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Retired Judge Belvin Perry Comments on Casey Anthony Case

It seems like with the upcoming 3-part special presented by Investigation Discovery ("Casey Anthony - An American Murder Mystery") we are beginning to hear more about the mystery surrounding the death of 2 year old Caylee Anthony and the surprising acquittal of her young mother Casey.

The residing judge on what has been referred to as "the social media trial of the century", Judge Belvin Perry was interviewed by USA Today and he believes Casey Anthony probably killed her daughter Caylee, but not intentionally.  He still believes there was sufficient evidence to take the murder case to trial and he didn't say whether or not he agreed with the verdict.

I always find it interesting to see what Judges think about the cases they reside over.  Their job is to ensure the defendant receives a fair trial, however they have to have their own thoughts and opinions about what may have happened. He pointed to the evidence of Casey's internet searches on the use of chloroform as an important piece of the puzzle - one that may point to her trying to use the agent to quiet Caylee or put her to sleep and she may have given her a lethal dose.

From what we have seen from all of the Casey Anthony jailhouse videos of her visitations with her parents, it seems if she did accidentally cause Caylee's death in such a manner there is no way she would or could admit that to her mother. Instead, the story she concocted was so outrageous that it became a national story and stayed in the headlines for months.  The more the public heard, the more outraged people became.  One thing is certain - Casey Anthony is the only person who really knows what happened.  I doubt she would ever come clean if she hasn't by now.  The death by accidental drowning/cover up just makes no sense when you look at the behavior of her grieving parents at the time Caylee was missing.

I'll always believe the duct tape over Caylee's mouth may have been placed there to go with the kidnapping story she came up with.  The placement of her body so near to the family home and near where the Anthony's used to bury their deceased pets is no coincidence.  These are things she cannot explain.  We still really don't know where Casey went every day when she pretended to go to work.  There are so many things we don't and probably will never know.  This is beginning to have the feel of the Jon Benet Ramsey case - only in the public's desire to know what happened.  No other similarities in the cases, but when children are killed, it hits home.

I tend to agree with Judge Perry.  I never really thought it was an intentional act, but Casey is the only one who can say for sure.  If you are still interested in this saga, be sure to tune in to ID's special beginning 4/9. Have a great week!

Why is Casey Anthony Talking Now??

Regardless of what you think of the Casey Anthony case and the verdict, there are some things that simply will never make sense to me.  With Casey speaking out after years of silence about her experience with the trial, she still hints at her father's involvement in the cover up of a simple accidental drowning.  This never made sense to me - George was in law enforcement at some point in his life.  Police officers tend to do the right thing.  If Caylee did truly drown in the pool, unfortunately a common occurrence in Florida, why go to such great lengths to cover up an accident?

Secondly, George's grief at his granddaughter's absence/disappearance seemed genuine to me.  It's difficult to fake that type of anguish.  You saw it every time Cindy & George were caught on TV.  You could sense that although outwardly they were suppo rtive of their daughter, I don't believe George trusted her or believed her story.  But his wife Cindy is a very strong and outgoing woman who seemed to call the shots in that family.  I don't know how they could believe Casey's lies about this nanny.

One thing that was really never suggested at trial is the idea that the duct tape may have been placed over little 2 year old Caylee's mouth to make it appear to fit the kidnapping story.  That's what I thought from day one.  Casey had her story and she would stick to it until the trial began when they moved to the "dad molested me" defense.  Sickening to think she could allow her attorney to throw her (supportive) father under the bus to save her own skin.  I never bought that story, although that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before!  I just personally saw it as a convenient way to distract the jury from the facts and evidence in this case.  

Fact #1 - THERE IS NO NEED TO COVER UP AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING, especially of a 2 year old child.

Fact #2 - THERE IS NO WAY a normal mother would not report said drowning, call 911 or try to get help there when or if Caylee was discovered in the pool.  I cannot see George carrying Caylee out and offering to take care of discarding her body like trash.  I'll just never buy that story.  I don't know if the jury bought it, or just didn't feel the prosecution had enough or definitive cause of death to convict her of murder.  I am shocked she wasn't convicted of SOMETHING for failure to report her child missing for a month.  Maybe that isn't a crime in the state of Florida.  It should be in all 50 states.

