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09:07 AM - DEC 04, 2011
Huron, OH -- Huron police meticulously documented every step of the investigation. Officers gathered a heap of evidence from the suspected rape scene. They guided the alleged victim to a sexual assault nurse at the hospital. They took copious notes detailing their interviews with the alleged victim and witnesses and, as they’d eventually learn, other alleged victims who claimed they were raped by the same man in recent years, Huron police reports show. In the end, the officers’ efforts were for naught.
In an about-face that only the victim herself will ever fully understand, she later asked prosecutors not to pursue criminal charges against the man who she accused of raping her. In a recorded interview with Huron police shortly after the July 9 incident, the woman, 27, is heard describing a terrifying three hours where Aaron Voltz, 38 (pictured above, enter) allegedly held her captive in her Huron apartment and raped her. Media sources obtained the audio recording this week after submitting a public records request.
In the recorded interview with detectives, the woman is heard telling police that Voltz showed up intoxicated at her apartment at about 2 a.m. July 9. She let him and he immediately became violent, throwing her around the apartment and injuring her arm, she said in the recorded interview. When she began to cry, Voltz stifled her sobs by placing his hand over her mouth for a few minutes, according to the interview. She went to the bathroom to check her injured arm, and when she emerged she told Voltz she was calling police. “He got pissed and he was just choking me and choking me,” the woman told police. “He kept hitting me, with like, an open fist.” Voltz then allegedly raped her as she tried to fight back and begged him to leave, she said during the interview.
The police reports, posted online, are a grisly account of the alleged attack.
“I kept trying to get away ... I just sat here and I cried,” the woman told police. “I couldn’t get my phone because it was in his pockets.” During the attack, the woman told police she yelled at Voltz, “You’re a raper!” When Voltz left about three hours later, he allegedly offered her $10,000 to keep quiet about the incident, police reports said. The woman called a friend, who in turn convinced her to call police.
Huron police listened to her during the recorded interview and did not interrupt her with questions. They suggested she visit Firelands Regional Medical Center to have a sexual assault exam. “We’ll get you plenty of services to help you out, help you deal with this,” an officer is heard saying in the audio recording. “I don’t want you to feel like just because he may have affiliations with law enforcement that he’s going to be treated any differently.”
Voltz, the former director of Erie County Job and Family Services, was arrested and charged with rape July 10, the day after the woman called police. After he was arrested, Voltz posted bond and was placed on house arrest while the case played out. Weeks after she talked to police, the woman told investigators she wanted the charges dropped. She also told media sources that police had pressured her into pursuing charges against Voltz.
In November, without the alleged victim’s cooperation, a special prosecutor presented the case to a grand jury, which chose not to indict Voltz. Prosecutors can still pursue the case and re-file charges if they acquire new evidence. Voltz remains a free man.
Investigators later said Voltz and the alleged victim communicated by phone in the weeks following the incident. Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone placed a gag order on the case, barring Voltz, the alleged victim and attorneys from talking to the media. Tone also ordered Voltz and the woman to stop communicating — the woman had been calling Voltz daily. The alleged victim told police she has known Voltz since she was 22 and he had been violent before, according to the recorded interview. She told Huron police she reported at least one incident to Sandusky police, but Voltz ultimately convinced her not to pursue charges. “It was like he manipulated me,” the woman told police. “I know it’s weird and it sounds strange.”
Posted: 11/18/2011 03:28 PM PST
"I understand how much pain I have caused. I will work so hard to get the help I need."
-- Statement by casting agent, Jason James Murphy during his sentencing hearing on child molestation and kidnapping charges in 1996 .
Hollywood, CA -- A small-town boy from Washington state, Jason James Murphy (pictured left in mugshot) has spent much of the last decade working his way up in the world of Hollywood movie casting. He's helped place actors, including children, on a variety of movies, from small independent films to last summer's science fiction hit "Super 8." But few of the power players he encountered knew his secret: He is a registered sex offender who was convicted of kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy in suburban Seattle 15 years ago. This week, J.J. Abrams, the director and co-producer of "Super 8," one of the most prized titles on Murphy's resume, found out. On Thursday, Los Angeles police began looking into whether Murphy was in compliance with state registration requirements for sex offenders.
