Secret Lives with Jane Velez-Mitchell is a brand new show that premiered on HLN last Friday.  It will air Fridays before Nancy Grace’s Mysteries.  The first episode was The Secret Life of Casey Anthony.  Jane Velez-Mitchell said on Thursday, the day before the premiere, “It’s like a classic you want to revisit because there are lessons in this case,” but then proceeded to show she didn’t learn any lessons, “A mother has to listen to her daughter when her daughter indicates she’s not mommy material. That should be accepted instead of insisting the child change…” She ended with a very negative and off-the-mark concept of human beings, “People don’t change.”  The show’s format was very choppy and had a strange scrapbook-like style.

Jane Velez-Mitchell went on to say in her interview, “I believe that this young woman was not ready for parenthood.  The choices she made because of that inability to parent set up this tragedy…” Nowhere in the entire hour-long episode did anyone mention that Casey Anthony owned a parenting book, that she clearly read since it had notes and highlights in it.  Nor did they mention that her friends told the police that she constantly had Caylee with her.  Her boyfriends said that she constantly brought Caylee over.  Ricardo Morales stated that Casey would stay over night at least 5 times a week, most weeks, with Caylee.  They never mentioned that she had pictures of her daughter everywhere, a baby book that she kept updated, and that less than a week before Casey Anthony supposedly killed her daughter, she texted her friend,

“Caylee just pooped in her potty for the first time.”  (7 minutes later)  “Sorry. Proud momma moment.”

This text occurred months after Casey Anthony supposedly started plotting the murder of her daughter.  The show also never mentioned that Casey Anthony always slept with her daughter in her room despite the child having her own room.  All of her friends and her mother, for that matter, said that she had a wonderful relationship with her daughter.  You cannot honestly believe that so many people would lie about someone’s maternal abilities if they thought the person killed their child.  Her friends were unequivocal in their descriptions, “her daughter was her life”; “I hope my mother/daughter bond is going to be like that”; “good”, “great”, “loving,” “excellent” mom; and “Caylee was the center of Casey’s life. Without Caylee she has no self-worth and she has no value…”  The prosecution’s evidence to the contrary?  Linda Drane Burdick’s closing included a statement that her friends didn’t know what a good mother was.  There was never any insinuation that Casey Anthony ever abused her daughter.

The entire episode was a “cautionary tale” of teen pregnancy.  Specifically, HLN, from the beginning acted as if Casey Anthony were 15-years-old, she was in fact an adult when she had her daughter.  She was 18-years-old when she got pregnant and 19 when she had Caylee.  When you think of teen pregnancy, the first thing that pops into your mind isn’t an 18-year-old; it’s something like Teen Mom.  Officially, the statistics rate teen pregnancy from 13 – 19, but about 4.5% of 19-year-olds are married.  When you turn 18, you are considered an adult, who can make your own decisions.  You are now in the age of majority where you can elect officials to run your town, your state, and our nation; own or rent your own place; live by yourself, wherever you want; marry without consent; inherit things; own a gun (depending on the state); consent to medical treatments; consent to sexual activity with whoever you want (as long as they are over 18); enter into contracts; eligible for jury duty (where someone’s life is in your hands); buy a car; and defend our country by joining the armed forces.  In other words, you aren’t a child anymore.  A cautionary tale of teen pregnancy is usually when a young girl, probably around, 15 or 16, maybe even 17, dumps her child on her parents because she still wants to be a kid.

Jane Velez-Mitchell accuses Casey Anthony of not wanting her daughter, pointing to a “friend”.  Throughout the episode, no references are made that could be cross-checked, they were all vaguely called a “friend” or a “source” or a “report” and once or twice, “investigators.”  It seems most likely that this “friend” was Kiomarie Cruz, someone who never testified in court, and someone whose credibility was severely in question.  She talked to the media more than investigators.  Stating that she and Casey Anthony used to bury their pets in the same area that Caylee Anthony’s body was discovered.  Actually Cindy and George Anthony testified that George Anthony buried their pets in their backyard in bags closed using duct tape.  She also claimed that Casey Anthony told her she didn’t want to have her baby.  Her statements were never corroborated.  The psychologists who evaluated Casey Anthony concluded that she “never considered, once she was pregnant, having an abortion or having the baby put up for adoption. She wanted the child.”  Jesse Grund, her former fiancée, corroborates this story.  Several media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel reported that Casey Anthony considered placing her daughter up for adoption, but did not do so at the urging of her mother.  Jesse Grund stated that when he talked with Casey Anthony about giving Caylee up for adoption while she was still pregnant, “it wasn’t an option.”  Jane Velez-Mitchell’s show went with the Orlando Sentinel report, despite there being evidence to support the exact opposite.  As desperate as the prosecution was, they would have put Ms. Cruz on the stand if they could have.  Velez-Mitchell seems to accept anyone’s word as truth as long as they agree with her opinion.

