Crime Watch Daily Exclusive - The Anthonys: A Family Destroyed
10/30/2017 1:29 pm PDT
In a Crime Watch Daily exclusive, we just sat down with Casey Anthony's mother and father for an emotional in-depth new interview. They revealed things we've never heard before about the trial, the aftermath and what their relationship is like now with their daughter.
And of course I asked them point-blank: Is Casey Anthony a killer?
If you search for the "most hated mom in America," one name is still sure to pop up: Casey Anthony.
Sensationally acquitted in the murder of her adorable 2-year-old daughter Caylee, there's no dispute many people still believe Casey Anthony killed her.
But there are two other victims of this American tragedy: Casey's parents George and Cindy Anthony.
"Well, we were labeled the most hated family in America," Cindy Anthony tells Crime Watch Daily.
"I don't want to see her. I don't want to talk to her," said George Anthony.
Now for the first time you'll hear their deep pain at losing their granddaughter, stunning new information about Casey's mental health, and never-before-seen pictures of Casey and Caylee. And the answer to the question everyone is asking: Do Casey's parents think Casey killed Caylee?
Why talk today?
"Because I really believe out there, you know, there's a certain amount of people that don't really understand what we've been through, how traumatic it's been for these last nine years," George Anthony tells Crime Watch Daily.
"They can't understand," said Cindy Anthony.
How would they describe Casey growing up as a child?
"Very energetic, very intelligent young lady, little girl, always trying to do the best she possibly could, always trying to make me laugh," said George.
The happiness multiplied after then-18-year-old Casey became pregnant.
"She says 'I just came from the doctor's and I've got something to tell you,'" said Cindy. "And she says 'Mom, I'm pregnant,' and I looked at her and her face and she was smiling, and I said 'That's, that's awesome.' She was excited. It was a very happy moment."
"It was a very happy moment to know that you're going to be a grandparent," said George.
Who was the father?
"Casey goes 'Well, this guy that I had dated for a couple months, but we're no longer together,' and I said 'Well, does he know?' and she said 'Not yet,' and she had told me his name was Jesse," said Cindy.
"And then the day finally when Caylee was born, that's when I actually officially met him walking into the room where Casey was at, and seeing him, and it was an awkward moment to a point," said George.
"Yeah, his first impression of Jesse wasn't that great," said Cindy.
It was the first of many lies the Anthonys say Casey would tell. A DNA test reportedly showed Jesse was not Caylee's father. The man believed to be the real birth father died in a tragic accident.
But little Caylee would grow up with a lot of love from her doting grandparents.
"She would be home during the day with Caylee and I'd get home like 5:30, 6 o'clock in the evening, and she'd say 'Do you want grammy time with you granddaughter?'" said Cindy. "I was 'Grammy.' I didn't want to be 'Grandma,' I wanted to be 'Grammy.' And I'd just scoop that child up and just, you know, love on her."
Did Caylee remind you of Casey?
"Oh absolutely, absolutely," said George. "Just so many things about her just made me think, like, 'Wow, I got another little girl in my life that's going to be someone I can hold onto and cherish and just be so connected to and close to.'"
The Anthonys have shared never-before-seen photos of that wonderful time when Caylee was growing up. She loved to go swimming in the backyard pool with her Grammy.
But the good times were about to end when Casey told her parents she was taking Caylee with her as she traveled between jobs in Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida for a week.
"And then that trip for a week extended into another week because she told me her car was having issues and she had to take it to get it fixed," Cindy tells Crime Watch Daily.
So this happened incrementally and didn't initially cause you to have any suspicion.
"No, because there was always a reasonable explanation. It made sense," said Cindy.
Casey's car had been towed, and when George and Cindy picked it up, it reeked.
"I said 'Man, this car really stinks,'" said George.
As a former deputy sheriff, he recognized that smell as that of a dead body.
"To me, yes," said George.