"It's shocking and it's devastating, not just as a filmmaker but as a father and someone who is entrusted to make sure that everyone I work with, especially children, are safe," Abrams said. "To think that someone like this was among us is unthinkable." Murphy, 35, who uses the professional name Jason James, also placed young actors in the forthcoming film "The Three Stooges," according to those who have worked with him. He also worked on "Bad News Bears," "The School of Rock" and "Cheaper by the Dozen 2." Abrams said in an interview that he was unaware of Murphy's background until this week, when he was tipped by his manager, David Lonner, who recently learned of the conviction. He informed the studio that released "Super 8," Paramount Pictures, which in turn notified authorities.
After serving five years in prison for the 1996 crime in the Seattle area, Murphy underwent sex-offender counseling. When he moved to California in 2005, the state performed an evaluation and required him to register as a sex offender, making his name and photo publicly available. But the listing is under his original last name, in effect screening it from those who know him only as Jason James.
California law prohibits sex offenders whose victims were younger than 16 from "working directly and in an unaccompanied setting with minor children on more than an incidental and occasional basis or have supervision or disciplinary power over minor children." The law also requires offenders to notify law enforcement within five days of any name change. A spokesman for the state attorney general said the statute requires offenders to tell law enforcement about any aliases so that they can be added to the public database. "Any name that a person uses needs to be the name that they are registered under, otherwise they are in violation," spokesman Nicholas Pacilio said.
There are no known complaints that Murphy acted inappropriately with any minor in his casting business. Murphy did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
"Bad Robot had absolutely no knowledge of his real name, nor of his status," said Abrams, referring to his production company. "He applied for the job under an alias." The casting directors on "Super 8," April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg, said they were unaware of Murphy's criminal conviction when they hired him as an assistant who helped cast children in the film. Webster said she was "shocked and disturbed" when she learned of Murphy's past. She said he was never alone with children while in their offices.
Pamela Fisher, who heads the youth division at Abrams Artists Agency in Los Angeles, which is not affiliated with J.J. Abrams, said she has worked extensively with the man she knew as Jason James. She said he helped her line up auditions for young clients. As recently as Wednesday, Fisher said, Murphy sent her an email "looking for 12-year-olds for a USC student film. I had no idea. I'm completely shocked," Fisher said Thursday. "We've worked together over the years on many projects and had a lot of contact. He's always been very professional, and there was never any reason to think there would ever be a problem with projects where my clients were auditioning."
Murphy was the focus of an intense manhunt when he abducted the boy from his elementary school in early 1996 and flew with him to New York City. According to court records and contemporary news accounts, Murphy, then a 19-year-old college student with acting aspirations, was already out on bail awaiting arraignment on charges of molesting the boy, whom he had met while working as a camp counselor. He disguised himself as a woman in a white dress and wig to kidnap the child. Three days after he fled with the boy, the TV show "America's Most Wanted" broadcast a segment on the kidnapping and a New York hotel clerk recognized Murphy and the boy as guests. Authorities found Murphy, the boy and more than $8,000 cash in a Manhattan hotel room.
A prosecutor described Murphy in court papers as "obsessed" with the boy and cited a police interview in which a female friend said Murphy "was in love with" the child and had talked openly of taking him to live in London or Australia. Murphy pleaded guilty to child molestation and kidnapping charges and was given the maximum prison sentence under state law by a judge who called him "a sick young man."
"I understand how much pain I have caused," Murphy said at his sentencing. "I will work so hard to get the help I need."
September 1, 2011
A young Illinois mother shot her two small children, then struck three people in St. Louis with her car after fleeing the scene Wednesday night, authorities said.
The 25-year-old woman, whom police have not officially identified, got out of her car after hitting the pedestrians and sat on the sidewalk holding a shotgun, police said.
No charges have been filed, police said, but they are holding her for questioning.
Relatives told the local newspaper that her name is Yakia Smith (pictured above, center).
