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Forensics Expert Testifies on Stench of Death

Aired June 6, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, could this be the moment that dooms Casey Anthony?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odor was extremely overwhelming in this. I was -- I was shocked that that little bitty can could have that much odor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what do you recognize that odor to be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I recognize it as human decomposition.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The so-called stench of death comes back to haunt Casey. Jurors hear explosive testimony about air samples taken from her car. Will the jury smell what the prosecution calls the overwhelming odor of human decomposition? Will this experience be too powerful to ignore? And what about the "CSI" effect?

Plus, I`m dissecting the secrets and lies in the Casey Anthony case. Why toxic secrets always spill out in murder cases.

And I`m taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.



CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY: The smell in the car was like something I had never -- it was pretty strong.

(via phone) There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today, and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.

(on camera) I use that expression, you know, "What died?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the way, cameraman.

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY`S FATHER: That particular smell, whenever you smell it, it`s something you never forget.

DR. ARPAD VASS, FORENSICS EXPERT: In my experience, the smell I smelled inside that car was the smell of decomposition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odor that came out of the trunk was even more stronger than the odor that came out of the vehicle. When we opened it, there were a few flies that flew out.

CASEY ANTHONY, MURDER SUSPECT: Can someone let me -- come on.

LEE ANTHONY, BROTHER OF CASEY: It was very potent, very strong.

VASS: It`s just another corroboration of what my nose tells me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, we have entered the very heart of the Casey Anthony case with the unmistakable stench of death. At least five noses have now smelled death inside her car. Will jurors soon be asked to take a gut-wrenching whiff for themselves from a can of death? Can you imagine that smell drifting through the courtroom towards the dead child`s grandparents, Cindy and George?

Today`s testimony was all about the evidence inside that car you`re looking at right there, defendant Casey Anthony`s car. Prosecutors claim Casey put little Caylee`s dead body in her car trunk and then dumped the child in the woods near the Anthony home.

Today, a top prosecution expert in human decomposition gave very powerful testimony about carpet and air samples taken from that car, Casey`s car. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you opened the can, which contained the carpet sample submitted to you, what was your reaction?

VASS: At first I jumped back about two feet, because the odor was pretty strong. But it -- it was, to me, the smell of human decomposition.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In plain English, that expert is saying a dead body was in Casey`s car, in his opinion.

Prosecutors also contend Casey drugged little Caylee with chloroform. Now, it just so happens that chloroform is also released by decaying bodies. But the body expert testified today that his tests of air from Casey`s car trunk registered much higher chloroform levels than he`s ever found in mere decomposition. Listen carefully. It`s crucial.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the amount of chloroform that you found in the chromatogram surprise you?

VASS: We were shocked.


VASS: Because we have never seen chloroform in that level in an environmental sample before. At least I never have in 20 years of samples.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So was there so much chloroform because Casey used it to knock little Caylee out before murdering her? That`s what prosecutors believe.

But are jurors absorbing it all, or are they zoning out because there`s no quick and tidy "CSI" forensics, like fingerprints? Call me: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Aphrodite Jones, star of "True Crime."

Affie, you were in the courtroom for this absolutely crucial testimony and the grilling that Jose Baez gave this prosecution expert. What`s the buzz at court? Because you often hear the real story about all the chatter after the testimony about who won this all-important round today?

APHRODITE JONES, HOST, "TRUE CRIME": I think for sure the prosecution won this round today. The grilling that Baez gave to Dr. Vass.

Frankly, Jane, this man was so credible. He is so adept at what he`s doing. And, yes, it is a new science, and yes, it is science that has never been entered into a court before, but -- into a criminal court before, but he has 20 years` experience with dead bodies and all the elements of decomposition and has done the experiments himself.

So the jury, you would think that they would not be listening as much to this scientific, dry testimony. It was the opposite. They were taking notes. They were sitting, listening very intently. They knew it was critical. They knew it was crucial.

And at the moment when Dr. Vass said that there was ten -- you know, so much more higher amount -- amounted to 10,000 times higher amount of chloroform found in the trunk than what they normally would see, one juror rolled his eyes. And it was -- it definitely impacted them. They`re catching it, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Here is my big issue tonight. New science versus junk science? Is it just new science or is it junk science.

