The second installment in the ‘Angels Wear Lipstick’ series follows a young woman who escaped the cruelty she suffered at home as a young child. As an adult, she becomes caregiver to one of her abusers. Her peaceful life is soon interrupted by shocking accusations of murder. A whirlwind investigation leaves many to doubt Katie’s innocence, including Katie herself. She finds solace and support from an esteemed partner, but even he may not be able to prevent Katie’s conviction.
Katie was born in 1964, to teen parents who treated her like a showpiece – and a punching bag for her antagonistic mother. Her life revolved around flashing camera bulbs and tyrannical abuse by her parents. When she was young, Katie was a well-behaved and adorable little girl, but as she got older, she came to understand hers was not a normal family. Despite suspicion surrounding what took place behind the Pryor’s closed doors, friends, family, and professionals alike remained silent.
After Katie is molested, and her tormentor dies, Leda is left to raise the young teen Katie alone. Katie never would forgive her mother’s reaction to the molestation. She became what her mother claimed was a ‘problem child’ and ran away from home. At thirteen, Katie left her mother’s abusive ways forever, making her way on the streets of Toronto.
A kindhearted minister and his wife take Katie in and nurture her, leading her onto a path of love and decency toward humanity. Katie’s young life is dramatically enriched and she finds peace – until duty calls her home to care for an invalid mother. At twenty-five, when Katie’s mother becomes disabled, she feels obligated to return and take care of her, despite their turbulent history.
Strong characters and the life-altering events that follow them will keep you riveted to the very last word. Angels & Their Demons is the second in the Angels Wear Lipstick series. The first book follows Katie’s troubled childhood and her abusive parents as she grows into an endearing young teen, and her escape from manipulating tormentors.
*Both novels are stand alone, and can be read as separate stories.*
Chapter One – March 1989
“Hello?” Katie said, annoyed at being awakened after her long shift at the restaurant. Who could be calling at this late hour, she thought, looking at her bedside clock.
“This is Dr. McNamara, from St. Thomas hospital. I am sorry to call at this hour, but it is very important I speak with you. Is this Miss Katie Pryor?”
Katie sat up, wiping the sleep from her eyes and stretching. “How can I help you, doctor?”
“I have a woman here in my care who claims she is your mother. Her name is Leda Pryor. She has asked me to contact you and tell you she has had a bad fall and needs your help. You are a somewhat difficult woman to track down,” Chris chuckled.
One of her aunts must have given him the number, Katie thought. “That was the intention. How can I help you, doctor?” Katie repeated.
“Well, she had a bad fall on some ice a couple weeks ago and I have replaced Mrs. Pryor’s hip and repaired a break in her calf. However, I’m afraid before she can go home she will need someone there to care for her on a full time basis. That is why I’m calling you now. She will be ready to leave the hospital within a few days and I have no choice but to send her home. There are no alternatives here.”
“Then tell her to hire someone, or send her to some sort of home. She’s not my responsibility,” Katie said, desperate to end the conversation.
“I am afraid a home is not an option at this point, and she claims she can’t afford to hire a nurse, Miss Pryor. Can you come to my office tomorrow, so we can discuss alternatives? I’m stuck with a lack of options here, and I need your help. Mrs. Pryor tells me you would be willing to come to her home to care for her. You were the main contact on her medical record, but she did not have your phone number.”
“Leda is wrong; I will not go to her home to care for her. I don’t care what she tells you.”
Chris was stunned by what Katie told him. She was so blunt it took him off guard. “Miss Pryor, you are her daughter, aren’t you? Look, as I told you, I am at a dead end here. Please, can we talk about this?”
“Alright, alright. I honestly don’t know what I can do to help you, and the name is Putter, not Pryor. Listen, I have a little time after three, if that works for you,” Katie replied, exasperated.
Chris gave Katie the directions to his office at the hospital and contact phone number. “Thank you, Miss Putter. I will see you then.”
Chris tossed his pen on the desk and decided to chat with Leda Pryor before heading home. If he was going to get through to Miss Putter, he needed some background on this young woman. Perhaps Leda would enlighten him. She came across as a decent woman. Mrs. Pryor seemed easy to get along with. What confused Chris was he was told Katie was an honorable woman. He had to figure out what was holding Katie back from helping her mother.
“Mrs. Pryor, how are you feeling? I just wanted to check in on you before I went home and make sure you were comfortable.”
Leda adjusted herself in the bed, wincing with the effort. “What a dear young man you are. I’m still in a lot of pain. Have you contacted my dear daughter yet, doctor?”
“Yes, I have contacted Katie. You didn’t tell me she has changed her name to Putter. Has she married? Chris asked.
“I frankly don’t know what she does anymore. I haven’t seen her for a few years,” Leda chuckled. She would not tell the good doctor her daughter ran away more than ten years ago. “Katie hasn’t spoken to me for a bit, although I don’t know why, to be honest.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. I am however meeting with Katie tomorrow afternoon here at the hospital.”
“She’s coming here? Will I see her?”
“Yes, she’s coming to St. Thomas. Is there anything you can tell me about her past that may help me understand where her thoughts are? Maybe something about her childhood or relationships with family perhaps? She seems a mite distant.”
“Oh, doctor, she was always the apple of my eye. A blessing from the heavens above, she was. I loved her and nurtured her from the day she was born to me. Never had any other children but her to love. But you know, the very moment her dear father passed, she became a young tyrant. She always hated me after he died, but I don’t know why.”
Chris was intrigued. “How did her father die, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“He fell from a building he was working on out west. Katie always blamed herself. Before he passed on, she was angry with her father for some reason and told him she wished he were dead. For several years, she ended up blaming herself for his death. She was a baby though, when he died. Just thirteen then and still my heart. I adored her, I did. Still do. She was always so beautiful. All the best photographers wanted her as their first choice model, you know,” Leda boasted.
“Sounds like you loved, and still do love Katie, Mrs. Pryor. If I may ask, how old was Katie when she ran away?”
“She was thirteen. I have been distraught for all those years. No one could find my girl. Not the police, or private investigators either. I don’t know how you found her, but know I will always be in your debt for finding my little girl.”
Chris mulled the information over for a bit. “It was pretty simple once I called your sister. Your sister has connections at the hospital here, so she was easier to locate. Rose has been in touch with Katie for eight years or so, she tells me.”
Chris watched Leda for a reaction to his answer. Her one mistake was lying about her husband’s death and her daughter’s reaction to it. How did Leda know Katie blamed herself for her father’s death for years if she ran away soon after he died?
“I think Rose is a little off on her numbers,” Leda chuckled. “Rose always was a little flighty.”
“I hear you other sister, Grace says she has been in touch with Katie for as long as Rose has. But no matter, we will have to see what transpires tomorrow. You have a good sleep. If you need anything, be sure to tell the nurse on duty tonight,” Chris said. He noticed a picture of an adorable young girl at Leda’s bedside. The girl was adorned in an evening gown. Chris pointed to the photograph. “Is this your daughter?”
“Yes, that’s my Katie. She was in the auditions for the Raymore catalogue. She always looked older than she was. Wait until you meet her, then you will see how beautiful she is.” Leda tried to move herself further up on her pillows and moaned. “Doctor, can you please help me and push my pillows down a little?” Leda pleaded.
Chris did as Leda asked. “I will see you tomorrow after I have spoken to your daughter.”
“Oh, thank you, doctor. You are too kind. Good man you are, just like my Clark was, God rest his soul.”
Something about Leda’s manner did not sit right with Chris. She was trying too hard to impress him. What was she hiding? Chris lay awake for hours trying to decipher the family history at hand. Leda was hiding something, and Katie was avoiding something different. What occurred to Chris was both of them had something they did not want him to know. Why did he care, he wondered. Chris knew from medical records that Leda had a history of prescription narcotic abuse, and drank to excess. How far back, he wasn’t sure.
Rose had mentioned something about Katie not having her father around for several years before he died. She also spoke briefly of Katie being resentful of her mother’s neglect. Rose seemed reluctant to comment too much on the family history, and told Chris he needed to get the information he sought from Katie. This situation was not like any he had ever dealt with in his career. No other patient had ever kept him from blessed slumber, but this one had him troubled. Somewhere in the wee small hours of the morning, Chris fell into a fitful slumber. The photograph of Katie invaded his every thought and his dreams.
After Katie hung the phone up, she paced the floor of her cozy apartment, mulling over the conversation with Dr. McNamara. The more she thought about it, the more she felt the old grudges welling up in her mind. How dare that woman ask for her help after all she put her through, Katie thought. She made a glass of warm milk and turned the television on to distract herself. An hour or so later, Katie fell asleep on the sofa watching an old black and white western.
The next morning Katie woke with a dull headache. She knew intuitively from experience the doctor would bombard her with repetitive questions about her past. Questions like, ‘What was your upbringing like?’ ‘What did your mother do that was so horrible?’ ‘What did your father do to make you hate him so much?’ The afternoon proved Katie right.
Chris settled back in his chair and studied Katie. “Why do you have this lack of concern for your mother, Miss Pryor,” Dr. McNamara asked.
“It’s Putter, and if you had been through what I have with her, you would understand, doctor. I am not obligated to discuss my life story with you. I think we are wasting our time here. Now if you don’t mind, I have a class to attend.” Katie replied.
“Listen, Miss, we here at St. Thomas have no time for games,” Chris snapped at an impassive Katie.
Did she not realize he had no interest in wasting time? Why was she so cold to this woman who seemed so alone and desperate? Katie was nothing more than a beautiful, but spoiled 25-year-old in his eyes. He was not some intern who earned by the hour – he was a surgeon, for pity sake.
“I don’t know what we are trying to accomplish here, but I’m not about to help your patient. I don’t care what you have on file as far as her personal information goes, but she’s no longer any parent of mine,” Katie stated, rising from her seat.
“Listen, Miss Pryor, er, Putter, the long and short of it is your mother cannot stay here much longer, and we have nowhere to send her but home. In my opinion, you are obligated to do something as her sole relative contact.” Chris thought he had her there.
“I am not willing, in any form, to care for that woman. In my opinion, I am not obligated to do anything, Dr. McNamara. Please, have a good day.”