In the trunk of the car there were bags of trash rotting in the hot Florida summer sun. Cindy says that's when she learned that Casey's jobs didn't exist. And Casey wasn't in Tampa, but a suburb of Orlando.
"I had found Casey that evening," said Cindy. "She was staying with her current boyfriend, this guy that I knew nothing about. We went to this apartment in Winter Park, I had never been, I never met this guy. And as soon as she opened the door, there was -- I could smell marijuana, so I knew Caylee wasn't in that apartment.
"I said 'Where have you been and where is Caylee?'" said Cindy. "She just says 'Well, Caylee's at the nanny's.' 'Zanny the nanny.'
"I asked Casey, 'Let's go to Zanny's, I want to pick up Caylee, I haven't seen her in a month,' and I said, 'Every time I talk to you on the phone this last month, there's an excuse why I can't talk to Caylee. I want to see her.'"
Cindy would soon learn the terrifying truth: Caylee was missing. And she had been for the last 31 days.
"I pull into my driveway and I see Cindy pacing back and forth, and I said 'What's going on, what's going on?' 'Caylee, something happened to Caylee. Somebody has Caylee, she's missing, she's missing,'" said George.
Why would somebody have Caylee?
"I'm shocked to say that everything that you thought of life was going well, all of a sudden it just changed, everything changed forever at that moment for me," said George.
Cindy says Casey's changing stories made her suspicious. So she called 911.
Cindy Anthony: "I have a possible missing child. I have a 3-year-old that's been missing for a month."
911 Operator: "A 3-year-old?"
911: "Have you reported that?"
Cindy: "I'm trying to do that now, ma'am."
Who would want to kidnap Caylee?
"That was a question I was asking not only myself, but asking her. Matter of fact it got to be pretty -- screaming. I was very upset," said George.
And what did Casey say?
"She says 'Dad, I dropped her off and now I can't find her,'" said George. "I know it didn't make any sense."
Cindy Anthony says as they were trying to sort things out, she overheard a chilling conversation between Casey and her brother.
"As I walked back into the house after calling the sheriff's department, I'm walking down the hallway, I overhear Casey tell Lee, her brother, that Zanny had took Caylee, and wouldn't give her back," said Cindy. "And I said 'What the hell do you mean Zanny won't give her back?' And she said 'Mom,' she goes 'When I went to pick her up, she said "You can't have her."' I says 'What are you talking about?'"
Cindy calls 911 again and tells the operator about the odor in Casey's car.
Cindy: "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."
And this time Casey gets on the phone and gives a rather flimsy explanation to the dispatcher.
Casey Anthony: "My daughter's been missing for the last 31 days."
911 Operator: "Why are you calling now, why didn't you call 31 days ago?"
Casey: "I have been looking for her and have gone through other resources to try to find her."
Casey Anthony was out partying during those 31 days.
The next day, on July 16, 2008, she was arrested on charges of child neglect, giving false statements to cops and obstructing an investigation.
Do you think your granddaughter's dead body had been in that car?
"I didn't want to think that," George Anthony tells Crime Watch Daily.
How could any good-hearted man think the worst of his own daughter? The horrible reality is that Caylee was gone. Where was she?
Did Casey Anthony kill her daughter? Two-thirds of Americans believed she was guilty. But what about the two people who raised her -- what do they think?
"[Caylee] called me 'Jojo,'" said George Anthony. "That's something I miss to this day."
When was the last time you saw Caylee?
"On June 16th, just before 1 o'clock in the afternoon," said George Anthony. "Sitting watching one of my favorite programs on TV, seeing Casey and Caylee walk out of Casey's bedroom, Caylee being dressed in her little pink top with her little blue jeans, little sandals and socks, a little backpack, her big little sunglasses she had on.
"When I walked her and Casey out to the car, helped her get her into her little car seat in the back seat, 'Jojo loves you, Jojo will see you later,' and I remember she blew a kiss and I blew her one back," said George. "I never saw her after that, and that's something that I miss. I miss her."
