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The Casey Anthony Trial
Aired June 4, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, I'm Don Lemon. I want you to pay attention. We have a fascinating hour ahead for you. Fascinating. So sit down and sit down and watch this. You're going to want to watch the entire hour. Tonight a CNN NEWSROOM special report.
A little girl dead. Her own mother accused. And much of this country captivated by Casey Anthony, the trial that's going on. A panel of guest will join me tonight to talk about the case -- a prosecutor, a psychologist, a former FBI criminal profiler who actually worked on the case, an Orlando reporter who has been in the courtroom for the trial and a media critic. They're going to join us in just moments. But first how we got here.
CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY'S MOTHER: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's a statement right here. It says, Monday, June 9th, 2008, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., I, Casey Anthony, took my daughter Caylee Marie Anthony to her nanny's apartment.
June 16th is a big, big day. There's a lot of things going on. First that's the day at 12:50 p.m. when Casey's dad George says he last sees little Caylee. Then investigators have a bunch of phone records from that day and looking at these records, Casey making a ton of calls including eight calls to her mom, Cindy.
Also, this is the day that Casey Anthony moves out of her parents' house. She leaves. Then things get even more interesting. Later in the night around 7:54 p.m. at a Blockbuster, there's a surveillance video, you can see her then boyfriend, Tony Lazzarro and Casey Anthony, arm in arm, walking into that Blockbuster to rent a couple of movies. But what's also noticeable about that picture, there's no Caylee there.
June 18th or 19th, this is when Casey Anthony's neighbor says that she came over, knocked on the door to borrow a shovel. Now according to the neighbor, she needs the shovel to take care of some bamboo shoots or something in the backyard. It's also on these days and this is interesting because the neighbor said he never saw Casey Anthony really use the garage, yet sometime during those days she uses the garage but doesn't pull into it straight. She backs her car into the garage.
And this is where Casey Anthony worked as a shot girl. This is where Casey Anthony is up on stage, dancing with that other woman in those pictures. All that during that same time frame when her child is missing and she says she's looking for Caylee.
LEMON: So joining me right now to talk about this, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. Wendy Walsh is in L.A. She's a human behavior expert and Jim Clemente in L.A., a retired FBI special agent and an advisor writer for "Criminal Minds." He also worked on the Casey Anthony case. And then Drew Petrimoulx, he's an Orlando reporter for WDBO Radio. He's been in the courtroom. Leonard Pitts is in Washington. He's a syndicated columnist for "The Miami Herald" and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
I'm going to start with you, Drew. You have been in that courtroom. You saw some of the drama there and Vinnie Politan was talking about. What do you make of Casey Anthony and what has gone on in this trial?
DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO: Well, I mean it's really almost a Greek tragedy the way this thing has unfold in court. Of course once the defense laid out its opening argument basically saying that Casey was a victim all of her life of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, that Caylee had in fact drowned in the pool and the father and her covered it up.
Basically that he knew about the death this whole time and played like he didn't, it really took a turn for even more dramatic. I can tell you that. Lines to get inside the courtroom have been starting at about midnight forecourt to get in the next day at 9:00. So, obviously, there's a lot of public interest about this case, and --
LEMON: You're absolutely right. Because we've seen the people rushing to get a seat in the morning. I mean really trampling each other to try to get a seat for this trial.
What we're seeing on television, is it even more tense inside of that courtroom, Drew?
PETRIMOULX: You know, it really is. There's peaks and valleys. You know, when we had George and Cindy Anthony on the stand, of course, those are very intense cross-examinations by the defense. But today, you know, we heard from FBI expert and a crime scene technician. Those are more technical aspects the state is laying out specific evidence that has to do with things found in her trunk, specifically a hair and some of the things found in the carpet, in the trunk of that car. So there's definitely peaks and valleys but definitely some high peaks.
LEMON: Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, I'm looking at your face as you're watching that. This angers you, doesn't it? HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND FORMER PROSECUTOR: This is one of the most horrific things we've ever seen, because not only is this woman accused of murdering her 2-1/2 little baby girl, Don, but then to get herself out of trouble she throws her entire family under the bus. And it's not even a bus, it's a tank, OK.
