CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Secret Lives: Casey Anthony

Aired January 29, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Possible missing child. I have a 3-year-old that`s been missing for a month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, what is the 3-year-old`s name?

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY`S MOTHER: Caylee. C-a-y-l-e-e. Anthony.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): It was the 911 call that set off a national obsession. Hundreds of volunteers frantically searching for an adorable missing toddler. Cops chasing down thousands of tips and possible sightings.

Americans coast to coast demanding answers and justice for a helpless child who vanished in a tsunami of secrecy and lies, and two grandparents put through total hell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY`S FATHER: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

CINDY ANTHONY: I overheard her tell me that Caylee has been gone for 31 days and that the nanny had taken her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you respond to that?

CINDY ANTHONY: I lost it. I just went in the room -- what do you mean she`s been gone? Why didn`t you tell me? I swore at her. I hit the bed. I ran out and called the police again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: July 15, 2008, the precious toddler Caylee was nowhere to be found. Her young mother had suddenly blurted out that her daughter disappeared 31 days earlier, claiming her nanny had abducted her. How could a seemingly loving mom not tell anyone for a whole month that her toddler had been kidnapped. It was one of the questions cops asked uncorking a geyser of toxic secrets.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER: I know who has her. I tried to contact her. I actually received a phone call today now from a number that is no longer in service. I did get to speak to my daughter for about a moment, for about a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: White female. Three years old. 8-9-2005 is the date of birth?

CASEY ANTHONY: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you last saw her a month ago?

CASEY ANTHONY: Thirty-one days, 31 days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who has her? Do you have a name?

CASEY ANTHONY: Her name is Zenaida Fernandez Gonzales.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is that?

CASEY ANTHONY: Baby sitter. She`s been my nanny for about a year and a half. For almost two years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you calling now? Why didn`t you call 31 days ago?

CASEY ANTHONY: I`ve been looking for her, and I`ve gone through other resources to try and find her, which was stupid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony, the young woman soon to be known to the world as Tot Mom. In the coming months, scandalous photos would emerge showing Casey dirty dancing at a nightclub during the 31 days she claimed she had been secretly hunting for her missing daughter. Casey was clearly enjoying her night out, looking anything but distraught.

STEVE HELLING, AUTHOR, "OUTRAGE: THE CASEY ANTHONY STORY": Casey Anthony was living the high life the whole time that Caylee was missing. She was dancing on tables. She was going to clubs. She was wearing her blue cocktail dress. She was having the greatest of times. And then when anybody would ask her is everything going OK she said, "Yes, everything is fine. Caylee is with the nanny." And so nobody even had an inkling that Caylee was missing or that Casey had done anything at that time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey also got a tattoo that read "Bella Vita," Italian for "the beautiful life." Was Casey living the good life while her innocent and defenseless 3-year-old was kidnapped and held hostage?

LINDA DRANE BURDICK, PROSECUTOR: Day one, Monday, June 16, 2008, she told her mother that she was going to spend the night with a babysitter by the name of Sam.

Day two... day 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. No one knows where Caylee is. And Casey Anthony is just going around Orlando, captured on video at Target, captured on video at Bank of America.

HELLING: Imagine spending more than a month with a friend and you`re going shopping. She`s having sex with her boyfriend. She`s renting videos. She`s dancing on tables. She`s just having a great time. And then finding out at the end that her daughter, who was supposedly the love of her life, had been missing for 31 days.

Her friends couldn`t believe it. Her friends were angry. They felt betrayed. They felt confused. And everybody wanted to know what`s wrong with Casey? Why would she do this? Why would she keep these secrets instead of doing what any normal person would do, which is go to the cops and say, "Hey, there`s a problem"?

So her friends just couldn`t believe their eyes when they started to see in the news what Casey was alleged to have done and what she had been going through during those 31 days because she gave no indication whatsoever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Surveillance video of Casey shopping for beer, bras and sunglasses raised the ultimate question. Is this how a loving mother behaves when she knows something awful has happened to her daughter or is this young woman casually enjoying a secret life?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one, especially a woman could understand how Casey Anthony could go out partying and drinking in bars while her daughter was missing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Casey Anthony, a young mother with a big problem. Her daughter Caylee had been missing for 31 days. And Casey couldn`t keep her story straight on what happened.