Secret Lives did something ridiculously stupid and juvenile twice during the show.  They went to a segment called the “Secrets Lab”, which is essentially Jane Velez-Mitchell and two guests, in this instance, Lisa Bloom and media personality Dr. Jeff (Gardere).  The three take markers to a marker board and write buzzwords.  Jane Velez-Mitchell wrote without any evidence to support it, that a mother has “unconditional love” (Cindy), but the other mother is the “other extreme” (I’m assuming no love and that she is talking about Casey).  “Maybe neither one is the right way to go” because apparently to Jane Velez-Mitchell unconditional love is a bad thing.  Then Bloom takes her turn and writes about how Cindy loved her daughter “maybe a little too much.”  Dr. Jeff then says that Cindy “smothering” Casey caused her to “rebel.”  This segment is useless and cheesy and makes a viewer feel like they are in middle school with three terrible teachers.

Everyone on the show has been on Velez-Mitchell’s regular show several times and none of them have ever indicated that they believe anything, but that Casey Anthony is guilty (it is debatable whether they actually believe this or it is just for ratings), so needless to say the show was very unbalanced.  Her three main guests were: Steve Helling who wrote Outrage the Casey Anthony Story.  It is only available in digital copy, but it is just a book about Helling’s experiences as a reporter covering the trial.  Several people who read the book stated it had factual inaccuracies.  He is also a People Magazine employee.  Helling, in an interview with WOFL in 2011, stated that his book was mostly about the progression of Casey Anthony’s lies (ironically, this is what the show became about); Jen Heger, a tabloid reporter and assistant managing editor of RADAROnline; and Robyn Walensky, who wrote “Beautiful Life?  The CSI Behind the Casey Anthony Trial and My Observations from Courtroom Seat #1.”  Walensky did very little in her book or in any interviews to reveal the underlying issues with the CSI techniques used in this case.

Jane Velez-Mitchell postulates a question before breaking for commercial: is Casey Anthony a loving mother or was she just enjoying a secret life?  Velez-Mitchell’s show would have you believe the latter.  However, both are actually true.  Casey Anthony had a “secret life” from her parents.  Lots of people lie to their parents about where they go or whom they are seeing.  It gives them a sense of control over their lives, especially if they are an adult, still living at home, and aren’t necessarily getting the adult respect others are afforded.  Take the story that Jesse Grund told about Cindy Anthony telling Casey Anthony that she couldn’t have Jesse Grund, her fiancée, in her room with the door closed.  Jane Velez-Mitchell likes to refer to Casey as a rebellious child because the Anthonys treated her as if she was a young teen and Velez-Mitchell wants that to seem normal.  In reality, it is not normal to treat a 19-year-old mother like a child by restricting their movements, friends, and decisions.  This will cause someone to lie to get freedom.

Secret Lives mentions that Casey Anthony didn’t graduate from high school because she was a ½ credit short.  According to them she lied to her family about it and they didn’t find out until they all attended the graduation ceremony together.  This was one of many of Casey Anthony’s progressive lies, but while some reports state that the entire family sat in the stands and watched the class graduating, others disagree.  There are conflicting reports on whether or not Cindy Anthony knew that Casey Anthony wasn’t graduating from high school.  In her deposition, Cindy Anthony talks about going to the school, after finding out that her daughter wasn’t graduating, and trying to figure out what to do about it.  She explains that Casey Anthony was moved to a new class mid-school year and wasn’t able to catch up on the work.  According to Dr. Keith Ablow (Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony), Cindy Anthony learned that Casey Anthony wasn’t graduating, but still hosted a graduation party for her anyway.  Cindy invited Casey’s grandparents to go to the graduation ceremony at the school (Ablow says that they went, not the entire family).  When they didn’t see her walk, they went to the party.  Cindy Anthony never told her mother why Casey Anthony didn’t go to the graduation ceremony and never returned the gifts given at the party where Cindy pretended that Casey graduated.