So Casey's life goes on.  Reportedly she is supported by members of her defense team, working and living with one of the investigators on the team.  Do they actually believe her story?  I just find it all so outrageous, still - all these years later I truly believe she got away with at the very least child neglect and perhaps murder or manslaughter.  If she loved that child as much as she claimed, she would have been out of her mind with grief the first day she was missing.  Photo evidence shows the exact opposite.  She was out partying with her friends and apparently making up for the lost time she spend being a mother of a 2 year old child who required her attention.  I hope someday she will reveal the truth but that's highly unlikely.  She's been proven to be a liar (also because of the family dynamics, according to her legal team) and she'll lie about Caylee's death for the rest of her life, even though double jeopardy protects her from prosecution.

This has all been brought up again because of the Investigation Discovery special that will be airing in April - "Casey Anthony, an American Murder Mystery".  I was hooked on this case as I was on the Scott Peterson trial and Jodi Arias' trial.  I just never wrote about those cases before.  I'll never understand how the jury bought the covering up of an accidental drowning.  Who does that?  There is nothing criminal about an accidental drowning and they couldn't have been that frightened of Cindy's reaction to concoct this story and toss their granddaughter's body in the swampy woods like garbage.  It's just not likely to have happened that way.

What do you all think?  Did Casey get away with murder?  Was it an accidental death of some kind?  It may have been, but I truly believe George knew nothing about it.  It shows you what kind of person Casey Anthony is to still be pointing the finger at her own father all these years later.  Haven't the Anthony's lost enough?  They lost the granddaughter they adored, I believe they lost their home and I don't know if either of them are currently employed but this event changed their entire world forever.  If they are still sticking together, things can't be easy on them.

I'm looking forward to the ID special and hoping it uncovers some new facts previously unknown to the general public.  I think Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson will forever be known as the two people who beat the justice system.  I don't know exactly what Casey is guilty of but she's guilty of something.  I just wish she'd tell the truth for once in her life.  

I think the prosecution did a decent job in presenting their case against Casey, but they spent too much time focusing on the partying of Casey.  Sure it's part of the case.  But more time should have been spent on drilling down on the fact that SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHERE HER 2 YEAR OLD WAS for a whole month and told nobody.  That seems to be the action of someone with something to hide. Why avoid your parents, lie about where Caylee was for all of that time if she accidentally drowned?  It was a weak defense, with is why they felt the need to bring the allegations of George being a pedophile into the case - to explain away Casey's odd reaction to her daughter being gone.,

It still blows me away that she's been a free woman for years now.  But that's the way it goes with our justice system.  Sometimes people get away with criminal actions and sometimes innocent people are convicted of crimes they didn't commit.  I think you can guess what I think.  I wonder what you all think?

Why is Casey talking now?  Is she being paid for these interviews?  I don't know what exactly her motive is unless it's financial.  She knows people still believe she's guilty and she says she doesn't give a sh**.  Classy.  I haven't read Jose Baez's book or Jeff Ashton's book on the case and trial.  Tune in, I'm sure we haven't heard the last from Casey Anthony.

Investigation Discovery airing 3 part series on Casey Ànthony case

Investigation Discovery is airing a 3 part series called "Casey Ànthony - An American Murder Mystery" beginning on April 9, 2017 at 10PM ET.  The series takes a close look into the investigation of Casey Anthony, the trial and the verdict that shook the nation.

Participants of the series includes Anthony's parents George and Cindy, jurors and Judge Belvin Perry who resided over the circus-like trial.  As you'll recall, it all started with a frantic 911 call from the worried Cindy Anthony who was by this time suspicious of her daughter Casey because she would not bring her 2 year old daughter Cables home or let her talk to Cables on the phone. Casey and Caylee lived with Cindy and George and the grandparents were very attached to their granddaughter.

That 911 call was on July 15, 2008 and the next three years this story would be in the news daily. Untangling Casey's web of lies was fascinating. She ultimately claimed her daughter Caylee had been kidnapped by Zanny the nanny , who never existed. You all know the status storyline. Casey now lives with a man named Patrick McKenna who reportedly was the lead investigator on her defense team. She lives a fairly reclusive life and does work for McKenna and would like to become a private investigator herself someday!

