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Could Your Kid Grow Up to Be Casey Anthony?

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No one raises a child to be a murderer, so how does it happen?

We all hope the best for our children. We nurture them and teach them to the best of our ability. Unfortunately, sometimes, things can go terribly wrong. Surely Cindy Anthony never dreamed her daughter Casey Anthony would one day be indicted for first degree murder.  And although Cindy continues to defend her daughter's innocence, telling "Today's" Meredith Vieira, "I know Caylee is alive," that blind optimism might be at the very root of Casey Anthony's problems. Her parents consistently bailed her out of trouble.

"Never letting your child face the consequences of their actions is setting a terrible example," says licensed marriage and family counselor Shannon Fox, "Casey's parents are not completely to blame for her missteps, but they most certainly contributed."

And Casey, apparently, learned by example.

"Casey displays classic sociopath tendencies; a lack of empathy, disregard of authority, lying and manipulating," says Fox. As any parent of a toddler knows, belief that the world revolves around them is standard behavior for this problem. "Eventually though," says Fox, "children grow out of that stage and learn empathy. Casey never learned."

In many ways 22-year-old Casey Anthony continues to behave like a rebellious teenager. "She's got that smug adolescent attitude of someone who's been called on her crap," observes Fox. Evidence of Casey's belief she is "untouchable" is clear in photos of Casey in high spirits, taken at a bar mere days after Caylee's alleged abduction or when she was recently caught on tape passing bad checks.

Could the Anthonys have foreseen the tragic fate of their daughter? Probably not. But there were most likely signs of trouble early on that could've been averted.

"In order to help Casey develop her empathetic skills," suggests Fox, "she might have benefited from volunteering at a soup kitchen, teaching children how to read -- anything that would make her aware of the needs and feelings of others."

Of course, not every child that disobeys or lies is destined to become a murderer -- only 1% of population are truly diagnosed as anti-social sociopaths, regardless, steps should be taken so children are aware of their actions and their impact on others.

If Casey had learned these valuable lessons, Caylee Anthony might be safe and sound at home.

What do you think of the Casey Anthony controversy? Share your thoughts in the momlogic community.

82 comments so far | Post a comment now
KayKay October 17, 2008, 10:50 PM

I am a mother of 2 girls and I have to say that I have made mistakes. My 22 year old daughter got pregnant (she was in a committed relationship and they did marry) but she absolutely refused to acknowledge the pregnancy until she was in the 8th month. She was in her last year of college and did not finish to our disappointment. My youngest daughter is 14 and is just now becoming “hormonal”. She is a trial to both her father and me but we love her so much. I don’t understand why these children grasp and hold on to their parents great love and feeling for them. My 14 year old is very active in local theatre, etc. but we do home school her. I decided to do that after I found that my older daughter was sexually active in high school. I think these children today experiment with both male and female partners and it just disgusts me. Their view on premarital sex is “anything goes”. My husband and I both are very conservative and have tried to install those views in our daughters to no avail. One of the reasons we decided to homeschool was to keep the liberal teaching environment away from our younger daughter. Time will tell if that makes an impact, but she IS doing very well with homeschooling

e October 18, 2008, 8:01 AM

You people are deranged! That photoshop picture you have made up is beyond haunting and so desperate! Sick sick sick! This is a perfect display of manipulation of media. Shame.

lori October 18, 2008, 8:54 AM

Look at Cindy Anthony,
and you can see how her child is so screwed up. Cindy Anthony let her child do what ever she wanted, probably from the time she was little.I would bet that George Anthony tried to disapline his daughter, but the wacko mother would not hear of it.
I would guess to bet she was the type of parent who believed spanking was wrong. Well now look what you’ve done MS. Cindy! I predict your marriage to George will not last much longer. Look what you have done. You are still in denial to what your daughter has done! MURDERED YOUR GRANDAUGHTER CAYLEE! You are making a fool out of your whole family. Your husband is the only one with any common sense. But it is obvious who wears the pants in your family. You will probably end up in a divorce and without your daughter now.Now the department of corrections will be Casey’s parents until the days she dies.