Did you ever look Casey in the eyes and say "What happened to Caylee?"
"No," said Cindy Anthony. "Let me tell you why not: Because I was not allowed to talk to Casey while she was in jail."
That's because jailhouse conversations are videotaped. It could be used as evidence against Casey Anthony, who at this point was charged with child neglect.
"This is recorded and I don't know who's gonna see things and who's gonna misconstrue whatever else," Casey Anthony tells her parents in a recorded video interaction in jail.
Casey sticks to her wild story that the mysterious "Zanny the nanny" snatched Caylee.
Cindy: "Listen, I'm in front of the cameras all the time. What message do you want me to give to Zanny and to Caylee. What do you want me to tell Zanny?"
Casey: "That she needs to return Caylee."
There was no "Zanny the nanny." She exists only in Casey's imagination.
What do you think really happened?
"My gut feeling inside, as a father, as a grandfather, I believe Caylee was given something and she didn't wake up. That's my feeling," said George Anthony.
The Anthonys would soon learn the horrible truth. Six months after Caylee disappeared, a meter-reader sees a suspicious bag and calls 911.
911 Operator: "911, what's your emergency?"
Caller: "I noticed something that looks white, and there was a, uh, like a gray bag down in there. I don't know what it is, I'm not telling you it's, you know, Caylee or anything of that nature."
It was Caylee. Her little body was dumped in a swamp near the Anthonys' home. The remains were so decomposed the coroner couldn't determine the exact cause of death.
Do you think Casey killed Caylee?
"Casey knows what happened to Caylee. I feel that in my heart," said George. "Do I feel that she took my granddaughter's life? I don't want to believe that, but Casey is the one that can answer that question."
Have you ever asked her that, point-blank: "Did you kill your daughter?"
"I never got a chance to, I never got a chance to be that confrontational with my daughter to ask her," said George.
Does Cindy think that Casey killed Caylee?
"No, I don't think, I truly, honestly don't think she killed her," said Cindy. "I don't know. I don't know if it was an accident or what happened. I don't know if Casey got distracted and Caylee drowned in the pool."
There was a theory that in fact Caylee drowned and that one or both of you helped cover it up. What do you say to that?
"Well, it was never that I 'covered it up,' it was about..." said Cindy.
"Yeah, it was told that I had found Caylee in the pool, I went into the pool to get her and brought her out and rushed in and she was already dead," said George.
What do you say to that?
"That's wrong, because it didn't happen. It did not happen," said George.
And when Casey Anthony is tried for first-degree murder, her attorney Jose Baez floats the drowning theory.
"She never was missing," Baez said in opening statements in court. "Caylee Anthony died on June 16, 2008, when she drowned in her family's swimming pool."
And for the first time ever, George Anthony reveals something he says Baez told him: He was going to make him the scapegoat.
"He said 'We're gonna pin it on you, because you need to fall on the sword for your daughter, you need to do this,'" George said. "'I need to fall on the sword for my daughter.'"
In what way?
"I need to take responsibility," said George.
"The reason why Caylee wasn't here with us anymore, the reason why she's gone," said George.
That you killed her?
"Yeah, they wanted to blame this on me, and I said 'No,' I said 'I'm not gonna take a fall for something that I had nothing to do with,'" said George.
Did you think it was even possible that your husband could have done this?
"No," said Cindy. "But the day that Jose told me that he had known about the drowning for a long time, my reaction was 'What the hell? Why didn't you just come and tell us from the very beginning, we wouldn't have had to go through three years of all this aggravation. We wouldn't have had to look six months for her.'"
Then Baez does the unthinkable.
"And it all began when Casey was 8 years old and her father came into her room and began to touch her inappropriately," Jose Baez said in his opening statements at trial.
Baez actually accuses George of sexually abusing Casey.
