on November 18, 2011
When I heard that Jeff Ashton was writing a book about the trial of Casey Anthony for the murder of her daughter Caylee, I knew I would buy it as soon as it was released. I followed the case closely, mesmerized, as was much of the country, and I watched a lot of the trial. I did not, however, have high expectations that the book would be well written and informative. It was released only a few months after the end of the trial and written by someone whose background is as an attorney, not a writer, and someone who is adjusting to being retired after a very all-consuming career. I have read other non-fiction books by authors with some of those same qualities and many are clearly in need of more time to reflect on what happened and in need of much more proofreading and the assistance of a good editor. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It is extremely well written and provides information in a way that helped me to understand more about Caylee's death and the decisions made in prosecuting Casey for her murder. I especially found the information about the discovery of the body and the processing of the crime scene and conclusions reached from what was found very informative.
Mr. Ashton is certainly not lacking in self-confidence about his work, but I would think a strong ego may be a good quality in an attorney, particularly a trial attorney. Watching the trial, I was very positively impressed with the work of the prosecution and I will never understand the jury's decision. Thank you to all who worked so hard to try to see that Casey was held accountable for killing her daughter and thank you, Mr. Ashton, for taking the first few months of your retirement to help the rest of us gain a better understanding of the crime and the trial. Maybe now, Mr. Ashton will be able to spend some time enjoying his family and spend less time thinking about the side of human nature that he had to face in this case and the other prosecutions he was involved in.
on November 15, 2011
The first part of the book is a review of the case facts... stuff that was already hashed up a million times over to anyone who's followed this case. It's a nice refresher course and describes every detail, so anyone who hasn't followed (or our kids who may want to read about it in the future) will know exactly what went on.
At about chapter 13-16 (somewhere around there) it starts getting really good. We get to hear about how sneaky Baez was - you haven't seen half of it til you've read this! Imagine that slimy lawyer we saw on the news and at trial... that was only a fraction of how disgusting he truly is!
There are parts that are funny.. like when Linda Drane Burdick dressed up in a "Casey Anthony" costume (blue hoodie with the number 82 from Target & white sunglasses) as a joke for the ride to jury selection...
Wow.. just read the book - you won't be disappointed - well, you might become 10000 times angrier at Baez and Casey and hate them a lot more lol They even explain how the fake drowning/molestation story came about.
Kudos to Mr. Ashton for writing this book. I truly hope it helped him to heal... it was obvious that his emotions got the best of him (all fo them) Mr. Ashton, Ms. Burdick & Mr. George are Caylee's heros.
on December 2, 2011
I loved this book!
I followed this case relentlessly! I read all 2500 documents of evidence, the 837 pages of jail house letters and watched every minute of the trial but this book still told me stuff that I didn't know. When the trial was over I mentioned to my husband that I would love to sit down and have lunch with Jeff Ashton and chat about the behind the scenes that I didn't get to see, I would love detective Yuri Melich to be in that lunch too. Anyway this book made me feel like I went to lunch with Jeff Ashton and told all that he could possibly tell.
The evidence - it breaks it down for you, what happened in 31 days, what the police thought and the problems they had with the Anthonys. Not a whole lot of new stuff in this section if you watched the trial and read articles online and studied the timeline. But it did give insight as to what the detectives were thinking and of course Ashton's point of view of the whole thing.
The Trial - It discusses everything that happened to prepare for the trial and gives Jose Baez a real beating (he deserves it, don't worry.) All pre-trial information was new information to me and it even goes into detail about Casey Anthony and how Casey 4.0 was developed (the lie that actually went to trial) it was more horrible than what Baez actually presented in his opening statement. The trial itself I watched everyday and Ashton does a good job summing it up and giving his point of view, plus he discusses what went on in the side bars that we weren't able to hear.
The Jury - They didn't do their job. Period. Ashton also goes into detail about each Juror and his personal thoughts on their decision. He is alot more candid and frank in this book than he is in interviews.
The Epilogue made me cry. I'm still affected by this decision. It saddens me that her lies once again worked and her slimy lawyer won this case. I still don't think it will have clients knocking at his door though.