The defense attorney, Jose Baez, repeatedly tried to get this crucial forensic expert to omit the field of body decomposition and that air sample research was in its infancy and simply cannot be trusted. Listen to this really rough exchange.


JOSE BAEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You`re willing to come in front of this jury and give them information as an expert witness to facts that have not been studied at all?

VASS: Bio accumulation is a well-known phenomenon in the animal kingdom, for instance, in plants. Yes, it is my opinion that that is what has happened.

BAEZ: That`s your opinion on something that has never been studied?

VASS: Well, fortunately we don`t get a lot of children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a little zinger back to Baez. Now, that expert`s referring to the accumulation of fluoride in decomposing bodies.

I`ve got to ask our very famous forensic scientist, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky and also my good buddy. Why the heck is this suddenly being introduced now? I mean, this is not the first body that`s been found inside a car trunk. It happens all the time. Why on earth is this the first time that air samples are being used in a capital case? I don`t understand.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, Jane, I`ve got to tell you, I don`t understand it either. I think that, if you`re using state-of-the-art technology in a capital case, it had better be reliable science.

I`m an advocate for science here, and I want to know why this kind of testing has never been validated. Why is there no other laboratory in the United States or in the world that does this kind of work? You know, where are the publications by peers, other people that have verified the findings of Dr. Vass? It seems to me that much of what he said has been comments that any layperson could provide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you this, Dr. K. We had heard a lot about a spot on the carpet or whatever of the trunk that had an outline that looked like a child.

So I`m just wondering. Usually when you have some -- if I walk into my house and I smell something, I`m not going to find nothing. I`m going to find something, whether it`s an onion sitting in the refrigerator or there`s going to be something that it leads to. How can -- how can they have this air sample and no DNA? That`s what I don`t understand.

KOBILINSKY: You know, that`s a very, very good question. You`d have to postulate that the DNA was simply fully degraded, which is very unusual. So I don`t know. Maybe the state has postulated that the body was in a bag of some sort and there was leakage out of the bag. I really don`t know the answer to that.

But as you know, Jane, in addition to not finding DNA, there are several compounds that you typically find in bodies from decomposition. They were not found in this case. So I don`t really...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. I get -- you`re having questions about it. You`re the big expert.

Now, it`s such a big issue, we`ve got two big issues as part of one issue. All right? I want to talk about death cans. Yes, death cans. The judge has not yet ruled on whether prosecutors can whip out the so-called smell-of-death cans in open court and ask jurors to take a whiff. But if the judge says yes, then we will see (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for that big moment. Prosecutors might be, in my opinion, at risk of grossing out the jury.

But boy, if it smells like nothing they`ve ever smelled before, that would be powerful. Then again, it could also drift across the courtroom and hit Cindy and George, who would be emotionally tortured by that, thinking, "Oh, my gosh. That`s the remains of my dead granddaughter."

I`ve got to go to Casey Jordan, criminologist. Do you think it`s a good idea, even if the judge says yes, to open these cans of death like they`re some kind of soda cans and let these jurors take a whiff of that?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: I do. And let me just kind of give you a simile. If somebody tells you that the Grand Canyon, seeing the Grand Canyon is the most amazing, unique experience, and you must experience it some day. And you have an option of someone tell you about it, seeing a photograph about it, or seeing it in person. Which one are you going to do to verify it`s a phenomenal, unique experience?

The can of death has been made -- a lot has been made of this. And the truth is, if the actual odor does exist, juries are allowed to use all five of their senses to help evaluate evidence. We`ve had testimony after testimony.

I think it`s only fair that they have the ability to actually smell it. But it should be all or none.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to introduce Marcia Clark, who is famous, of course, as prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case.

Now, Marcia, they are calling this now -- it`s going to be the O.J. moment. And of course, I`m referring to the gloves that didn`t fit. And I know, having read about your case, that it wasn`t your idea to have those gloves put on. I believe you argued, actually, against having the gloves put on. It did become that pivotal -- one of those turning point moments. Do you think these cans of death, if they`re opened, could be one of those pivotal turning-point moments in this case?