HELLING: Casey didn`t just tell simple lies. What she would tell are these elaborate stories that had different characters in them, different events that happened. You know, he had this friend up in Jacksonville who had a child that didn`t exist. Her nanny who, of course, didn`t exist reportedly had a sister who`d gotten in a car accident near Tampa.

All these stories were interconnected. It was this web of lies that turned out to be total fiction. It was like she created an alternate universe.

ROBYN WALENSKY, AUTHOR, "BEAUTIFUL LIFE?: THE CSI BEHIND THE CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL AND MY OBSERVATIONS FROM COURTROOM SEAT #1": Casey Anthony has more characters in her mind than Disney has at the theme park. I mean, the entire thing was so crazy that even little Caylee was saying "Zanny." So Mommy and Daddy thought that Zanny was a real person, because Casey was always talking about her with great detail. But everybody believed her. She`s a very convincing liar.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s mom Cindy, a nurse, became increasingly suspicious and frantic, even posting an open letter on Myspace. For Cindy and her husband, George, a retired detective, their little granddaughter was the center of their lives. Since her birth, little Caylee had lived with her young mom in the grandparents` Orlando home on Hope Spring Drive.

BURDICK: Well, Casey provided food and shelter and clothes for Caylee. That makes her a great mother. No, that makes her a mother. Maybe an adequate mother. But in reality the food, the clothes, the shelter were provided by her grandparents.

VELEZ-MITCHELL (on camera): The Anthonys seemed like the classic all- American family, but was everything quite as idyllic as it looked? Or were secrets lurking in the shadows? Had a crisis been brewing for years, right up until the very moment cops were called?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine-one-one, what`s your emergency? What is the 3-year-old`s name?

CINDY ANTHONY: Caylee. C-a-y-l-e-e.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee Anthony?

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Is she white, black or Hispanic?

CINDY ANTHONY: She`s white.

HELLING: Casey was finally backed in the corner when the car was found, and it smelled like there had been a dead body in it. And Cindy Anthony was no longer interested in listening to any of Casey Anthony`s lies. She didn`t want to hear it. She wanted the truth. And so she picks up the phone and she calls 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long has she been missing for?

CINDY ANTHONY: I have not seen her since the 7th of June.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony had been keeping secrets long before her daughter vanished. Casey didn`t finish high school, but her parents didn`t find that out until they showed up for her graduation ceremony.

HELLING: Casey would tell these lies that made no sense. She would say that she was going to graduate from high school when she wasn`t. And her family would get dressed up and go to the graduation just to find out that she`s not going walk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: At 18 Casey had another shocker in store. Everybody seemed to realize Casey was pregnant. Everybody but Cindy, who seemed to be in total denial about her daughter becoming a teen mom.

WALENSKY: Cindy Anthony lives in denial. She was even in denial about Casey`s pregnancy, where Casey had come to her office and saw some of the other ladies, the co-workers, and it was clear to everyone else that little petite, thin Casey Anthony had a belly and she was in denial almost up until month number seven, when it was clear at that point that Casey in photographs that were showed in the courtroom that she was clearly in a maternity dress.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even though Cindy finally begrudgingly accepted that Casey was pregnant, it did little to extinguish the war of wills between mother and daughter.

WALENSKY: Casey Anthony clearly was not ready for motherhood and had this pregnancy. And confided in a friend that she wanted to have the baby and then put this child up for adoption and Cindy Anthony would have no part of it. She said, "Casey, you`re going to have this child and we`re going to take care of him or her as a family."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day that little Caylee was born, there was a lot of friction in the labor and delivery room, according to reports, because Casey never really wanted to have this child, and she felt forced by her mother, Cindy, to have it.

WALENSKY: This was the tug-of-war between Cindy and Casey and there is even a report that after the baby was born that the first person to hold little Caylee was, indeed, Cindy, not Casey.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Little Caylee was born on August 9, 2005. Coming into the world with a secret father who even now has never been identified. The infant girl immediately became a pawn in the power struggle between her young, headstrong mom and her equally strong-willed grandmother.

