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Yes, I DID read the book
on July 10, 2012
I am going to write a review of the book, which I did read all the way through, as best I can without getting into my personal feelings about Casey Anthony and Jose Baez. I read the book because after the trial, I still could not understand what actually happened to Caylee, and was hoping to get some new information. The book did not provide me with anything factual that could go towards answering my questions, however.
I have two major problems with the book: (1) Baez uses it as an opportunity to bash Jeff Ashton relentlessly, and arrogantly. He resents Ashton's behavior and characterizations of him, rightly so, and yet stoops to the same level. Baez states that he is a classy, talented lawyer, and yet dives right down into the worst behaviors himself. This made it difficult to read the book for content. (2) The book left many unanswered questions for me:
(a) the alleged sexual abuse. This was never proven, and never corroborated by anyone. Casey told several people that she had been groped by her adolescent brother, but never alleged any abuse by her father, when she had every opportunity and motive to do so, had it been true. In fact, in her jailhouse letter to Robin Adams, she says that she DOESN'T remember her father abusing her, only her brother, which consisted of touching her breasts. Baez, however, states that she told people of "the abuse", but he never says that she only mentioned her brother. Misleading at best, and amounts to falsehood about the abuse statements.
(b) the duct tape attached to the hair mat. I was not present at the trial and did not see the pictures, but in the coroner's report, it is stated that duct tape was attached to the hair mat, and had held the mandible attached to the skull. Baez dances all around this by saying that if the body was moved, the duct tape couldn't have held the mandible in place. Or maybe wouldn't have, or maybe something else. He doesn't explain the duct tape being attached to the hair mat, which indicates that it was wrapped around Caylee's face.
(c) the body was moved. Baez makes a huge case that the body was moved, yet tries to prevent the prosecution from talking about animals chewing on and scattering the bones. He states that he could not, and still cannot, see the relevance of this, even though the judge told him that "you said the body was moved". The body was moved, animals moved the body, nobody argues that animals moved the body, hence relevance. Enough said on that?
(d) Casey's own statements about the smell in the car. Casey NEVER explained the smell as "garbage". She stated on multiple occasions in verifiable text messages that the smell was from "two squirrels", "plastered to the frame of my car", and that finally she had "taken care of it". Interestingly, this phrase "take care of it" is exactly what Casey says that George Anthony told her he would do with Caylee's body. More on that.
(e) George's knowledge of the alleged drowning. There is no evidence or corroboration that George Anthony had any knowledge of, or participation in, Caylee's alleged drowning or removal of the body. Baez asserts on many occasions that Casey used "compartmenalization" as a coping strategy, but never speculates that she might have discovered Caylee's body herself, imagined what her furious parents would yell at her, and then told HERSELF "I'll take care of it", as she said she did with the alleged stinking squirrels on the frame of her car. If she compartmentalized, she could easily have done so in the case of a drowning or other accident. In fact, many of her friends speculated exactly that, that "there was an accident, and Casey told herself a story until she believed it".
(f) the "accident that spiraled out of control". Kristal Holloway is reported to have said that George told her that Caylee's death was "an accident that spiraled out of control". Baez says that he knows this is true, because Casey told him the same story! (Laughable and speaks for itself.) In fact, many people speculated that it was an accident that got out of control: Cindy Anthony, Det. Melich, Amy, Jesse, and other friends of Casey. It was the easiest story to believe, and the fact that George put it forward does not mean that he KNEW what happened, any more than Jesse Grund did when he made the same statement.
(g) the drowning story changed over time, even within the book. Baez reports that one of his "shrinks", as he insists on calling them, was told by Casey that George drowned Caylee deliberately, to cover up sex abuse. To me, this is no more credible than the Zanny-the-Nanny story, or the "timer55" threat in jail. In addition, and this really bothers me because it was never been explained, Cindy Anthony stated in her interview with Dr. Phil after the trial, that she was told (by Baez) that Caylee drowned and Casey panicked. Later she (Casey) went to where she had dumped the body and could no longer find it. Since she could not produce the body, she was afraid her drowning story would not be believed. Why is this story, which Cindy claims to have been told by the defense, so very different from the one that came out at trial? If this story is true, that Casey returned to the dump site and could not find the body (perhaps because it was moved by animals), isn't this more believable than trying to tie in another person without any proof? In fact, it would alleviate the necessity of complicated speculation about Roy Kronk hiding the body.
And that is my final criticism of the book: it consists of a litany of speculations stated as fact, without any proof, corroboration, or evidence other than "Casey said so and it makes sense to me". The defense needed to create reasonable doubt, which could have been done without venturing into these complicated stories of hiding and abuse, stories told by a known liar. That Baez did so at trial, and continues to insist that these stories are true, makes everything he says difficult to believe.