MARCIA CLARK, PROSECUTOR: Well, it could be, because I think you raise a very good question. That is, that there`s no DNA in the trunk, so where did the smell come from? What is it attached to? And otherwise, if the jurors don`t smell it, they start to wonder whether it even exists.

From the defense point of view, though, I would think there would be an awfully good argument that, in the capture of the air from the trunk, there could be an alteration and a concentration of the smell to make it much more powerful than it originally was in the trunk.

In other words, the air that they smell in the canister might be misrepresented to them as more powerful, more pungent than what was really in the trunk. In which case it`s very prejudicial and unfair to the defense. And that could create a huge issue on appeal, because as you say, this is a pivotal moment in the trial. And it is some of the most compelling evidence that there was death by criminal agency and by Casey Anthony, because it was in her trunk. That could be cause for a reversal.


CLARK: So you have to be very careful on both sides of this issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so complicated, but it`s just so crucial. We`re just getting started, and I know we`ve got calls lined up. We`re going to take them right on the other side: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

The Casey Anthony trial, it reaches a fever pitch. Shocking expert testimony about an overwhelming smell, stench of death. Does this entire case boil down to a smell?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you come to any opinion about the source of the odor that you analyzed from the car?

VASS: I consider it consistent with human decomposition.




CINDY ANTHONY: Caylee`s been gone for 31 days.

BAEZ: She could be 8 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth and then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.

CINDY ANTHONY: I was in Lake County two days ago. Was there anything there?


VASS: The chloroform was shockingly high. Unusually high.

CASEY ANTHONY: I need to be looked at as a victim. I`m just as much of a victim as the rest of you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do we separate fiction from fact? Can prosecutors prove Caylee`s body was inside the trunk of Casey Anthony`s car?

Jurors have listened to hours of detailed forensic testimony. Is it enough to convince him little Caylee was drugged and put in that car as part of a murder? Dorothy Washington, your question or thought?

CALLER: You know, I think Baez is an absolute creep, because I think that what he`s -- he`s come up with this idea that somehow it was the father involved in this. I think that Casey is so narcissistic that she did, on a regular basis, put this child to sleep using chloroform, maybe using Xanax before that or whatever and that ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think you`re making a very good point because I do believe that Jose Baez, some would say, is badgering some of these expert witnesses that the state calls. These witnesses, it`s their job. They are not people with emotional investment in this case, necessarily. Listen to this exchange.


BAEZ: You are not a chemist.

VASS: Correct.

BAEZ: You`re not an analytical chemist?

VASS: Correct.

BAEZ: You`re not a biochemist?

VASS: Correct.

BAEZ: And you actually failed your proficiency -- first proficiency test, did you not?


BAEZ: Did you ever go by any other names, other than Yuri Melich?


BAEZ: Did you ever go by the name of Dick Tracy Orlando?

PERRY: Sustained. Next question.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Florida prosecutor Stacey Honowitz, is Jose Baez getting too personal in his questioning of these expert witnesses or is this fair game?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Whenever you have an expert on the stand and it`s not being favorable for you, you have to ask questions to try to discredit the expert. That`s what the defense attorney does.

And in this case, this was hard, solid evidence. The air samples, the chloroform. Jose has to try to discredit the expert any way he possibly can so he can get up in his closing argument and say, this is the expert you want to believe, a person who has an alias, a person who failed the proficiency test? Is it going to work? I don`t think so. But certainly, it`s fair game for him to try to discredit the evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey, you are a Florida prosecutor. Would you open the death cans and ask the jurors to smell them if you were trying this case?

HONOWITZ: I have a different take on that. I think when I have an expert on the stand -- I think that you run the risk -- I would feel that you have enough evidence. You have five people that smelled it. You have an expert with excellent credentials who have no dog in this fight.

I don`t think that you need the jurors to be subjected to open that can and say, well, they don`t know what decomposition smells like. They`re just going to have a bad odor that someone may go back and say, "Well, it doesn`t smell like decomposition to me." Well, you`re not the expert.