HELLING: Everything went south really, really quickly in the relationship between Cindy and Casey after Caylee was born. In the delivery room Cindy was the first person to hold the baby instead of Casey. That started the ball rolling and, of course, that ball just kept getting bigger and bigger until Caylee disappeared. She was actually furious at her mother for taking the role of holding the baby first.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony`s world was a secret. One she desperately tried to keep hidden, especially from her mother, Cindy, and father, George, and not even the arrival of precious Caylee would end the deceit.

(on camera): After little Caylee`s birth, Casey`s lying escalated. She told her clueless parents she found a fabulous nanny named Zanny and was working at Universal Studios, but Casey had been fired long ago. She had no job and certainly couldn`t afford a nanny.

HELLING: You know, for years Casey Anthony said she had jobs. She had jobs at Universal Studios. She was doing photography work and event planning. And none of that turned out to be true.

When she was supposed to be at work she would be with her boyfriend. She would be with her friend. She would be out shopping. She would be doing anything. But she wasn`t at work.

Nobody really knows where Caylee was during that time. A lot of time she had Caylee with her and nobody really knows what she was doing with Caylee during these times that she wasn`t at work and she was out with her boyfriend and Caylee was nowhere to be seen. And nobody really knows where Caylee was during that time. And that was really off-putting when the trial came, because there`s a lot of chunks of time of little Caylee`s life that we don`t know where in the world she was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As Casey`s life of lies escalated, it became less and less manageable. To protect one lie you have to create another and to protect that lie yet another. And so on.

Soon, the lies become such complex and taken on such a life of their own that the situation becomes difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. And that`s when things get really dicey.

These images are the very last we have of precious Caylee alive. It`s Father`s Day, June 15, 2008, the day Grandma Cindy took little Caylee to see the child`s great-grandpa at a local retirement home.

BURDICK: On that Father`s Day, in that photo, Caylee Anthony snuggled with her great-grandfather who she called Papa. She colored. She read. She sang. And she had fun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Among the secrets that would emerge at this very moment as we are seeing Caylee alive for the final time, Cindy was so worried about her daughter Casey`s irresponsibility that she was thinking about seeking legal custody of her granddaughter. That night, the night before Caylee vanished, there are claims of a huge argument between Cindy and Casey over how Caylee was being cared for.

HELLING: In trial Cindy Anthony said that the night before Caylee went missing that she and Casey and Caylee just sat there looking at family pictures, and it was a lovely moment. But numerous sources and numerous people who would know and investigators say that`s not what happened whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cindy and Casey had a huge epic blow-outing fight. They were known to fight, but this reportedly was much different with, again, Cindy Anthony calling her an unfit mother and to which Casey replied, "Fine, I`m such an unfit mother you`re never going to see your grandchild again" and stormed out of the house into the night with her daughter. And that was the last time that Cindy Anthony ever saw her granddaughter alive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL (on camera): The next day, June 16, 2008, George Anthony said he saw his precious granddaughter for the last time.

G. ANTHONY: And I remember Caylee coming out from Casey`s room dressed in a nice little pink top. She had her blue jeans, little shorts on. Her white sandals, pink socks. White sunglasses. Her hair pulled back.

And she had a little backpack on, and I said, "Where you going?"

And she says, "Going with mommy."

And I said, "Oh, really. Where are you going?"

"I am going to see Zanny."

I said, "Really? Great." I`m just excited. Just knowing that she`s happy and I could see excitement in her.

And within a few minutes Casey comes out and, you know, dressed, and she says, "Dad, we`re going to work. I might be home late or I`ll let you guys know I might be staying over."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Staying over where?

G. ANTHONY: She said probably Zanny`s house because Zanny was, I guess lived somewhere close by. Or she didn`t want to come home too late and Caylee would be in bed between 8:30, probably 9. And I said OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: George said as Casey and Caylee walked out of the Anthony home, George believed Casey was going to drop little Caylee off with her longtime nanny, Zanny.

HELLING: Casey Anthony had created this Zanny the Nanny, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, and she was so detailed in the story about Zenaida that everybody who heard about her believed that she was a real person.

WALENSKY: Casey Anthony has more characters in her mind than Disney has at the theme park. And she came up with this woman Zanny the nanny and created all of these details literally from a name that she saw on a paper at the Sawgrass Apartments.