Katie turned to leave, but Chris was fascinated by this particular conversation and he wanted closure on this case. What was more, Chris needed Leda out of his way. Chris wanted to see this case to the end, and Katie was a mystery he wanted to solve. This young woman had his interest despite her hostile attitude. She was attractive and educated, and Chris felt compelled to know more about her and her past. Chris found himself oddly captivated by Katie.
“Wait, please,” Chris said. “I do not have anyone else to call for your mother, and no one who will take her in. Can we not come to some sort of agreement?”
Katie was not backing down. “I can’t tell you what to do with your patient, but I would not wrack my brain over her. She is not a nice person, and has not made or kept many friends through the years. She and I have never seen eye to eye, and there is no love loss there, I assure you. You will be unlikely to find someone willing to care for Leda Pryor.”
Chris was floored to hear such candid words from Katie. She seemed too closed off to expose her feelings in the frank way she just had. If he could get Katie to open up more, he may be he would get through to her after all. “Do you not think Leda deserves some care? She is now an invalid. I don’t know where to turn with this case but her family, Miss Putter. I need your help here”
“As I said, I don’t know where you can turn with her, but I will tell you it’s not with me. I have been done with that woman for a dozen years plus. Try her sisters or a distant cousin.”
“Mrs. Pryor asked for you in specific. How about this, Miss Putter, if you agree to oversee her at-home care, we can send her home with 24-hour nursing care. There would be minimal cost through government plans. You will not have to be at her home most of the time. However, you will have to sign papers for the day and night shifts as they come and go. Having to sign all those papers means you will need to meet with her staff three times a day at her home. Would this be acceptable to you and your husband?”
Katie sighed, expressing her annoyance. “There is no husband to debate with. It is my decision alone. Is it not your place to find a solution? What happens if I refuse?”
“Your mother will have no choice but to be released into a homeless shelter. There, they can provide skeletal care, such as meals. No more. Her bathing, dressing and bandages will be her responsibility, which she cannot do on her own. She has a leg brace to keep the ruptured bone in place and cannot walk. We are looking at another two months before she is partially mobile.”
Katie was fighting her inner demons. She was a woman of good faith and love, but dare she expose herself to that woman again? Could Katie be so close to a woman who almost destroyed her and still maintain her sanity? Could Katie resist the urge she had harbored for years to rid herself of the woman who almost broke her spirit? “Listen, doctor…”
“Please, call me Chris.”
“Listen, doctor, don’t get me wrong, I am willing to help almost anyone, but there are reasons you will never understand that come into play here. Leda Pryor is poison, and I will have nothing to do with her. Have a nice day, and good luck.”
Katie stepped into the outer office, but Chris wanted his answers, and followed. Chris pulled on Katie’s sleeve, turning her to him. “Please, can we discuss this somewhere besides my stuffy office? I do want to understand your point of view. I know sometimes things are not as they seem, and I want to know if I am making a misjudgment. I am a man of reason, and mean no disrespect to you.”
Katie watched Chris and listened to him make his plea and wondered if he could be one of them – the good people. “Fine. Meet me at Gracie’s Café on Main Street tomorrow at 4pm. I will be off work then and we can talk, but don’t expect miracles. Know this right now; I do not swallow bullshit, and I do not tolerate fools at all. Cliché? Call it what you will, but it’s me. Take it or leave it.”
“I’ll take it. See you then, Miss Putter.”
By noon the next day, Chris was miserable with anticipation. He never felt the same anxiety any time in his life. He wanted to see Katie more than he wanted answers about Leda. Katie had an aura about her he admired already, despite her cool, almost arrogant manner. The main desk paged just after 2 pm, and hearing the overhead call, Chris responded immediately.
“Hello, Dr. McNamara speaking.”
“Hello doctor. This is Katie Putter. I’m sorry, but I cannot make our appointment today. I’m afraid I have to work until six this evening. Can we meet tomorrow at the same time?”
Chris’ heart sank. “Can I meet you somewhere near your work? I will drive wherever it is to meet with you. You must understand, I have to close this case, Leda’s discharge is tomorrow.”
Katie was already exhausted. “Whatever. Meet me at the Café at six then.”
Chris’ heart leapt in his chest. “I know the place well. I will see you at six,” Chris said, grinning. The afternoon went by at a snail’s pace for Chris.
Live, love, laugh, then love some more! = My motto.
I am a writer/research analyst, specializing in Ancient History. I have several novels in the works at the moment. (When writer’s block halts one, it’s always good to have another to jump into!) I also have a planned outline for a historical series, geared to youth, teaching them about the Bronze Age, while entertaining them.
Feel free to contact me via email: AmarissaCale@yahoo.ca
With the release of my new book, I have been particularly busy lately. I haven’t been around too much, and for that I apologise.
Click picture for purchase link
In the meantime, I have a couple of links for the book I already have available for only $2.49. Much like this book, my new series will be made available at very reasonable rates, so that they are accessible to everyone. You do not need a special eReader to view this or any other eBook. You can read them right on your computer!
Here is the synopsis for “Love, Faith & Fidelity – Wrapped In A Great Sex Life?”:
*Have you turned dinner time into playtime with your hubby lately? Sneak in any extracurricular activities at work that involved an office chair and high heels lately? Do you know what aroma is guaranteed to initiate arousal in men? Hints, tips and playful tricks galore in this book for adding or keeping the fire in your love life. I will show you some of the benefits of being physically healthy in your intimate relationship. So sit back and have a hot Ginseng tea ready, because there is plenty of juicy stuff to cover. Not only do we address some of the common issues that we face in today’s relationships, but many ways to add some spice into your already existing partnership. Risqué little tidbits and new ideas to try out on your mate. No need to wait for tomorrow – these are tips you can try right now!*
As a special sneak peek at the upcoming serial publication, here is the mission statement, especially for my dedicated readers:
Our commitment to your child is simple;
We Guarantee quality stories you can read to your child without fear of monsters to frighten them… only magic to delight them. In this series, our promise to you, the caregiver, is simple; you can be confident that these books will never contain anything other than good, pure fun for your youngster. With each story in the series comes a life lesson. With that lesson, we are only reinforcing the positive morals and values that you are already teaching your child as they embark on their own journey through life. Together, you and your child can plunge into a new odyssey of pure excitement in every book!
Injustice, And Even Injustice Within Families Has Been Around For A Very Long Time, And Here Is Just One Story:
Norma (Hipel) Jacques and her daughter Nancy Dasent
This post contains quotes from my friend, Ant World. His comments and question are outlined by italic script and quotations.
The former Ontario Liberal MPP and Cabinet Minister, The Hon. Norman O. Hipel, was also a prominent businessman, father and husband. He passed away in 1953, in what is now Cambridge, Ontario, leaving behind a wife, Olive, and two children, George and Norma.
When Mr. Hipel passed away, he left an inheritance to be divided equally between his two children, after his wife passed on. A considerable sum, and his daughter was never going to see a penny of it – for 60 years, that is.
Since the death of her father, Norma has struggled through poverty to raise seven children, even after her mother passed away in 1978. In 2004, one of Norma’s daughters stumbled upon her grandfather’s will in public archives and began investigating. A year later, with the help of her family, Norma launched a lawsuit against the estate of her later brother, George, and TD Canada Trust Co. The claim against Canada Trust was for punitive damages for the alleged breach of trustee duty, negligence, breach of trust, and other failures by Waterloo Trust and Savings Company (acquired by Canada Trust in 1968) in the handling of her father’s estate.
Norma, now Norma Jacques, filed a suit for $20,000,000 against Canada Trust and a suit against the estate of her brother, George. In 2008, the estate of her late brother settled out of court for roughly $560,000 in cash and property. In 2011, Norma lost the case against the trust company, the judge citing that she should have known about the inheritance long ago and made the claim within the allotted time frame, which is 6 years. That would have given Norma plenty of time, according to the courts .. 54 years ago. After struggling for decades to make ends meet, Norma lost her case against the powerhouse Trust company.
Important documents could not be located by Canada Trust, while the court agreed that Norma’s brother, George ripped her off and hid the inheritance. (Ant writes;) “At the same time, the courts held Canada Trust blameless on their fiduciary duties. In other words, while they were supposed to have been managing the affairs of the inherited trust, they could not prove they kept proper records. When asked to show their records on the case, all they could produce was an empty folder. They claim it was customary to discard papers.”
“Is what we have in this instance a case of the judge being influenced by the Power brokers of society? Another innuendo that cannot be proven is that the brother had deceptively taken control of the company and made decisions behind Norma’s back. If he had dealings with Waterloo Trust, how reliable is the position of WT and the claim of conveniently lost papers?”
“Another interesting fact is that when the company that George was running was about to be audited, the building burned down. In the Fire Marshall‘s report, he stated it could not have been more convenient. The Fire Marshall’s testimony could not be taken into court, because it was construed as hearsay – he had passed away, so his testimony was not accepted by the courts. “
Ant also points out, “So how weak is the judge’s decision that says, “he agrees with the plaintiff, but cannot hold the trust company liable because it was too late to file a claim?” Are we telling people in our society if you were wronged, ‘well then, too bad, so sad, you waited too long?’ Do we have different levels of standards and obligations depending on who you are and where you stand in society? Are we telling people if they expected a certain level of service but it was never clearly delivered, a provider is able to drag their feet long enough to discharge their duties?”
Norma suffered a stroke a few years before going to court, and had some difficulty remembering exact dates. That would not be
Should there be punishment within families for faith and fidelity to the one we love, even if our family does not approve?
unusual, as Norma is 91. You might wonder yourself why this kindly woman waited so long, and did not know of the inheritance long ago. The answer is simple; Norma married a man that the family did not approve of and became estranged from her family before her father’s passing. She may not have known her father left her any monies at all, at this point, figuring that because of her choice of husband, her father had omitted her from the will.
Ant poses the questions, “If you cannot trust your own sibling, who can you trust in this world? How could someone so blatantly rob their own blood relative like that?” Good questions, Ant. I think it is important to point out that this was a prominent family once upon a time. Perhaps the family thought they were ‘dishonoured’ when Norma married a man they did not approve of. Does that make it acceptable for someone to treat their own blood that poorly, to watch them struggle endlessly, just because they felt slighted?
