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I'm Ready to Judge Casey Anthony

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In one day, I went from Caylee's church memorial to the area where her remains were found. I don't recommend it.

caylee-memorial.jpg

Momlogic's Andrea: I lost it on Suburban Drive.

You really can't blame me. I had been running on adrenaline and coffee for the past 48 hours -- flying from LA to Orlando and covering the Caylee Anthony memorial from the crack of dawn to the moment I finally sent my story back to my editor.

And I think I did my job. I observed. I took notes. I'm not saying the ceremony didn't move me. It did. The images of Caylee accompanied by a tear-jerking soundtrack would move anyone with a pulse.

Of course, there were doubts about the Anthonys' motives for staging such an event, but I tried not to judge. After all, George Anthony had asked us not to during the service. I like George. How could I not? He loved Caylee with the same fervor that my dad loves my daughter. Plus, Casey is innocent until proven guilty, right?

With my story finished, it was time for me to visit one last place before I flew out early the next morning. I needed to go to the place Caylee's remains were found, and see the roadside memorial for myself. With a heavy heart, I headed out to Suburban Drive.

It took me forever to find it. Orlando is like one giant super highway with tollbooths. I got lost so many times, I think I traversed the whole state.

Even though it was late, I was expecting a little bit of a crowd. I figured some media and others would still be lingering around from the "renegade memorial" held earlier that day, led by Leonard Padilla.

But by the time I finally got there, it was dark. Pitch dark. And no one was there. As if on cue, a little wind whipped though the trees of the overgrown Chickasaw forest that lined the street.

As I walked over to the massive arrangement of toys, flowers, and cards, I struggled to take it all in. My gaze lingered on a T-shirt emblazoned with Caylee's picture and the words "Missing Child" that was nailed to a tree. There were so, so many stuffed animals, each lovingly placed by someone as moved by the story as I was. I took out my notebook to copy down some of the words written on a giant poster board that was put up that day, but I didn't get very far. Instead of doing my job, I burst into tears -- those hot, heavy tears that take a while to all come out. For the first time, it was real. No longer was I just covering the story, watching it, reading about it. Here I was, alone in the dark where that little girl's remains were found in a trash bag.

I felt sick.

But for some reason, something compelled me to walk deep into that dark forest to see what it was really like when someone dumped that little girl's body like yesterday's garbage. I went in about a hundred feet or so, thinking to myself this was probably not the safest thing for a woman to be doing alone at night. I turned my back away from the pile of Spongebob Squarepants toys, Mickey Mouse balloons, and frilly baby dolls, and walked deeper, trying to imagine what it was like before this roadside tribute was erected.

Standing alone, exhausted and drained, this is what I concluded: Whoever left that little girl alone in this forest, with duct tape on her mouth, is a monster, the personification of evil. A callous and cruel monster. And we all know who that was.

There. I did it. I judged. I'm sorry, Mr. Anthony.

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103 comments so far | Post a comment now
Vita David February 11, 2009, 5:18 PM

You did an incredible job, I felt like I was right with you at the memorial and when you went to visit the roadside memorial. I along with you felt sick, sick this whole entire time that we have known about it. Caylee was a part of everyones family, especially those who have children, it just hurts so much, and to your last line, I say Amen!

Typistgal February 11, 2009, 5:56 PM

No need for an apology, in my opinion.

Erika February 11, 2009, 6:01 PM

of all the articles that have been released lately (& we know that there are lots), this one deffintely moves me the most. god bless you for caring so much about this child soo much that you even wanted to put yourself in her shoes, if only for a moment, you are a strong woman & im sure caylee was right there with you, not feeling so alone anymore.

