into this case blind. I do not have an opinion on whether or not she's actually guilty or innocent–yet.

Investigation Discovery is a network that focuses on criminal cases and investigation. They do a great job on not only reporting on the case but showing both sides: there are recreations of the case itself featuring actors/actresses, expert analyst, crime reporters, investigators handling the case, and (never-before-seen) footage of interviews with the family. This special is perhaps the most thorough outside investigation into this case. I was extremely intrigued through the TV spots and am eager to discuss it.


On July 15, 2008, Cindy Anthony (Casey's mom) called 911 and reported that her vehicle had been stolen. Later, she tells police that it smelled like there was a dead body in the car. At this point, police discover that it's been 31 days since anyone's seen two-year-old Caylee Anthony. To make things worse, her mother (Casey Anthony) decided to not report her missing until confronted by police.

Right off the bat, Casey's neglectful attitude as a parent is obvious. Her excuse for not reporting her daughter missing because she is afraid of her mother's reaction is frivolous. And she claims that the nanny was going to harm the child if she called the police. But, her boyfriend's roommate at the time notices that Casey would still come over to hang out, even without her daughter with her. There's no sense of urgency or worry. If she's truly innocent of the crime and then she's at least guilty for being an unfit mother. And what she does next, doesn't help her case either.


Investigators try to help Casey find her daughter, but her lies do nothing but stall the investigation. First, Casey claims she dropped her child off at her nanny's. However, when questioned by police, the nanny Zenaida Gonzales denies babysitting or knowing the mother and daughter. Casey tells another lie when she claims to work at Universal Studios. The investigators follows her and put up with the charade until she eventually admits that she is indeed lying.

At this point, I think it's clear that Casey Anthony is covering up for something. It's also evident that's she's trying to buy time. Maybe, it's her nervousness and freight that continues to allow her to spout out these lies? Surely, a mother no matter the cost would do anything to find her child. Any who, Casey's lying has now become criminal and she's arrested.


Casey has lawyered up and is longer cooperating with the investigation; however, the evidence continues to pile up against her. Police find out that the trunk of the vehicle that was reported stolen by Cindy Anthony was vacuumed clean. However, there is a small, visible stain. Also, several hairs are found. And the smell that Cindy reported, the police smell it too and come to the conclusion that there was indeed a dead body in the trunk.

The police now almost have enough to charge Casey Anthony for murder. The hairs, stain, smell, and lies all begin to add up. And now they have evidence that there was something decomposing inside the trunk. To make matters worse, a utility worker makes a grizzly discovery inside the forest. There is a human skull on the ground and DNA tests prove that it is Caylee Anthony.

The Family

George (Casey's father) and Cindy Anthony struggle between finding Caylee and believing their daughter. When George and Cindy go see Casey in jail, they walk on eggshells. Both parents attempt to extract information but Casey refuses to say anything concrete. She also doesn't want to take any responsibility for her daughter's disappearance. Eventually, the conversation ends and they are no closer to finding Caylee.

Casey and her parents' relationship clash with not only the investigation, but the public as well. When Casey makes bail, all heal breaks loose. And that statement Cindy previously made to police regarding the dead body was later recanted by her under interrogation. ID then shows footage of the furious public protesting outside the Anthony household. As search parties fail, more and more people feel like Casey got away with murder.

Perhaps, the most disturbing segment of this episode was how calm and relaxed Casey seemed to be about Caylee's disappearance. While in jail, Casey is showed pining for her boyfriend and not her daughter. And it was Cindy who called the police and made the missing child report. Perhaps, most chilling is the offhanded remark Casey makes while talking to her parents. When both grandparents plea to Casey for more information, they let slip that she might be dead. To which Casey retorts, "Surprise, surprise."



Before I end this article, I'm reminded of the sensitive subject regarding children. And the heinous nature of this crime. In an attempt to remember Caylee in a positive light, ID asks friends and families to tell them some qualities about her. According to friends and families, she was highly intelligent. She had a friendly personality and was a joy to be around. No matter what happens further in this special, nothing should overshadow the short and eventful life this little girl once had.

On the next part of Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery, ID puts an end to the narrative of missing Caylee Anthony and steps into the courtroom to show the trial itself. The special will air on Investigation Discovery (check your local channel listings) on April 10th (10p.m. eastern). So far, Casey's apathetic behavior speaks volumes. But, what are your thoughts on the Casey Anthony case? Comment below.


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