Peacock’s new documentary, Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies caused a controversial backlash today. Most people know the case of Casey Anthony, the young mother accused of murdering her daughter in a case that drew salacious headlines in 2008. They either think she got away with murder or think cops and crime reporters gave her a raw deal.
Whatever their opinion, it’s going to be hard to change it. And Peacock’s new documentary, Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, probably won’t cause anyone to rethink where they stand.
1. Casey Anthony-An American Murder Mystery: What is it about?
Source: Entertainment Tonight
Casey Anthony made headlines in 2008 as a mother who failed to file a missing report for her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, who was last seen on June 16, 2008. After 31 days, Casey’s mother Cindy Anthony called 911 and reported that her granddaughter had been missing for a month. Months later, in December, Caylee’s remains were found in a wooded area near their home in two garbage bags.
The documentary portrayed the murder of toddler Caylee Anthony, one of the most controversial cases in recent history, sheds new light on the crime and unexpected verdict. Investigative journalists definitively look at every angle of the case and whirlwind prosecution of Caylee’s 22-year-old mother, Casey, who was charged with murdering her daughter and was tried in both the court of law and, ultimately, the court of public opinion. The series features exclusive interviews with Caylee’s grandparents, Cindy and George Anthony, offering a unique look into the inner-working of the Anthony family; also featured are Clint House, a former close friend and confidant of Casey’s; Belvin Perry Jr., the judge in Casey’s trial; Kevin Beary, the former Orange County Sheriff who first investigated the case; and Jane Velez-Mitchell and Diane Dimond, both crime reporters and TV journalists who covered the trial.
2. Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies Review
The documentary is about a young mom-Casey Anthony who was troubled at the most homicidal. If you want a definitive answer to who killed Caylee Anthony, who was just a toddler when she disappeared, then there’s nothing substantial for you.
The case has always set Casey at odds with her parents, with mom Cindy Anthony the one who first reported the toddler missing in 2008. At that point, Caylee hadn’t been seen in more than a month, and Casey had never contacted the police.
Something was clearly wrong with Casey, and she spends a good portion of the first episode arguing that previous trauma influenced her poor decision-making. She admits to lying to police and claims there was no reason for it; she then proceeds to explain her reasoning.
The reasoning behind her crime
Source: Dr. Lillian Glass
Anthony repeats her previous claim that she was sexually abused by family members and that Caylee was the product of rape. Watching her sob as she speaks about years of therapy, lose her composure as she looks at pictures of her daughter, and talk about her messed-up family is affecting. But at times, her responses also seem calculated to elicit sympathy. One has to wonder her motivations for opening up after more than a decade of silence. And it’s hard to separate her past lies from that motivation, however awful (and it is awful) her past may be.
“I’m responsible for answering everyone in the world’s questions about her, about what happened,” Anthony says at one point.
Those who disbelieve the still-young woman will find plenty to back up their suspicions, including detectives saying they think she killed her daughter and didn’t want to talk. But Anthony’s supporters will see just as much to support their case, pointing to her exoneration and institutionalized misogyny that could account for some of her seemingly counterintuitive behavior with police during the investigation.
Watching Anthony view a video of her parents fighting about why she reacted the way she did when Caylee went missing and debating what led their daughter to make poor decisions is particularly jarring. But it may still be hard to muster empathy for Anthony for anyone who followed the case and remember Cindy Anthony telling a 911 operator, “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.”
3. Casey Anthony-Where the Truth Lies: Worth watching or not?
If you’re interested in the psychological profile of a young mom who was at the least troubled and at the most homicidal, then you’ll enjoy the slick production. If you want a definitive answer to who killed Caylee Anthony, who was just a toddler when she disappeared, then there’s nothing substantial for you.
The documentary doesn’t take sides, giving time to prosecutors and Anthony’s parents as well. But it does revel in being the platform Anthony chose to open up to. At one point, she’s preparing breakfast for herself and the interviewer and notes that it’s been years since she made the meal for anyone besides herself — a clear throwback, we’re meant to think, to when she cooked for her daughter. Moments like that feel manipulative and take away from the doc’s impact.
Ultimately, those who followed the Anthony case, one of the early social media-fueled true crime tragedies, will find the doc intriguing, despite the lack of substance. And that still constitutes a substantial number of people.
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