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Is Casey's Lack of Remorse a Syndrome?

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Casey Anthony's defense team hopes a little-known physiological condition could explain their client's lack of remorse. Could it keep her off death row?

When it comes to all the gathered evidence, the forensics, the lab results, and the cadaver dog hits, none of it can hold a candle to pictures of Casey Anthony partying it up at Club Fusion in the days when, according to the 23-year-old mother, she was searching for her kidnapped toddler.

But Jose Baez, Anthony's defense attorney, told a local Florida news station that "She has a very compelling reason for her actions." It seems, according to Baez, that Anthony was suffering from a little-known syndrome called "Ugly Coping," a phrase coined by a Columbia University behaviorist in the 2002 case of Cynthia Sommer. Sommer, a military wife, ran off and got breast implants and started sleeping around following her husband's alleged murder. Her defense was able to argue that Sommer's unconventional behavior was her way of coping with her husband's sudden death. Ultimately, it was revealed that her husband had indeed died of natural causes.

Sommer's case appears to be somewhat of an anomaly, says Robin Sax, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney. Moreover, she says that using "Ugly Coping" as a defense strategy is a stretch. "The defense has to come up with something and you can get any hired gun to find a study that will say what you want." Sax is skeptical that "Ugly Coping" finds any real acceptance in the scientific community. According to Sax, phrases like "battered-wife syndrome," the quasi defense that explains why a woman might resort to murder, are basically made up. "Like all those Hallmark holidays," adds Sax. 

Do you think "ugly coping" could be the reason for Anthony's lies?

Discuss the latest Casey Anthony news in the momlogic community.

Listen to an excerpt from the Lt. Tammy Unser interview discussing Casey Anthony's demeanor at the jail when she is informed her daughter's remains had been found: 

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37 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lisa April 30, 2009, 5:12 PM

Ugly coping does not apply to Casey. She lied, stole, and partied before Caylee was missing. Nothing changed before or after, except that she did not have the burden of a child to care for.

Sally April 30, 2009, 5:17 PM

This just shows that Casey’s Anthony’s defense team has no defense. The attorneys can bring in all the psychiatrists they want to psychobabble all they want and they won’t convince a jury that Casey was partying because she was coping with her daughter being kidnapped by an imaginary nanny. Give 12 people more credit than that. Casey was partying because she was celebrating the murder of “the little snothead” and enjoying every minute of her freedom from her domineering mother and dependent toddler.

Miracle2 April 30, 2009, 5:20 PM

Q:Do you think “ugly coping” could be the reason for Anthony’s lies?

Frankly, I could care less about her reason for lying. The fact is that she is up for murder, not lying. So, then … can ugly coping also be related to why or how she killed Caylee? How her lying to all her friends BEFORE killing her child can be related to ugly coping is beyond me. No, no, no … Let the murder trial stay on the straight and narrow. It’s Murder and her “ugly coping” is tantamount to useless speculation.

Jan April 30, 2009, 5:44 PM

Jose is full of hot air and its almost comical the way he is grabbing at straws trying to find a way out for his little Casey. Give us a break Jose.

IGWas April 30, 2009, 6:10 PM

I am so sick of this family, they need to remove Cindy & George from the news media - and Casey is another nut case … let her rot in jail!

Motts April 30, 2009, 6:26 PM

I agree Sally. They have no defense, they are reaching. I think if this is all they have to have to offer the defense is doomed. Besides what we have learned about Casey she’s always been spoiled and selfish. Caylee did not die of natural causes. She seemed like a healthy 2 year old. There has been no mention of health problems with Caylee, besides the fact that she was probably being drugged to sleep for awhile. Who knows? This whole family is a bit off.

Andrea April 30, 2009, 6:30 PM

The only thing Casey Anthony’s partying after killing Caylee proves is that she is a sociopath or psychopath. The only syndrome Casey suffers from is Me First syndrome. All she cares about is herself. Her lying, stealing and partying is normal behavior for her. If Cindy hadn’t found Casey’s car smelling of Caylee’s dead body and called 911 and she hadn’t gone to jail, Casey would still be partying and stealing from friends and family. Even sitting in a tiny jail cell day after day and the threat of the death penalty hasn’t stopped her from lying. Even as she gets the needle, she’ll be claiming she is innocent, that the nanny did it.

cbw April 30, 2009, 7:28 PM

Hmmm.. You’re the jury and Baez is smirking at you and Casey is giggling with her defense counsel blonde lady.