HELLING: It`s fascinating the detail that Casey was able to come up with, and how real it seemed, even though it was all fake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so when the police went to look at the apartment and to interview Zanny the nanny, guess what? The apartment was vacant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: July 15, 2008, 31 days after little Caylee vanished, Cindy and George learned that Casey`s Pontiac Sunbird had been towed to an impound lot and they went to pick it up. That`s when they got their first terrifying clue that something very sinister was going on.

CINDY ANTHONY: 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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): An abandoned car, Casey`s. A missing little girl, Caylee. And two frantic grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony, fearing the worse.

CINDY ANTHONY: 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.

VELEZ-MITCHELL (on camera): The lies Casey Anthony told police would trigger a frantic search for her daughter. Cops, along with hundreds of good-hearted volunteers combed fields and woods, looking for little Caylee and her alleged kidnapper, Zenaida Gonzalez. It seemed all of America had been sucked into Casey`s fictional world.

BURDICK: The defendant was lying about everything. If you go back and look at her four-page written statement the only true statement on this is that Caylee Marie Anthony was born on August 9, 2005. That`s it. Every other statement on that form is a lie.

There`s nothing that`s wrong with Casey Anthony that can`t be explained using two words. Pathological liar.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Once cops started looking into Casey`s claims, it quickly became apparent that nothing about her life was what it seemed. The investigation into her missing daughter`s whereabouts would exposed an elaborate web of lies designed to cover up Casey`s secret existence.

CINDY ANTHONY: Someone just said that Caylee was dead this morning, that she drowned in the pool. That`s the newest story out there.

CASEY ANTHONY: Surprise, surprise.

No one will let me be -- Come on.

CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart, settle down.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody is letting me speak. I`ll keep saying whatever I have to about the police.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey told cops she dropped little Caylee off at the Sawgrass Apartments on June 9 and when she`d called later, Zanny`s phone had been disconnected, because Zanny the nanny had kidnapped Caylee. So cops asked Casey to show them where Zanny the nanny lived. The place where she claimed to have dropped off her toddler. They found only a vacant apartment.

HELLING: Casey Anthony took the police on this tour of Orlando, showing where people supposedly lived: "This is where Zenaida Gonzalez lives. This is where I dropped off Caylee. This is where Zenaida`s mother, Gloria lived." And some of these apartments were vacant. Nobody had ever heard of these people. And yet Casey should have known at that point the jig is up.

ROBYN WALENSKY, AUTHOR, "A Beautiful Life": And she came up with this woman Zanny the nanny and created all these details literally from a name that she saw on a paper at the Sawgrass Apartments. This is an apartment complex not far from the Anthony home and she went to look at an apartment one day and saw the name Zenaida Gonzalez and then adopted that as the fictitious nanny and talked about her sister and talked about a fictitious dog that didn`t exist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome back to our Secrets Lab. How did this Anthony family continue to live in such denial about Casey`s lies and I want to start out by saying that denial is dangerous. It really is because if you live in denial, you are living in a fantasy world.

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST: You are. And I think what you`re doing you`re living as a phony, right? Because everything you`re doing is put on. It`s fake. And it reflects in every part of your life.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: But this is a family, they do love one another, and they have to stay together so they use this defense mechanism and that`s what it is -- denial. And it is a primitive defense mechanism which means it`s a one trick pony which means that it doesn`t work after a while.

BLOOM: Ultimately it`s unhealthy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I call it the "my dog doesn`t have flees" syndrome.

Knowing she was lying, police demanded Casey take them to her office at Universal Studios. After roaming the halls with detectives at her heels, Casey was finally forced to admit she had no job. It was all a lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to tell me how lying to us is going to help us find your daughter.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF CHILD`S MURDER: It`s not going to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to tell me how lying to us is going to help us find your daughter.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF CHILD`S MURDER: It`s not going to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As Casey led the cops down a rabbit hole of fabrications, frustrated detectives grilled her about why she was lying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HELLING: Casey was with investigators and Casey was saying, you know, I worked at Universal Studios. They said fine let`s go to Universal Studios. You can show us where you work. Show us who you have been speaking to for the past 31 days.