Sad fact is, there is a lot of mistreatment within families, then and now. Power struggles within families is a old as history itself. Why is this? As blood relatives, we are supposed to look out for one another, as God intended. The paths that we choose should be our own choices, and it is normal for our family members to be concerned if we stray a little from what they believe is good for us.
In Norma’s case, she married a man and endured decades of poverty with this man. Now, should she be punished for being dedicated to this man of her choice? I think not. That is love in it’s strongest bond. For better or worse, Norma remained faithful and true to a man she loved, and he in return did the same. That is no cause to be punished by anyone, let alone family members.
I applaud Norma and her husband for prevailing and raising seven fine, upstanding children. Children, who helped their mother to seek justice for the grievous slight to her so long ago. Her children, blood relatives, who stood by their mother and respected her enough to help her, unlike the blood brother, mother and father that abandoned her so long ago.
Family – God’s Assurance We Will Never Be Alone
Families do not always band together as they should, and in some cases, will strike out against another member, as was this case. We are Blessed to have children, parents and siblings, so why do some feel the need to be in control of the family and lash out at one member for following the path they choose for themselves? If we believe that a family member is straying from a healthy path, should we disown them, or remain close and support lovingly? I think the answer is clear.
Ant poses the question to you, the reader; “Do you believe the statute of limitations should apply in such a case? If so, why, when it is perfectly clear the trust company had a duty of care for Norma?”
Many thanks to Ant World, for sharing your valued opinions on this topic.
Who is there to care for you when there is no place to go?
In due respect to the late Al Gosling
What would your life be like if all your possessions belonged in a single, ratty and torn paper bag?
I have a little story for you;
Clearly I was at the wrong address. Running late for an important meeting and nerves on the edge of meltdown, I was lost inside this decrepit old building. I had no one to blame but myself for this fiasco. Too busy thinking about my upcoming promotion, I didn’t take the time to map the area properly. I was wrapped up in my thoughts and just didn’t bother. Something I later regretted. As if I needed that on top of the repairs to my Jeep. It was about to be a very long day indeed.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the elevator or not – it stunk of urine, but then, so did the rest of the building. The elevator clanked and thudded to a halt, and since I was already late, the run down twelve flights of roach infested and sticky steps was less appealing than the quick run in an elevator that was open in front of me.
Busy fumbling with the satchel that housed my laptop and presentation folder, I didn’t notice the man already aboard the dim and grimy elevator at first. His gnarled and grubby fingers clenched his tin of Bush’s baked beans, he eyed me like a cat who had just captured a bird in flight. An almost panicked look crossed his features. Then, after glancing between myself and the beans, he thrust the rust-flecked can in my direction and nodded toward it with a modest grin. I shook my head and turned back to stare at the half-lit numbers on the board beside the doors. Why were they moving so slowly?
We have all seen this at some point. The bigger question is, ‘how does it affect us?”
I could feel the man’ eyes boring into my back. I pulled the satchel forward and laid my arm across it’s clasp. After what felt like an hour instead of a minute, we jerked to a halt and the doors scraped open. A brush of muggy air caught my hair and I jumped, unsettled from the nerve-rattling experience. I rushed off into the street where I would finally be able to get a signal on my mobile and called the office. After getting the correct address, I raced back into the subway corridor I had left 30 minutes prior and headed to the opposite platform to await my train. I was certain that bean man was following me. I nervously searched the waiting area behind me, but he wasn’t there.
I was being silly. Why would he follow me? The train came, and even after I was settled in a seat where I had full view all about me, I could have sworn the man was still pursuing me. Another swift glance about, I found no trace of the man. As I shifted the bag on my lap, I happened a glance at the near empty seat beside me, where something odd caught my attention. It wasn’t the man from the derelict building, but the morning’s edition of the Globe and Mail.
My stop was coming up, so I snatched the newspaper and shoved it into the side pocket of my satchel. I am not sure why I did it – I don’t usually read the news. The streets were bustling downtown, as they always were during rush hour. I slipped into the building across the street, after matching the address with my scribbled note. I breathed a sigh of relief when I pressed the button to the eleventh floor. This elevator was spotless and a hint of cologne and honey wafted through the vents. I could see my reflection on the highly polished chrome hand rail that ran the circumference of the elevator, and thought fleetingly that I should have worn the navy dress jacket with the necklace I chose. Oh well, it will pass.
I checked in with the secretary, who informed me the Director had taken the 9:15 appointment in my place and I would have to wait my turn. The day was not getting off to a good start. I sipped the water I brought with me, and had all but forgotten about. As I opened my bag to set the bottle back into the proper pocket, I noticed the paper from the train and pulled it out. Might as well have a look if I was going to have to wait.
When I held the newspaper to look at the cover, from beneath a dried coffee stain, I read the headline – “Gerry Schwartz’s $64-million year.” I read most of the short article before being called to my meeting. Something unexpected happened during the interview. I was suddenly uncertain I really had a desire for this position after all. I couldn’t stop thinking about the ‘bean man’ – and the headline of the Globe and Mail. Interview behind me, I went to the corner Cafe to have a cup of my favourite coffee and reread the article, this time soaking in the meaning behind it.
I sat back, once I finished reading, thinking about the man from this morning’s mix-up. I overheard someone at the counter talking about ‘Schwartz and his 64 million dollar paycheque’. “Isn’t that incredible? What I could buy with dough like that!” Something along those lines, was the remark.
On my way home, after picking up my Jeep and paying a hefty sum for the repair, I had time to reflect on the morning’s events. Was it just noon-hour now, I remember thinking. It seemed one of the longest days ever. I realised why I had the feeling that Mr. Bean Man was following me this morning .. because he was. Not physically, but in the back of my mind, something about the man stayed with me. As he held those precious beans, without utensil to eat them with, he thought to offer a serving to a perfect stranger. He had a kindness that I did not have to return to him. Here I treated him as though he were a thief, a beggar .. a nobody. Nobody but a nuisance.
Homelessness is not a choice
It was not the man that was following me, but my conscience reminding me that I had strayed from the path of humanity. What had happened to me? Since I had moved into the new house and found my way to ‘Director’ at my firm, things have changed. At least that was the way I had viewed the world. The world has not moved in the same direction as I have; it has remained full of pain and misery as it always had been, but my eyes have been blinded to it. And I had turned my back, and forgotten that it existed.
People were talking about the man with the multi-million dollar paycheque .. but who is talking about the gentle man with the can of beans and holed shoes? The man who lived in filth because he had nowhere else to go? The man who thought that someone would care that he was offering a cold-eyed stranger some of the only meal he would likely have that day, or for many days, for all I knew? Who was going to look after that man when he could no longer open his only can of beans?
The truth is, the world won’t care if that man never eats again. It is one less burden on society. One less tenant for the owner of a building that should be condemned to concern himself with. And, no one is going to care about the man’s beans today, but will read the paper the next day to find out how much money the next tycoon made. And as they dream about and discuss what they would do with that kind of cash, thousand of bellies will rumble with the pain of hunger, and countless more will sleep in the streets that night.
The above story is fictional, of course. Many people however have found themselves in similar situations. The difference is, we need to do something more than talk about it. We need to show we care by our actions. We don’t have the money and resources to do much as individuals, but need to do our part. Volunteer, or donate whatever we can, but above all, show humanity toward others. People who find themselves homeless or hungry have not done so willingly. In fact, were we to take the time to hear individual stories, we would find that there is a reason for each and every one. Whether it be lost income, poverty line income, mental illness, addiction, or simple hopelessness, there is always a valid reason. Some will argue that there is always a way out, but this is not invariably true.
Affordable housing is not available to everyone. Thousands are left without homes and are turned away from overcrowded shelters every day.
Take the case of an elderly man, Al Gosling, who at 82, found himself homeless over a simple misunderstanding over some paperwork regarding his income. The 93 pound man found a little corner beneath a stairwell of the low-income building he was evicted from to sleep in. Then the police were called on a complaint, and he was moved to a homeless shelter, where he became gravely ill. After a time in hospital, Mr. Gosling was unable to fight off a fatal infection and passed away. A tragic story, and this one is not fictional, but is all too real in today’s world. As a society, we come up raw on may issues, wherein we do not use our resources to their fullest potential. The money and energy are not put in the correct effectual order. Things are often done in hindsight, too late to distribute help where it is needed most.
“You hear about Gerry Schwartz’ paycheck on the front page of the Globe and Mail, celebrating his tremendous contribution to Onex and his shareholders. Triumphant and glorious in their ability to amass wealth. Yet, the man who walks with his half-eaten can of beans remains hidden away, so that we can pretend he, or any like him, do not exist. Ethics and moral compass is not high on their radar.”
“Who are the real heroes in society?” A valid question. It is not the rich tycoons that make and take home their millions to spend on luxury automobiles and lavish vacations. The real heroes are the ones who will go out of their way to help better our society. Even if you think it is a small token, and can not make any difference, we must do it. Why? Because no gesture is ever too small. If we gave up all gestures because we thought they were insignificant, nothing would ever be accomplished. To reach out and offer your hand is sometimes enough. Help does not always come in a monetary form.
Why do we glorify those who are too busy glorifying themselves? We place them on a pedestal, and for what? What have they done to better the real world? I am not saying that all of these people have not done anything to lend a hand, but when was the last time the celebrity news told about the ‘good deeds’ that Mr. Movie Star did on the cover of their rag magazines? They would prefer to write about the scandal at Mr. Movie Star’s wedding .. because we will want to read it. When did we stop caring about the good deeds, and begin giving precedence to gossip?
“Why must we praise and follow with a ravenous appetite, reality celebs? Have we lost our focus on society and what matters the most? What are our social values really? Do we even have any?” Ant further states, “The popularity of the iPad, iPhone, iPod is indicative of our priorities in life. And isn’t it ironic the foundations that Apple was built on is exactly the opposite of what it has become. Perhaps it is symbolic that it should rise to become the most valuable asset on this Planet we call Earth.”
Too many people are alone in this world, and remain that way.
Symbolism? Irony? Are we even sure what value we place on society, or where our values and morals are supposed to be? What are morals and values? We need to face this issue head on, and not falter once resolve is made to correct it. Do our part. Volunteer your time to someone else who needs you. In our darkest hours, who will be there for us? When we are 82, and have no living relatives, who will speak for us? Where will our voices carry to, when we can no longer remember our own names or where we live? I would like to think none of us would ever be alone in this world, but that is not reality. Reality is this; we will all need someone to help us, sometime in our lives, but right now, we need to lend a hand to the one that needs ours.