Jane Velez-Mitchell said, “…She [Casey] was on trial for murder, not lying…”

Actually, she was on trial for lying.  She was convicted of lying.  The entire prosecution’s case hinged on Casey Anthony lying, that’s why they had to bring it up.  They had to first prove that she lied about her daughter’s death and then prove that she planned to murder her and then executed that plan.  They got the first part down; problem is that the defense admitted she lied in opening statements.  So, the prosecution spent the entire trial proving an admission.  Velez-Mitchell points this out, criticizing the prosecution for not seeing this defense coming, but what she doesn’t understand is that the prosecution thought they had won before they started.  They thought that the jury had been poisoned enough through the media and played the same emotional strategy at trial.  The only difference between the media’s portrayal and the trial was that a trial isn’t a one-sided presentation.  Accusations are put to the test for truthfulness.

Being a liar doesn’t make you a murderer.  Studies show that within the first ten minutes of meeting someone people lie at least three times about trivial things.  Now imagine that someone has died, then on top of that the person “covering up” the death is for all-intents-and-purposes in shock and possibly being told by their father that they will be sent to jail for this.

Steve Helling says in the episode, “Imagine 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’s supposedly the love of her life had been missing for thirty one days.”

Her friends couldn’t believe it and wondered what was wrong with Casey?  The friends’ experiences were that Casey Anthony was the type of person that would never hurt her child.  This is corroborated by the psychologists’ findings that Casey Anthony wasn’t the type to kill unless she had a psychological break.  If this show was actually about the truth and learning lessons here would be where they would talk about the defense and how Caylee was never missing, she was deceased by a sudden accident.  These types of traumatic events change people and they revert to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Even though the police and the media made Casey Anthony’s sex life a big deal, it isn’t actually important.  It makes for great television, if you like that sort of thing.  Prosecutors wanted to explore as in-depth as possible her sexual relations because this is a typical sexist ploy often used to get the public and jurors to dislike a woman because she is a “whore”.  Martinez used this strategy in the Jodi Arias case, as well.  The idea is the same as the motivation behind the police not investigating the murders of prostitutes.  If you are not the perfect image of a woman in the public view then you are worthless.  If this had been Caylee’s father accused instead, this type of nasty, underhanded “slut shaming” would have been a non-issue.  Linda Drane Burdick puts herself forward as a contrasting strong woman and mother to Casey Anthony, but yet she was on board with this behavior.  Once they get people to dislike someone in this fashion, it is easy to keep them distracted from the lack of evidence in the case.

The show points out that Casey Anthony “created an alternate universe.”  She did.  She had what has been termed “imaginary friends”, lots of people who were not real, but had detailed backgrounds and lives that changed like real people.  Robyn Walensky stated several times, “Casey Anthony has more characters in her mind than Disney has at the theme park.”  (I’m not sure if it was the result of bad editing or just a real attachment to an offensive anecdote.)  She seems to often disguise mean, hateful things as little jokes.  Perhaps people believed the “imaginary” people Casey Anthony talked about were real because she believed it as well?  Casey Anthony wasn’t a mere liar and she wasn’t particularly good at lying either.  People call her the best liar they’ve ever seen.  Her lies are about people that don’t exist and events that didn’t happen, I’m pretty sure that isn’t hard to disprove.  When a regular liar gets backed into a corner, they lie again; Casey Anthony continues to tell the same story.  A normal liar knows that they must lie again or they will be caught.  Casey Anthony did not say that her daughter had drowned in the pool until at least 2 years after continually saying that a nanny that doesn’t exist (Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez) kidnapped her daughter.  Jose Baez’s book, Presumed Guilty: Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, talks about how he had to tell Casey Anthony to just stop talking about Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.  Dr. William Weitz, one of the psychologists that evaluated Anthony found that:  “[Casey] uses lies as a protective measure. She admits to not always being truthful…” not as a manipulative tactic.

Back in the “Secrets Lab”, the three take markers to a marker board, Jane Velez-Mitchell’s buzzwords are “denial is dangerous,” Lisa Bloom says it makes you a “phony”, and Dr. Jeff says it is a primitive “defense mechanism” that families often have for each other, but it breaks down because it is superficial.  As best as I can gather, this is in reference to their belief that Cindy has been and still is in deep denial about everything.  Secret Lives proposes that the issues between Cindy and Casey Anthony intensified when Caylee was born.  She was first handed to Cindy Anthony causing Casey Anthony to remark that she didn’t even get to hold her daughter first.  If she didn’t want her daughter, why would she care?  This story is widely corroborated.  However, Secret Lives took the event into uncharted, unsubstantiated waters.  Jen Heger stated that the friction in the delivery room was not because Casey Anthony didn’t get to hold her daughter, but because Cindy Anthony made her have her daughter.  As I’ve already addressed the latter part, the friction in the delivery room according to at least one of the psychologists who evaluated Anthony could have also resulted from the fact that her father was bizarrely present during the birth.  Reports indicate that he stood toward the bottom of the hospital bed (which is creepy to me).