Wendy October 18, 2008, 11:28 AM

Cindy Anthony reminds me of my mother who I now know is a sociopath. I could never tell her he truth about anything as she would only accept what she wanted to hear. I grew up never telling the truth. I always knew that I shouldn’t have children, I didn’t have a clue on how to be a parent. It was only after I met my husband at 24 (I’m 54 now) who accepted me the way I was that I stopped behaving that way and started to realize how messed up my mother was. NO one should be raised by someone like that. I had to cut off all communication with her before I could be truly be happy. Messed up family and this poor little girl was the victim. Very sad!

MrsMurgatroyd October 18, 2008, 1:35 PM

Casey Anthony is not the unusual young woman today. I see it all around me and in my own family. Over-indulgence by parents and family. No one has to answer for the consequences of the bad behavior.
Families try to cover up the messy problems caused by the sociopathic child.
For the sake of parents who really try and the child still becomes a sociopath I say it is not your fault.
Lots of children are overindulged these days. Very few become murderers. I believe that mentally they might suffer from Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
That is a whole other story. Was the child born with a disorder? Did the parents use drugs or alcohol while the child was in utero?
All I know is that murdering is not a usual part of the disorder. Check kiting and lying are. Many children with parents from the ‘60’s or “70’s are as “normal” as we would want them to be.
Perfectly normal parents who obeyed all the rules during pregnancy still end
up with sociopathic kids.
Accept reality and deal with the problems on a day to day basis and make the child suffer the consequences early in their life. That seems to be the only solution.
One day at a time.

Elise October 18, 2008, 6:12 PM

I think grandma Cindy said it all a couple weeks ago when someone asked if Casey had also stolen money from ex-fiance Jesse at the end of their relationship. Cindy’s surprising response was, “yeah, but only once!” She said it as if it were no big deal. I think she has made excuses for her daughter and defended her all of her life. I have no sympathy for Casey. She seems to think there is still a chance of her getting off. I think that’s why she won’t say where the body is because she is hoping for a full aquittal.

HollyH October 18, 2008, 10:21 PM

What makes a Casey Anthony??
I don’t blame the parents for what Casey did. Not one bit.
Who knows if she was punished as a child, or if she lied because she was “taught” to.
I have raised 3 boys, adults now, they
were taken to church all through their lives. Now one son tells me he “doesn’t believe in God” My husband and I did not do drugs…one of my childred became an addict. My youngest became a social recluse after loosing 3 friends (accidents) within an 18 month period.
Did or was there anything we could have done to change the course of their lives??? I don’t think so. We raised our children to be responsible, once they became of age they began to test the waters for themselves.
As it was pointed out in several previous posts, no matter what the consequences were, the children (adult children as well)did what they wanted to do.
Some people are stronger willed than others, every one is different, most turn out okay. Raising children is a struggle.
My grandmother and nephew died in a fire. My mother FREAKED out. At first she seemed to be fine, then she really lost it and we had to hospitalize he for a couple of months. I can understand Cindys back peddiling, her mind has to be like mush.
Can anyone here really say if it was their child they could “handle it?”
Society is so quick to judge parents and put the blame on them one thing we need to remember “Casey killed Caylee”
2008 is very different from the 80’s/90’s I see drug dealers that drive expensive cars, have gold dripping from their necks, being gay is “okay” and God is a “taboo” word to say these days. That’s just to mention a few of the what our world is about.
What created a Casey>>choices SHE made.

another anonymous October 18, 2008, 11:42 PM

Agree with most of what everyone said here except one thing….MrsMurgatroyd, check kiting is nowhere near what Casey did. What Casey did was she stole someone else’s money. She forged someone else’s name to someone else’s checks and cashed them….in essence she stole someone else’s money. Check kiting is when you deposit a check into YOUR OWN bank account and then write a check against those funds before the check deposited has “cleared”, taking advantage of the “float” time….something that used to happen a lot until recently when banks started electronically clearing checks and cutting down on the float time.

another anonymous October 18, 2008, 11:45 PM

Agree with most of what everyone said here except one thing….MrsMurgatroyd, check kiting is nowhere near what Casey did. What Casey did was she stole someone else’s money. She forged someone else’s name to someone else’s checks and cashed them….in essence she stole someone else’s money. Check kiting is when you deposit a check into YOUR OWN bank account and then write a check against those funds before the check deposited has “cleared”, taking advantage of the “float” time….something that used to happen a lot until recently when banks started electronically clearing checks and cutting down on the float time.

