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Casey Anthony is the New O.J.

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Is an addiction to the Casey Anthony case unhealthy?

Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson

It happened with the O.J. Simpson trial back in 1995. To some extent it's happening again with Casey Anthony, the mother accused of murdering her own child. People are fixated on getting all the latest information on the case. The black glove has become the pizza. And for anyone so inclined, there's plenty of information to be had. CNN's Nancy Grace talks about it in excruciating detail every night, there are virtually millions of articles on the topic available on the web and various message boards where you can share your theories with others 24/7. Yes the sad story of the fate of little Caylee has the public firmly in its grasp.

"There are people out there who are literally addicted to Caylee," says William Murtaugh, a man who uses an old TV news truck to feed breaking Casey Anthony news to his website. "The commercial media cannot provide everything we want. We want more. We're addicted to it," Murtaugh said.

For women particularly, especially those with children, the story has a particular draw. "Any time there's ever a case where a mother has done something to her child, there is going to be interest for women," says momlogic's licensed marriage and family therapist Shannon Fox. "It's seems impossible for most mothers to compute, it goes against every maternal instinct we have to protect our children."

The ease of getting information on the case is another factor that feeds the obsession. Florida's public record policy makes every document, video, text message, even Casey's prison dinner menus available to the masses.

"What people fail to realize," says Fox, "is that Casey Anthony is not an episode of 'C.S.I.' It's real. All the exposure to information makes people numb to a heinous crime."

But the public's interest in the tragic story might transcend the typical true crime enthusiast. "The need to know about the case also might be linked to the recession," remarks Fox. "A lot of times, when the economy is bad, people turn to these kind of stories to give them a distraction."

However, there are some red flags that immersing yourself in the case might not be good for your mental health, warns Fox. "Any time an obsession takes you away from living your own life -- for example, you can't stop thinking about it, you talk to you friends about it -- it might be something worth examining," she says.

One poster on a Casey Anthony message board could be interpreted as a cry for help:

"I'm going to LIVE blog Nancy Grace tonight since I've been forced by my obsession to waste this hour every night."

Another indicator it might be time to lay off the Casey coverage, says Fox, is if any time you justify your bad actions by saying to yourself, "Well, at least I'm not as bad as Casey Anthony."

For the most part, those who have an interest in all things Casey are simply satisfying a craving for excitement they lack in their real lives. New York Times bestselling crime writer Gregg Olsen believes people interested in true crime are for the most part intelligent, good people who are "possibly a little bit lonely."

What disturbs Olsen is when the speculation becomes a game. "Everyone's trying to one up each other on who's the most astute on the case," he says. "They're forgetting there is a real legal process in place."

For some, the Casey Anthony story strikes a personal chord. Blogger Ylla Palenque, 35, of Orlando, Florida had her first child at 19 and another a year later. She remembers the struggles of being a young mother and has been following the Casey Anthony saga from the very beginning. "I think my obsession with the case stems for the fact that at one point in early motherhood I felt very close to being out of control, inches away from running away," she says. "With Casey, it is so different because I wonder why she didn't just leave?"

On the extreme end of the Casey Anthony obsession are those that are so involved in the case they've become of part of it -- showing up at the Anthony house demanding justice. Some attend the Sunday vigils held by the Anthonys to show their support. Still others have wielded death threats against the Anthonys' defense team and the Anthonys themselves.

Often, the people who become personally involved have a private vendetta, have been abandoned as a child or suffered abuse. "The story," explains Fox, "triggers the feeling of abandonment or neglect. If they were abused as a child, now they can stand up for Caylee and in the name of seeking retribution, they can seek justice for themselves."

The trial of Casey Anthony hasn't even begun, but when it does, will it match the fervor of the 150 million people who watched the O.J. Simpson verdict? Stay tuned.

Are you addicted to the Casey Anthony case?

caylee anthony casey_anthony_more_photos.jpg
Caylee Sighting?

next: Paula Blames Producers for Stalker Suicide
52 comments so far | Post a comment now
beepsmom December 11, 2008, 8:01 AM

I’m new here but read here the other day I read that someone had left a comment stating “Why would Casey google shovel?… thoughts were the same, it is what it is BUT I was telling my mom about the case & this comment, her response was ” There are many different kinds of shovels, 1 for digging, 1 for breaking up cement” and that’s where I stopped her, it just struck me as eerie…..she said look it up and see what you come up with which I have not done yet. I just thought I’d share, this is coming from a an old Southern Woman who was born during the depression and raised on a farm so I think she would know her shovels. What do you think?? Maybe that’s what Casey was lookinfg for something to break up cement??