Anthony maintains she has no idea what happened to Caylee and although she was acquitted of the most serious charges she faces, she realizes many people will always believe she is guilty. She stated that she doesn't give a shit about what anyone thinks of her.

Casey met an AP reporter at a anti Trump rally in West Beach and spoke to them after years of silence about her case and trial.  Over the course of a week, she participated in 5 interviews, some of which were audiotaped. She later had second thoughts and feedback texted the reporter to ask them to not publish the interviews. She cited legal reasons relating to her selling the rights to her life story to a third party during her bankruptcy proceedings. She sold the rights for $25,000 and did so to protect her interests.

Casey admitted to lying to the police about working for Universal, about Caylee leaving with a nanny and about receiving a call from Caylee the day before she vanished. This is the first time I've heard of this phone call. She threw her dad George under the bus again in a roundabout way by saying that cops lie all the time and her dad used to be a cop- "you can read into that what you want to".

When asked about the drowning defense what she says is puzzling. "Everyone has their theories, I don't know. As I stand here today I can't tell you one way or another. The last time I saw my daughter I believed she was alive and was going to be OK and that's what I was told".  What the heck does that mean?? What does she mean she believed she was alive and was told she would be OK? Told by whom?  Again, seems to point at her father.

All I have àlways said is it's hard to believe she doesn't hold some sort of culpability in whatever happened to Caylee because she only reported her missing when her back was against the wall and she could no longer put off her parents who wanted desperately to see Caylee. If she truly had no knowledge or responsibility in my opinion she would have immediately called the police to help find her missing child. That's a fact she just can't defend.

I'll definitely be tuning in to the ID special in April.  Have a great weekend!

What happened to Amber Hilberling? Suicide or foul play?

I realize this is not a new story but it's one that's had me wondering what really happened to Amber Hilberling in that prison cell. Serving a 25 year sentence for pushing husband Josh Hilberling and causing him to shatter the glass window in their high rise condominium and fall 17 floors to his death, Amber was found hanging in her cell by another inmate last October. She was 3 years into her 25 year sentence.  Prior to her high profile trial, Amber was offered a much reduced sentence to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter that would have had her serve only 5 years in prison.

Amber turned down the deal and rolled the dice with a jury and ended up losing 20 more years of her life. Amber was very pregnant at the time of the crime and gave birth to her son before her trial began.  Her defense was two fold - that it was an accident and she never meant to hurt Josh with a bit of self defense thrown in. Amber claimed Josh was coming at her and she pushed him away to protect her unborn child. 

Many people believe Amber turned down the plea deal because she believed that admitting any culpability would hurt her lawsuit against the high rise for the windows that were not up to code and shouldn't have broken so easily. I don't know if that played into her decision but she had to have been absolutely devastated when she was convicted of second degree murder with a lengthy sentence.  She could have been out soon enough to raise her son had she taken the deal.

Prison officials and the coroner were quick to call Amber's death a suicide. Too quick if you ask me. Her mother said that she talked to Amber daily and she was in a good place mentally and she talked to her young son regularly. Her appeals had been denied earlier last year, could that have caused her to lose all hope and decide to end her life? I can't understand how she would make that choice to leave the son she scored without a father and mother.  
I seem to recall that Amber tested positive for meth while in prison, although the Mabel Correctional Facility website inmate lookup page is down. That's where you can find information on prisoners and disciplinary write-ups, classification changes, jobs etc.

One statistic that stands out about this prison is that it allegedly has the highest rate of inmate rapes.

There was talk from prison guards that she had seemed depressed, but I don't think they really did much in the way of an investigation into her death. Isn't it equally possible that Amber made some enemies due her prison stay? The whole thing is a mystery to me. And this entire story is filled with senseless deaths and shattered lives for both families involved.

The suicide numbers I correctional facilities is alarming. Are people being properly screened and treated for depression and other mental problems?  Amber's parents appeared on Dr Phil's show and they want a full investigation into Amber's death. She didn't leave a suicide note. Nothing to explain things to her son and family if prison was too much for her to bear and she made the decision to kill herself.

I'm just not so sure it's that simple. What do you think? She had years to come to terms with the decision to turn down that plea deal. When Amber appeared on Dr Phil's show prior to her death she explained that she didn't want her son to grow up believing she purposely killed his father and that's what accepting the plea meant in her mind. 