Just like when I try a sex crimes case and I have -- I`m sorry to be graphic, but I have pictures of the inside of the vagina. And the expert is the only one that can see these certain tears. And I don`t show that to a jury because they`re not experts, and they might not be able to see a tear in the vagina that the expert might be able to see. But I...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Aphrodite -- I understand your point, and you make an excellent point. Aphrodite Jones, you`re there. You`ve been up close and personal with the family. Do you think they would be horribly offended if those -- if that smell of the grandchild`s death, presumably, or allegedly, would be across the room?

JONES: I think the family has been put through so much already, Jane. As you know, we watch them every day. I`m in the elevators with them almost every day. It`s horrifying to see them so shaken up, so -- so really trying to hold it together. I think that smell...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you`re saying it would be tough for them. More...



JEFFREY ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to whether the evidence you found in the trunk of this car -- let me rephrase that. Do you have an opinion as to whether there was a decomposing human body in the trunk of that car at some point?

VASS: I do have one.

ASHTON: And what is that opinion?

VASS: I can find no other plausible explanation other than that to explain all of the results we found.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Day 11 in the Casey Anthony murder trial, and it was all about the smell of death. Wouldn`t we all love some simple "CSI" justice here? Right? Check this out.


LAURENCE FISHBURNE, ACTOR: Come on, cut us through. Show me how much you`re not like your father.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, that`s not exactly what happened in court today. There`s been no "CSI" moment, no neat and tidy evidence enclosure, like fingerprints or, better yet, a videotape of the actual murder being committed, the alleged murder.

I`m thrilled to welcome my very special guest, Marcia Clark, former prosecutor and author of a fantastic new novel, "Guilt by Association." Make it your hot summer read when you`re on the beach.

Marcia, of course, was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. And I have to say, Marcia, I watched you for months on end. I was a local news reporter out in L.A. And I`m going to admit something very embarrassing, because this was happening right before I got sober. Sometimes I was a little hung over, and I would fall asleep during the DNA testimony, which went on for a very, very long time.

On the anchor desk, not a high point in my career, but it was that boring, honestly, And I could not keep my eyes open. I needed tooth picks. Do you think that that could be a problem here if this continues to drag on in terms of all this forensic evidence?

CLARK: That`s always the worry that you have. And it`s kind of a damned if you do and damned if you don`t.

I have to say, Jane, you`ve had a lot of company. People asleep during the DNA testimony. And I loved it, because it was the one time in the courtroom we didn`t have it packed with spectators. Lots of empty seats.

But if you don`t present this evidence in all of its glory, then the jury winds up being told by the defense, "Oh, it`s a black box. How do you know it really works? How do you know that anybody did their job right? They just gave you the result. They didn`t tell you how they got it." And they cast a lot of doubt about whether it`s a reliable result.

So if you don`t show how it came about, then you risk that. If you show how it came about, then they get bored. I think that most prosecutors would choose boredom over the kind of confusion that can be raised by the defense to say you don`t really know that this works. You have to kind of make this decision.

In this case, though, I don`t think it`s not going to go on that long. I think they need to start showing this kind of hard evidence, this kind of forensic evidence. Remember the coroner does not really know the cause of death. It`s inconclusive.

So everything that they can bring in to show the presence of evidence that is hard, fast, and scientific to prove that a death and a homicide occurred would be very important.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jose Baez is doing a lengthy cross-examination. I always say, in my opinion, as a layperson, in confusion there is reasonable doubt. Could he mix it up as much? Well, we`ve got a couple of seconds that people just throw up their hands and say, "Oh, this is reasonable doubt, because I`m confused."

CLARK: That`s always the worry. The worry is that the jury will say, "I`m confused. I don`t get it. Therefore, it must be a doubt."

I don`t think that`s going to happen here. I really don`t. And -- excuse me -- and I think that the defense is doing what they can, but we -- I don`t think he`s really laying a glove on this witness, really.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone, stick around. So much more on Casey Anthony.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside that car was the smell of decomposition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odor that came out of the trunk was even more strong than the odor that came out of the vehicle. When we opened it there were a few flies that flew out.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF KILLING DAUGHTER: Can someone let me -- come on.