"I don't know why the babies are dead," Virginia Brown, the woman's cousin, told the newspaper.
The woman was detained after the two children, a 4-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, were found shot to death in an East St. Louis, Ill., apartment. An 8-year-old boy was also at the apartment, but escaped during the shootings.
She was detained after driving across the Mississippi to downtown St. Louis, where she is suspected of hitting at least three people - including a man and his son - with her vehicle.
None of the pedestrians suffered any life-threatening injuries, police said.
Seeking to put to Sleep!
August 1, 2011
Los Angeles, CA - Southern California prosecutors announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty against Lonnie David Franklin (pictured above, center) the suspect in the so-called "Grim Sleeper" serial killings, a district attorney's office spokesman said. Matt Krasnowski, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, said that the prosecutors signalled their intentions in court on Monday. Franklin is charged with the murders of 10 women as well as one attempted murder.
He is accused of killing his victims -- girls and women ranging in age from 14 to 36 -- between August 1985 and January 2007. Most of the victims were discovered dumped in south Los Angeles alleys and covered with debris. All were shot; some were strangled too, the indictment alleges. Police were led to Franklin after his 28-year-old son was arrested and gave a DNA swab, authorities said. The Los Angeles man has pleaded not guilty.
When detectives announced the arrest in July 2010, they also revealed that Franklin had, for a time, worked as a garage attendant at a Los Angeles police station. They also said that he previously had an arrest record, although his offenses did not require him to submit a DNA sample.
The charges made Franklin eligible for the death penalty -- if he is convicted -- but authorities hadn't announced their plans on this front until Monday. His next court date -- a pretrial hearing -- is scheduled for November 7, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
August 1, 2011
Ohio (WCJB) -- An Ohio jury on Monday will begin the sentencing phase for ex-marine and convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell, ultimately deciding whether he should receive life in prison or the death penalty for killing 11 Cleveland-area women between 2007 and 2009. Jurors on July 22 convicted Sowell of 11 counts of aggravated murder and more than 70 other charges, including abusing corpses and kidnapping. The sole not-guilty verdict came on an aggravated robbery charge. During the sentencing phase, Sowell will be able to make a statement on his own behalf without being under oath or facing cross-examination from prosecutors, said Ryan Miday, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office. The defense can also call expert witnesses to discuss Sowell's background, including his childhood and his military service.
Sowell has been classified as a "sexually violent predator," meaning parole is not an option, Miday said.
If jurors decide to recommend that Sowell die for his crimes, the judge can overrule that recommendation and impose a life sentence. But if jurors decide to spare Sowell's life, the judge cannot impose a death sentence, said Greg Popovich, Cuyahoga County court administrator.
Sowell's convictions ended a saga that began in October 2009 with the discovery of the first two victims' remains inside Sowell's home. He eventually was accused of killing at least 11 women ranging in age from 25 to 52.
He grew up in East Cleveland, joined the Marines at age 18 and traveled to California, North Carolina and Japan, authorities said. Sowell served 15 years in prison for attempted rape before being released in 2005. People who met him after his release described him as "a normal guy." He was known locally for selling scrap metal.
Sowell's inconspicuous two-story home sat in a dilapidated neighborhood known as Mount Pleasant, where at one point one in five homes was in foreclosure and at least a third of the residents received food stamps, according to a 2010 study by Case Western Reserve University's Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. A stench hovered around the area, but no one realized it was the scent of decaying human flesh, instead assuming it was a byproduct of a nearby sausage factory.
Many of Sowell's victims struggled with drug addiction at some point, and court records showed many resorted to stealing and prostitution to support their habits. The disappearances of the women -- many of whom lived near him -- went largely unnoticed for two years, with only four women being reported missing.