Sally October 19, 2008, 1:30 PM

I am thrilled to find this website because the article and the comments are so logical and on the money.

I believe that Casey is a sociopath because she has shown no remorse or concern that her daughter is gone and she is only concerned about what is going to happen to her. Casey didn’t shed a tear when her toddler disappeared in June. Casey instead danced on Caylee’s grave because she was so happy to have her freedom. Casey only cried when the law took away her freedom.

I also believe Cindy is a codependent and has been enabling Casey to lie since she was old enough to talk. It is obvious that Cindy does not want to know the truth about what happened to her granddaughter. Casey is telling her exactly what she wants to hear.

Psychiatrists say sociopaths are unable to bond with anyone and cannot love anyone but themselves. I believe Cindy noticed early on that Casey did not love her and felt rejected and so she verbally abused Casey in front of her friends.

Once Caylee was born, Cindy got the love from Caylee she couldn’t get from Casey so she poured all her love into Caylee and vented all her rage onto Casey.

Cindy even told investigators she didn’t care what happened to her daughter. All she wanted was her granddaughter back.

I don’t know if Cindy is in denial about Caylee being dead or if she is just pretending for the sake of the media to save face. If Cindy admits Caylee is dead and Casey murdered her, she has to take some responsibility for the way she treated Casey and Caylee.

GinaS October 19, 2008, 6:04 PM

I have read most of the comments and am a former teacher and HS tutor. Thankfully, I have a great girl who is extremely accomplished. However, when we lock horns, I tell her: “it will become apparent when you are a parent” and I tell her I don’t care if she is angry with me for my “interference” as she grows up. No one cares more for her than we, her parents. My job is to be her parent and keep her safe and on the right road. I respect her and never curse. We don’t allow the word “hate” to be used in this family.
I feel terrible for parents who have children who go off the rails. I knew a sociopathic child whom my daughter could not get a way from in a small Catholic grammar school. Not until HS did she get a way from her. Many times I can look in someone’s eyes and see no soul. I truly believe that some people are just born evil and there is no changing them.

Sariade October 21, 2008, 1:18 AM

It is sad to see so many caring parents struggling with children they can’t seem to reach. Unfortunately there seems to be a certain percentage that simply can’t be reached. Some studies put that percentage at around 4-6% of the population, and the feeling is that there is a genetic component to sociopathy /psychopathy. So for those whose children are given this diagnosis, please take some of the guilt off yourselves. A lot of you have done everything you could. MRI’s of these people show a marked difference in brain structure and “wiring”. Educating yourself is the best thing you can do. Martha Stout’s The Sociopath Next Door, and Robert Hare’s Without Conscience are good places to start.

Peg October 21, 2008, 2:26 PM


I’ve never had children but I am a mother in the sense of my love and intentions for the children that are close to me.

These are some of the most insightful and interesting comments that I am aware of, regarding Casey Anthony. (And I do watch Nancy Grace!)

My best wishes for all of those who are struggling with difficult children!

Shelly Koonce October 22, 2008, 10:33 AM

This is a terrific article.
We all have a conscience and soul. It is how we allow our conscience and soul become tainted living according to the world and not God’s ways. Teach your children at a young age to live according to the Bible, the “Good Book”. And mostly make sure you give them respect they deserve that you demand at times. Yes we are the parents, and yes we deserve respect from our children, but they deserve respect also. What you demand of your children remember you should follow also as a parent. We are role models for our children. They pick up things rather good or bad and act out your actions as a parent…SO LET’S BE BETTER PARENTS SO WE DON’T RAISE CHILDREN TO GO AGAINST RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Brandy November 10, 2008, 1:13 AM

Dan - we had the same thing happen over the past couple of years. Our daughter is nearly 17, and we’ve had 3 situations where she had done some really teenager-ish, but totally unacceptable, things. In each instance, a friend of hers was actively involved. My husband and I felt it was our responsibility, no matter how embarassing and difficult it was, to go to the parents of the other teens and tell them what had occurred in each instance. And each and every time, the parents absolutely chose to turn a blind eye to what their own child had done! We have been astounded! It’s easier for them to act as though our child was the “bad one”, and that they “don’t have any problems” with their own children.