LEE ANTHONY, BROTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: It was very potent, very strong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just another corroboration of what my nose tells me is correct.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Huge testimony today. Did prosecutors convince jurors that Caylee`s dead body was inside the trunk of her mother Casey`s car? And if they did, is that game-set-match?

Straight out to Jean Casarez who is at the courthouse covering all the testimony today; what were the big points that were scored by this very, very important expert witness about the smell of death, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Here`s what I think is so important. The smell of death, yes because he specializes in deceased bodies and he said he smelled decomposition. But the chemical analysis not only of the air but the carpet and the carpet fibers showed chemicals of decomposition and acids from decomposition so that means Jane, that the little body of Caylee, according to prosecutors, would just be in the trunk, not on a blanket, not on a pillow, just on the carpet of the trunk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say, Casey Jordan, criminologist, I thought it was very significant that in the opening statement Jose Baez who claims that George, the grandfather, discovered little Caylee`s body drowned in the swimming pool, never said his theory about how the child went from being in George`s arms to a wooded area less than a mile away from the home.

If the defense thinks, oh, my gosh, I`ve now been cornered and the jury has got to believe that there is a smell of death in the car, could they then turn and point the finger at George and say, George is the one who put that child in the car and then dumped the child in the woods?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Absolutely. And I`ve been wondering if all along that`s their plan. Are they going to put Casey on the stand? Because that whole question about what happened after George Anthony had this dead child in his arms and how she got to the woods, huge pothole. It`s like a cliff. They have got to bridge that gap.

But the question is, Jane, if that`s where they are going to go, why discredit all of these witnesses and argue there was never a dead body in the trunk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because they are going to do it and then if they can`t -- if they open those death cans in the court, which the judge hasn`t decided yet, and the jury smells the smell of death and they are like, well, we lost on that, now Plan B.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we`re going to say the body was there and that George put it there.

JORDAN: Ok. And the jury is going to sit there and go, "Well, which is it? The body wasn`t there but oh, ok, now it`s there and it`s Georges fault?" This will backfire on the defense. They really need to be consistent. If they go switching tactics in the middle of the trial, I really think it will come back to haunt them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutors are going to argue that Casey drugged little Caylee with chloroform before she killed her. They believe the duct tape over the child`s mouth is the murder weapon and that`s what makes testimony like this so absolutely crucial. Listen carefully.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason we progressed was because the chloroform was shockingly high, unusually high.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s recap the prosecution`s key evidence from inside Casey`s car. Experts found chloroform and signs of decomposition and air samples and on a single hair from the trunk. And also, let`s not forget, somebody Googled chloroform and how to make chloroform on the Anthony family computer at a time when Cindy and George were at work.

So Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, you are a famous forensic scientist, how critical is this massive level of chloroform the expert says he found in air samples that are connected to the trunk of Casey`s car?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: I think it`s a very important piece of evidence of information for the state. And I think that it`s incumbent upon the defense to attack each and every item.

Now, I think one way to address the chloroform is to indicate that it was synthesized as a result of various household chemicals coming together, like bleach and nail polish remover.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. K, the defense is claiming that the child drowned in a swimming pool which they revealed -- this is a theory they revealed at the 11th hour. Couldn`t they say, hey there`s a chloroform in swimming pools. Yes, the child did drown and the chloroform is from the swimming pool?

DR. KOBILINSKY: Well, of course. Perhaps they should -- maybe they have to do that. But I`ll tell you, the burden is on the state and the defense doesn`t have to do anything. They could just lay the ground work. Perhaps jurors will buy into that and that`s really all they need to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s hypothetically but if they want to save this woman`s life, they might have to do a little bit more than that, especially if they open up those death cans and the jury smells that unmistakable smell of death.

Let me ask you this one other question. Dr. K, I`ve never smelled the smell of death. I`ve actually gone to autopsies and I couldn`t say I`ve ever smelled the smell of death. Would I know it? Would I know instinctively this isn`t rotting pizza? This isn`t meat? I don`t eat meat so I wouldn`t know what that smells like either. But go ahead.