WALENSKY: She takes them to Universal Studios. They already know it`s bogus that she doesn`t work there. And she`s like, "Oh, this is the building and this is where I worked here and there and they know it`s all bogus.

HELLING: So she takes them to Universal. She talks her way past the guard and then she walks them through this office building and she`s basically walking past people`s office and she`s being like, "Hey how are you?" And then she finally gets to a place where she`s literally in the corner of a hallway and she turns around, puts her hands in the pockets and says to them "I lied to you. I don`t work here."

WALENSKY: So after 45 minutes to an hour she finally turns around in a hallway and says to Yuri Melich, "You know what? I don`t work here."

HELLING: Who does that? But that`s what Casey Anthony did.

WALENSKY: Yuri Melich grills her over and over, Casey tell us the story this and that. Then he finally says to her "This was either some sort of horrible accident or you`re a monster."

JOHN ALLEN, POLICE DETECTIVE: If the main thing you want to do is find your daughter and you don`t think lying to us is going to help us find her, why would you do that?

CASEY ANTHONY: Because I`m scared and I know I`m running out of options. It`s been a month.

ALLEN: What are you scared of?

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m scared of not seeing my daughter ever again. I`m absolutely petrified.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: Ok. If you`re scared of not seeing your daughter again, ok? I want you to tell me how lying to us is going to solve that problem and help find your daughter quicker?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Still Casey was insistent that Zanny was holding Caylee hostage and even claimed the abductor had let her talk to her missing two-year-old on the phone the very day before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Did you actually with her -- what day was it you talked to her?

CASEY ANTHONY: Yesterday.

ALLEN: Do you remember what time of day?

CASEY ANTHONY: Around noon. It was from a private number.

ALLEN: Ok. What did she tell you? What did your daughter say to you?

CASEY ANTHONY: She said "Hi Mommy".

ALLEN: And that`s it?

CASEY ANTHONY: And she started telling me a story, talking to me about her shoes and books and --

ALLEN: What`s important is you tell me, I mean maybe there`s something in what she said that can help us figure out where she is. But what did she say?

CASEY ANTHONY: I tried to ask her where she was and she just kept talking about the book that she`s been reading. We have videos of her reading this story and she`s telling me the story.

ALLEN: So she seemed happy -- she seemed happy?

CASEY ANTHONY: She`s fine.

ALLEN: She`s fine. She`s happy.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: She`s telling you about the book. No sign of any stress at all.

CASEY ANTHONY: Not at all.

ALLEN: Great. That`s wonderful. Let me ask you a question. Your daughter hasn`t seen you in over a month and she`s not --

CASEY ANTHONY: She was excited. She was excited -- sorry -- to talk to me. But at the same time it`s crazy that she didn`t get upset when she talked to me which if it had been my mom --

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: Is that another that makes sense to you?

CASEY ANTHONY: She never gets upset when she talks to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It would turn out that when Casey spoke those words she already knew her daughter Caylee was dead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALENSKY: Casey Anthony doesn`t give it up and I remember asking Yuri Melich, how would you have done under the grilling that you gave to Casey? And he said I would have broken under that grilling but she is such a liar and she believes the lies that she did not crack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony`s lies soon got her arrested and charged with murder. Cops knew they were dealing with a habitual liar and even her friends seemed shocked by her callousness. Thrown behind bars Casey seems almost obsessed with one thing -- talking to her boyfriend Tony Lazara.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KRISTINA CHESTER FRIEND OF CASEY ANTHONY: How come everybody is saying that you`re not upset? That you`re not crying, that you showed no caring of where Caylee is at all.

CASEY ANTHONY: Because I`m not sitting here (EXPLETIVE DELETED) crying every two seconds because I have to stay composed to talk to detectives, to make other phone calls, to do other things. I can`t sit here and be crying every two seconds like I want to. I can`t.

CHESTER: Casey, you have to tell me if you know anything about Caylee.

CASEY ANTHONY: Sweetheart --

CHESTER: If anything happens to Caylee, Casey, I`ll die. Do you understand? I`ll die if anything happens to that baby.