In late 2008, a woman named Gladys Wade told police that a man in a gray hoodie offered her beer, and when she declined he punched her in the face several times. Wade said he then attempted to rape her, dragging her toward his home, and that she escaped after "gouging his face." Police investigated Wade's complaint, and one police report noted the presence of blood droplets on Sowell's walls and steps. But officers told media sources that the case was dropped after Wade declined to press charges. Six more women disappeared after her complaint. The first bodies were discovered after a 36-year-old Cleveland woman told police a story similar to that of Wade, as well as the woman whose 1989 account led to Sowell's attempted rape conviction. She said he had invited her into his home for beer, punched her in the face and began performing oral sex on her -- letting her go only after she promised to return the next day.
Most of the women whose remains were found in and around Sowell's home had been strangled by ligature, which can include a string, cord or wire, and at least one had been strangled by hand, officials said. Seven women still had ligatures wrapped around their necks. A skull was all that remained of one victim; it had been wrapped in a paper bag and stuffed in a bucket in the home's basement.
At Sowell's trial, his defense rested without calling any witnesses or presenting any evidence, according to media sources. His defense attorneys have declined previous requests by the media to explain their case.
August 4, 2011
Casey Anthony will not have to return to Orlando on Thursday to start serving probation for a check-fraud conviction, according to a judge's order released Wednesday. Anthony will not have to start serving the probation until there is an emergency hearing so that a judge can address complaints from Anthony's attorneys about the probation, according to court documents. Anthony originally was ordered to report for probation by 10 a.m. Thursday, said Gretl Plessinger, communications director for the Florida Department of Corrections.
Anthony was cleared last month of murder charges related to the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. But she was convicted in January 2010 of felony check fraud charges, admitting she stole a checkbook from her friend Amy Huizenga and wrote five checks totaling $644.25. At the time, defense attorney Jose Baez asked that Anthony be given credit for time served and be placed on probation.
If she is again ordered to arrive to serve probation,the court orders will be explained to her to "make sure that she understands them and knows what her responsibility is as an offender," Plessinger said.
Her address will be taken, a rapid identification check will be performed and her photograph will be taken, the spokesman added.
Anthony's attorneys have said that making her return to the Orlando area, the scene of the highly publicized trial, would put her "in great peril."
Attorneys for Casey Anthony are fighting a judge's order requiring her to return to Florida and serve a year of supervised probation stemming from a check fraud conviction, arguing, among other things, that returning would put her "in great peril." However, authorities believe that Anthony will report to the Orange County, Florida, probation office by 10 a.m. Thursday, as required, Gretl Plessinger, a Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman, told reporters Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Judge Stan Strickland -- who signed the amended documents Monday mandating Anthony's return -- recused himself from the matter Wednesday, transferring it to Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who presided over Anthony's murder trial.
The documents signed by Strickland were amended after an apparent misunderstanding.
Anthony's attorney calls order a 'fraud' Judge:Anthony needs supervised probation
Anthony pleaded guilty in January 2010 to felony check fraud charges, admitting she stole a checkbook from her friend Amy Huizenga and wrote five checks totaling $644.25. At the time, defense attorney Jose Baez asked that Anthony be given credit for time served and be placed on probation.
Strickland apparently intended for the supervised probation to begin after Anthony's release from custody, Randy Means, spokesman for the Orange County State Attorney's Office, said this week. But the order signed by Strickland at the time seemed to indicate it was to run while she was in custody awaiting trial on murder charges in the 2008 death of her daughter, Caylee.
A jury acquitted Anthony of charges in Caylee's death. The 25-year-old Orlando woman was released from jail on July 17. Her whereabouts since then have been unknown.
Means said prosecutors were surprised to receive a letter from the probation office indicating Anthony's probation was completed.
He said there was a miscommunication between what Strickland said at the sentencing and what the court clerk understood. The clerk thought the probation and Anthony's time in custody were to run concurrently. The documents were amended Monday to add the words "upon release" to Anthony's sentencing documents, according to local media.
In an emergency motion filed Tuesday, Anthony's defense team claims she cannot serve probation again when she has already served it behind bars, saying that violates the double jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment, as well as Anthony's right to due process. The motion, filed by attorney J. Cheney Mason, calls the amended documents "a fraudulently filed product of a previously disqualified judge."