"To hear that come out of his mouth, my first instinct was to jump over that little ledge piece that goes back and forth before you walk into the court," said George. "I wanted to jump that and attack him, that's how angry I was, but you know what? I felt I was bigger than this."
And in no time during the trial was there any evidence suggested that you had committed any sexual impropriety in any way?
"Right, because Cindy knows it didn't happen. If something like that would have happened, why wouldn't my daughter have said something to her?" said George.
Crime Watch Daily reached out to Jose Baez for comment, but he didn't respond.
Do you think, looking back, she was mentally ill?
"Yes, I think Casey is mentally ill, I really do," said Cindy Anthony.
Cindy says during one of the times when Casey was out on bond and living at home, she discovered her daughter passed out.
"Casey had had several seizures," said Cindy. "I walked in, I heard her in her room having a seizure. She was out for 40 minutes, did not know where she was. I couldn't arouse her.
"So I called Jose, I says 'Should I take her to the hospital?' He goes 'No, because the media will be all over it. Let me know how she is in the morning.'
"She had bit her tongue, she didn't remember anything, she had wet the bed, I told her, I had to tell her everything that had happened to her," said Cindy.
So you think maybe Casey had a seizure potentially and didn't even know what happened to Caylee?
"To me that's a possibility, and she doesn't remember when she has seizures unless she knows she has bit her tongue or something," said Cindy. "I'm not sure if she didn't have a seizure that day and blacked out and found Caylee in the pool."
What is sure is that Baez's courtroom theatrics worked.
"We the jury find the defendant not guilty."
Casey Anthony was acquitted. She walked out of jail a free woman.
But will George Anthony ever be free of the lingering doubts about his daughter's innocence?
Is she a killer?
"Do you think she intentionally wanted to kill Caylee?" asks Cindy.
"I don't think she intentionally wanted to," said George. "I don't think she intentionally wanted to, but she should, she should be in jail because of Caylee not being here."
The Anthonys -- Casey, her brother Lee, Cindy and George -- were once a tight family, until they were torn apart by deceit, deception and death.
What is your relationship with Casey today as we sit here?
"I don't have a relationship with my daughter," said George.
Do you want one?
"I'm gonna be very blunt with this," said George Anthony. "I don't want to see her, I don't want to talk to her. I've always said that I would never talk to my daughter. I actually lost my daughter and my granddaughter in 2008."
Cindy Anthony says she still communicates with Casey to some degree.
"She checked on me a couple months ago," Cindy tells Crime Watch Daily.
During the hurricane, you had some health issues.
"Right, she called me to check on me 'cause she had heard I was in the hospital," said Cindy. "I mean, I'm still her mom."
When was the last time you saw her?
"The last time I saw her was just before Christmas, the week before Christmas, last year," said Cindy.
"Well, it was weird, the first time I saw her when she got out of the car for the first time and I saw her, I stood there for a second and I just wanted to do one of two things: I wanted to just embrace her and I wanted to smack her, that's how I felt inside. I wanted to hit her for everything," said Cindy. "I wanted to shake her, I wanted to say 'What the hell did you do for all these years?'"
And what Casey is doing now is once again sparking outrage.
Casey Anthony: "I'm still not even certain as I stand here today about what happened."
To help promote her new career as a photographer, Casey gave a jaw-dropping interview to Associated Press Reporter Josh Replogle. Some excerpts:
Casey: "Everyone else has their theories. I don't know."
Replogle: "Uh huh. So your parents had her?"
Casey: "My dad did."
Casey: "I'm OK with myself. I sleep pretty good at night."
"How? Cindy does not rest, I do not rest. I don't get a restful night's sleep, I know she hasn't for years," said George Anthony.
And also in the AP interview Casey seemingly refuses any responsibility for what happened to little Caylee.
Casey: "I don't give a [----] what anybody thinks about me, I don't care about that. I never will."
"She's not to blame in her mind," said Cindy. "I bet she pushed everything out of her memory about Caylee, that's why she says 'I don't know what happened.' She's in an alternate world now."