CASEY ANTHONY: Whoa. Oh my God. Calling you guys -- a waste, huge waste.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutors early on certainly believe that Casey killed her daughter so the child would not stand in the way of her budding relationship with Lazara. But without a body Cindy held out hope that little Caylee was still alive somewhere and she pressed her evasive daughter for answers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY: Someone let me speak. Come on.

CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody is letting me speak. You want to (inaudible) - - I`ll keep saying whatever I have to about the police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frustrated at almost every turn by Casey, Cindy`s long held hope that precious Caylee was still alive would soon turn to horror.

Bomb shells tonight with grisly breaking news out of Florida. The skeletal remains of a young child found in a plastic bag near the home of missing toddler Caylee Anthony. Could this stunning discovery finally break the case wide-open?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight, America finally hears the heartbreaking words all of us had been dreading. It`s now official. The remains found just blocks from the Anthony family home have been positively identified.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: December 11th, 2008, Caylee`s little body was found in a swampy wooded area literally around the corner from her family`s home. Duct tape was found on little Caylee`s skull. Prosecutors theorized three pieces of duct tape was placed over Caylee`s nose and mouth which stopped her from breathing. Detectives also found chloroform in the foul-smelling trunk of Casey`s car concluding Caylee was knocked out with chloroform, which can work as a knock out potion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: We can only hope that the chloroform was used before the tape was applied. So that Caylee went peacefully.

WALENSKY: I think that the most shocking horrifying picture that I have ever seen probably in 20 plus years of covering crime was the crime scene photo of little Caylee`s skull with weeds growing out it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Perhaps the most chilling clue? Detectives claim they saw the outline of a heart sticker on the duct tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HELLING: On the duct tape that was over Caylee Anthony`s mouth there was residue that suggested that perhaps a heart shaped sticker from the family home had been placed over the mouth.

WALENSKY: One of the most disturbing pieces of evidence in this case is the heart shaped sticker, the remains of it that were seen by the FBI on the duct tape that was over little Caylee`s mouth. Prosecutors in court said, you know, it`s as if Casey said "I killed you, but I loved you." It`s very eerie. It`s just very eerie to say now you`re gone but I did love you. I mean a heart shaped sticker, that`s what a heart shaped sticker means.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: At the start of Casey`s murder trial a stunning new twist that would turn the case on its head. Casey`s lawyer Jose Baez flat out admitted Casey`s lies and offered an alternate theory how Caylee died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: How in the world can a mother wait 30 days before ever reporting her child missing? It`s insane. It`s bizarre. Something is just not right about that. Well the answer is actually relatively simple. She never was missing. Caylee Anthony died on June 16th, 2008 when she drowned in her family`s swimming pool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jaws dropped as Baez proceeded to imply Casey`s dad covered up the accidental drowning and disposed of his granddaughter`s body.

ASHTON: People don`t make accidents look like murder.

LINDA DRANE BURDICK, PROSECUTOR: No person would ever make the accidental death of a child look like murder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense`s stunning claims didn`t stop with the drowning theory. They alleged George molested Casey when she was a child. And that`s how Casey learned to lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: This child at eight years old learned to lie immediately. She could be 13 years old, have her father`s penis in her mouth and then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened -- nothing`s wrong. That will help you understand why no one knew that her child was dead.

ASHTON: Have you ever sexually molested your daughter Casey Anthony?

GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: No, sir.

ASHTON: Have you ever committed any sexually inappropriate act with or in the presence of your daughter Casey Anthony?

GEORGE ANTHONY: No, sir.

BURDICK: Casey Anthony would have you believe that this is all her mother`s fault anyway for leaving the ladder down. Let`s twist the knife in my mom a little more. The cover up is her dad`s fault. Let`s twist the knife in him too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutors fought back with secrets gleaned from the Anthony family computer they said showed Casey premeditated killing her daughter. Internet searches for neck breaking and how to make chloroform. But then Cindy in what many suspected was a desperate move to help her defend her daughter insisted she was the one who made those incriminating Internet searches not Casey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: Do you recall in March of 2008 you doing any type of searches for any items that might include chloroform?

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes.

BAEZ: And could you explain to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury why you did that?