Strickland had been presiding over Anthony's murder case until April 2010, when he recused himself after the defense accused him of being a "self-aggrandizing media hound" who was biased against her. Perry took over and stayed in that position throughout the trial. In the motion filed Tuesday, Mason notes that Strickland, in an appearance on "a news broadcasting show," expressed "shock" about Anthony's acquittal, and criticized the jury's verdicts in an appearance on another news broadcasting show.
"Such unbridled prejudice by a sitting judge calls into question the validity of any rulings made after recusal," Mason wrote.
If Anthony must serve probation, the motion says, she requests "administrative probation" -- a form of noncontact supervision, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website, in which an offender who represents a low risk to the public may, after completing half the term of regular probation, not be required to report regularly to a probation officer. Periodic record checks are done to ensure the person has not violated probation, the website says. The request is made, Mason wrote, because "any requirement that (Anthony) return to Orange County put(s) her in great peril, as well as impose(s) a significant cost to taxpayers in securing her safety." Anthony has received several threats against her, the motion says.
Plessinger told reporters that Anthony would be required to abide by the usual conditions of probation -- she must have a job and an address, and would have to request permission for any move outside the area. Security is not provided for probationers, Plessinger said. Anthony would be required to pay "a certain amount" for her supervision, Plessinger said. "If she's telling us she's indigent, we'll have to look at that." "Our goal is to treat (Anthony) like every other probationer who we supervise in the state of Florida," she said.
$500k Birthday Suit!
Los Angeles, CA (WCJB) -- If Larry Flynt has his way, Casey Anthony could reintroduce herself -- nude -- to America on the pages of Hustler magazine, and make well over $500,000 in the process. The pornography magnate told a news broadcasting show on Thursday night that talks are ongoing that could land Anthony on the pages of his magazine, weeks after a Florida jury acquitted her of murder in her 2-year-old daughter Caylee's death.
Flynt insisted he was serious about the offer, which he said would include $500,000 up front plus 10% of all profits. He said any payment that the Orlando woman might receive for interviews with media outlets would be "chicken feed" compared to what she'd receive by appearing in Hustler. "If they want to get their hands on big money, they've got to go through me," Flynt said.
Anthony's trial in Orange County became the fixation of countless people during its seven-week run, many horrified by the girl's death and others drawn in by the family drama. Since her release from jail early on the morning of July 17 -- after getting credit for time served for her conviction on four counts of misleading authorities -- she has remained out of the public eye.
The Hustler magazine founder said that, after a jury cleared the 25-year-old woman on murder charges, he initially did not consider reaching out to her. But Flynt said his mind changed after being approached by "droves of men" as he was touring the country promoting his new book "One Nation Under Sex." "They said, 'Why haven't you made an offer? Why don't you want to publish her pictures?' " Flynt said. "They said, 'She's a really attractive person' ... I've never seen that happen before."
Asked whether the decision might be distasteful to the many who feel Anthony got away with murder, Flynt said his tour suggests to him that there was a real demand. He also claimed that a portion of any proceeds would go to charities aimed at addressing child abuse. Flynt noted, too, that he has "never been one to shy away from controversy," boasting on the same news broadcasting show about printing nude photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1975.
"You've got men who say hey, I want to see her in her birthday suit," he said of the Anthony offer. "There may be some sick individuals ... but that's what life is all about." Earlier this month, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner said he got a similar flood of requests from people encouraging him to try to get Anthony for his magazine. But he shot down any possibility that would happen.
"It is amazing the number of people that have tweeted me immediately afterward, asking whether or not we would do a pictorial on her," Hefner told another news broadcasting show. "And the answer is simply no. I wouldn't reward someone like that for what has happened."
Mark Lippman, the attorney for the woman's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, said he had no knowledge that his clients had talked with their daughter since her acquittal -- including about this offer. Both parents testified at her trial, with defense lawyers claiming that George Anthony helped cover up his granddaughter's death. "This is all news to me," Lippman told media sources. "And obviously, Casey is her own person, and she's making her own decisions."
July 19, 2011
A woman who appeared to resemble Casey Anthony was hurriedly escorted off a plane at an Orlando airport Tuesday.