A note to Ashton - (Though I doubt he will read this.) Your fan base isn't because you were associated with someone who was famous (casey.) It was because we loved what you were doing for Caylee. You stood up for her when no one else would. It should never take 31 days to report a child missing and I guess Casey had everyone fooled but it's still hard to believe thatit took 31 days for the grandparents to catch on. Team Caylee!
on November 16, 2011
I work in Orlando & grew up in the area. I watched this case from day one & was immediately impressed by Jeff Ashton. I read a sample of the book on my Kindle and was immediately drawn in; I had to buy it. I can relate to a lot of the descriptions and surroundings he talks about in FL and love his insight on his career and his impression of the defense. I would absolutely say this is a must read of you are at all still interested in this case and on the team of knowing this woman is guilty of murdering her child. Reading this makes me want to go to law school.
on November 15, 2011
Let me start by saying I watched every day of the Casey Anthony Trial, watched all the talking head news shows, and thought I knew everything about this case. Ashton managed to put new and fresh information in the book that most people will have never known. It's easy to read, it follows a timeline making it easy to picture how events were unfolding. I adored Jeff Ashton's passion during the trial and it also shines through in his book. This is a really, really good book for anyone interested in this particular case, juries, or true life crime. I highly recommend it!
on November 16, 2011
I found this book interesting because it provided background on what went on before the trial and during the many "sidebars" that had not been reported before. The antics from Jose that we observed in court was the just tip of the iceburg! I'm surprised that Judge Perry didn't throw him out of the courtroom.
on November 18, 2011
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I wasn't one of these people who watched every second of the trial, but I did keep up to date as it progressed. I, like 99% of this country felt that Casey absolutely got away with murder. I think that the reason that the prosecution was unable to convince the jury was because little Caylee laid in that swamp for 6 months and all the evidence was washed away. So, the lesson learned was this: if you want to get away with murder like Casey did, all you have to do is LIE. Lie your ass off and buy time for evidence to be destroyed, then hire THE MOST SLEAZY lawyer you can find. Let said lawyer make a complete mockery of our justice system, fabricate all sorts of bogus stories, completely waste everyone's time and money on ludicrous motions and filings and like Casey, never EVER tell the truth. Simple as that!
I think Jeff Ashton has every right to his opinions and every right to tell the story. Jose Baez is obviously a scumbag, everyone already knew that, Mr. Ashton just confirmed it. Anyone who followed this case even slightly is interested in the behind the scenes action that went on and Jeff Ashtom simply filled us in. I guarantee you, the defense attorney's will be next to publish, but we all know they are all PROVEN LIARS and PROVEN SLEAZEBALLS. So, I for one will NEVER purchase a book and give my money to anyone who helped a child murderer go free.
I like how honest Mr. Ashton was in telling the whole story. He definitely had no problem pointing out his and the rest of the prosecutions flaws and mistakes. Yes, he is very angry with Jose Baez and when you finish the book you'll understand completely why that is. Jose is a very shady and dishonest character and is clearly unethical and immoral. A child was MURDERED and the murderer got off scot free, of course he's angry!!! We're talking about a dead 2 year old!!! I just can't wrap my brain around these reviewers making comments about Jeff Ashton just being angry and wanting to "whine" about it.
All you NORMAL people out there: all you need to know is that this book is a FANTASTIC read! I could not put it down. There is a LOT of information in this book that we didn't hear about during the trial and you will not regret buying this book. EXCELLENT!
on November 28, 2011
Watching Casey Anthony metamorphize from sex kitten to school marm for the trial was disturbing, but the face of evil remained the same. I'm sure anyone getting close enough to her would have stared into dead eyes, the mirror of her black soul.
Having watched the trial in its entirety, there was little new information in this book, but then how could there be? I did learn that Casey had told both of her court appointed psychiatrists that her father had deliberately drowned Caylee. Also, the defense was always going to go with the stranger abduction lie until Caylee's remains were found. They then invented the new BIG LIE of the accidental drowning with George taking charge of and disposing the body. Molestation by George was thrown in to explain away Casey's bizarre behavior leading up to her being caught by Cindy.
The book was well written and gave a good behind the scene picture of the trial. I don't believe Mr. Ashton, Ms. Burdick, or the plethora of expert witnesses could have done any more than they did to prove Casey guilty beyond a REASONABLE doubt. The jury apparently was devoid of the definition of reasonable. Personally, I found her guilty beyond ANY doubt.
As Mr. Ashton believes, I also believe Casey killed Caylee shortly after her father left for work. She chloroformed her and covered her airways with duct tape taken from the garage. She then wrapped the baby in her Winnie the Pooh blanket, placed the baby and blanket in two black garbage bags, and placed all that in the white laundry bag also taken from the garage. She then put that precious little girl in the trunk of her car, and there she remained for at least a couple days. Ultimately she disposed of her by throwing the bag into the snake and insect infested swamp.
The myriad evidence speaks for itself. No other person on this planet had a motive for killing Caylee Marie. Casey appeared to be the only person who knew Caylee that was not devastated by her death. On the contrary, Casey was quite the happy camper and enjoyed herself immensely. I just can't decide whether she's a sociopath or a psychopath.