She has taken her father and her brother, who she knows didn't do anything to her, and she has sullied their reputation beyond belief. There are millions of people around the world watching this, Don. This isn't just the United States.
I have people Facebooking me from Australia, from down under, asking me questions about this trial and she has taken her father and her brother and said to the world, they did this to me just to get herself out of trouble.
If it's really true that this was an accident and that baby drowned in the pool, why is it necessary to say anything beyond that?
LEMON: All right. Stand by. We have a lot more to come here. Casey's mom, Cindy Anthony was the one who started this whole investigation. She called police in July of 2008, 31 days after her granddaughter was last seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY ANTHONY: I told you my daughter was missing for a month. I just found her today, but I can't find my granddaughter. She just admitted to me that she's been trying to find her herself. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the biggest days of testimony that we have seen in this case --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot going on. A lot of emotional testimony by Cindy Anthony.
CINDY ANTHONY: The smell in the car was like something I had never -- it was pretty strong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Pontiac Sunfire. That's the car the prosecutors say they believe Caylee was once in.
CINDY ANTHONY: Her favorite dolphins in the car seat. I sprayed the doll. And I sprayed Febreze all through the car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cindy Anthony breaking down as the prosecution played tapes of her 911 calls. CINDY ANTHONY: I found that my granddaughter has been taken. You're talking about a 3-year-old little girl. There's something wrong. It smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car.
LEMON: And that's our sister network HLN covered this.
Holly Hughes, let's talk about Cindy Anthony now. What do you make of that? What does that tell you about the grandmother here?
HUGHES: What it tells me is right up front she knew something was not right with this story. Listen to her words, Don. What does she say? My daughter tells me the babysitter took this little girl. My daughter says she hasn't seen her in 31 days, but something is wrong. I found my daughter's car and it smells like there's been a dead body in that car.
Right away she is keying in on the fact that this story doesn't make sense. I don't believe it. If she truly believed that that little girl was off with the babysitter, why would you even mention the car? Why would you talk about a dead body? She knew in her gut and she couldn't accept it.
LEMON: Retired FBI special agent Jim Clemente and advisor and writer to "Criminal Minds." When you hear her saying and hear other people saying that car smelled like death, does that tell you anything?
JIM CLEMENTE, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yes. I think it's a very distinct smell. That human being really reacts viscerally to. And I think she knew it instinctively that that was death.
But another thing is the hair that they found in the car, that are post mortem banding, it can only come off of a dead body and not somebody who died in the last 15 minutes, but somebody who had died and it already started to decompose. So it's very damning evidence.
But if you look at Cindy's behavior, it's very consistent with somebody who is under duress. Somebody who really just found out that something terrible had happened as opposed to when you look at Casey's behavior and listen to her when she makes 911 calls, very, very matter of factually that she states things. It's not somebody who is under duress, who just figured out that something is wrong.
LEMON: Leonard Pitts from "The Miami Herald," stand by. I'm going to let you sum it up here, but I want to go to Drew Petrimoulx real quickly because he has been in the courtroom.
When Cindy Anthony is on the stand, and when she broke down, take us inside the courtroom.
PETRIMOULX: Well, that was really, really an emotional moment in that courtroom. That's when they played the third of three 911 calls after Casey tells her that her daughter had been missing for 31 days and no one had seen her in 31 days. Cindy Anthony basically just puts her face into her hands and weeps openly on the stand as this three-minute call, about three- minute call is being played. Casey Anthony, tears are rolling down her face. She's wiping away tears.
At one point, the defense tried to play more of that tape, pre- play it, and Cindy pretty much begged the defense not to play it because it was such an emotional tape for her to hear.
LEMON: So Leonard Pitts as the world is watching this, especially Americans and you're doing commentary on this, what does this say collectively about why people are so interested in this, the Cindy Anthony's emotion, Casey Anthony's apparent lying as they are saying on the stand, what does this mean? Is this visceral for people who are so interested in this.