Society has become too materialistic to care about anything but the almighty dollar, power, success and glory. All you have to do is read a magazine cover while standing in line at the supermarket to see how gossip has taken over, where real life used to be. Sometimes it is easier to face fantasy than it is to face reality. Fantasy can be turned off, reality is here forever and will not be turned off. Next time you pass someone lying in the street, remember the face .. he or she may be the next Al Gosling.
“They don’t give a crap how they get rich. Paying their fair share into society through taxation, contributions and their own time is not high on their radar. What is the $64 million pay cheque really for? They are hallow worth built on the idolised golden statues that they pray to. In the end, the end of one’s life, the question is; “What have you done in this world that really mattered?” Very insightful and thought-provoking.
Take some time to reflect and consider the question. Do you want to be remembered for your monetary value, or for the hand you stretched forth? Do you want your loved ones to be proud of your accomplishments and contributions to society, and have your children and grandchildren walk in the shadow of that pride? Do you want people to know and remember you as a loving and kindly human being that walked this Earth with a purpose toward the greater good of humanity?
How Did 9/11 Change Our World, Our Perceptions Of It, And of Each Other? How much influence has media had in how we now view the world?
Open your mind and your heart will follow.
I want to share something. It is a moment in my life that I cannot forget any more than I can forget my own name. I am sure most of us will remember where we were and what we were doing the moment ‘two planes collided with America’. This is where I was the day the world came to a screeching halt ..
“Sit down and watch your show while mommy talks to the school about your bus, Rebecca”.
“But Momma, there’s something wrong with the channel. My show’s not on!” Rebecca responded jumping up and down excitedly.
Frustrated with the school board’s refusal to bus the neighbourhood kids and my daughter’s lack of patience, I tuned the television to the kid’s channel in the living room. Only what I saw was not meant for a child’s eyes.
This was not a day the world would soon forget. The world was about to change …
“Momma, what’s that show?”
“Amy, take Becca outside and play in the backyard okay?”
“Auntie Amma, what’s wrong? Why are you covering your mouth?”
“Just do as I ask, Amy. Please!”
I hung up the receiver that I just realised was still in my hand, which was hanging limply at my side, and hastily called my fiancé’s cell phone. Marc had just left for the University where he taught only a few minutes ago. Hadn’t he? Everything was surreal.
The kids in the yard. The dogs barking in the distance. Did the birds really stop singing? The world moved in slow motion – horribly slow. My thoughts were plagued with images of a third World War. Was it happening? The uncertainty was terrifying.
The lines were jammed, but after a few tries, I was able to leave a message. I just sat down, too shaky to stand, to watch the horrors unfold before my eyes when the phone rang, startling me back to reality. “Hello?”
“Amma, I’m coming home. Stay where you are, and keep the kids in the house.”
“Marc, what’s going on? Have you heard about the World Trade Centre? They said it was a terrorist attack.”
“Listen honey, calm down. I’m already in my car. I have to call Sammy to make sure he’s okay and tell him not to board that plane. Everything will be fine.”
“Hurry Marc. Please. I’m scared!”
I called the kids inside and settled them in Rebecca’s room to watch a video. Amy, who was only eight, was sharp and sensed something was terribly wrong. Marc, who lived next door, arrived home a few minutes later. Tires screeching, he slammed his car door and ran to my house. I nodded toward the television, but couldn’t get a word to come out.
“I can’t reach Sammy. The lines are down in Mesopotamia. I’m sure he’s okay Amma. I’ll try again.”
We were never to hear the voice of our gentle friend again. We discovered later that he and some of his family members were killed in a roadside bombing, on their way to the airport – bound for Canada, and freedom. Sammy left Canada for Iraq weeks earlier, after hearing rumour of a terrorist cell causing a resurgence in his grandparent’s hometown. He vowed not to return to Nova Scotia without his family.
Sammy was born in Iraq. His parents moved to Canada when he was five years old. He was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have ever known .. he was also one of my closest friends for almost two decades.
A Good Friend Is Irreplaceable
Life itself has changed since then, and so has the way we see it .. and each other, generally speaking. It was not a day that could have been usurped by the likes of Justin Beiber, Jessica Simpson, or even Lady Gaga. The sensationalism by the media lasted for months. We have seen countless people cash in on the tragedy with books and magazines and films. That in itself is a crime. Why does media insist on rubbing the insult into the noses of the general public?
Those who are old enough to have witnessed the attacks and were affected by it, have suffered trauma to one degree or another, and so have our views of the world. Everything from the way we board planes, to world affairs and peace, to the way we interact with each other, has been altered. That is what we wish to discuss here – unity, and what 9/11 has done to change that.
As children, we played, without a care in the world, making new friends without reservations. As adults in 2012, we have social media such as Twitter and Facebook to find social satisfaction. For some people, the Web is close enough. All the socializing they feel they require is in one package, in your hand or on your lap. There is a safe distance there; you can’t see me, you don’t know where or who I am. The drawback? You truly do not know with whom you are speaking. It could be anyone, therefore we keep the walls up to keep people out.
These days we need to be much more cautious than ever before. Social media is great for communication and staying in touch with loved ones, but can also be a dangerous tool, if used the wrong way, by the wrong people. This means anyone who could potentially harm us. This includes predators and con-artists. We simply need to watch our children carefully and use common sense.
Also dangerous is the effect social media can have on us and how it can alter our views on society. People tend to believe everything they read. Very dangerous! The media has one job to do, and that is to sell whatever they are feeding you. It is glorified and exaggerated for effectual purposes. Catchy headlines override the ‘real story’. Ratings override facts. That is a fact. There are the rarer media sources that will tell it like it is, but they are not as popular as those with images of bloodied, crying children on their covers.
“The lost innocence is caused by influencing of the mind by social media. We have developed opinions based on the ideas that are fed into our minds by images like Time Magazine, CNN, AOL, etc. [feed us]. You will find that they [people] have equally less interest in what the media portrays as a large issue.
Another point that social media faults us on is real, old-fashioned human contact. We have become a society that can avoid people with the stroke of a key. How are we supposed to overcome our fear of the unknown if we do not face it? Without real contact, we cannot learn to accept visually. In other words, we can avoid personal contact quite easily, and form opinions of others through what we hear and read in the media. Thus, we have a propensity to be judgemental of one another face to face. We are left with a biased opinion of others. This is more prevalent in the last ten years.
There is much we can learn from others
Not all media is guilty of tainting our thoughts and views of others. We have our own common sense to blame as well. If we believe all we hear and read, that is our choice. Just as choosing to find out the facts before leaping headlong into a hardened judgement is a choice. To pass judgement on someone we don’t know is to narrow our minds and close ourselves off to progression, denying ourselves the possibility of a harmonious existence. The fact is, the tensions where people are scared of their own shadow is built by the media, government and authorities that the ordinary man, woman or child on any street, anywhere in the world, couldn’t give a crap about.
We do have escalated racial and religious tension. However, how much of that is spun by the media – hearsay. The lost innocence is caused by influencing of the mind by social media. The challenge is that maybe if people became friends with at last one person perceived ‘to be the enemy’, maybe, just maybe, we will find some of that innocence returned. In this world, it is easy to ‘hate’ someone that is ‘inanimate’ to us. When that person becomes a brother, sister or friend, it is not so easy to ‘hate’. Ideology is formed by thing that we cannot touch and feel. Should we live our life on ideologies, or should we live our life on the person sitting across the table from us?
We need to live life in a tangible sense, not what could be. If we were always afraid of getting hit by a car, would we risk crossing the road to get to work? We cannot live on possibilities. To be afraid of making friends is what has happened to the world. The world needs to unite and face our fears together. To coin a phrase, ‘give peace a chance’. There is nothing wrong with using common sense and knowing the facts before passing judgement. You just never know who your next best friend may be. I would much rather have eye to eye contact with the person I am speaking to, as I would prefer to enjoy physical company over a social network. I am sure everyone would prefer to smile and shake the hand of a new friend, over being alone, and that is where the future is headed if we do not open our hearts and minds to the possibilities.
The best friend is the one who does not judge us, but accepts us for who we are and supports us, encouraging us to become all we can be.
There was a time when walking the dog, we could look someone in the eye, smile and say hello. I don’t pass many people these days that will return the smile and hello any more. I find this especially true in the big Cities. Smaller communities have a somewhat friendlier feel, but not to the level it was 11 years ago. So we slowly draw away from those we pass on the street. They don’t say hello, so why should I? We should not have to think, consciously or unconsciously, about whom we pass on the street or whether we want to smile or not. Have you ever passed someone and thought, “they don’t look friendly”?
Why has all of this changed? We have been conditioned over the last ten years to be wary of people we do not know well. Chances are, the people we expose ourselves to every day mean us no harm, but we now possess an inborn fear of people in general. Have you ever held a door for someone just to get a ‘what do you want’ look?
Have you ever watched people sitting in an open area, and noticed how they look around nervously? Have you been on the subway and noticed how many people sit with crossed arms and legs, or appear hunched forward? People who look nervous sitting in the open? How many people have you heard say they will never fly again? How many people do you see every day who do not look you in the eye? We have become afraid of one another to a degree.
These things are signals of someone who has closed themselves off from everyone around them, and all of these things are typical of a post-traumatic experience. Not all of this is due to the mistrust 9/11 has caused, but a good deal of the way we see others and society can be attributed to the media. For those who lost loved ones because of the attacks, we understand their grief, but without realising it, most of us have been mourning the World as it was, pre- 9/11. We bear sorrow for those lives lost, and the loss of trust.
It is human to become misty-eyed remembering that day. Recalling the faces of those fleeing from the Trade Centre, the images of planes deliberately crashing into the buildings, and the choked voices of the reporters as they looked on, are all things not easily dismissed from our minds. There is so much more to it. Depression has sky-rocketed since then. Countless thousands have been directly affected by loss of loved one or friend, and millions more by the act and feeling of being violated.