Casey Anthony will never be free. As long as she lives she will carry a dead baby around her neck. And all will see it except delusional people who are capable of denying reality.
on November 18, 2011
I followed the case religiously for three years & was shocked, hurt, bewildered at the not guilty verdict. I can only imagine what Jeff Ashton & the state felt, a man who pored his heart & soul into the case, proved Casey's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt only to have 12 pinheads come back with an unforgivable not guilty verdict. This is a side of the story that needed to be told. I have a feeling the writing of the book was a cleansing experience for Ashton. I didn't think Ashton's book would tell me anything new, but I learned at least 7 new facts about the case, and they are really hard to swallow if you care about Caylee. The last chapter was so sad, Ashton really pored his heart out about the jury's inexplicable verdict & how Cindy chose Casey over Caylee & helped set her guilty daughter free with her perjury. If it's possible for me to hate Casey anymore, this book did it. She's a remorseless psychopath with not one redeeming quality, a slick one behind the scenes that ran the show. An innocent, blubbering waif when the jurors were in the room. An angry, bossy, in charge dictator when they were gone.
Much like an exorcism Ashton needed to purge all the evil that is Casey, her sick headed Mother, her dirty scumbag lawyers & the 12 brain-dead jurors from his head. He'll never get over the loss but I'm sure laying it all out in the book was good for his mental health. And I think it will deflate any book of lies Casey or her grifter parents or crooked lawyers might try to sell to make blood money from Caylee's death.
Ashton writes that the jurors were "coddled" and "pampered" and, most damning, completely wrong in their decision. Ashton contends that the state only needed to prove that Caylee was, indeed, murdered. In that regard, he says that the circumstantial evidence against Casey was overwhelming -- but the jurors simply didn't care.
"What I find truly baffling," Ashton notes, "is that somehow they did not see proof enough to convict her of a lesser murder charge or even manslaughter."
on December 12, 2011
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd
Sometimes, truth is a lot stranger than fiction. Do you remember where you were at 10 AM on October 3, 1995? I remember riding around with a co-worker awaiting the verdict of what was hailed as the "trial of the century"--the O.J. Simpson double-homicide murder trial. Had one been orbiting the planet when OJ was declared "not guilty," I am quite sure he would have seen the earth tremble a bit.
In spite of what seemed like obvious motive and plenty of culpable evidence - ultimately, OJ was acquitted of any criminality in the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman, an aspiring model who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. [As an aside, justice caught up to OJ Simpson in December 2008 when he was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery when he attempted to "reclaim" sports memorabilia at gunpoint.]
Jeff Ashton, who served as lead prosecutor against another famous murder suspect--Casey Anthony--has written a no-holds-barred account of the trial that shocked Florida in Imperfect Justice. In 2008, Casey Anthony was charged with the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. Although she had reported Caylee missing, Casey's lies and malfeasance depicted her as a mother who had grown tired of the responsibilities of raising a child. Instead, it appeared as if Casey Anthony wanted to be the consummate party girl...even emblazoning a tattoo on her back indicating "Bella Vita" (meaning "Beautiful Life") that she got weeks after Caylee died.
Ashton shares the prosecution's case in what should have been a slam-dunk conviction against Casey. In just under 24 hours of deliberation, however, the jury acquitted Casey of any criminal involvement in her daughter's death. The shock and outrage felt by the public was the fodder of all the news agencies covering the case. As Casey Anthony was whisked away under cover of darkness to a new life, there seemed to be very little justice for Caylee. Maybe the earth trembled once again as the verdict was announced in July 2011.
"Imperfect Justice" reminds the reader, in spite of not getting a guilty verdict, the greatest injustice was that a child was killed and discarded like common garbage. Ashton shares the journey made by investigators into the tremendous amounts of lies Casey told; the changing nature of Casey's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, and the problems their inconsistencies caused the prosecution; and his dissatisfaction with Jose Baez, lead defense attorney for Casey Anthony. A full color-spread in the middle of the book includes pictures of Casey partying, the car that smelled of death, and various shots of the Anthony's home.
Since Ashton postponed retirement for six months to finish this case, you have to put up with a little grandstanding and self-aggrandizement. Apparently, Ashton was one of the first attorneys to be involved with DNA forensics; and he styles himself as the quintessential science nerd. In spite of a little peacock press, after reading the details of the prosecution you will be shocked that Casey Anthony was found not guilty.
Rest in peace, Caylee Anthony, perhaps some day the balance of justice will ultimately vindicate your untimely death.