Mom Of 4 February 11, 2009, 6:06 PM

Thank you for sharing. I watched the memorial with my box of tissues in reach. I’m so thankful Caylee was given her day. I watched George and was happy to see even the smallest bit of peace within him. I like George too. I have wanted to write him lately. Let him know that he is not alone. I also tried to ponder on his request to write Casey. I thought long and hard but I failed to find the strength or reason. I know in my heart she killed that baby and I hope she burns in hell. As for Michelle Murphy.. I believe that is her name. She may find it baffling that so many who didn’t know her arrived at her memorial. What I find baffling is not that so many let her in their hearts, cried, searched and mourn for her but how her own mother wouldn’t.

I’m thankful for yesterday. She had a beautiful service. I just do not see true closure until justice is served.

ES February 11, 2009, 6:12 PM

Now you have your precious memory of supporting the murderer of this child, as well as her enablers. How quickly you have forgotten that these creatured tried to prpetrate a HOAX in the murder of this little girl, and still support her murderer. They have acted without any dignity, or integrity, and instead tried to stonewall this investigation at every turn. They are truly ugly monsters, and you are a fan.
Don’t bother justifying your reasons, they are irrelevant. Anthonys are full of excuses too.
Simply despicable.

Miracle2 February 11, 2009, 6:16 PM

Thank you for finding the strength to write all your feelings. I only hop that the final jurors will also make that inquisitive journey after dusk. Thank you again.

Sally February 11, 2009, 6:17 PM

Thanks for taking us to Suburban Drive where the beautiful baby whose pictures you saw at the memorial was found. Or rather her skull and tiny bones were found in a garbage bag. That makes the murder more real. To hear Cindy and George and Lee talking at the memorial, you would have thought Caylee just grew wings and flew off to be with Jesus. Nobody mentioned murder or justice for Caylee. All they talked about was don’t judge Casey, write her letters and how much Casey loved her daughter. It sounds to me like the Anthonys have finally realized Casey killed Caylee but because of their “faith” they have forgiven her and think everybody else should just forget about justice and let their granddaughter’s murderer walk free because she is their daughter and they are united as a family.

Helen B. February 11, 2009, 6:31 PM

What a terrific job you did reporting this. It is appreciated that you went to so much effort to see for yourself and that helps us to understand more also. Not being able to go to the site, most of us can only imagine what that place looks like, feels like and what sensations go through your body when you walk through. I wonder if I would have had the nerve to do that alone. Seems like you could almost feel little Caylee there with you wanting you to understand what happened. Her little spirit must be calling from beyond and will not rest until the truth is out. Watching the service yesterday was a touching experience for me, it was heart breaking that Casey could not even send a note to be read and that she felt it was more fun to spend the day with Bozo instead. Did not even watch on t.v. from jail, she sure loved her child a lot, huh? Must have, Cindy said she did anyway. George, I feel so sorry for you, but I would never be able to write to your daughter in jail and if I did, she would not want to read my thoughts at all. I have no sympathy for her, no comfort for her and only hostile opinons of the monster. I just wish that The Cindy Show was cancelled and we did not have to see anymore of her glorified appearances. She even threw in words to Casey, thought this was a memorial for Caylee and not a time to send love to the mommie monster. That is what made me sick, I was fine with the service and felt touched by it until that point. To find the peace you seek, try letting the truth be known for once and stop with the cover ups.

darlene February 11, 2009, 6:34 PM

I commend you for all you’ve done throught this case.
A part of me is relieved Caylee has been found and A part of me wishes the search was still on and she some day would be found alive. I guess that what we all hoped for.
Now lets see how long it takes her sick minded pathetic biological mom to admit or get convicted of this horrific murder of this precious baby Caylee.. Hope your Enjoying Heaven Caylee.

Taylor February 11, 2009, 6:45 PM

I watched the memorial on the internet. I just cried when George talked about Caylee and how much he loved that little girl. I hope this little girl gets justice. Casey is a monster. a phycopath. she needs to rot in hell for what she did to that precious baby girl.

Rest in Peace Caylee we love you!