What are the perceivable changes? Aside from stringent precautions at airports and required passports for Canadians entering the United States, we have changed the way we speak to and treat each other. We place barriers between ourselves and others. We treat others differently than we used to. We are more cautious about letting others into our lives. Worst of all, we have done this with a preconception of certain people of certain races and religions. Why do we judge all by the actions of one? In all races and religions there is good and evil. It has been a fact of life since the dawn of man.
May Peace be our future
Does the Bible not tell of distension and discourse? What about Homer’s ‘Iliad’? Here we have a written account of good and evil on two sides of the Trojan War. Homer furthers this by adding the battles their gods had amongst themselves. That is a mite far-fetched, but goes to show that the thought of the wind, sky, sea, and earth at odds with each other, was there, in the minds of the ancient people. This is discord. It goes back as far as recorded history. It will always exist, unless we change our misconceptions that people who are ‘different’ are our enemy. The Bronze Age, we believe, was an uncivilised era, but have we progressed any further as a society?
One person is as human as any other. Why do we feel the need to belittle or disregard others because of the actions of a few? What we choose to believe is up to us, but our future, and our children’s future is at stake if we do not learn to be accepting of one another. We used to teach our children to accept people no matter what. If you saw someone lying on the ground after being struck by a car, would you stop to help? What if that person was ‘different’ than you, would you still help? What if it was the other way around, and you were lying in the street, clinging to life? You wouldn’t care who came to lend a hand. This is just common sense, and we know that, but do we always use common sense?
To be alone in this World is a horrible thing.
Regardless who we are, we all bleed the same colour. We all feel pain, emotional and physical. Everyone loves, they care and hurt the same as anyone else. Priority is to feed their families, care for their homes, have fun, and do whatever they do. So why do we persist in putting up walls and not letting others in? Humanity has changed throughout the world. The same holds true with society, it has changed too. We were on a path of Universal acceptance, but all of that has changed. To reverse it, we need only try.
My last thought is this; We should never forget what happened that fateful day, but rather learn from our reactions, and for the sake of humanity, learn to forgive. By no means am I attempting to diminish the magnitude of the attacks, they were the most heinous of crimes in all our history. September 11/2001 will always be remembered by the thousands of lives lost, and the woeful heartache that followed. It was the day the World wept together. May we always stand together as a World, united against the evils that are wont to tear asunder.
What we have lost here is our ability to relate to and understand one another. However, my point is this; Stop for a second. Stop and listen to other people. Stop to talk to people. Sit down with them and listen to what they have to say.
In doing some research into Cafe ownership, I have made some startling discoveries. Foremost is the shocking amount it costs to own a franchise. For instance, it takes more than 2 million dollars if you decided to open a McDonald’s in your area. That’s right, I said two. 7-11 is a close runner-up. Franchises can encompass everything from an NHLhockey club to a ghost-busting business to your local grocery chain. most commonly, we think of the smaller, more frequented fast-food places and coffee shops. Those are up there in start-up costs too. Makes it very difficult for the average person to own one, doesn’t it? Right now, I would like to talk about the major fast-food franchises vs independent ownership.
Always a favourite among Canadians
Not that I was contemplating owning a franchise, that was out of the question for me, for one main reason – I want to serve whatever I want to, and have my own, ‘daily specials’ and not have to serve greasy burgers if I choose not to. I don’t want to. One other major drawback that I didn’t want to face is the restrictions on shop supplies. I have learned some disturbing facts about what is allowed and what is not when supplying your little franchise restaurant.
A supposedly healthier way to eat
Most major chains do not allow you to purchase supplies or stock from smaller grocery stores, or bulk stores such asCostco. If by chance you run short of straws, you cannot simply go to your nearest dollar store in a pinch, to pick up a couple packages to get you by until you manage to get to your main supplier. You are stuck making do without, and your customers will have to pop a lid in order to enjoy their favourite soda. Same rule applies to sugar packets, salt and pepper singles. And it doesn’t stop there. Did you run short of coffee? Guess your
Wendy’s – less popular than it’s competitors, but ruled by the same restrictions.
customers have to wait until you are supplied the chain’s warehouse. Don’t know about you, but I would not want to be telling my regulars that they don’t get their coffee this morning. Some people can get awfully grouchy without that morning cup of Java. Not to mention the fact this is an excellent way to lose customers.
This means that all of your supplies, from bulk ketchup to burger patties must be purchased by the warehouse owned by your chain. For example, if you recently purchased a Dairy Queen, and run short of cones for your kiddie-sized cones, you have none until the Dairy Queen warehouse, or head office sends you some more. Some disappointed kids there.
Dairy Queen – one of the longest running franchises.
And it gets better. Your supplies that could typically be purchased at the grocery store across the street or quickly solved at a the localWal-Mart, for a reasonable price (if you can call any price today reasonable) will cost you 2 to 3 times more through your chain’s supplier. They all have their own factories and warehouses where many of the necessary items are made or processed. A headquarters for a major chain will have contracts with other large supply companies, for those things they cannot produce. Items such as milk and bread products are purchased through companies likeSealtestand C&S Wholesale Grocers.
Fresh or frozen – the choice is all yours
The absolute best part of all when running a franchise is how your head office will tell you how to run your restaurant. Where things are placed, to what advertising is allowed and what is not. They do not allow you to have your own specials. So if you accidentally bought too many burger patties and have run short of freezer space, chances are your burgers will spoil.
If you decide to go independent, you have choices. If you decide to serve healthy and appetising foods, you can do that. If you choose new and exciting coffee flavours, that choice is yours too. You will be subject to the laws of sanitation, just like the rest, but these may be somewhat more stringent than those of a major franchise. The reason for this is with franchise, you have your head office down your backs all the time, independents do not. Understandable for the local health department to be strict with you. As a customer, I would expect no less.
A great location for a little Cafe
In closing, I have to say, for me anyhow, independent is the way to go. It is harder to make a name for yourself, and build a steady clientèle than the big names, but in my opinion, the extra effort is worth being ‘independent’. So when I open my Cafe, here is what you can expect from me: I promise not to run shy of your favourite flavour of coffee, or serve you anything but the freshest food possible … being independent, I can vow to have savoury, old-fashioned meals and desserts! I may be small, but will have the freedom to choose the best of the best quality foods. Who wants to be told what to do anyway?
Delicious, and very expensive too
Always a favourite among Canadians
Some big names there
A scene from a trend that began long ago
Another icon in the fast food industry
Another well-known franchise
Wendy’s – less popular than it’s competitors, but ruled by the same restrictions.
I’m sure this is familiar too
A popular franchise and great place for the ‘independent’ owner to get supplies
McDonald’s Corporation – An incredible investment
Other notable franchises
Some of the most successful franchises
Who doesn’t know this one?
Dairy Queen – one of the longest running franchises.
A supposedly healthier way to eat
Not as popular as some, but still going
Many have enjoyed the king of chicken for many years. Only trouble is ‘finger licking’ all that grease when you’re through.
Fresh or frozen – the choice is all yours
One of the leaders among coffee and tea drinkers
A great location for a little Cafe
Is it for you?
Who wants to be told how to run their business, what to buy, and what to serve?
They are a priceless part of us, and capture our hearts and souls the instant they are born. From that moment we will do anything to protect and care for them. This is human nature. It is an inborn instinct to safeguard our loved ones and is something we all experience. Whether it is our children, our elderly, our partner, a family member, or even our friends, we all experience protectiveness at one point in our lives. For most of the world’s population, this is an ongoing phenomenon – for life.
What if someone you loved went missing; what would be your first reaction? Worry? Panic even? Perhaps. If that ‘someone’ was a mere child of only two years, you might even be out of your mind with terror and apprehension, fearing the worst.
Would you wait an entire month before calling police to report the child missing? Not very likely now, is it? However, that is exactly what happened when Caylee Marie Anthony went missing on June 16 / 2008. Caylee’s (then) 22-year-old mother, Casey Marie Anthony waited until she was pressured to report the toddler missing on July 15 / 2008. A month after her baby girl was last seen. Seems impossible, doesn’t it?
Casey Marie Anthony – Mother of missing toddler Caylee
On July 15, Caylee’s Grandmother, Cindy Anthony, called 9-1-1 and told police she had not seen the child in weeks. Caylee lived in Orlando, Florida, USA, with her mother and grandparents (George and Cindy Anthony). The hartbreaking call was made far too late. Cindy told the 9-1-1 dispatcher, “Caylee’s missing. There is something wrong. I found my daughter’s car today and it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car..” Haunting words that will play over in the dispatcher’s mind for a very long time. When the dispatcher asked why she hadn’t reported the missing child earlier, Cindy Casey replied, “I’ve been looking for her
Caylee with Cindy and George Anthony (grandparents)
and just gone through other resources to find her, which was stupid.”
The ‘car’ Caylee’s grandmother was referring to was used by her own daughter, Caylee’s mother. The day the child was reported missing, Casey’s parents went to the impound yard to retrieve Casey’s car, where it had been towed. The car smelled like a body had been decomposing in it, the impound yard manager and Casey’s father claimed later. As a nurse, Cindy knew the odour immediately. She later recalled asking her husband after driving home, “What died?”, not actually thinking that there had ever really been a dead body in the car at the time she made the statement. The car was owned by her parents, but it was driven by Casey alone.
It appears that Casey was staying with a boyfriend at the time her daughter went missing. After locating the car and returning it to their home, Cindy Anthony searched it and found a purse with information on a friend of Casey’s. Cindy asked the friend to take her to Casey’s boyfriend’s house. She confronted her daughter and demanded to see Caylee. They drove around for a while, then Casey finally admitted that she didn’t know where her daughter was. Returning to the Anthony family home, Cindy finally called police. Casey spoke to the 9-1-1 operator as well, and calmly told them that her daughter had been missing for four weeks, but she was afraid that her abilities as a mother would be questioned by authorities, and that is why she did not report the disappearance.
Casey was arrested following the report of her daughter’s disappearance that same night, and charged with the egregious act of murdering her own child. In all, Casey faced seven counts in her daughter’s death, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, child neglect and misleading investigators. If she were convicted, Casey could have faced the death penalty. That was not to be the case. Casey Anthony was acquitted of all charges. That is astonishing, when you consider the evidence the Crown presented at trial.