LEONARD PITTS, MIAMI HERALD COLUMNIST: I think it's very visceral. I think there's a tendency or an ability to sort of project yourself into the situation.
Frankly, the bizarreness of the circumstances, I think, is also what tends to draw people in. But I mean, to pull back from this individual case for a moment, this sort of idea of the news as sort of a movie of the week is not new or is not singular to the Anthony trial.
LEMON: Look at this. This is "People" magazine. The cover of "People" magazine. The many other magazines and newspapers and of course record ratings for some television networks who are covering this.
PITTS: And it is easy to forget I think and looking at all that that at the epic core of this is a little girl who was murdered and who suffered heinously, apparently, at the hands of her mother. It's sort of as if all this other machinery gets attached to it, and at the very bottom, it's a very simple if bizarre set of circumstances.
And so the same thing with the O.J. Simpson trial in which there was a lot of media interest, a lot of people brought a lot of baggage, but at the very simple core of it, there was a man who was alleged and credibly believed to have killed his wife.
LEMON: Stand by. Some of the most dramatic moments in this trial came from Casey Anthony herself. The jury got to hear several hours of recorded jailhouse phone calls between Casey and her family.
Up next we go into courtroom for Casey's reaction to seeing herself and look at how these calls could affect the trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think after this long, she would still be local?
CASEY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CALEY ANTHONY: If there's a possibility. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your gut telling you right now?
CASEY ANTHONY: Telling me that she's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And your gut tells you that she's close or she's hiding?
CASEY ANTHONY: She's not far. I know in my heart she's not far. I can feel it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY: I have helped in every way that I possibly can since the day I got here.
GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY'S FATHER: You're the one that can control everything. You're the one that --
CASEY ANTHONY: No. Dad, please, I'm completely.
GEORGE ANTHONY: I'm not trying to get you upset.
CASEY ANTHONY: No, but I am upset now. I'm completely upset. One, the media is going to have a freaking field day with this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Human behavior expert Wendy Walsh, they are coddling her. They are coddling her.
WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR EXPERT: They are coddling her because this is clearly a confused family who can't remember whose problem is whose. But watching her listen to the recordings of those jailhouse phone calls, I see her eyes darting in a way that shows she's analyzing.
What did I say? Did I say something (INAUDIBLE) at myself? How am I going to answer to that? She's not a grieving mother going, oh, my goodness I don't want a replay of this awful tragedy that's happening to me. It's how do I get myself off.
CLEMENTE: Yes, I agree. I think she's doing everything she can to sort of think in the moment. She's not recounting something that happened before. But she's creating right at that time to try to sell the story to her parents.
LEMON: Holly, you say it's almost like the usual suspects like Keyser Soze.
HUGHES: That's exactly what it is, Don. Because what she's done is take little tiny bits of her reality, you know, like Jeffrey Hopkins. That was a kid she went to grade school with. He takes the stand. Now he's supposedly the one who introduced her to Zenaida, that was his girlfriend at one time and his little son Zachary was baby sat by her. And he gets on the stand, he says I haven't seen her since grade school. I don't know what you're talking about. I never had a son. I never had anything.
So what we're seeing here is that she's crazy all right, not legally insane but crazy like a fox as you and I were talking about earlier because she takes a little bit of reality and she weaves it in, and that's what's going to cook her goose in this trial.
LEMON: Leonard Pitts, go ahead.
PITTS: I was just going to say that she's created a fantasy and chose to live in it which is kind of pathetic. But, again, I agree with your guest. That's not going to save her at trial. That's going to (INAUDIBLE). It's going to cook her goose.
LEMON: This is what I want to know. I want to know, Drew, when you're sitting in that courtroom and you're watching the faces, when she's watching herself, what are people -- what's the expressions on people's faces?
PETRIMOULX: Well, you know, there have been times that she just sits stone faced and doesn't really show any emotion. Kind of stares into the computer screen. She's watching these videos as they are being played in a monitor right in front of it. It's almost like she's looking through the screen.