Jane Velez-Mitchell slyly remarks that Casey Anthony had a secret life before her daughter was born (because she hid the fact that she didn’t graduate for a little while) and that the “deceit” would not stop there.  Helling claims that no one knew where Caylee Anthony was when Casey Anthony wasn’t at work, but instead was out with friends.  He says that there are bits of Caylee’s life that no one knows where she was.  He goes on to say that that was “off putting at trial.”  I believe that he is clearly implying that Casey Anthony was chloroforming her daughter and placing her in the trunk.  However, the theory of chloroforming was severely vetted at trial before a capital jury.  There was absolutely no trace evidence found in any containers nor were any recipes found nor were any rags with residue on them found.  In addition, the toxicology report did not show chloroform was present.  The trunk samples (which were tested for presence, not amount present) and one Internet search (which was falsely claimed to be 84 Internet searches) were the only pieces of evidence.  There are conflicting media reports on whether or not Caylee Anthony was ever unaccounted for, but investigators never even mentioned this.  If Caylee Anthony was not with Casey Anthony at a friend’s house or with her parents, then neither was accounted for, which indicates they were together.  No missing time or times were ever brought out at trial.

The show also references a supposed big blowout fight between Cindy and Casey Anthony about the custody of Caylee.  There were never any witnesses to this fight and Cindy and Casey never said it happened, so it makes me wonder if no one said this, how the media heard about it?  Jen Heger stated that Cindy told Casey that she was unfit, so Casey Anthony took Caylee, stormed out, and said, “Fine, if I’m such an unfit mother than you’ll never see your granddaughter again.”  Cindy reportedly never saw her again.  The problem with this story is that no one said it happened.  Jeff Ashton said in several interviews that it would have been useful, but Cindy would never have admitted it.  This is because it would have given them a better motive, but a better motive doesn’t make a real motive.  This story about the fight doesn’t make sense with George Anthony’s testimony of the morning of June 16th either.  Casey Anthony would have had to storm out and then return in the middle of the night while her mother was still at home, slip in, unnoticed.  On the other hand, Cindy Anthony said in her deposition that when she awoke that morning to go to work she assumed that they were in their bedroom because the door was closed.  There was never any evidence that a fight occurred beyond supposition.

The show also mentioned in passing that Casey Anthony “abandoned” her car, but this is in fact incorrect.  All indications point to the fact that she had intentions to get her car back until it was impounded.  She made several attempts to borrow gas from several of her friends.  In addition, her purse was left in the vehicle.  This segues into Helling talking about how Casey Anthony “talked her way past” the security guards at Universal Studios where she later admits to not working there currently.  This statement is incorrect.  Yuri Melich, the lead detective on the case, stated that he prearranged for this “sting” operation in hopes that catching Casey Anthony in a lie would cause her to breakdown.  He called ahead to make sure she didn’t work there currently, then arranged for an interrogation room to be set up for afterwards.  He then calls Casey Anthony and gets her to come with him and Detective Allen to show them where she works.  She accompanies them, in their vehicle, to Universal Studio where the security guard is aware of the operation.  Casey Anthony does tell him that she doesn’t have her ID, but he doesn’t let them past because she is a smooth talker, he lets them past because they are police officers.  The truth is that the security personnel did not want to let her on the property until Yuri Melich escorted her through the checkpoint.

At this point, Robyn Walensky states that she interviewed Yuri Melich and asked him about the grilling they gave her in Universal Studios.  She states that he said that the stress would have broken him, but she “believes the lies.”  In one of several inconsistencies on the show, Robyn Walensky states that Casey Anthony created her lie about the nanny from a “piece of paper she saw at the Sawgrass Apartments.”  This factually inaccurate statement is repeated several times on the show and too often in the media at large.  Interestingly, during this segment, Jane Velez-Mitchell calls the nanny Zenaida Gonzalez, instead of Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez; I do not find that coincidental.  In my opinion, it was said on purpose to bolster that woman’s civil suit claims.  Casey Anthony did not steal Zenaida Gonzalez’s name from the Sawgrass Apartments.  What occurred was that Casey Anthony’s boyfriend in mid-2008 wanted to find an apartment of his own (he was living with roommates at the time), so he went apartment shopping and Casey Anthony went with him on several occasions.  One of the places he looked at was the Sawgrass Apartments.  There is no proof that Casey Anthony went through the guest cards and picked Zenaida Gonzalez’s name.  But one would already know that if they paid attention during this whole ordeal.  Casey Anthony’s “imaginary” friends included the nanny Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.  A few months after Caylee was born in 2005, Casey Anthony lost her job because she stopped showing up to work.  It was at this time that Jesse Grund’s father began pressuring Casey Anthony to find a new nanny (he was watching her when Casey Anthony went to work, but he said it was disturbing his work from home).  Casey Anthony did not inform anyone that she lost her job, so she invented Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.  This was several years before anything to do with the Sawgrass Apartments.