FACTS IN THE CAYLEE ANTHONY CASE:
Last time Caylee was seen was on June 16 / 2008. Casey claimed (one of several claims) that a nanny, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, had run off with her daughter on June 19. Casey gave the fictitious woman the nickname “Zanny” . A woman with this name exists, but has never met Casey or any of the Anthony family. September 5, Casey was released from prison on $500,000 bail, posted by her parents. On October 14, Casey Anthony was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to police. She was arrested once more. Judge John Jordan ordered that she be held without bond. On October 21, the charge of child neglect was dropped against Casey, according to the State Attorney’s Office, citing that “as the evidence proved that the child was deceased, the State sought an indictment on the legally appropriate charges.” On October 28 Anthony was arraigned and pled not guilty to all charges.
Skeletal Remains, Presumed at the Time to be That of Caylee Anthony
Sadly, on December /11 / 2008, remains of a small child are discovered in a wooded area near the Anthony family home. The skeletal remains of the tiny body were found in a garbage bag, along with a blanket. Duct tape was found at the front of the skull, skin tissue was attached to the tape, but little possible DNA sources remained, save the hair, which was consistent with the colour of Caylee’s hair. On December 19 / 2008, DNA tests confirm that the remains were indeed little Caylee.
Evidence from the trunk of the car was indisputable. A strand of hair found matched the DNA of hair from Caylee’s hairbrush, and upon analysis, the strand from the trunk confirmed that the hair was from that of a deceased child; specifically Caylee Anthony. October / 24 / 2008, a forensic report by Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory deemed that results from an air sampling performed in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car provided chemical compounds “consistent with a decompositional event” based on the presence of five key chemical compounds out of over 400 possible chemical compounds. A group of technicians from Dr. Vass’ lab confirmed the presence of chloroform in Casey’s trunk.
On April /13 / 2009 prosecutors announced that they planned to seek the death penalty. In October / 2009 officials released 700 pages of documents related to the Anthony murder investigation, including records of Google searches of the terms “neck breaking” and “how to make chloroform” on a computer accessible to Casey Anthony. According to detectives, crime scene evidence included residue of a heart-shaped sticker found on duct tape over the mouth of Caylee’s skull. However, the lab was not able to capture a heart-shape photograph after the duct tape was subjected to dye testing. A blanket was found at the crime scene that matched Caylee’s bedding at her grandparents’ home.
Casey Anthony shown during trial
Jury selection began on May / 9 / 2011, and took longer than expected; 9 days, with twelve jurors and five alternates being sworn. The panel contained nine women and eight men. The trial took six weeks, during which time the jury was sequestered. The trial began on May / 24 / 2011, at the Orange County Courthouse, during which time, Casey was described as someone who was a ‘party girl’, loved to have a good time and did not want the responsibilities of parenthood any longer. Casey’s defence attorney claimed that the little girl had drowned in the family pool, and it was George Anthony that found the lifeless child. He said Casey’s father told her that she would spend the rest of her life in jail, and hid the body. Defence also claimed that the reason Casey was able to carry on as she would normally is because she hid her feelings well, after having been molested by her father as a child. This, of course, did not hold water.
George Anthony was the first witness for prosecution and refuted all claims during his testimony. When Cindy Anthony testified, she claimed that her comment to the 9-1-1 dispatcher that Casey’s car smelled “like someone died” was just a “figure of speech”. At some point, the question whether Lee Anthony (Casey’s brother) was Caylee’s father arose. This was proven false.
After examination and cross-examination of dozens of experts, friends and family, the jury was left with more questions than answers. Questions were raised about the examiners method during autopsy. More about the use of chloroform and whether it was actually used. Someone even claimed that despite the fact Caylee was found in a garbage bag, dead, it did not mean there was homicide involved. How that makes any sense is beyond all logical thought. Yet it is this lack of professionalism that bemused jurors and placed that ‘shadow of a doubt’ in their minds. The evidence against Casey is impossibly clear, yet the lack of ‘hard’, ‘tangible’ evidence allowed her to walk free on all charges related to her daughter’s death.
On July /5 / 2011 the jury found Casey not guilty of aggravated manslaughter, first-degree murder, and aggravated child abuse. She was however, found guilty of four misdemeanour counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. 1) Casey told law enforcement that she was employed at Universal Studios during 2008, pursuant to the investigation of a missing persons report, and leading the investigation astray. 2) Casey also told law enforcement that she had left Caylee at an apartment complex with a babysitter causing the authorities to pursue the missing babysitter. 3) Casey told law enforcement that she informed two “employees” of Universal Studios (where she lied about being employed) of the disappearance of Caylee. 4) Casey lied to the authorities and claimed she had received a call and spoke to Caylee on July / 15 /2008, causing them to expend further resources. None of which will carry a sentence that has much impact.
Sentencing was on July / 7 /2011. Casey Anthony was given one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for each of the misdemeanours in turn. She received 1,043 days credit for time served. Additionally, she was credited for ‘good behaviour’. Casey was released on July / 17 /2011. She filed an appeal for the minor charges and fines two days prior to her release. A judge ruled that Casey Anthony must pay $217,000 to the state of Florida. In the end, she had to pay those costs directly related to lying to authorities about the death of Caylee.
Timeline of Important Events in Caylee’s Case:
June 9, 2008 — Casey Anthony and her daughter Caylee move out of Casey’s parents, Cindy and George Anthony’s home, and in with her ex-boyfriend, Ricardo Morales, and friend, Amy Huizenga.
June 15, 2008 — Cindy swims with Caylee in the Anthony’s pool that day, afterwards removing the ladder and closing the gate.
June 16, 2008 — Caylee is last seen alive at the Anthony family residence. According to George Anthony, Caylee departed with Casey by car around 12:30 PM with backpacks on their shoulders. According to the defense, Caylee drowned in the family’s above-ground swimming pool during this day and both Casey and George Anthony panicked upon finding the body and covered up her death. Between 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Casey makes numerous short calls to her parents and several friends. Surveillance videos show Casey Anthony and her boyfriend walking around casually at a Blockbuster video store.
June 17, 2008 — George and Cindy Anthony notice that the gate to the swimming pool is open and the ladder is next to the pool.
June 20, 2008 — Casey Anthony is captured in various photos partying at the Fusion nightclub and participating in a “hot body contest.”
June 30, 2008 — Casey’s car is towed from a parking lot after being there for several days; her purse and a child’s car seat are found in the car.
July 2, 2008 — Casey gets a tattoo on her back saying “Bella Vita” which means “beautiful life” in Italian.
July 15, 2008 — George and Cindy Anthony pick up Casey’s car from the impound yard. George Anthony observes a strong odor emanating from the vehicle. Distressed because Casey has not brought Caylee home in a month, Cindy has Amy Huizenga take her to where Casey is staying and makes Casey come home.Casey tells her parents that she hasn’t seen Caylee in a month and that a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez (“Zanny”) may have kidnapped her. Cindy Anthony immediately calls 911 and reports her granddaughter Caylee missing.
July 16, 2008 — Police investigators discover Casey Anthony has been lying about her place of employment and where she says her nanny lives. As a result, Casey is arrested and charged with child neglect, making false official statements, and obstructing an investigation.
July 17, 2008 — Casey appears in court, during which time the judge denies bail, saying she showed a “woeful disregard for the welfare of her child.” The policemen from the Sheriff’s Office searches Casey’s car and takes several items of evidence.
July 18, 2008 — Casey Anthony hires Jose Baez as her legal attorney,who writes a letter to Orange County Sheriff’s Office about Casey’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement.
July 22, 2008 — Because of police testimony about allegedly incriminating evidence from the car, Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland sets Casey Anthony’s bail at $500,000.
July 29, 2008 — Judge denies defense motion to ban the release to the media all jailhouse recordings, 911 tapes and visitor logs. Florida public records law mandates record requests by media be honored promptly. Over the next three years thousands of pages of audio, video, forensic information and legal documents detailing the criminal investigations will be released.
August 5, 2008 — The State Attorney’s Office files formal charges against Casey Anthony for one felony count of child neglect.
August 8, 2008 — WFTV reports that investigators suspect Caylee may have drowned in the family swimming pool on June 16.
August 11, 12, 13 – Meter reader Roy Kronk reports suspicious bag to police. A police officer meets Kronk at the scene and Kronk tells him he had seen a skull and bones in a bag. However, the officer was rude and conducted only a cursory search.
August 21, 2008 — After bail bondsman Leonard Padilla pays Casey Anthony’s $500,000 bailshe is fitted with an electronic monitoring device and released.
August 29, 2008 — Casey Anthony is arrested again on charges of writing four checks worth nearly $650 on Amy Huizenga’s checking account without permission. Orange County police said the charges are “unrelated to the investigation.”Prosecutors offer Casey a limited immunity deal related to “the false statements given to law enforcement about locating her child.” She refuses it soon after.(The offer is renewed on August 25and again refused.)
September 5, 2008 — Casey Anthony’s parents post a $500,000 bond and she is released from county jail into their custody after being fitted with an electronic tracking device.
September 6, 2008 — Deputies seize a handgun from the trunk of George Anthony’s car because having a gun on the property violates Casey’s bail.George says he planned to use it to force Casey’s friends to tell him what happened to Caylee.
September 10, 2008 — The whole family allegedly refuses to take a lie detector test offered by both the FBI and local authorities.
September 15–16, 2008 — Casey Anthony turns herself in on new check fraud charges, fraudulent use of identification, and petty theft.She is released the next day on $1,250 bond, and again fitted with an electronic tracking device.
September 25, 2008 — Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey Anthony reportedly named as an alleged baby sitter and suspect in the case, files a defamation lawsuit against her.
October 14, 2008 — Casey Anthony is indicted by a grand jury on charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to police. She is later arrested. Judge John Jordan orders that she be held without bond.Because it is a capital crime, Casey Anthony faces possible death penalty.
October 21, 2008 — Charges of child neglect are dropped against Casey Anthony on assumption the child is dead.On October 28 Casey Anthony is arraigned and pleads not guilty to all charges.
November 8–9, 2008 — Texas EquuSearch leads hundreds of volunteers in a search of a grid for Caylee, but when nothing is found they suspend their search.