Baez on Anthony
Posted: 07/18/2011 8:08:00 AM EDT
July 17, 2011
Casey Anthony walked free from a Florida jail early Sunday morning, three years and one day after she was first arrested for her role in the disappearance and, eventually, death of her 2-year-old daughter. Anthony walked out of the front door of the Orange County Jail at 12:09 a.m. with her lawyer by her side and two Special Response Team officers with green vests. Sheriff's deputies had two contingency plans laid out, but in the end opted to go with a public release. "We have made every effort to not provide any special treatment for her," said Allen Moore, the spokesman for the Orange County Corrections Department in a statement. "She has been treated like every other inmate in her custody class."
Anthony had not received threats against her at the jail, but "this release had an unusual amount of security. So therefore, in that sense, it would not be a normal release," Moore said. With $537.68 from her inmate account handed to her, Anthony offered a quick thanks to a Special Response Team sergeant. She then walked out of the jail building doors and into a dark-colored sport utility vehicle. Her hair was pulled up in a tight bun and she had on a bright pink V-neck T-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. She did not show any emotion.
Given the threats against her life by those furious at the not-guilty verdict, Anthony's lawyers have not said where she will go next. News helicopters that tracked the SUV showed it head to downtown Orlando and into the parking garage of her lawyer Cheney Mason's office. Throngs of television camera crews and a crowd of about 1,000 people were at hand outside the jail to witness the release. Most of those who waved placards in the jail parking lot were there to voice their opposition to Anthony's release, but they did so peacefully.
Police, some on horseback, kept a wary eye. As Anthony left, some demonstrators shouted and jeered. Some screamed, "Killer!" The Orlando woman's release comes 12 days after a jury acquitted her on murder and child neglect charges. That verdict brought an abrupt end to a six-week trial that drew intense media hype for its elements of family drama and mystery over what happened to young Caylee Anthony.
While Anthony was cleared on the more serious charges, the jury of seven women and five men did convict her on four counts of misleading law enforcement agents who were investigating Caylee's whereabouts. Orange County Superior Court Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. gave Anthony credit for time served in determining the release date. She was initially taken into custody on July 16, 2008, and had been jailed -- with some brief exceptions, having been freed on bail on multiple occasions -- for most of the past three years.
Protesters on Sunday staged a silent march between the parents' home and where the toddler's remains were found, which has been turned into a memorial site. Her toddler girl's skeletal remains were eventually found in a wooded field not far from the home of Casey Anthony's parents in December 2008, seven months after she was last seen. They said they wanted the day to be about Caylee and not about Anthony being released from jail.
Prosecutors tried, unsuccessfully, to convince jurors that Anthony used chloroform to render her daughter unconscious and then duct-taped her mouth and nose to suffocate her. Her defense lawyers, meanwhile, painted Caylee's death as an accident, claiming that she'd drowned accidentally at the family pool and that Casey and her father George Anthony both covered it up.
The questions about how Caylee died, and who was responsible, remain open. But a more immediate issue is what happens next to the girl's mother, who attracted intense anger, revulsion and even sympathy from a public that she will once again be a part of. While there have been cash donations to her jailhouse account, the more widespread sentiment is against Casey Anthony, with many believing she got away with killing her daughter.
This fury has led to speculation that the polarizing subject of the "I Hate Casey Anthony" Facebook page -- and the source of ire for its more than 40,000 fans -- might change her name and appearance, and move someplace far away. "If her attorneys are doing the right thing and are doing their jobs, they're going to have to explain to her that there is real hatred out there for her, that there have been death threats, that she cannot just walk amongst the population," HLN legal contributor Sunny Hostin said. "That is not just going to happen." Florida corrections officials, and Anthony's lawyers, have offered few details. That's in part likely due to the intense emotions Anthony's release has generated.
"I know it's bad God Forgive me but i hope someone wipes that smirk off her face. With a mack truck," one poster on the "I Hate Casey Anthony" Facebook page wrote. Visiting the Orlando site where Caylee's remains were found, Rebecca Stone said she believed the toddler's mother "put her here" -- even if the jury did not reach the same conclusion. When asked about what's next for Casey Anthony, the Flowery Branch, Georgia, mother of two told CNN, "I don't think she will be alive for long."