These were serious events, in our opinion. The first girl was drinking and driving, but her mother chose to completely ignore it and pretend it hadn’t happened at all!

The second situation, was when my daughter was spending the night at a friend’s house (and we always meet the parents, go to the house, etc.) and then they snuck out in the middle of the night to go to a party which included alcohol and guys over the age of 18 (friends of this “friend” my daughter was with). We felt we HAD to tell the parents, because this girl could easily sneak out again, and something terrible could happen to her, and maybe we could prevent that by making her parents aware of what she and our daughter had done. They laughed it off! Again, acting like our daughter was the troublemaker, but that they had nothing to address with their own daughter.

The third time, my daughter snuck out of another friend’s house (I know, this is sounding really bad, right? It was a year later, and this was the first friend’s house she had been allowed to spend the night at since the issue with the following event.) she had spent the night there several times, we had met the parents multiple times, etc. When we went to tell the parents what happened, the Mom was only critical of my child, while her own daughter was lying her tail off, and standing there with a giant hickey on her neck (which totally surprised us, as we thought this was a girl who’s parents kept a very close eye on what she did). And she said things like, “well i don’t have problems with MY daughter” and “I don’t know if I want my daughter hanging around with your daughter anymore”, etc. when the reality is that she is choosing to ignore the things with her own child that need to be addressed. (and if she’s allowing her 16 year old daughter to run around with hickeys on her neck, I don’t think I want *my* kid running around with hers!)

I know my kid is not perfect, and dealing with her as a teen has been no picnic. But at least we hold her accountable and make her face the consequences (we grounded her for 4 months over the drinking incident!). And in all the years I have been her mother, I can count on ONE hand the amount of other children we’ve encountered personally (her friends and/or schoolmates) whose parents bothered to pay enough attention to their child’s actions and hold them accountable and not turn a blind eye to the bad things they do. ONE HAND.

and we’ve known several children who could easily become a “casey” in their own right. it’s scary.

CaringformyGrandchildren November 11, 2008, 3:18 PM

I have a daughter like Casey. Knew it from the time she was about 3-4 yrs. old. She is now in her mid 30’s,,,two children, for which she does not care for. It has been obvious to me that her children would be in some type of danger, if I hadn’t stepped in a long time ago. Please sign me…Caring for my grandchildren.

Skorian November 13, 2008, 3:32 PM

You know, it’s rather strange seeing so many parents talking about how their children are this way. Having followed this case more recently. We have had a great many problems with my father. I am often suprised he hasn’t killed anyone yet. It’s been decades, but at one point in my life I realized my father actually feels glee from others suffering. I have had a great deal of difficaulty on account of what he did to us. It’s very frustraiting to grow up with a mother that quite honestly has often been a doormat. Falling for the same BS over and over and over. It’s especially hard when one of your parents is this way and you grow up in that thinking it’s normal. Being looked down on by others who don’t have any idea where it’s comming from and being to young to comprehend the abnormality that is all you really know. Then seeing family members stick up for behaviors that you begin to realize are just wrong. Getting out from under it is difficult.

I have spent decades trying to understand things I experienced and finally realized I never will.

dee November 25, 2008, 9:36 AM

Being Gay is ok,Holly H.Teaching hate is not!

John Leslie December 3, 2008, 11:45 AM

After hearing that Cindy grabbed Casey’s neck and violently shook Casey the night before something happened to Caylee it is evident that Cindy should be shareing a cell with charges for assault and battery. Is there a law against teaching our children to be violent?

knarahs December 9, 2008, 10:04 AM

If, as has been reported, Cindy Anthony told her daughter’s friends that she was a “sociopath,” then, YES, Cindy DID see aberrant behavior in her daughter and COULD have seen Caylee’s disappearance coming.

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