November 15, 2008 — A psychic instructs the Anthony family’s private investigator Dominic Casey to search the area where Caylee’s remains later are found. The search is videotaped. The family’s attorney denies asking Dominic Casey to search there. The area was under several inches of water at the time.
December 5, 2008 — The state initially says it will not seek the death penalty against Casey Anthony.
December 11, 2008 — After yet a fourth tip from Roy Kronk, skeletal remains of what appeared to be a small child are found one-quarter mile from the Anthony home.Orange County Sheriff’s Office obtains warrant and searches Anthony residence.
December 19, 2008 — Police announce DNA testing confirms that the remains belong to Caylee Anthony.
January 23, 2009 — Police discover George Anthony, who had been text messaging family members, despondent and possibly under the influence of alcohol and medication in hotel room. Police also discovered a lengthy suicide note.
January 29, 2009 — Judge Stan Strickland orders Casey Anthony to appear at all court hearings in her case.
April 14, 2009 — The State of Florida reverses self and will seek the imposition of the death penalty.
September 17, 2009 — Casey Anthony’s defense team files a motion to dismiss the murder charges against her because the state allegedly failed to preserve evidence in the case. The motion is denied.
November 24, 2009 — Defense attorneys accuse EquuSearch’s Tim Miller of lying to the court in their claim that only 32 people searched in the area where Caylee’s remains were eventually found and that the number was much higher.
December 18, 2009 — Judge Stan Strickland denies a request to take the death penalty off of the table in the prosecution of Casey Anthony.
January 26, 2010 — Casey admits guilt for 13 fraudulent check charges, takes responsibility for her actions,and makes full restitution. The judge sentences her to time served.
April 19, 2010 — Judge Stan Strickland steps down after Casey Anthony’s defense team files a motion accusing him of having inappropriate conversations with a pro-prosecution blogger. Strickland granted the motion because the accusation would “generate renewed allegations of bias”. Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. is appointed to take over the case.
May 11, 2010 — Judge Perry will allow the state to seek the death penalty.
August 14, 2010 — Cindy Anthony on the “Today” Show calls Casey a victim, and claims she’s not involved with what happened to Caylee’s remains.
August 16, 2010 — George and Cindy Anthony’s attorney, Brad Conway, steps down because he disputes a Jose Baez motion claiming Conway was given unrestricted access to documents belonging to Texas EquuSearch to which he was not given the same access.
Cindy Anthony on the witness stand
January 4, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry postpones ruling on over two dozen defense motions to exclude evidence from the trial. Over the next several months Perry rules for or against these various motions to exclude evidence. He admonishes, and later financially sanctions, defense attorney, Jose Baez, for failing to turn over expert witness discovery information to prosecutors before a certain deadline.
April 1, 2011 — After numerous outbursts by lawyers in court over what is and is not scientific evidence, Judge Perry ruled more such behaviour would result in a fine of $100 per outburst, with the proceeds to go to the United Way.
May 20, 2011 — After eleven days of jury selection, Judge Perry swears in a jury of five men and seven women, plus three men and two women as alternate jurors.
May 24, 2011 — Trial begins in Orlando, Florida. The prosecution states Casey Anthony used duct tape to suffocate Caylee Anthony. The defense contends the child actually drowned in her grandparents’ swimming pool, that Casey’s father George Anthony warned Casey she would be imprisoned for life for child neglect and then covered up the death; thus she failed to report the incident for 31 days. Also, because George Anthony had sexually molested Casey as a child she had a habit of hiding her pain and lying.Baze admits Casey had fabricated the story of the nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzales. Baez also questions whether Roy Kronk, who found the remains, actually removed them from else where and questioned police motivations for pursuing a murder investigation. Prosecutors call George Anthony as their first witness and he denies to them having sexually abused his daughter Casey or covering up the death of Caylee.
May 25, 2011 — Various friends of Casey Anthony testify about her fabricated stories during June and July 2008 of having a job and employing a nanny for Caylee. Neighbor testifies that in mid-June 2008 Casey and a boyfriend borrowed a shovel from him to dig up a bamboo root.
May 26, 2011 — Former boyfriend testifies Casey told him her brother, Lee Anthony, sexually groped her. George Anthony says he did not smell decomposition in Casey’s car on June 24, 2008 and states he put duct tape over a hole in one of the plastic gas cans she had returned to him.
May 27, 2011 — Tow truck company manager and George Anthony testify that from their experience the smell from Casey’s car resembled human decomposition.George Anthony denies to Jose Baez having sexually abused Casey.
May 28, 2011 — Former boyfriend testifies about Casey’s normal behavior on June 16, 2008. Cindy Anthony testifies that they swam that day and that Caylee could get up the ladder into the pool. She also believed Casey worked at Universal Orlando Resort and had a babysitter named Zanny.
May 31, 2011 — Cindy Anthony says her description of Casey’s car smelling “like someone died” was just a “figure of speech.” She tried to get rid of the smell by spraying Febreze household odor eliminator. She says she found the pool ladder in the pool the evening of June 16. Casey’s friend Amy Huizenga talks of Casey’s frustration about getting help with Caylee and reveals that on June 27 Casey texted her about a dead animal on the frame of the car.
June 1, 2011 — The first officers to arrive at Anthony home on July 16, 2008 say they did not smell human decomposition in Casey’s car and admit they did not search the other two family cars. They testify about Casey going to Universal Orlando Resort with Casey that day, where she confessed she no longer worked there and did not have a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.
June 2, 2011 — Video tapes of Casey lying to her parents in jail and denying to an officer on July 16, 2008 that Caylee had drowned in the pool, as he suggested.
June 3, 2011 — Investigators describe evidence collection from Casey’s car and obtaining from the towing yard the garbage bag that had been in it. One investigator states he smelled human decomposition.
June 4, 2011 — An FBI forensic scientist testifies the single hair removed from the car trunk was similar to a hair from Caylee’s hair brush and had “root-banding” consistent with that from a decomposing body.
June 6, 2011 — Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory describes using a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer to find signs of human decomposition and a high level of chloroform in the trunk of Casey’s car. The defense challenges Vass’ financial motivation and the chain of evidence.
A little too late
June 7, 2011 — FBI forensic chemist confirms chloroform residue in trunk of Casey’s car but admits household cleaning products leave traces of chloroform. Dog handler describes dog alerting to human decomposition in the trunk, as well as Caylee’s playhouse.
June 8, 2011 — Second dog handler says his dog smelled decomposition in back yard. Computer analysts confirm a search for “chloroform” on Casey’s computer March 17, 2008 and “how to make chloroform” on March 21, 2008.
June 9, 2011 — Software analyst John Bradley states someone used the Anthony computer to search the website Sci-spot.com for “chloroform” 84 times on March 21, 2008. He admits that automatic page reloading could account for that number and there was no way of knowing who performed the searches. Investigators show photographs of the remains, including of duct tape that appears to be over the mouth area. One admits that duct tape might not originally have been on the mouth and could have shifted position as he collected remains. Casey Anthony becomes ill looking at the photographs and the jury is dismissed for the day.
June 10, 2011 — Medical examiner states that the death is ruled a homicide because of the delay in reporting the disappearance, the fact the body was hidden and the existence of duct tape, but admits she did not know how the child died. Crime scene investigators describe similar maggots found in the car trunk and at the crime scene.
June 11, 2011 — An expert in forensic entomology states he found flies related to decomposition in the trunk of Casey’s car. Orange County crime scene investigators identify a piece of Henkel brand duct tape found at the scene and testify it is the same brand as George Anthony put on the red gas can. One states that no Henkel brand tape was found else where in Anthony’s home.
June 13, 2011 — FBI examiner states a hair from the child’s skull is consistent with but not identical to the single hair found in the trunk. FBI agent could not find fingerprints on duct tape found near the remains but initially did find adhesive in the shape of a heart on a corner of a piece of duct tape; later she could not find it again.
June 14, 2011 — FBI quality assurance specialist says the hair found in trunk could have come from any member of the Anthony family. A crime scene investigator says heart shaped stickers were found in Casey’s room but did not link them to the one alleged to be on the duct tape. Testimony about and photo of Casey’s “Bella Vita” tattoo made on July 2, 2008.
June 15, 2011 — Prosecution rests its case. Defense makes a motion to acquit based on insufficient evidence a murder was committed, which the judge denies based on previous case rulings.
June 16, 2011 — Defence begins it’s case, often recalling state witnesses for further testimony. Crime scene investigator says no blood was found in Casey’s car or incriminating stains on her clothes. FBI analyst states no DNA evidence was found in the car or at the crime scene. She states FBI did a paternity test that showed Lee Anthony was not Caylee’s father. Crime scene investigator and forensics supervisor state a heart-shaped sticker was found far from the body. An FBI forensic document examiner found no evidence of a heart shaped sticker on the duct tape found near the remains.
June 17, 2011 — Entomologist called by the defense states if there was a body in the trunk, there should have been hundreds or even thousands of blow flies trapped in the trunk as well.
June 18, 2011 — Defence calls a new witness, Dr. Werner Spitz, who questions the medical examiner’s autopsy, including the failure to open the skull, and says there was no indication the death was a homicide. He believes the duct tape was placed on the skull after decomposition and that the crime scene photos of the position of the hair on the skull were staged, possibly by the medical examiner.
June 21, 2011 — A defence-called forensic botanist challenges the prosecution’s theory of when the body was placed at the crime scene. An expert in analytical chemistry who works with Dr. Vass challenges the process of testing for the presence of chloroform.
June 22, 2011 — An FBI forensic examiner says no dirt from the crime scene was found on shoes at the Anthony home or a neighbor’s borrowed shovel. FBI forensic toxicologists found no toxins in the hair from Caylee Anthony’s skull. A scientist who worked with Dr. Vass who testifies tests did not conclusively prove there was a body in the trunk. The FBI’s forensic chemist examiner could not find traces of chloroform in the car. The FBI forensics expert found no hair in the trunk liner showing signs of decomposition. She also testified the duct tape at the crime scene was dissimilar to that in the Anthony home.
June 23, 2011 — An FBI hair and fiber expert says only one hair from the car truck had a sign of decomposition. There is a long debate among prosecutors and defense over the reliability of “root banding.” An expert in forensic toxicology testifies Dr. Vass’s test “lacked organization and planning” and had “minimal standards of quality control. ” He also mentions that chloroform is a byproduct of chlorinated swimming pool water.