Jana February 11, 2009, 6:48 PM

Hearts will never mend from this tragedy, but we should all remember this one important fact. No matter what happens in the days and months to come, Casey will face a final judge - as we all will. Caylee’s angel heart is at peace.
Jana

Daily February 11, 2009, 7:08 PM

Wow, you are a hell of a writer.

rinnbear February 11, 2009, 7:09 PM

i also try not to judge but in this case ………..with all the lies what else can one think……….you did great covering this story and i agree with your view points

brenda February 11, 2009, 7:09 PM

I know the Bible says not to judge and I try to live by that. I don’t know if she killed Caylee or not but everything points to her. If she did this then she is an evil or sick person. I am sure Caylee is looking down from heaven now and if her mom did do this she is probably asking her, Mommy why did you want to hurt me?” What did I do wrong? Did you not love me anymore? Casey will have to pay in the end if she did do this to her child and God will be asking her the same thing. Why did you do this to your child? We all fell in love with Caylee during all of this. She was such a beautiful little angel. I will never understand how someone could do this to a child.

dennis February 11, 2009, 7:39 PM

THANK GOD SOMEONE SPOKE THE TRUTH…..
George wake up you know the truth you locked people up with less proff.Cindy I cant figue out why your daughter is such a liar oh maybe the apple did not fall to far from the tree.The sad part these people make evil children look at lee.Can you tell me he has no part in this?Idont think so.TO THE MOTHER OF THE YEAR.I CAN ONLY HOPE EVERY TIME YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES YOU SEE WHAT YOU DID TO THIS LITTLE GIRL AMERICAS LITTLE GIRL AND NEVER HAVE A MOMENT PEACE.TO ANYONE ELSE WHO HAD A HAND IN THIS WEATHER YOU LIED HID EVIDENCE OR HELP THIS BABY KILLER IN ANY WAY THE DEVIL IS WAITING FOR YOU. GOD BLSS YOU CAYLEE WE WILL ALL PRAY FOR YOU

SanSmith February 11, 2009, 8:36 PM

The memorial made me want to go back and listen to the Law Enforcement interview of Casey again. Nearly a hour of brow-beating Casey and she held strongly to her lies even though Yuri Melich explained to her that nobody would think she was a bad person as long as she told them the truth about what happened. She was either the scared young woman who can’t face what she did to her child accidently or an uncaring monster that knowingly brought the police to a place where she says she worked but didn’t to mock them. Well, Melich, she IS that monster who doesn’t care. Because if she cared, Casey would have been to you the day Caylee disappeared. Such disdain for LE. Who’d she think she was anyway? Did she HONESTLY believe the police were all out to get her? She really IS a sick pup.

R. Smith February 11, 2009, 8:39 PM

I just read on Nancy Grace’s site…

They found Casey’s finger prints on the duct tape…

God’s BLESSINGS TO All

Patricia February 11, 2009, 9:12 PM

I believe Cindy Anthony to be a hypocrite . You preaches that she is a good christian …that we should forgive …. she talks about having pure hearts, etc .. During the memorial she talks about how we should forgive ,love one another…but yet she is the one who can’t forgive Leonard Padilla… where is her forgiveness for him that she preaches to us ? She tells the world he is not allowed in to Caylee”s memorial service ..humilates him … personally says she will be at the door herself to throw him out.. Where is her forgiveness for him ?
Just because he spoke what he believes to be the truth ( and what most of us believe also) … He tried to help the family and Casey.. but once he saw how she was and the proof the cops had , he knew he had to be honest and he was.. So cindy , you profess to be a good christian but you do not act like one. I personally think it is a bigger sin for someone to profess to be a christian when in reality they are not then someone who never says they are one.

Barbara February 11, 2009, 9:50 PM

As I was watching the Service, all I could think was that this was the same family who begged for publicity; then screamed at reporters. Asked Padilla and Tim Miller for help then never bothered to thank them; or anyone else who looked for Caylee. Everyone in this family has changed their stories several times. It was a nice service-untill Casey was mentioned

reba February 11, 2009, 10:07 PM

I enjoyed your article and I feel the same way you do. I like George and I don’t like to judge but we all know it. Caylee is in a better place.


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