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Profiling Casey
Written by Editor   
Monday, 22 September 2008 05:22
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An note from the Editor: Introduction and Background

On Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 8:44 PM Eastern, the Orange County Sheriff's Office received a call regarding a missing child. The caller, Cindy Anthony, stated that her granddaughter, Caylee Marie Anthony, had been missing for a month, that her daughter, Casey Marie Anthony stole her car on June 30, 2008 and that she "just got [the car] back from the impound" that day.[1] Less than an hour later, Cindy Anthony called back in near hysterics, claiming that her daughter finally admitted to her that Caylee had been abducted and that "There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car."[2] Per the Channel 13 news time line, the car had been towed the same day Casey Anthony allegedly stole her car.[3] WESH broke the news of the missing toddler on Wednesday, July 16, 2008.[4]

And thus began the veritable media circus, with cowboy bounty hunters,[5] high-profile attorneys,[6] and a parade of protesters and lookie-loos alike—including a bus full of nursing home residents.[7] Some simply drive by to gawk while others parade in front of the media's 'webcams'[8] to scream out expletive-laced epithets demanding Cindy and George "make" Casey tell them what really happened to Caylee. Not surprisingly, several altercations have erupted between protesters and the Anthonys.[9] With each new sordid detail—from non-existent jobs and nannies[10] [11] [12] to questions of donations and trust funds[13] to an insiders[14] point of view—this tragic drama-filled case has become the only game in town on true crime message boards across the internet.[15]

Still, some wonder... With over two thousand new missing children cases per day, what is it about this tragic case that has turned it into an overnight media sensation? Although a few feel that it is the so-called "missing pretty white girl's syndrome"[16] the totality of the case indicate otherwise. The most glaring (and obvious) reason involves a young mother who waited for 30 days before telling anyone that her 2-year-old daughter was missing. If Caylee were truly missing, some opine, "why did she wait so long?" In fact, it was Caylee's grandmother who called to report her missing. Moreover, a single 911 phone call where both Cindy and Casey spoke with the Orange County Sheriff's Office[17] exemplifies a stark disparity—an hysterical grandmother and an emotionless mother—that would be repeatedly played out in taped interviews and phone calls, and in the media in the days and weeks to follow. As various web sleuthers have scoured the internet, digging up a variety of posts and photos, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office releases documents and levels new charges against the young mother, a disturbing picture begins to emerge. One that cannot be ignored from a criminal psychology standpoint.

With this in mind, I asked Russell Smith—a regular contributor to our forensic psychology portal—if he had considered profiling Casey Anthony. I was, and am, curious what the BRACE Character Profile might reveal as it pertains to Casey's glaring contradictory presentation. By this, I am referring to photos and videos[18] which appear to indicate strong attachment between mother and child in contrast to the plethora of lies surrounding Caylee's disappearance. Additionally, while the taped phone calls between Casey and her family[19] suggest long-standing problems where family dynamics are concerned, Casey's presentation during the law enforcement interviews[20] [21] contain notable circumlocution and tangential verbalization that appears to go beyond and above standard "lying." If this impression is remotely accurate, what role might it play with regard to what happened to Caylee and more importantly, where she can be found? Perhaps the BRACE Character Profile will reveal some clues to this seemingly endless and tragic mystery. The following details Mr. Smith's findings.



 

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