This is just another one of those stories that stick with you. I'd like for Amber's family to know the truth or at least feel comfortable with the information prison officials are providing. Sad case starting with Josh's untimely death and ending with Amber's.

That's all for now. Enjoy your day!

Unable to reply to comments


I'm so sorry but I've recently had to use a tablet to write this blog while my computer continues to be on the fritz. I want to reply to the comments from some of the old posts that I only recently read, but for some reason this tablet won't allow me to at the moment.

I am working on getting my laptop back up and running and hope to start posting again soon. I've missed reading your comments and opinions, especially Nancy  B who pointed out that one of my postings was linked on a HLN regulars Facebook page. That's exciting to hear and I probably never would have known about it if not for Nancy B.

More to follow! There has been some interesting things in the news that I'd love to discuss.  Please check back soon! Have a great week.

Where are they now - the key players in the Jodi Arias trial

It's been a few years since Jodi Arias relocated to the Perryville Prison in Goodyear Arizona. News of Jodi's activity have mostly dropped out of the media, except the occasional sensational reports of prison weddings and the desire to become a mother!

Most people are savvy enough to realize that most of this talk is pure fiction created primarily for page views or pure gossip. I guess there aren't any alien or Elvis sightings in AZ. I have found myself wondering what she has been up to in prison and a simple inmate search online gave me the scoop. 

According to public prison records, Jodi has only had that one disciplinary infraction since she was transferred to Perryville,and that was the well publicized incident of being disrespectful to prison staff. That infraction occurred on 2/3/16. The infraction cost her contact visits for a period of time but since then she has kept her conduct record clean.

Records show she's had several classification reviews and was denied a lower classification until 11/29/16 when her classification was lowered to a lower custody risk of 4 (versus 5). I believe the lower classification has allows her to have more contact with other inmates and she reportedly now has a cellmate. Prison records àlso state that since August of last year, she has been working as a building porter. 

It's likely that with continued good behavior she will gain more freedom  within the prison . It appears she continues to try to sell her artwork but I'm not sure how she's able to do so. I've heard the Alexander's still intend to go after her for the wrongful death of Travis Alexander and their attorneys should be able to trace any and all monies Jodi and her family have received from such transactions. Attorneys are good at finding cash people have tried to hide. 

I often wonder if Jodi has or will cross paths with Angela Simpson who is also serving life for a heinous murder in AZ. She was feàtured on Lockup (MSNBC series) a while back and she's one of the scariest women I've ever seen interviewed on that show. So pain basically held a disabled man hostage and tortured him slowly before finally killing him. She hates the police, she fancies herself an artist too but her drawings were mostly of pigs in police u uniforms being killed. Not Hallmark material. Arias would be wise to steer clear of this inmate at all costs! 

Marissa Default is also at Perryville and I believe they know each other from their days in the Estrella jail. Prison records show Devault has had many infractions ranging from. Promoting prison contraband to disrespecting staff, 6 infractions are listed.  Still, she also is listed as having a job as a "porter, education".

As for the attorneys involved in the trial, much has happened with Kirk Nurmi and Juan Martinez. Nurmi was facing a 4 year suspension over the writing of his tell all book entitled "Trapped withMs. Arias". I think the title captures his true feeling about his client. He reportedly plans to write more books on the trial, so he ultimately chose to be disbarred in AZ rather than face disciplinary hearings on his behavior. Nurmi was reportedly paid $1.325 million to be trapped with Arias. Not bad for a few years work starting as a public defender!

Even the much admired prosecutor Juan Martinez was placed on probation for 1 year after being admonished by the State Bar of AZ for aggressive prosecution tactics on 11 murder cases which includes Arias'.  He is still seen as a local hero for getting Arias convicted to LWOP. 

Defense attorney Jennifer Willmot is now in private practice defending people facing the most serious crimes. What an odd pairing Nurmi and Willmot made. I get the sense they both realize what a huge mistake they made with the pedophile allegations and some of the other uncorroborated allegations they centered their defense around. It further angered people because few people, if anything really believed it. It was clearly a poorly thought out smear campaign. But on the other hand it seemed to help Casey Anthony get acquitted. 

That's about all I have for now. I'm typing this on a small tablet device so please excuse any typos. My laptop is on the fritz again. 
Best wishes to all in the new year!!

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