As an attorney and former mental health professional, I found the Casey Anthony case disturbingly compelling. Casey partied for a month after her toddler Caylee died. She obtained a tattoo, “Bella Vita” (beautiful life), and insisted Caylee was kidnapped by a fictitious nanny named Zanaida Gonzalez. A real-life Zanaida Gonzalez has just served Anthony with a defamation suit.
Casey’s attorney, Jose Baez, in a stunning opening statement, suddenly claimed Caylee accidentally drowned. He then accused Casey’s father and brother of molesting Casey. He argued Casey’s partying (and lying) resulted from being abused, yet provided no evidence.
The judge later ruled that since there was no evidence of abuse, Baez was barred from addressing the abuse issue in closing. By then, however, Baez had essentially put Casey’s father on trial while Casey remained silent throughout. Did the jury realize opening statements do not constitute evidence?
Pundits debated whether Casey would take the stand, yet an attorney may not put a client on the stand if he/she knows the client is going to lie. Casey does nothing but lie, as documented on tape.
The jury returned an O.J.-like verdict. Comparisons are warranted. Casey’s manipulative behavior, intense narcissism, pathological lying and festive partying behavior after Caylee’s death are red flags for sociopathy.
Years ago, in my graduate psychology program, my clinical psych professor stated someday we would find that sociopaths are simply wired up differently from the rest of us. If Casey isn’t a sociopath, she has provided an impeccable impersonation.