DR. KOBILINSKY: I don`t know. But I think you know, as a scientist, I like to see some analytical instrumentation rather than Dr. Vass` nose. Quite frankly, giving these cans over to jurors is inflammatory, it`s provocative and it turns the jury into witnesses; they don`t know what they are smelling.

And I`ll tell you something else. I think you could probably synthesize a few chemicals, put them in a can and give it to Dr. Vass and he would jump back about two feet because he would think it was the smell of death when in actuality it`s synthesized chemistry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, sure. I mean my gosh, you wear a T-shirt for a week -- not that I have -- and you would jump back two feet and say -- but I do believe that the smell of death is like no other. Suffice it to say - -

DR. KOBILINSKY: Perhaps. But it`s human or animal, that`s a big question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he said that doesn`t -- animals don`t smell -- decomposing animals don`t smell like decomposing people; that they have totally different odor. It`s a muskier odor or a sweeter odor in the animals than it is in a human being.

DR. KOBILINSKY: And that`s what his nose, his sense of smell -- that`s not science. That sounds like a layperson`s commentary. I don`t buy it. I need to see the science.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Maybe the defense should have you on as an expert witness.

Dana, Texas, your question or thought Dana?

DANA, TEXAS (via telephone): I wanted to talk about the smell of the chloroform in the car -- that overpowering smell. It was like that because that`s where the chloroform was stored. If you go get gas from the gas station, you`re not going to put it in the back seat of the car because the fumes could knock you out, overpower you, and kill you. So why would you put chloroform in the back seat of your car? You would put it in the trunk with the child and the fumes probably continued to spread which would result in the overpowering smell.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Casey Jordan, I guess the caller is saying that things can get distorted if they`re in the trunk. A little goes a long way. But what difference does it make if these reading show a high level of chloroform that`s way beyond what would be found in human decomposition. That means somebody put some chloroform in that car and why? Why?

JORDAN: Well -- and don`t forget, Dr. Vass said that it was shocking levels. If normal decomposition causes trace evidence of chloroform in the millions, one per millions of particles, they measured in the trillions of parts. Normal is one in the trillions and they detected it in the one of millions. So this was a huge level of chloroform and this opens the door for all these theories about how little Caylee died and this could be problematic for the prosecution.

I`m going to go there right now. Because they are arguing that she was suffocated with the duct tape. But a lot of people out there say it could have been an accidental death by chloroform. Forget the drowning. Maybe it was chloroform.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I agree with you.

JORDAN: And that could raise the reasonable doubt that the defense is looking for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. There`s a lesser included charges that they could end up with and I think it`s aggravated manslaughter which she`s also charged with. So they could decide, well, yes, the girl wanted to go dancing and she gave her too much chloroform and that`s an accidental death. It`s not a premeditated murder.

Except the only problem is, the Googling of the words "neck breaking". That`s a big problem. Now, you notice how you got confused with the trillions and millions. So did I when I was writing my notes today, I was like -- well, today`s testimony was really complicated unless you`re a forensic scientist. I am not.

And you know who else isn`t a forensic scientist -- defense attorney Jose Baez. Watch this and judge for yourself.


JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: You compare the chemical output of (INAUDIBLE) to a buried body or a surface body and it makes no difference?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think you quite understand what`s happened here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ouch. Jean Casarez, I think Jose Baez is doing a great job but why didn`t he let somebody else handle this cross- examination?

CASAREZ: Well, you know, it`s interesting Linda Kenney-Baden is the one defense attorney that deposed Dr. Vass but then she left the team, so it was up to Jose Baez. And he definitely worked hard at this cross- examination.

He didn`t get in the evidence about the Manson ranch, Jane. And I think that would have really helped the defense but the judge wouldn`t allow it in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Every big case has to involve Charlie Manson, somehow.

All right. Hang tight, fabulous panel. Nancy Grace all over this crucial scientific testimony; she`ll have the latest development live from Orlando in just a couple of minutes at the top of the hour right here.