At almost the end of the episode, we finally get to some superficial analysis of the evidence presented at trial.  The guests state affirmatively that the duct tape was on Caylee Anthony’s face, but this is in fact not true even though the media often says it.  Prosecution witnesses stated that the duct tape was in fact lying in front of the skull.  We know that flooding disturbed the area as did the man who found the body.  The prosecution witnesses went on to say that they attempted to keep the duct tape in the same position, but “seriously” doubted that they did.  In fact, Dr. Utz testified that the tape was no longer adhesive and was only “attached to the hair”.

“The tape itself was not attached to the skull.”

He goes on to say that the tape had nothing to do with the mandible staying in place and was neither holding it nor touching it.  The only attempt by the prosecution to analyze whether or not the tape was actually on Caylee Anthony’s face prior to decomposition was an inference made by Dr. Schultz.  In his opinion, “…it can be inferred that the mandible remained in this position because the tape held it in place prior to the hair forming into a matt on the base of the skull.”  He did not repeat this inference at trial.  It makes more logical sense given Roy Kronk’s initial description of the bag, on August 11, 2008, as a “gray,” “vinyl-colored,” and “metallic” bag, that the three pieces of duct tape found were possibly located on the outside of the laundry bag.  Perhaps used to close the bag or secure the bag.  During environmental and other types of disturbances, the duct tape detached from the bag and got caught in the hair.  A clip from trial was shown on the program where Jeff Ashton states to the jury, “we can only hope that the chloroform was used before the tape was applied so that Caylee went peacefully.”  Clearly, the entire trial was geared toward emotion, like the media coverage, instead of facts, but this statement is probably the best example in the entire trial of a purely emotional argument.  How would a person chloroform someone after they have placed duct tape over their nose and mouth?

It depends upon how you look at the Casey Anthony case, or any case for that matter, as to whether you see murder or not.  That’s the point of a murder trial.  The show turned predictably to blaming Cindy Anthony for her testimony not being what they wanted it to be, returning to their severe denial argument.  The show suggested that she was trying to save her “defendant daughter” by lying on the stand about the searches.  That she was in denial and didn’t want to lose her daughter like she had lost her granddaughter.  I covered this topic in a previous post.

(RELATED:  Why Cindy Anthony Would Never Have Been Charged With Perjury)

The so-called “experts” go on to talk about how disturbing it was to see the animation video showing the jury it was possible, in their opinion, to suffocate a child using duct tape.  The prosecution witness who made the duct-tape animation video testified that it was basically meaningless and he had never done anything like it before.  It was extremely inflammatory and prejudicial.  It probably would have been one of the top appealable decisions by Judge Perry in the entire trial.  The video did nothing to further the jury’s understanding of the case.  It only showed them a happy photo of mother and daughter that grotesquely turned into a skull with a flat picture of the duct tape superimposed.  Then the show talked about the heart-shaped sticker.  They actually seemed to believe it, which was the worst part.  “Perhaps the most chilling clue” according to Velez-Mitchell.  She also erroneously states that “investigators” found it.  No they did not.  It was suggested by the media that since the home had heart-shaped stickers and one examiner saw the residue of what they believed in that split second was a heart-shaped sticker, then the two had to be related.  That examiner could not find the residue when she re-examined the duct tape.  No other examiner or investigator ever saw anything to that effect.  The police found a heart-shaped sticker stuck to a piece of cardboard at the scene, but it didn’t match any from the home and very well could have come from a nearby elementary school.

Secret Lives finished with clips of crazy people chanting and protesting outside the courtroom.

The show admitted, “It brought out the crazy in a lot of people.”

