Casey Anthony is back in the national spotlight more than a decade after she was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter.
In a new three-part documentary airing on Peacock titled, “Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies,” Anthony gives her version of what she says led to Caylee’s death. Anthony never testified during her trial, so this is the first time the public has heard her on camera, according to the show’s producers. Peacock did not respond to CNN’s request for further comment.
For three years, between Caylee’s disappearance and Anthony’s acquittal, the Florida case shocked the nation as it played out on both social media and traditional news outlets. The prosecution sought the death penalty, saying Caylee’s death occurred during severe child abuse and was committed in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner, without any pretense of moral or legal justification.”
After nearly six weeks of testimony, the jury rejected the prosecution’s claim that Anthony gave her child chloroform, suffocated her with duct tape and dumped her body in the woods. She was found guilty of four lesser charges of lying to law enforcement officers.
Anthony spent about three years in jail awaiting trial and was released after receiving credit for time served behind bars. Outraged protesters took to the streets, calling her a “baby killer” and demanding justice for Caylee.
In the docu-series, Anthony and her defense team dismiss many bombshell claims in the decade-long mystery surrounding her daughter’s death. Here’s what you need to know about “Where the Truth Lies”:
Time magazine named Anthony’s story the social media trial of the century in 2011. Years later, the mystery surrounding Caylee’s death is still the subject of much chatter.
In July 2008, Anthony’s mother called 911 and reported that she had not seen her granddaughter in a month. Photos of a party, a smiling Anthony, taken between Caylee’s last sighting and the day she was reported missing, soon flashed across television screens across the country. Tabloids and social media users latched onto the idea of a mother partying with her friends and getting a tattoo reading ‘Bella Vita’ – Italian for ‘Beautiful Life’ – while her daughter was away.
In the documentary, which has sparked fresh controversy on social media, Anthony says that period was “the opposite of what my life really was”.
She has since covered up the flower tattoo which she described as a symbol of growth and rebirth.
“That was my whole life up to that point, acting like everything was fine but knowing nothing was fine,” she says.
At the beginning of the documentary, Anthony talks about the reasons why she decided to speak out after years of silence.
“I’ve spent the last 10 years making sure that I knew who I was, that I started to deal with this loss and that I had something to say to make my daughter proud, but also to honor her properly,” she says. “And this is part of it.”
Anthony and her defense team admitted she lied several times. After Caylee disappeared, she lied about working at Universal Studios. In another lie, she said a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez stole her child. She admits in the documentaries that the story was made up and the only other person who cared for Caylee besides her was her mother.
In the documentary, she also reveals that she lied to an ex-boyfriend about being Caylee’s father because she was too embarrassed to admit that she was raped at a party and didn’t know who the father was. A paternity test revealed it was not.
“I am a convicted liar,” he says. “I lied to everyone … it was years of trying to show everyone that I lived a certain life because I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me,” she says. “No lie was off limits, no lie was off limits.”
For months, Anthony and her parents maintained that Caylee was alive.
During the trial, the defense said the child drowned in the Anthony family pool on June 16, 2008, and that Anthony and her father covered up the death. In the documentaries, Anthony provides a conflicting theory that blames her father entirely.
She also reiterates her claims that her father sexually abused her as a child – claims she denied during the trial along with any involvement in Caylee’s death. In the documentary, Peacock says that George Anthony turned down an offer to appear on the show. CNN contacted the elder Antonis.
Anthony is now working with one of her defense team’s lead investigators, Patrick McKenna, who runs a private investigation firm. In the documentary, McKenna says he believes she is innocent. Anthony lived with his family for a while after the trial ended because of fears for her safety, McKenna says, adding that she is like a daughter to him.
Anthony admits he still has no answers.
“It’s difficult because thousands of questions go through my mind. I’m responsible for answering every single one of people’s questions about her, about what happened,” Anthony says. “I still don’t know what happened to Caylee. I know what I’m afraid of. I know what keeps me up at night.”