June 24, 2011 — The defense shows Cindy a photograph of Caylee on the pool ladder and she again mentions the ladder was in the pool on June 16 when she returned home, adding that she called George to ask about it. The defense also showed the jury a picture of Caylee appearing to open a sliding-glass door at her home. Cindy says Caylee was capable of opening the sliding door to the yard and the pool. Lee Anthony states he was not told Casey was pregnant until days before Caylee’s birth. Search volunteer testifies about duct tape being used at search headquarters.
June 25, 2011 — Judge Perry temporarily halts proceedings after defense motion to determine if Anthony was competent to proceed with trial, based on a privileged communication from Casey Anthony.
June 27, 2011 — Casey Anthony found competent to continue after psychological evaluation. June 27 also is the date the prosecution states it discussed with defense attorney Jose Baez software analyst John Bradley’s post-testimony admission to prosecutors that there was only one search for chloroform, not 84. In testimony, the lead detective admits cadaver dogs had not searched inside the Anthony’s home, or in two other Anthony cars. A professor of chemistry called by the defense says there is no scientifically valid instrument that can identify decomposition, that there is no consensus on what chemicals are typical of human decomposition and that chemical compounds identified by Dr. Vass in air samples can be found in household products and garbage. Three witnesses discuss the November 2008 videotaped search by Anthony family private investigators in the woods where Caylee’s body later was found.
June 28, 2011 — A Texas EquuSearch team letter discusses their November search for Caylee of the site where the body later was found. George Anthony denies he had an affair with Krystal Holloway, borrowed money from her, or told her Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” He admits going to her home and sending her a text message. He testifies he bought a gun to threaten Casey’s friends into telling him where Casey was, even though he knew having one violated Casey’s bail. Cindy Anthony denies she sent private investigators to search the site where Caylee’s body later was found; her son Lee Anthony and the case’s lead detective then testify she did so, after talking to a psychic. Roy Kronk testifies about his calls to police and finding the body. He denies he told his son finding the body would make him rich and famous, but admits he did receive $5,000 after Caylee’s remains were identified. Judge Perry does not allow jury to hear Casey’s ex-fiancée say that Casey told him Lee had once tried to grope her while she was sleeping.
June 29, 2011 — Cindy Anthony says Casey’s response to the media theory that Caylee drowned was “Surprise. Surprise.” Baez asks George Anthony about his suicide attempt in January 2009 and the next day the judge allows the jury to see the suicide note. Roy Kronk’s son states that Kronk did say that finding Caylee Anthony would making him rich and famous. Kronk testifies about why he changed his story about lifting the skull. An expert on grief and trauma testifies that pretending nothing had happened and partying was one of many different ways people, especially young people, express grief.
June 30, 2011 — Casey Anthony tells Judge Perry she does not want to testify. Perry will not allow the jury to sniff air samples from the car trunk. Defense calls search volunteer Krystal Holloway who states that she had an affair with George Anthony. She states that George Anthony told her that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” Under cross-examination she also agreed with her earlier statement to police in which she said George Anthony did not say he knew it was an accident. After Holloway steps down, Judge Perry tells jurors that her testimony could be used to impeach George Anthony’s credibility, but that it is not proof of how Caylee died. George, Cindy and Lee Anthony testify that their pets had been buried in the back yard. Cindy calls it a “tradition” to wrap them in blankets and a plastic bag; duct tape was used to keep the plastic bags from opening. After this final witness, the defense rests. The prosecutor rebuttal begins with showing the jury photographs of Caylee’s clothes and George’s suicide note.
July 1, 2011 — The prosecution continues rebuttal with two representatives of Cindy Anthony’s former employer explaining why their computer login system shows Cindy was at work the afternoon she said she went home early and searched her computer for information about chloroform. A police computer analyst says someone had purposely searched online for “neck + breaking.” Another analyst testifies she did not find evidence that Cindy Anthony had searched certain terms she claimed to have searched. An anthropology professor is recalled to rebut a defense witness on the need to open a skull during an autopsy. The lead detective states that there were no phone calls between Cindy and George Anthony during the week of June 16, 2008, but admits he did not know that George had a second cell phone.
July 3, 2011 — Judge Perry rules that during closing arguments the defense could argue there was a drowning because there was sufficient evidence of that, but could not argue George had sexually abused Casey. Prosecution does an hour and a half of closing arguments, offering a timeline of events and asserting that Casey suffocated Caylee by putting three pieces of duct tape place over her face. The alleged motive was that the child interfered with her partying and spending time with her boyfriend. The prosecution states the defense’ story that Caylee drowned and George encouraged her to cover up the accident made no sense. The defense counters with four hours of arguments insisting there was no proof of how Caylee died, challenging the prosecutors’ most important evidence as “fantasy,” and emphasizing the reasonable doubt that Casey killed Caylee. It again insists that after the child drowned, Casey panicked and George Anthony made the death look like a murder and put the body in the nearby woods.
July 4, 2011 — Prosecutors present a rebuttal to the defense closing, telling jurors their forensic evidence had proved their case, while the defense made claims they did not prove. The case then goes to the jury. Judge Perry issues final instructions to the jury.
July 5, 2011 — After more than ten hours of deliberation, the jury acquits Casey Anthony of all felony charges (i.e., of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse), but finds her guilty of four misdemeanor charges of giving false information to police.
July 7, 2011 — Judge Perry sentences Casey Anthony to one year in county jail and $1,000 in fines for each of the four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. The judge orders all sentences to run consecutive to each other, with credit for time served. Based on three years credit for time served plus additional credit for good behavior, her release date is set for July 17, 2011. Judge Perry announces he will not release the juror’s names for seven days saying some people “disagree with their verdict” and “would like to take something out on them.”
July 13, 2011 – Texas EquuSearch, which assisted in the search for Caylee, sues Casey Anthony for the costs of the search.
July 15, 2011 — Casey Anthony appeals convictions of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.
July 17, 2011 — Casey Anthony is released from jail at 12:10 AM, with $537.68 in cash.
July 19, 2011 — Prosecutors write a letter responding to a New York Times article about alleged withholding of exculpatory evidence about the chloroform searches and says they were about to give the jury a Notice of Supplemental Discovery but did not do so because jurors had reached a verdict.
July 26, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry rules juror names will remain secret until October 2011, citing public “outrage and distress” over the not guilty verdict. He also appeals to Florida legislators to bar the release of juror’s names in some cases “in order to protect the safety and well-being of those citizens willing to serve.”
August 1, 2011 — Orange Circuit Judge Stan Strickland signs amended court documents that order Casey Anthony to return to Orlando within 72 hours to serve one year of supervised probation for the check fraud charge that Anthony pled guilty to in January 2010. Jose Baez accuses Strickland of bias in the ruling. Strickland excuses himself from the case.
August 5, 2011 — Baez obtains an emergency hearing with Judge Perry arguing Anthony already had served her probation and that Strickland no longer had jurisdiction over her. Perry postpones a decision calling the situation “a maze.”
August 10, 2011 — The Florida Department of Children and Families releases report concluding that Casey Anthony failed to protect Caylee, and that Casey’s actions or lack of actions resulted in the death of the child. The finding has little legal relevance.
August 12, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry upholds Judge Strickland’s order, ruling that Casey Anthony must return to Orlando to serve one year’s probation for check fraud, reporting no later than noon on August 26. The judge declares that her residential information during the probation period may be kept confidential because of threats made against her life.
August 23, 2011 — After defense attorneys file motion to appeal Judge Perry’s probation ruling, the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals upholds it.Casey Anthony reports for probation at a secret location on August 24.
September 15, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry rules Casey Anthony must pay $97,000 of the $517,000 the state of Florida wanted her to pay for investigative and prosecution costs to the state under a provision of Florida sentencing law. He ruled she only had to pay those costs directly related to lying to law enforcement about the death of Caylee, i.e., search costs up to September 30, 2008, when the Sheriff’s Office stopped investigating a missing-child case. In earlier arguments Attorney Cheney Mason had called the prosecutors’ attempts to extract the larger sum “sour grapes” because the prosecution lost its case. He told reporters that Anthony is indigent.
September 23, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry rules Casey Anthony must pay an additional $119,000 for the recalculated costs of the sheriff’s search for Caylee Anthony, for a total of $217,000.
October 8, 2011 — Casey Anthony answers a few questions and takes the Fifth Amendment repeatedly in a video deposition regarding the Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzales lawsuit.
October 25, 2011 — Judge Perry releases names of jurors in Casey Anthony trial.
Just days after the not guilty verdict, several Sates in the U.S. Began drafting ‘Caylee’s Law”, which tightens the noose on parents and guardians who do not report the disappearance of a missing child in a timely manner. Something that should be common sense – for those who have common sense and have not caused the disappearance themselves. It is a moral obligation for all to take appropriate actions when we believe another life is in jeopardy. Another question I would pose is, “why did the grandparents wait so long to report the child missing themselves?” Or at least have an appropriate authority investigate when their daughter failed to produce the child earlier?
A poignant message in support of Caylee’s Law
This is a very tragic story, one we are not likely to forget, once known. It is not about the Anthony family. It is not about the media or press. It has been exploited abundantly, but there are plenty of people out the who know exactly what I mean – it is about a little girl who is no longer in this world because someone stole her life. A heinous crime of hideous proportions. That killer walks the same streets we do every day. Is the person that stole little Caylee’s life even the slightest remorseful? Where is the justice for Caylee?
We all have our opinions on these things, and I for one, am struggling to contain mine. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers, Caylee.
Sweet Dreams Precious Angel. May God Watch Over You.
Listen to Caylee’s Song – She’s Going Places .. Here
Song performed by Rascal Flatts – Link leads to YouTube. Song posted by ‘ripBenoitFamily’
New Release by Amarissa Amber Cale - Angels Wear Lipstick: Based on a True Story - Born to teen parents in 1964, Katie’s parents treated her like a showpiece – and a punching bag for her resentful mother. Her life revolved around flashing camera bulbs and tyrannical abuse by both her parents.. Despite suspicion surrounding what took place behind the Pryor’s closed doors, friends, family, and professionals alike remained silent.