- beepsmom

Bungalow Babe December 11, 2008, 8:31 AM

The public is obsessed not only because of the lurid aspects of the case — slutty, skanky, lying, thieving, nymphet kills her daughter and her parents help cover up her deeds — but because of the maddening LIES that are being produced by the Anthony Family and their spokespeople.

When Larry King hosts Cindy and George and they use the time to LIE in the most OUTRAGEOUS way about the fact that there really WAS a nanny named Zenaida Gonzalez and that Caylee is alive and being spotted around the country, it makes people want to run screaming through the streets.

The BS factor is so high and so outrageous that it keeps onlookers at the edge of their seats waiting for the entire Anthony charade to be busted.

There have sadly been too many cases of mothers killing their kids but NONE have featured such a concerted and coordinated effort to subvert the reality.

In my opinion, Cindy Anthony belongs behind bars. Look at her, listen to her and understand where Casey’s pathology and talent for lying originated.

protectkidz December 11, 2008, 8:48 AM

William Murtaugh is an excellent example for you to use in this article, as he himself not only displays an unhealthy obsession by inserting himself in missing child cases, but also preys on the many lonely woman who follow his “coverage” by lying to them, begging for money from them, creating drama in the name of Caylee Anthony in order to gain more followers, and more donations for his pocket.

I would consider HIS obsession to be, if not outright criminal, definite exploitation of Caylee and those who have become immersed in this case.

john December 11, 2008, 9:29 AM

the supposed sightings are a distraction. why would someone bring a kid everyone is looking for to a mall play area? Makes no sense at all.

LMK December 11, 2008, 9:50 AM

I am so sick of all the death, destruction and lies in this country. Casey Anthony just needs to give up her charade and admit that she did wrong. OJ Simpson needs to let the cat out of the bag and admit he killed his ex-wife and her ‘boyfriend’, he can’t be retried. David Damm needs to just quit blaming the man he hired for killing Donnisha and admit he made the order. You are all freakin’ adults! Take responsibility for your actions, quit trying to push the blame. If the roles were switched and these criminals were watching all of this go on they’d be thinking to themselves “Why doesn’t that person just give it up?”

Beth December 11, 2008, 10:12 AM

Maybe the reason the parents have not come forward to identify the child from the Florida Mall is because they are illegal immigrants and they fear deportation. Has that thought occurred to anyone?

Jerrianne Hayslett December 11, 2008, 1:25 PM

For a look behind the scenes of the 1995 trial and the dynamics at play that led to the not-guilty verdicts, the profound long-term impact that trial has to this day had on judges, the media and public understanding of the courts, please read my new book, “Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O. J. Simpson” (, just released by the University of Missouri Press.

homemom3 December 11, 2008, 1:59 PM

possible break in the case. Child’s body found near the anthony house. This is so sad and I agree it has become the next OJ case. Or if you will the little girl that went missing in her parents’ basement. (model)

Name With Held December 11, 2008, 2:06 PM

Do you have any idea how many tourists, from all over the world go to The Florida MALL?! Or are in Orlando at any given time…If I thought I saw her, I mean really, I would get a Security Guard, or engage the parents in converstation “gee, it must be so wierd that your kids looks like caylee…” something.

No name. December 11, 2008, 2:17 PM

Caycee reminds me a lot of Scott Peterson: Well spoken, self-centered, attractive and GUILTY! And, they both have loving parents who can’t see their kids for what they really are, cold hearted killers.

Kathy December 11, 2008, 10:20 PM

The reason I am obsessed with this case, because my theory is that Casey killed her child accidently (probably OD’d her on chloroform to sedate her as a way of “babysitting”) - I know every little detail about the case and seen all the transcripts. I can’t for the life of me, understand how a pathological liar, would like to cover up an accident (negligent homicide) when she is being charged with murder one. Also, I am fascinated by Cindy’s behaviour. If that was my kid, I’d have raked her over the coals a dozen times and pushed her to fess up - all the while still telling her that I would be there whether she killed the kid or not. I find this case fascinating only because the behaviour of grandmother, grandfather and mother are so counter intuitive to me.

