On December 11, 2008, a utility company meter reader discovered human remains on a wooded lot in Orlando, Florida. The small corpse, which was wrapped in a blanket and placed inside a trash bag, belonged to 2-year-old Caylee Anthony. Caylee was last seen alive in June 2008 and reported missing more than a month later. The discovery shocked the nation and led to what has been described as “the social media trial of the century.”
Authorities arrested Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, on July 16, 2008. For weeks, she lied to investigators, claiming she had left the toddler with a babysitter, never to see her again. She continued to provide false information to authorities, while maintaining an almost emotionless demeanor.
On July 5, 2011, a jury acquitted Anthony of first-degree murder and manslaughter. She didn’t testify in her own defense, but she still remained outspoken about the disappearance and murder of her daughter. A&E Real Crime has compiled a list of some of Casey Anthony’s most controversial statements.
“I’ve been looking for her and just gone through other resources to find her, which was stupid.”
On July 15, 2008, Casey Anthony’s mother, Cindy Anthony, made three phone calls to 911. During one of the calls, the grandmother grew frantic, telling the emergency dispatcher, “Caylee’s missing,” and “I found my daughter’s car today and it smells like there has been a dead body in the damn car.”
[Watch Casey Anthony: How Did We Get Here? on A&E Crime Central.]
On the third call, Cindy put her daughter on the phone. “My daughter’s been missing for the last 31 days,” Casey told the dispatcher, who then asked why she had waited so long to report the little girl missing. “I’ve been looking for her and just gone through other resources to find her, which was stupid,” she replied, perplexing dispatchers and investigators who took on the case.
“I just saw your nice little cameo on TV.”
After the three phone calls to 911, authorities arrested Casey Anthony. Cindy Anthony immediately began conducting a series of television interviews to help locate Caylee. On the night of July 16, 2008, Casey called her mother from jail. She started the conversation with a snide remark: “Mom, I just saw your nice little cameo on TV.” During the call, a friend, who asked to speak with Casey, pointed out that it was unusual she wasn’t upset or crying.
“Nobody in my family is on my side. That’s all they care about right now, finding Caylee.”
On the same recorded call from jail, Casey Anthony can be heard going off in a profanity-laced tirade in which she tells her friend, “Nobody in my family is on my side. That’s all they care about right now, finding Caylee.” Stunned, her friend points out that the focus should be on Caylee and repeatedly asks Anthony to tell her who might have the little girl. The call was played during Anthony’s murder trial, causing multiple jurors to wince and scowl.
“It was true, [Zanny the Nanny] had watched my daughter on one occasion.”
During an interrogation, Casey Anthony told detectives that she had last seen Caylee when she left the little girl with a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, a woman who she claimed went by the name of “Zanny the Nanny.” She stated, “It was true. [Zanny the Nanny] had watched my daughter on one occasion,” but investigators couldn’t locate anyone who matched the description.
Some people familiar with the case believe Anthony made the woman up and used “Zanny” after the street name for the prescription drug Xanax. Some speculate that Casey gave the Caylee the medication “to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to deal with her.”
“People lie to the cops every day. Cops lie to people every day. I’m just one of the unfortunate idiots who admitted that they lied.”
In a 2017 Associated Press interview, Anthony was asked about lying to investigators. Rather than admit she wasn’t forthcoming with the truth, she seemed to defend her actions, stating, “People lie to the cops every day. Cops lie to people every day. I’m just one of the unfortunate idiots who admitted that they lied.”
Throughout the investigation and trial, Casey believed authorities and prosecutors had it in for her and that she was “victimized.” It doesn’t appear that she regretted lying, only that she was caught lying.
In the 2018 A&E special “Casey Anthony’s Parents Speak,” Cindy and George Anthony, Casey’s father, claim their daughter had a habit of lying to them. George said Casey’s lies were pathological, and her deceptive behavior started her senior year of high school.
Although Casey Anthony was acquitted on murder charges, she was sentenced to four years for four counts of lying to police. A Florida appeals court later overturned two of the four convictions.
“I don’t give a sh*t about what anyone thinks about me. I never will. I’m okay with myself. I sleep pretty good at night.”
In the same 2017 Associated Press interview, which the news outlet acknowledged was “revealing, bizarre and often contradictory,” Anthony maintained her innocence, stating, “I’m still not even certain as I stand here today about what happened.” She recognized the media circus surrounding the case and why people might have a negative view of her. But in defiance, she shook off the public’s perception, claiming, “I don’t give a sh*t about what anyone thinks about me. I never will. I’m okay with myself. I sleep pretty good at night.”
The quote—which many viewed as cold and callous—became headline-making news around the world, only solidifying her “America’s Most Hated Mom” moniker.
“Yes, I drank and carried on like nothing happened.”
One of the most shocking aspects of the case was Casey Anthony’s behavior in the days and weeks following Caylee’s disappearance. Rather than report her daughter missing or show any sign of emotion, she went about her life and maintained her hard-partying lifestyle. “Yes, I drank and carried on like nothing happened,” she stated in a 2019 interview, making no other excuses for her bizarre and heartless behavior.