Is there anything she said that is true?
"No," said Cindy.
"No, absolutely not," said George.
"Not anything on there," said Cindy.
"I wish she would wake up and smell the coffee," said George.
Casey is talking about Caylee still being with her, a part of her life, and perhaps having another child.
"I don't know where, who'd she'd have another child with, it wouldn't be anywhere in these United States of America. Who knows, maybe some other country would accept her," said George.
Is she a sociopath? What's the issue here?
"Right now I'm not sure that she isn't," said Cindy.
Casey is living in Palm Beach with private investigator Patrick McKenna. McKenna also assisted O.J. Simpson's "Dream Team."
Are you considering a civil lawsuit, a wrongful death lawsuit against your daughter to finally get that truth or assign some responsibility?
"If it gets to the point that my daughter would sell her story and that she would want to talk about it and get paid, yes," said George.
You would file a lawsuit?
"Oh absolutely I would, absolutely," said George.
Would you support a lawsuit against your daughter?
"I don't think it will ever come to that, I don't think she'll sell her story," said Cindy.
George seems to think that it might, and now there are rumors of reality shows, even a show with her and O.J. Simpson. What do you say to that?
"Oh God," said Cindy. "If it came down to that, I probably would."
During the Anthonys' ordeal -- a manipulative daughter, a missing granddaughter -- George gave up hope and tried to commit suicide.
"I didn't feel I did enough to go find her," said George. "Cindy will tell you I'd be gone from the earliest morning that I could get up, to almost probably the next morning again out there looking for her. Like, what more can I do? I'm getting threatened by people on the outside. I couldn't get a job. My life, everything, it collapsed."
Did you want to die?
"I wanted to be with her," said George. "She needs to be here, not me. But when I finally made the decision to go, it was easy. It was an easy decision for me."
What kept you from dying?
"I guess I didn't drink enough alcohol, I didn't take enough pills," said George.
"No. The only thing that saved him is he ate a sandwich before he started," said Cindy. "If he would have not had something in his stomach, it would have been it."
What helped save George Anthony is another toddler, the young child of Casey's brother.
"It's, it's a feeling of just joy," said George.
Did your grandson save your life?
"Oh, yeah," said George. "He did."
"Yeah," said Cindy. "He keeps me going, knowing that I see him and have my time with him. It's not the same as with Caylee. Caylee lived with me. And he knows that his playhouse was Caylee's."
Does he ever ask about Caylee?
"Oh, all the time," said Cindy. "Her pictures are everywhere."
Your son is done with your daughter?
"He's done because he doesn't want to expose that to his son, his wife, and I get that, but he's done," said Cindy.
Now, after all the accusations, tragedy and turmoil, George and Cindy Anthony are left feeling emotionally drained.
"The memories we have at that house right now are so strong," said George.
During our time together, George dropped a stunning revelation about his own continued attachment to Caylee, an attachment he says is more than an apparition.
"I've seen Caylee on a couple of occasions, I've walked with her down the hallway, she walked into her old room," said George. "I've seen her, I've seen her in the flesh. I've seen her in my house. One time she woke me up in the morning to tapping on with her little finger like she used to. Oh it wasn't a dream, it was like you and I are talking right now."
"I believe him," said Cindy.
How do you explain that?
"The strong spirit that's in our house," said George.
If Caylee were alive today she would have just turned 12. She was everything to these good people, even if their own daughter is dead to them. If Casey is watching this, what is your message to her?
"Stay away. Stay away from me. If she wants a relationship again with her mom, she's got a lot of explaining to do, but I don't want to hear it no more from her," said George Anthony.
"Casey, be true to yourself, start being honest with yourself and own everything and quit putting blame on everybody else," said Cindy Anthony. "But she still hasn't faced whatever happened. I would love one day to find out, but I know I'll never find out until I get to Heaven."