The clips showed a guy after the acquittal yelling, “kill the bitch” and a group of people chanting “appeal”.  Some people also yelled that “Jose Baez is the devil” and Casey Anthony is a “baby killer”.  It jumps out at me that these people spent a couple months (in some cases a couple years) following the Anthony trial and had no clue that the prosecution cannot appeal.  The entire case is a tragedy from the death of a young child to how such an important thing like someone’s life could turn adults into petty bullies who use insults like children on the playground (i.e. nicknaming Jose Baez, Bozo).

John Adams put it best when he said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

At the end of the show, the “experts” talked about the foolproof suffocation searches that were revealed in Jose Baez’s book.  Tony Pipitone, a Florida reporter, first reported them.  Apparently, he is the only media personality that actually read the defense attorney’s book, which shows you how biased they really are.  He himself said that the searches proved nothing and in fact, it could have shown that Casey Anthony was distraught after her daughter’s death and was contemplating suicide.  Secret Lives echoed that sentiment and said for all the buzz around the prosecution supposedly ruining the case, it was just an oversight and probably wouldn’t have swayed the jury to convict.

The show briefly mentioned several possible motives, but settled on the one Jane Velez-Mitchell has wanted the prosecution to argue in court from the beginning:  Casey Anthony killed her daughter because she was mad at her mother.  Another motive was supposedly her boyfriend.  On Secret Lives, Jane Velez-Mitchell went for a subtle comparison of Susan Smith to Casey Anthony by implying that Casey Anthony killed her daughter, not to party like the prosecution put forward, but to be with her boyfriend.  The problem with that is that her boyfriend, unlike Susan Smith’s boyfriend, didn’t want her to “get rid of” her daughter. 

Velez-Mitchell cited the brilliant work of Juan Martinez, which is debatable, insinuating that because Casey Anthony’s prosecutors focused on her lies instead of her inexperience, they lost.  She is wrong on multiple points.  The most important being that Juan Martinez did focus on Jodi Arias’ lies and won.  So the focus of the prosecution’s case was not the issue, it was the case itself.  No one on the show ever actually criticized the prosecution openly, but by implying that the prosecution only lost because they didn’t anticipate the defense, is grossly underestimating the case.  What Jane Velez-Mitchell actually means is that the prosecution could have won the case if they were only allowed to lie like the media can.

Jane Velez-Mitchell promised lots of experts and that they would make us go “Aha, I get it.”  I didn’t get that feeling.  What we got were five regular guests that appear on HLN quite often.  And absolutely zero clips, interviews, appearances, or analysis of the defense team or their strategy.  In my opinion, Secret Lives with Jane Velez-Mitchell is a fluff show; she started the series with Casey Anthony clearly as a ratings grab.  She gave no new insight.  She had no new “guests.”  She had no new words of wisdom to share with her viewers.  She had no meaningful or truthful lessons even though that is the alleged purpose of the program.  Her lesson was that “secret lives can be murder.”  The real lesson is, never watch this show and that prosecutors should stop trying cases in the media.  Instead, they should build a real case before putting a defendant on trial, especially a death penalty trial.  For being a show about how secrets destroy lives, they sure missed the biggest and most damaging secret a family could have.  They didn’t mention even once the accusation that George Anthony abused his daughter.

The real lesson for Velez-Mitchell should be the media causes more problems and gives no solutions.  Reporters used to actually investigate and inform their viewers with facts.  Now, there is nothing, but a sequential building and bolstering of opinions in spite of evidence.  HLN puts itself forward to its fans as the premiere go-to news channel for law-oriented stories.  But, their viewers don’t even know what double jeopardy is or why it is important.  People’s rights are always getting in the way of the “good show” the media puts on.  It is a fact that the media coverage for years before and after the Casey Anthony trial has been one-sided.

  1. This is an excellent and unbiased blog. I wish it could get more publicity. I don’t believe that Casey wanted her daughter dead even to spite her overbearing mother. I do wish we could honestly know what happened. I find the part about George Anthony in the delivery room very creepy but I don’t think he really sexually abused Casey. It does seem that this was such a dysfunctional family and the dynamic ended in tragedy. I appreciate your ability to put the facts out there; I have never read a compilation of actual events versus the media hype. I have a friend who has nicknamed HLN – Hysterical Ladies Network. I put Jane Velez Mitchell right in this camp. Excellent post.


  2. Mary says:

    Excellent. Thank you


  3. Lon Spector says:

    I don’t even bother with the “particulars” of the case now. A jury of 12 had it’s say. In a constitutional democracy that should be all that matters. Casey, to the best of my knowledge, is NOT running for president. But to the founders of this democracy, she should have the right to do so if she wanted.


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