CINDY ANTHONY: Well, I started looking at chlorophyll and I was concerned about my small two Yorkie puppies. The smallest one was having some issues where she was extremely tired all the time and both the dogs would eat bamboo leaves out in the back so I started looking up sources from the backyard that could potentially cause her to be more sleepy than it would affect the larger dog. I started to look up chloroform -- I mean chlorophyll and then that prompted me to look up chloroform.

WALENSKY: I think that Cindy was willing to do whatever it took to keep her daughter out of prison because she had already lost her granddaughter and you don`t want to lose two people who you love in your life. But Cindy definitely lived in denial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Would Cindy`s last ditch testimony be enough to spare her daughter`s life? Many doubted it. That`s why what happened next blew everybody away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find the defendant --

CROWD: Justice for Caylee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It brought out the crazy in a lot of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: July 5th, 2011 the jury delivered the unforgettable verdict.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

CROWD: Justice for Caylee. Justice for Caylee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It brought out the crazy in a lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m pretty outraged.

WALENSKY: When the not guilty verdict came down I was absolutely stunned. I actually felt like I was watching a different trial than the jurors had seen. And outside the courthouse, I mean people were really invested in this. And I think that the majority of folks really believe that she got away with murder.

I sat in that courtroom every day and I did not see this coming. She`s the only person in all of Orlando that had motive to get rid of this child.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome back to our Secrets Lab. This verdict enraged so many people. This was a family completely destroyed. Ultimately, Cindy stuck by her daughter Casey until the bitter end even though Casey threw both of her parents under the bus.

And for me, this case illustrates a mother`s love -- a mother who had unconditional love. I`m talking about Cindy, but then, at the other extreme, you have the other mother, Casey. So I`m seeing two extremes of mothering. Maybe neither one is the right way to go.

BLOOM: You`re right. You can`t go too far in one direction, but I have compassion for Cindy, because she loved her daughter probably a little too much. Probably inappropriately, but she lost her only grandchild. She did the best she could. It was probably a co-dependent relationship, but she`s a crime victim here, really.

GARDERE: All right. Well, when we look at a mother`s love in this case, we`re talking about the possibility of smothering. When you get that smothering what ends up happening, well, you get rebellion. And that`s what was going on with Casey -- lots and lots of rebellion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got to look at that, because if we don`t learn from this case, then little Caylee will have died in vain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEN HEGER: There was almost a mob mentality when Casey Anthony was finally released from jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the dead of night, Casey waltzed out of jail as hundreds of protesters screamed for justice. Soon Casey would be sending out video diaries from a secret location, reviled as one of the most hated women in America.

Perhaps the ultimate irony, long after Casey was acquitted came word that cops had forgotten to study the search engine on the Anthony family computer that Casey allegedly liked to use. A search engine called Firefox. On that ignored search engine, someone had done a Google search for foolproof suffocation methods on June 16, 2008 the very day Caylee vanished, and the day cops believe she was killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HELLING: Casey Anthony`s computer had two different web browsers on it but investigators only checked one of them before trial. After the acquittal, after it was too late to do anything about it, they looked at her Firefox history, and on her Firefox history there was a search on the day that Caylee disappeared for "foolproof suffocation". That would have been great to come out in trial, but it didn`t, because it was missed by investigators.

HEGER: I don`t think it would have made a big difference. It was an oversight, but I don`t think it would have been something that would have swayed the jury to convict Casey Anthony.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the end, we`re all left wondering. Who knows when we`ll see Casey Anthony again?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALENSKY: So where is Casey now? What is she up to? Well, reportedly she is still living in Florida, and there are people apparently that are supporting her. We don`t really know who, but she is really bogged down, still, in the courts.

HEGER: To say that she`s vilified and is leading a life in exile is an understatement. She wants to become a lawyer. She wants to work with, or become a law clerk. She wants to work with people she feels that were wrongly accused of crimes. She is living in exile in Florida. She would love to have a reality show. She really does want to live in the limelight. She did love the publicity this trial brought for, of course, all the wrong reasons.

HEWLLING: Casey Anthony told her mother after the trial that she wants to be a mother again some day. She would love to have another baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are many secrets precious little Caylee took to her grave. We may never know exactly what happened or why. What we can say conclusively is that a life built around secrets and lies is inherently toxic and no good can come from it.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thanks for watching.

END