MrRealist December 12, 2008, 12:13 AM

Kathy you are right on,

Cindy has been the Mastermind liar/manipulator/enabler. Rather than support her daughter by visiting her everyday, telling her to fess up and supporting her, cindy knowingly decides to Lie , make George lie and go on a pr campaign to deflect all away from Casey.
Cindy is a scary individual.

Not-A-Murtard December 12, 2008, 2:08 PM

I find it rather ironic that you use William Murtaugh in this article. He not only uses this case to make money through “donations”, he has also used Trenton Duckett’s case for the same reason. He even went so far as to tell the Duckett’s he knew where Trenton was. This man needs to be stopped. He uses the death of these children to make money for himself!! Read to find out the real truth about William Murtaugh (Murt)

LI_Mom December 12, 2008, 5:53 PM

When you have an innocent baby whose own family insists she is alive BUT they’re perfectly content to wait until a trial to finally hear the supposed ‘truth’ about what happened to Caylee, it’s obvious the public is going to be obsessed with all the liars and the pathological behavior of the mother, the grandparents AND the ever smirking defense lawyer.

Add to that the nasty way the family responded anytime they knew there was a search for a deceased child and it becomes apparent they aren’t looking for closure or for Caylee… they’re only looking to protect the mother who didn’t even bother mentioning Caylee was missing.

OJ isn’t half as despicable as Casey Anthony OR the people who enable her to keep up her pathological lies. OJ isn’t a baby killer.

Gail December 13, 2008, 8:36 PM

Still a MURDERER… How is that?
I hope that Casey will be HAUNTED
by that Baby for “THE REST OF HER LIFE
F@#%k Her & Cindy, George & the “Loving
Brother…LEE” These People Are F”D UP!!! Cannot wait to see All of them behind bars.Especially CINDY.That woman needs help ASAP.

sara December 14, 2008, 8:52 AM

I am fascinated by this case because it is so bizarre!I now do not believe it was an accident-if it was she wouldnt have used duct tape! I want to see how cindy backtracks once the remains are identified-she has called everyone a liar except her daughter. Casey has destroyed all of the lives of all those who loved her-cindy and casey deserve no mercy!

Sally December 15, 2008, 9:40 PM

There is another similiarity to the O.J. Simpson. Casey also has a dream team of forensic experts - the cream of the crop in their fields. The difference is O. J. Simpson got away with a double murder. Casey Anthony will not. Now the prosecutor has a body with duct tape on the mouth he can tell how and when Caylee was murdered and re-instate the death penalty. Looks like they found items in the Anthony household connected to the plastic bag that contained Caylee’s remains. All of the experts in the world can’t get Casey Anthony out of this one.

Jeanie  December 17, 2008, 11:16 AM

SAD for Caylee who should be excited about Santa instead of lying in pieces on a cold metal table.
Everyone is saying that Casey was jealous of her parents attention to little Caylee and now ironically, Caylee has the attention and concern of so many people. I AM addicted to this case. I think Nancy Grace is doing a fabulous job. I think it is intereting that the grand parents have confessed that they may have given mis leading evidence and now they want immunity…What DO they know? I hope we find out the truth but with this family it doesn’t seem possible. I am grateful for forensics so that ~ hopefully ~ Caylees’ little body will tell us who hurt her and hopefully Casey will be punished FULL extent of the law…SAd….She wanted love and seems to have destroyed her baby and now instead of being loved….She is most hated.

AnotherVoice December 17, 2008, 11:29 AM

William Murtaugh’s obbession with this case as well as the Trenton Duckett case reminds me of John Mark Carr, who said he was with JonBenet Ramsey when she died and was so engrossed with the Polly Klaas case that he moved his family to Petaluma, her hometown. Recently he had the little girl Dakota Skii on his webcam licking a candy cane in a suggestive way… she’s 13 years OLD! Go to for more… he’s also scamming people and claiming the FBI is watching out for those who hacked him and he’s trying to get money off his viewers. He’s also had an underage moderator in his chat when it was rated R. He changed it to G after saw he had Dakota on the cam when it was R. BH has screen shots of this. This man is dangerous!

Traci December 17, 2008, 11:40 PM

I can only say after hearing and watching everything on this case that the world is watching and this is way bigger then O.J. I think everyone just wants to see Justice served out in this case and until then this case is going to forever have an audiance.

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