I spent a good amount of time watching the juror's reactions. And early in the trial, they really focused more on the judge and on the lawyers. But as these videos were played in monitors right in front of them, I noticed them looking up more at Casey Anthony and kind of trying to digest the two different Caseys, the one that she portrays herself in court and the one that she is in these videos where she's telling her dad that there's still hope, telling her mom there is still hope that Caylee can be alive all the while the defense even now admits that she knew Caylee was dead.
LEMON: Holly says she's crazy like a fox. So is there the possibility, I have to ask this, maybe you can weigh in as well, holly, of an insanity defense. Is she insane?
WALSH: No, no.
LEMON: Is she really -- go ahead, Wendy.
WALSH: No, because the kind of lying, you know, the definition of the insanity is an inability to understand what they did was wrong. But her lying is all about covering her butt because she clearly knew what she did was wrong. It's highly manipulative.
And by the way, Don, when the jury looks to her face, what they are looking for are emotions. They are looking for remorse. They are looking for grieving. They are looking for loss. When they see her stone faced, this is not helping her case. HUGHES: Right. And, Don, you know what we really notice about her, I just need to jump in here because what I've noticed is when she shows emotion, it's when it's about her.
Her mother was testifying saying oh, she was such a good mother. And all of a sudden that's when we see Casey crying because you're talking about Casey. But when people are up there describing a little girl being missing, she's sitting there stone faced.
When you hear her own words being played back and what's really detrimental to her is, it's not the words, it's the attitude. Because I can say to you sitting right here right now, Don, I love your tie. Or I could go, Don, I love your tie. I used the exact same words, but a completely different affect. And that's what we're seeing on those tapes. You're seeing the real Casey Anthony.
LEMON: Very interesting. We have short time here.
Go ahead, Jim. I have ten seconds here and then we get to break. Go ahead.
CLEMENTE: It's a traditional case of a false allegation of child abduction, where the parent actually killed the child. I mean that is what we have here.
LEMON: Leonard, I know you want to get in, real quickly.
PITTS: No, I was just going to say I think the word for all that you're describing is narcissism. Plain and simple.
WALSH: Yes. There are definitely features of narcissism here.
LEMON: All right, stand by. All of you. We'll have much, much more on our special report on the Casey Anthony trial straight ahead. But first other important news today to tell you about including this.
Gunfire ringing out in the streets of Syria, but protesters now vow they won't be stopped.
And one of the biggest wildfires ever burning across Arizona and there's no sign of it being contained.
LEMON: I want to check your top stories right now on CNN.
Syrian tanks reportedly surrounded the City of Hama one day after troops there opened fire on protesters.
Human rights activists say some 80 people were shot to death. The demonstrators had rallied to protest the alleged killing of dozens of children by security forces. The violence isn't silencing the protests either. Thousands gathered today for funerals for the victims of Friday's gunfire.
A source tells CNN that Yemen's wounded president is now in Saudi Arabia. President Ali Abdullah Saleh is being treated at a Riyadh Hospital for injuries suffered in Friday's attack on his presidential palace. At least four people were killed when the palace's mosque was shelled. Yemen's vice president is taking over the duties in the president's absence. Government troops have been battling tribal militia in the capital, but a tentative truce is now said to be holding.
The man often described as al Qaeda's military brain is dead. That's a word from a militant group inside Pakistan. Ilyas Kashmiri reportedly was killed by a drone air strike Friday night in Pakistan. But the U.S. and Pakistani government say they have not been able to confirm the report. Kashmiri has been described as one of the most dangerous men in the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This fire as I pull out, you can see how large it is. It spans anywhere from 30 miles plus south to north.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Multiple wildfires have burned more than 250,000 acres across the State of Arizona, the largest, the Walo fire is in the east central part of the state. More than 1,000 people are battling the blaze. But so far no containment. 2,500 people have been evacuated. Smoke and ash are reaching Albuquerque, some 200 miles away.
And a long time U.S. Diplomat, Lawrence Eagleburger has died. He is the only career Foreign Service officer to rise to the post of secretary of state. He served American presidents from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush. Mr. Bush today called Eagleburger, quote, "A tireless and dedicated patriot."
Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of AIDS. U.S. health officials first reported it as a rare form of pneumonia on June 5th, 1981. Well, tonight, I spoke with Stephanie Laster, an African-American woman who made several panels for AIDS memorial quilt. She herself is HIV positive and tonight she is "What Matters."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE LASTER, QUILTMAKER: What I do when I make the quilt panels, I make them so in the statistics where we hear about it's 30 million people every day or whatever, each panel represents a person.
LASTER: And I make the quilt so that we'll know it's not just a number. This was a person in my life that I loved.
LEMON: And this is Ricardo, someone that you loved.
LASTER: Yes. LEMON: Let's take a look at this one, which one. What is this one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll take Ricardo.
LASTER: This is a brother and a sister. This is mom and my uncle. This shows pictures of when they were kids. They have grown up.
LEMON: You seem like you get emotional when you talk about it. Why?
LASTER: I do. I do, because not only is it putting a face to the number, but it's also a healing process. And what we have to do is we've got to get away from the fear and the stigma that keeps us from talking about HIV because that's what continues to keep it rampant in our communities, because it's such a shush thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta will have much, much more on this significant milestone in AIDS history. Make sure you watch his special "AIDS Turns 30," Sunday morning at 7:30 Eastern right here on CNN.
Next back to our special report, the Casey Anthony trial.
What would you do if your child was missing? The prosecution witness who met Casey after her daughter went missing paints a picture far different from what you might expect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you recall about meeting Ms. Anthony on that date?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She seemed like a fun party girl. Somebody that would probably get along well with our group of friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the time period that she was living with you, did she ever tell you that her daughter was missing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever tell you that her daughter had been kidnapped?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever tell you that while you were out in classes she was out looking for her daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she at any time ever ask you for any help in trying to find her daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there ever a time when you were at fusion with the defendant that she participated in a contest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What type of a contest was that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a hot body contest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nights that you were at fusion with the defendant, what can you tell the jury about her overall demeanor?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was partying and having a good time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say partying, was that drinking?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drinking, yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she dancing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever display any emotion to you that would indicate that she was upset about anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she appear happy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you since found out that Caylee was dead during this time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me now, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Wendy Walsh, she is in Los Angeles, she's a human behavior expert; Jim Clemente in L.A., retired FBI special agent and adviser/writer for "Criminal Minds;" Drew Petrimoulx, Orlando reporter for WDBO Radio; and Leonard Pitts, Washington, syndicated columnist for "The Miami Herald" and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Drew, is he a creditable witness on the stand when you saw him? DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO: Are you talking about her friend? Well, you know, the prosecution really rolled out a parade of her friends in the beginning of this trial, and all of them really had the same message that Casey Anthony had no signs that anything was wrong during that month that her daughter hadn't been seen. She was going out to bars, partying, sleepovers, renting movies with her boyfriend.
So, you know, going to a Fourth of July celebration. So, really not letting on at all that anything was wrong. Of course, that's the kind of what the defense theory is though that she was so sexually abused, so physically and mentally abused that she stashes her pain deep back in the back of her head and can act like everything is OK.
LEMON: Tim Clemente?
JIM CLEMENTE, ADVISER/WRITER, "CRIMINAL MINDS": Well --
LEMON: Go ahead.
CLEMENTE: In my opinion -- in my opinion, that behavior is something completely different. What it actually is, is that she's in a position where finally she's free. She has released the burden of the one thing that she couldn't get rid of legally which was her daughter. And the fact that the daughter was now gone, she could go out and party unhindered by her responsibilities in life.
LEMON: Go ahead, Wendy.
WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Don, you know, it's very common with mothers who kill their child to have a kind of idealized fantasy life in their mind that they want to lead. There have been reports that during this time she got a tattoo that said beautiful life. We just heard she entered a hot body contest. She was living the life of a party girl, lying that she even had a career, where she was living or working, lying through her teeth on everything, but living this idealized life that she wanted free from her daughter.
HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's absolutely right, Don. I've got jump in here, because what we see is the night that her daughter goes missing, the very day, June 16th, 2008, that anyone last sees her. What does she do that night? She goes to Tony Lazzaro, her boyfriend at that time that we just found earlier. She moves in and she doesn't go home after that.
Her mother has to literally track her down through her friend Amy, had Amy take her to the new boyfriend's house and drag her out of there and say, "You're not going anywhere until you tell me where that baby is, you're coming home right now." The day that little girl went missing? She went and moved in with Tony Lazzaro. That was her new brand new life. Her freedom.
LEMON: Go ahead.
PETRIMOULX: I was just going say that Amy was a key witness for the prosecution because she said they had these conversations, her and Casey, where Casey would complain that she couldn't really have the social life that she wanted to have because she had to stay home with Caylee. So, prosecutors really wanted to point that out, that could be a possible motive for what she ended up doing.
LEMON: Let's be honest about this. Let's talk about Casey Anthony. She's a good-looking woman. You see the dress there. You know, everything that makes a good story. Let's be quite honest. She's a white woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, absolutely.
LEMON: That there's more interest in Casey's because there are -- there are thousands of kids who go missing who turn out...
HUGHES: Every day.
LEMON: Yes. Go ahead, Leonard.
LEONARD PITTS, "MIAMI HERALD" COLUMNIST: I was just sitting here thinking, Don, you know, at the risk of being the, you know, the skunk at the garden party here, with all due deference to this, you know, what is obviously a singular tragedy. If Caylee had been named Shaniqua and was a black girl from, you know, some other neighborhood, if Caylee was a boy of any race or living anywhere, we would not be having this discussion and this story would not be the national, international sensation that it is.
WALSH: I agree. Don, I totally agree. And I also want to add that this story, I was a news reporter back during the O.J. Simpson trial and it reminds me a lot of the O.J. Simpson trial. You know, had it not been a famous athlete, had his wife not been a beautiful blonde, had there not been stories of domestic violence in the past and maybe a young boyfriend that she had, the media probably wouldn't have been excited about it. But the fact that we've got nightclub pictures of a beautiful girl and yes, there's a race piece to it, a beautiful white girl in nightclubs in Florida, who's just, you know, partying and a parade of boyfriends and the illusion of promiscuity. This is the lurid details that are making America become riveted to the story.
LEMON: All right, hold that thought, Leonard, hold that thought. I've got to get to break. You can do it after the break.
Lie after lie after lie is what we're learning Casey Anthony told friends, family even investigators. Jurors heard several hours of police interviews. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything you've told us is a lie. Every single thing. And you can...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And you can keep sitting here and tell us the same thing and getting constantly over and over and over again we're disproving everything that you're telling us. You're telling us that you've lied. You're telling us you're giving us misinformation. Everything you're telling us. OK. It needs to end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Detectives are tired of Casey's lies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that everything you told me is a lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's recorded. The jury, all of us have got to hear it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's out there somewhere and her rotting body is starting to decompose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She doesn't crack there at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's some of the best evidence that this prosecution has so far.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police have already busted Casey on the fictional "Zany the Nanny."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) is not the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is not a lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Universal Studios, she took them there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's coming up to this security gate with two officers and tell --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the she finally fesses up --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put her hands in her back pockets and say that, "I don't work here."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would inspire her to lie at this point?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many lies, folks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't figure it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I have to say great coverage by our sister networks HLN and also "In Session" on truTV.
So, Leonard Pitts, you were making a point before the break. Go ahead.
PITTS: I was just making a point, this is what I call the "damsel in distress" syndrome. And, you know, not only are we talking about sort of a racial bias, talking about a gender bias.
But I think there's also a case to be made looking at this case in a larger context about the similar cases. There's also a case to be made that there's a sexism thing going on. That the only time that we seem to see this huge spotlight of national/international coverage is when there is a young and white woman who is perceived as being in danger. It sort of reinforces the stereotype of the "helpless damsel in distress" to help this woman.
LEMON: Let's not forget, though, that there is -- this is the victim. This little, beautiful face right there. It's a little girl.
PITTS: No argument.
LEMON: We shouldn't forget that.