And ISSUES, we`re going to have more in-depth analysis of the issues in this case. We`re talking Casey`s toxic secrets. Do toxic secrets lead to murder? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.


BAEZ: Well, the answer is relatively simple. She never was missing. Caylee Anthony died on June 16th, 2008, when she drowned in her family`s swimming pool.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Casey is a very effective liar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She spins tales (INAUDIBLE) but all these crazy stories about all this stuff.

CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Are you blaming me that you`re sitting in this jail? Blame yourself for telling lies?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As she hung up, she said, she kind of threw the phone down in the dashboard and just said, "Oh, my God, I`m such a good liar."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to be the point where you stop the lies and you stop all the fibs and tell us exactly what is going on. I know and you know that everything you`ve told me is a lie, correct?

CASEY ANTHONY: Not everything that I`ve told you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth and Miss Anthony are strangers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony created an alternate universe populated with fictional characters, like Zanny the nanny and fictional jobs like her supposed career at Universal Studios, all to cover up her hard partying life. Casey spun an elaborate web of lies for years. Well, now it`s up to a jury to discuss what is fact and what is total fiction.


BAEZ: This child, who at 8 years old, learned to lie immediately. She could be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth and then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Truth or lies? Casey created a totally fake reality for everyone around her. The truth was she was entering hot body contests and getting tattoos while her mom Cindy was desperately trying to figure out what happened to her granddaughter Caylee. Finally those secrets exploded in Casey`s face and left her mother in tears. Listen.


CINDY ANTHONY: Casey was on the floor phone crying and I overheard her tell Lee that Caylee had been gone for 31 days.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everybody always asks how could a mother kill her own child? Well, that`s what is alleged here and I have a theory about cases like this which I`ve explored in my book, "Secrets Can Be Murder".

Casey created this make-believe world with an imaginary nanny, imaginary friends as well; imaginary job. When you become more emotionally invested in your fantasy fake world, the real world becomes dead. Ok? That`s why some people can get so involved with online gaming that they let their kids practically starve to death. And I`ve covered those cases.

Because they think that that the world online is the real world and they`ve forgotten that the real world is actually on the outside. And that`s the dangerous point when somebody becomes capable of killing, when the fake world seems more real than the real world.

Straight out to Casey Jordan, criminologist, what do you think of my theory?

JORDAN: I buy it. And I like how you started out by saying, Jane, fictional characters, fictional stories, fictional jobs but then you used the word imaginary. And I`m (INAUDIBLE) what the difference is her be imaginary would suggest that she`s psychotic. She`s delusional. But in fact she actually fabricates these lies. She makes them up based on little pieces of reality and she creates a world where she has a nanny.

Well, I picture Mary Poppins with a little cape, a live-in housekeeper-helper. That`s not even what she even had. She didn`t even have a baby sitter. She talks about how she needed to use her own resources to conduct her own investigation. She is a high school dropout.

She has developed a persona, a world that is convenient for her; it`s the world she does not live in but would like to live in. And all of this is becoming abundantly clear to this jury. And frankly, you can trot out all the forensic evidence that you want this week and next. They are going to be left with a very hard impact of last week`s testimony that revealed Casey as a pathological liar and a --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think we`re both saying the same thing. But here`s my big issue tonight -- dangerous fantasy. Casey Anthony got caught in a chain of lies. Those lies increased exponentially. Why? Because when you lie, that lie will be revealed as a lie unless you back it up and protect you with other lies. Ok?

You lie about having a job then people ask you, who`s watching your kid while you`re at work? So you have to lie about having a nanny. And people ask where does the nanny live? So you have to lie about her apartment. So, one little piece of information at a time a false universe is built and then this fantasy life becomes dangerous.

And they say in 12-steps, for example, you`re only as sick as your secrets. Well, imagine walking around with as many secrets and lies as Casey Anthony had to walk around in.

Marcia Clark, people get so wrapped up in these lies that the pressure becomes almost impossible to bear and on a subconscious level sometimes they try to do something that will make the lies explode and sometimes I think that can lead to violence.

