Today would have been Caylee's 6th birthday were she not tragically killed in the summer of 2008. Whether Caylee died at the hands of her mother, because of some accident, or yet another cause, the end result was the loss of a two year-old's life. In the aftermath of Caylee's disappearance so much focus has been on Casey Anthony and what she did or didn't do, which in a perverse way, is exactly what Casey ultimately wanted.
Casey's behavior both before and after her daughter's death was to focus on what she wanted, what her needs were, and in retrospect it's clear Casey harbored a vast amount of jealousy towards her own child. Now, with the shocking acquittal on murder charges and her release from jail, Casey is still bending the world to her will.
While the public outrage is still intense over the trial outcome, Casey is using her notoriety to cash in and set herself up with the money she will need for her so call "beautiful life."
Last night I was on CNN's Nancy Grace to discuss the latest rumor of Casey hiding out in California, a story we broke over the weekend, and it really had me thinking: how should the media, and to a greater extent the public, handle Casey Anthony? Do we ignore her, and by doing so allow her to blend into a new environment, a new life and even possibly start another family? What is our moral obligation? We'll get back to that in a moment.
In the meantime, I'd like to caution the public to bear in mind that not all media outlets are cut from the same cloth. For some, especially those like TMZ who may have played some part in staging photos for cash, or any of the major networks who might be courting Casey to get what will likely be her one and only interview, it's about money and ratings. They have no qualms about allowing this woman to profit from the death of her daughter, and whether she's guilty of murdering Caylee in cold blood or facilitating her death through a tragic accident, we do know she was, as our own Summers McKay put it, "the worst mother in the world."
Much has been made about Nancy Grace and her aggressive coverage of the Casey Anthony story, and how it's been sensationalized, but when it comes down to it, she knows a villain when she sees one. And like any villain, this one must be not be allowed to feel comfortable and at ease.
Which brings me back to my earlier point of how do we collectively as a society deal with a pariah like Casey Anthony? Certainly vigilante justice is unacceptable; she was found "not guilty" of the most serious charges against her, and to break the law to exact revenge is both reprehensible and hypocritical. However, we don't have to make life easy for her either.
Some may accuse me or other journalists of playing her game by reporting on her, speculating about where she may be, or otherwise keeping her name in the news, but I say the minute we forget about Casey and what we know she DID do is when we let Caylee down.
I wouldn't pay a dime to hear what lies she has to offer for a quick buck, but I absolutely will keep informing the public of how she's thumbing her nose at us all as she pursues "the beautiful life."