HUGHES:: And not the only victim, Don. I mean, when you look at those grandparents on the stand. When you look at George and Cindy Anthony and you hear George talk about she called me Joe-Joe and I helped change her diapers and I helped potty train her, when you see Cindy Anthony completely fall apart on the stand, Don. She is leaning forward. She cannot even hold herself up physically. Her body is racked with sobs. They are victims, too. I mean, whatever you think of them and whatever they did or didn't do to help the investigation, these are grieving grandparents. They raised that little girl. She lived in their house. That beautiful little 2-year-old girl that we see singing "You are my Sunshine," that's they're grand baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing what their daughter can't.
LEMON: Jim Clemente, you worked on this case and I know there are certain things that you cannot reveal about it. But from the evidence that's in public now, what do you think of Casey Anthony and where is this going to end?
CLEMENTE: Don, you know, obviously, that's going to be a question for the jury to decide in the end. She's innocent until proven guilty. However, when you look at her leading her parents and investigators on a wild goose chase, looking up chloroform, the incredible lies that she told, the false job, the false nanny, the false allegations of child abduction, the post mortem banding on the hair and the smell in her car, all those things are very, very damning. But her behavior just screams out, her behavior during this entire time just screams out that it's very consistent with innocent behavior.
LEMON: And, again, Jim, I'm going to ask you again because I know you know about this case and again as I said there are certain things that you can't, but is she, for lack of a better term, toast here?
CLEMENTE: Let me just tell you, Don, the investigator who worked this case directly and investigators that work all child abduction cases dove into it 24/7 for the entire time until they realized that she was actually killed by her mother. They did everything they could to find this little girl. Unfortunately, that wasted resources because, obviously, Casey was leading them on a wild goose chase even by her own admissions now.
So, it wasted a lot of resources. There are other kids out there that actually were missing at the same time. In that whole time period. It took resources away from them.
HUGHES: Don, can I jump in here and answer your question? Is she toast?
Get out the butter and jam, honey, because she is going down. And here's why. Her own words -- she said it best. One of her girlfriends testified last week they are driving in the car, Casey gets a telephone call. She answers the phone and says, "Oh, no, you know, well, I can't come out and hang out with you tonight, my car is broken down." The very car she's driving, mind you. She disconnects the call. Throws the phone down and says to her friend, "Oh, I am such a good liar."
I would have loved to have seen the jury's face when they hear the defendant bragging about what a great liar she is. This isn't something she did because she's a victim of sexual abuse and she was forced into it. She was proud of this skill.
Yes. Butter it up, baby.
LEMON: I want to keep you guys around. We're going to do more on this. We're going to talk about the fascination with this case. This looks like people chasing after their favorite celebrity or going to a sporting event, but they are actually racing to get a spot in the courtroom. Our panel is going to weigh in. We're going to keep them around.
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All that you need is accurate, correct information.
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LEMON: What in the world is going on?
Holly Hughes is a criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor. Wendy Walsh is in L.A., she's a human behavior expert. Jim Clemente in L.A., a retired FBI special agent and adviser and writer for "Criminal Minds." Drew Petrimoulx is from Orlando. He's a reporter for WDBO Radio. And then Leonard Pitts, Washington, syndicated columnist for the "Miami Herald" and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Drew, I don't know if you've had a chance to witness any of this, but is it that sort of behavior? Obviously, the judge does not allow that to happen in court.
PETRIMOULX: People have been very well behaved inside the courtroom. But what we've learned from this trial is there's an intense interest on exactly what is happening inside the courtroom. The arguments back and forth between lawyers. In fact, we've seen one by one the local TV stations go wall to wall and broadcast the entire proceedings that happen.
But there have been no outbursts in court. The judge, Judge Perry, runs a very tight ship inside the courtroom and promised any outburst, anyone that does any outburst about 180 days in jail. So, people have been well-behaved inside. There's an intense interest, though, on this case here.
LEMON: Former FBI special agent Jim Clemente, you have probably taken a number of these types of cases to court. What's the fascination with this? Do you find anything different with this particular trial?