Would YOU think she has UGLY COPING??
NoT !!

What a laugh. Just come quickly October so that this can all be over after the gavel slams down on the sound of “GUILTY” and she goes back to her cell to order more nachos.

The Scamthonys made fools of themselves on the Early Show and hopefully they have gone home to hibernate.

Let’s find out when Haleigh Cummings’ KILLER will be brought to JUSTICE!!

Cindy April 30, 2009, 7:43 PM

First of all…Cindy Anthony has been playing the role of Mommy ever since the child, Caylee was born. The only reason she is now defending her daughter,Casey is because she feels guilty for not allowing Casey the right to give Caylee up for adoption…especially since she knew that Casey did not want to be burdened with a child. At least, Caylee would had been able to by placed into a loving home where a couple could have given her so much more. Instead…she was tortured by a selfish person who cared nothing for her.

a mother of 2 April 30, 2009, 8:17 PM

The only syndrome Casey was trying to cope with while she was out partying was her own GUILT over killing her child, because even if as Casey says Caylee was missing, she took no measures to find her child what so ever. She didn’t even attempt to help the police look for Caylee, and we can say the same for her parents for that matter.

Sally April 30, 2009, 8:47 PM

Cindy, Casey was 19 when Caylee was born. Cindy could not have stopped Casey from giving Caylee up for adoption. Cindy might have talked Casey into keeping the baby by agreeing to allow them to live with Cindy and George and help her financially and physically take care of Caylee. But Casey made the decision not to give up Caylee for adoption. Cindy Anthony enjoyed every minute Caylee was in her life. She would never regret talking Casey into keeping Caylee. Cindy may regret not attempting to get custody of Caylee. She also may reget choking Casey June 15 which may have provoked Casey to murder Caylee June 16.

Sally April 30, 2009, 9:03 PM

A Mother of 2, Casey is a sociopath so she doesn’t feel guilt or remorse like normal people. In face, psychotherapists who have commented on this case say Casey got a high out of murder. That’s why she was seen on a surveilance camera June 16 renting videos on kidnapping and murdering a child as Caylee’s dead body lie decomposing in her trunk. Casey wanted to relive her crime. Those 31 days before she went to jail, Casey went on a crime spree stealing from her parents credit card and stealing her friend Amy’s checks and she lied about Caylee’s whereabouts to her friends, family and the police. That’s not the behavior of a guilty person, that’s the behavior of a sociopath.

Barbara April 30, 2009, 9:07 PM

Ask any parent what is the worst possible thing that could happen to them and they will tell you it would be have one of their children die. That is the worst loss there is. Ask any parent who has lost a child. Nothing is worse. Nothing!! And time does not heal all wounds

THOMAS M MURPHY April 30, 2009, 9:17 PM


SquirrelFinders April 30, 2009, 9:29 PM

Jose Baez is right. Casey needed “Ugly Coping” to deal with Caylee, and “Murder One Syndrome” was her way of dealing with Cindy. No problem. All Casey needs now is a little “Needle Therapy.”

Sad but True April 30, 2009, 11:41 PM

Ladies,we have here our next O.J. Simpson trial.There will be no justice.As for the Sandra Cantu case,Melissa gets off with nothing more than mental illness.Lifetime makes a movie on each case and sadly no justice will be served,the horror of both cases with be swept under the rug.
Both girls will have lost their lives the hands their own moms.The two women will have their own say,but there will be no justice for the two girls.

Marcie May 1, 2009, 8:16 AM

Casey was not “ugly coping.” She was celebrating with joyous abandon. There’s never been any grief or wild mood swings. Just bliss that the child was no longer in her way.

Anonymous May 1, 2009, 8:17 AM

Casey was not “ugly coping.” She was celebrating with joyous abandon. There’s never been any grief or wild mood swings. Just bliss that the child was no longer in her way.

Sheila May 1, 2009, 8:33 AM

This is such a joke…”Ugly Coping” I guess sociopaths do this???

john May 1, 2009, 9:20 AM

If she is coping with something ugly, yet still hiding the truth, she is a LYING sack of you know what. she is still hiding the truth about the death and disposal of her kid, which she is totally responsible for. that is not a syndrome, its a crime. confess what you know stupid.

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