MARCIA CLARK, O.J. SIMPSON PROSECUTOR: Certainly it can. Certainly it can and it`s very apparent that she was living in some part a fantasy world. But her lies are opportunistic, so I`m not convinced that she doesn`t know what she`s saying or really believe that her lies are true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to talk about some other cases where secrets and lies played a pivotal role. Remember, they say you`re only as sick at your secrets. So how sick is Casey Anthony? Next.



JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, PRESIDING OVER CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL: Objection will be overruled. I`m going to ask both the state and defense over the noon recess to read page 745 of the 2010 edition of Earhart.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the real revelations of the Casey Anthony murder trial has been the man on the bench, Judge Belvin Perry. This judge is smart, educated and most of all, tough. He rules with an iron fist.

Jean Casarez, you`re there. He doesn`t let people get away with anything. For example, we all know and we got Marcia Clark here. Judge Lance Ito from the O.J. Simpson case -- he was famously criticized for being way too lenient and -- there you see him.

The trial got away from him, but that`s not happening with this judge in the Casey Anthony case, Jean Casarez.

CASAREZ: Not at all. Not at all. Let me give you an example. The defense wanted to object to all the jailhouse videos to put it on the table to actually have a hearing, an argument. The judge said, "Nope, you had a December 31st deadline. Deadlines are to be met. Sorry."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marcia Clark, how important is it to have a judge that doesn`t let the inmates take control of the asylum, so to speak?

CLARK: Exactly. Well put. It`s critical. It`s really critical. The judge is actually the director of the film, you know. He`s the director of the movie to the extent that he allows the defense to bury the prosecution in its own minutia and side issues and all kinds of red herrings, then he`s going to allow the truth to get buried. The jury may never find its way out from under that bendy mountain.

And so it`s extremely important that he manage the trial so that every case is presented clearly and effectively and doesn`t waste the jury`s time and allow them to be confused. That is the critical aspect of being a judge to make sure that the correct evidence gets before the jury and in a cogent manner.

He`s doing an excellent job of it. I`ve been very impressed with this judge. Nobody gets away with anything; they shouldn`t. He holds everyone`s feet to the fire equally. That`s exactly what you want from a judge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And it also is better because then if the defense is convicted, they don`t have a basis for appeal as much.

Bear in mind, the prosecution has more up its sleeve than just the smell of death. This past Saturday they had court and they brought into evidence a hair that was found in Casey`s trunk, a hair that prosecutors say came from Caylee.

Listen to this.


KAREN LOWE, FBI LABORATORY EVIDENCE TECHNICIAN: The hair in Q-12 was microscopically dissimilar to the head hair sample identified as coming from Casey Anthony. The head hairs in Q-12 exhibited similarities to a hair found in a hair brush which was identified as belonging to Caylee Anthony.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. It`s cumulative. I mean the smell of death, but also the hair with the signs of decomposition.

DR. KOBILINSKY: The hair is not totally reliable, because there -- we don`t know the mechanism for the banding pattern that occurs from decomposition, and there are other factors that could take a normal hair and create a band very similar to that banding pattern, so that will be attacked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it is being attacked, but I mean can they attack everything? The smell, the cadaver dogs, the hair?

DR. KOBILINSKY: Absolutely. Absolutely. But the judge is the -- the judge is the gatekeeper, he should have kept out evidence that was really unreliable because of lack of validation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, on the other side, I`m going to ask you, Doctor, if you think there is a basis for appeal if conviction. Stay there.



BAEZ: You are not a member of any professional organizations that would govern its members, are you, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, and my background is so diverse I wouldn`t even know which one to possibly join.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, famous forensic scientist. New science or junk science? What say you?

DR. KOBILINSKY: I wouldn`t call this junk science, but I would call it science that is potentially very valuable. It needs to be studied more. It needs to be validated. Other people need to test it and publish. One day this will be good science, but not yet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what`s new about it is they`re testing the air samples as opposed to something physical. It`s just air, right? Yes or no?

DR. KOBILINSKY: That`s correct. The technology is established.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Unbelievable. Nancy Grace with the very latest next.