Sunday, July 3, 2011
I have never been a fan of soap operas. I don't watch reality TV. I didn't follow the O.J. case. But I confess: I am addicted to the Casey Anthony trial. Every day and on into the evening, I am absolutely riveted. Doesn't matter how many times Vinnie or Jane or Nancy play a segment over, I still can't take my eyes off the TV.
You have to admit, the cast of characters is fascinating. I couldn't have invented a better bunch myself for one of my novels: Judge Perry, who runs his courtroom with a velvet glove and whom I love despite his substitution of v for th (This is the speech pathologist in me talking--I can't help it); Jeff Ashton, the prosecutor and my new hero; Jose Biaz, the sleazy defense lawyer; Roy Kronk, the meter reader who, one of the commentators said is responsible for a new vocabulary word--to be "kronked" is to be raked over the coals for trying to do the right thing; George and Cyndi Anthony, the distraught parents of Casey (Did they lie on the stand?); and Casey herself, a stone-faced enigma, pathological liar.
Above all, there are the heart-wrenching videos of Caylee. Today the prosecutor said one reason for Casey's getting rid of her child was that she was becoming too verbal, something I've thought for a long time.
What's the deeper reason for America's...and my...addiction? We can't wrap our minds around the idea of doing away with our own adorable child. Yes, it happens. Statistics indicate that over 200 children are killed in this country each year by their moms. And yet...
The Anthony family could be our next door neighbors. Doesn't that send shivers up our spines? If we can't trust these attractive middle-class people, who can we trust? I keep waiting for someone to show me this crime didn't happen, that this young woman would never have done such a monstrous act. But it did happen. And I want to see justice done.
I read an article online by a psychiatrist the other day. Here's what he had to say about our fascination with this situation: Ms. Anthony, whether a killer or a mother who inexplicably did not report her daughter missing for over a month, is a conduit for buried, forgotten terrors still inside all of us.
During childhood, we were all so vulnerable physically and emotionally, so entirely dependent on the good will of our guardians, that we suppressed the thought that we could be with a mother or father who disliked us, wished we did not exist, or might even be able to act on it. Such fears are, in childhood, unthinkable, and, in adulthood, still locked deep inside us.
Casey Anthony, the pretty, smiling, mother who may well have murdered her daughter is, in fact, every adult's worst, long-denied childhood nightmare.
The chance to see such a woman in captivity, and to ponder what she is accused of, is like going to the zoo to see the rarest, deadliest monster you can imagine, the one resurrected from the deepest recesses of your mind in its most fragile moments. And, what's more, even if she is that monster, she may or may not be freed.
I think he sums it up very well.
What about you? What's your opinion of Casey? What's your prediction about the verdict?
Posted by thelmaz at 6:07 PM