CLEMENTE: Well, Don, I've worked hundreds, literally hundreds of child abduction cases and this only happens in certain cases when the victims fit a certain stereotypical type. I mean, Jon-Benet Ramsey, Elizabeth Smart.
You know, these are cases that have garnered international interest in the media. It's the media response that causes, I think, these people to respond in such an amazingly ridiculous, inappropriate way. I think it doesn't happen inside the courtroom. That's not what justice is all about. But outside we're seeing this kind of media built-up frenzy.
LEMON: That's a good question for Leonard Pitts. Is it the tail wagging the dog here? Is it the media that's causing this? Or what's going on here?
PITTS: I think the media are exacerbating it. I think that the media is sort of playing into what I call earlier this "movie of the week" syndrome. And I think that, you know, largely as a result, we've sort of got conflated, you know, what this idea of what entertainment is.
It used to be that, you know, entertainment was, you know, somebody singing or dancing or telling a joke or doing some dramatic acting. Now we've come to the point where entertainment is those things, perhaps, but it's also the trials -- the triumphs and the tragedies like this. You know, from a Lindsay Lohan with her -- with her, you know, drunk- driving problems, a Paris Hilton to something even more significant like this.
It's not just viewed as sort of a tragedy that we want to stay up-to-date on. It is a -- it's a celebrity thing. It's an act of entertainment. It's something we want to, you know, to follow in that way. And I think that says -- I think that says a lot about media. Frankly, I think it also says a lot about us as American people.
LEMON: I have to -- I'm going ask you this, Holly, because there are people who are taking their vacations to go down to this trial and it's mostly women and you see them high-fiving each other. Look. High-fiving each there. Two guys there, but it's mostly women outside. This is a real life -- this is a tragedy but to them it's spectator.
HUGHES: It is. And you know what it reminds me of? Back in the day when they used to do public lynchings and hangings and beheadings in the square. I mean, something in us likes that train wreck. That's why we rubberneck at a car accident.
LEMON: Yes, Wendy, go ahead.
WALSH: Yes. I wouldn't blame the media entirely although the media, of course, is the ticket, the calling card, if you will, that let's people know where the show is playing. But certainly we have this urge inside all of us. Remember, we're not far away from being hunters and gatherers, where a little bit of violence lives in all of us. And plenty of it is acted out cathartically now in our games and in our movies in safe ways.
But just like Holly said this is like going to watch a public hanging from the Middle Ages. There is this lurid attraction to find out. Because the trial here I don't think is about whether she did it or not, it's about whether she's going get the death penalty or life.
LEMON: Leonard, did you want to jump in?
PITTS: I was just going to say I agree that the impulse exists in us as human beings. But I guess I'm saying is that media sort of exploit it and feed upon it, for, you know, for frankly commercial gain and that sort of -- it becomes the thing that sort of self- perpetuates and, you know, makes itself worse all the time. This is, you know, this is the bottom...
LEMON: Hey, listen...
PITTS: ...when we talk about women high-fiving.
LEMON: I want to get -- I want to get our viewers in here real quick. Let's see. This one is for Jim or whoever can answer this. Did Casey Anthony -- this is from Dolmer (ph) on Twitter -- did Casey Anthony discuss incest or if he thinks that is just a poor defense tactic? That's for you Jim.
CLEMENTE: Well, when the defense made that statement in court, it was the first time anyone had heard anything like that.
LEMON: OK. Well, someone says, "And why would a molested child leave her own daughter alone with this, quote, 'evil grandpa' then praise him 'greatest dad ever,' please?"
HUGHES: Right. That's exactly right. It makes no sense. And to back charge just a minute, if you listen to the opening, what we heard was these all horrible allegations, but no proof, no witness names, no evidence.
LEMON: All right. Thanks to Holly. Thanks to Wendy Walsh. Thanks to Jim Clemente, Drew Petrimoulx and also Leonard Pitts. Very interesting discussion. I appreciate you all joining us.
I'm Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Thanks for joining me tonight. I'll see you back here tomorrow night at 6, 7 and 10 p.m. Eastern. Good night.