An Oklahoma woman said she has already faced the kind of ire Anthony may face when she's no longer behind the protective walls of the Orange County Jail. Sammy Blackwell told media sources that a woman who mistook her for Anthony on July 8 rammed her car twice, flipping it over. "She said that I was trying to hurt babies, I was killing babies and she was going to stop it before it happened again," Blackwell told the station. As it happens, Blackwell has a daughter named Caylee too, but that's the end of the similarities. She says she really doesn't even look that much like Anthony and worries for women who do.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Tuesday that investigators are assessing threats to Anthony's safety. While he said the department was not aware of any credible threats to her life, it's a concern that was clearly on his mind. "Nobody has a right to take the law in their own hands," he said. "Casey Anthony had her day in court and the jury made a decision. I would hope people would step back and would not go out and commit another crime."
It's also a concern for her attorneys. "Myself and other members of the team are concerned for her safety, very much so," one of her attorneys, Dorothy Sims, told media sources. What Anthony will do now is unclear. "If I knew at this point, I'm sure you can appreciate that I wouldn't tell you," Sims said. "I don't believe that that has been resolved. My hope for her would be that she would be left alone and her privacy would be respected."
Hostin said on CNN that she's heard reports that Anthony will go into hiding, live under an assumed name or get plastic surgery. "But I think we are going to hear her story, because people have offered her a million dollars already for her story," she said.
Anthony also still has legal issues to deal with. Her criminal team is appealing her convictions for misleading police, and she is being sued in two separate actions in civil court. One is filed by a woman with the same name Anthony gave to investigators as the name of her daughter's fictitious nanny. The other involves a search group that wants Anthony to repay expenses they incurred looking for Caylee.
Anthony may be offered money for book and movie deals, but one offer won't be on the table. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner told media sources that the magazine won't be offering Anthony a pictorial. "I wouldn't reward someone like that for what has happened," Hefner said.
Defense attorney Mason, who once said he thought of Anthony as a granddaughter, said he doesn't know what life holds in store for his client, but has hopes. "She is only 25 years old. A decade from now, hopefully, she'll have some stability in her life and maybe a husband, and they can be somewhere in Montana and start over," he said.
Free of Guilt!
July 16, 2011
July 5, 2011: Casey Anthony hugs her attorney, Jose Baez, after hearing a jury clear her of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Casey Anthony is spending her last day in jail Saturday preparing for an uncertain future after nearly three years behind bars. Orange County Jail officials planned to release Anthony sometime Sunday under circumstances they refused to disclose. One of her attorneys, Cheney Mason, said Friday that Anthony is scared to leave jail, given numerous threats on her life and the scorn of a large segment of the public that believes she had something to do with the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Anthony was acquitted of first-degree murder in Caylee's death earlier this month. She was found guilty of four counts of lying to police, but with time served and good behavior credits, she didn't have to serve out her four-year sentence. Another attorney said Friday that Anthony was "emotionally unstable" and needed "a little breathing room" after the draining two-month trial.
However, that "breathing room" may be hard to come by given that Anthony's first steps of freedom will be under the glare of the media spotlight. Scores of reporters, cameramen and protesters were expected to be outside the jail when she is released. Local television stations were going live with coverage starting late Saturday night.
And the vitriol directed at Anthony has been pointed: After the verdict, anger spilled onto social networks like Facebook and Twitter from people who had spent weeks watching the trial on local and cable television networks. On Friday, Anthony's legal team said it had received an emailed death threat with a manipulated photo showing the 25-year-old woman with a bullet hole in her forehead. It has been forwarded to authorities. Officials had said earlier this week that they had not received any credible threats, but they did not return a call Friday about that email.
Security experts have said Anthony will need to hole up inside a safe house protected by bodyguards, perhaps for weeks, in case someone tries to make good on one of those threats. Ideally, several SUVs with tinted windows will pull up to the jail to whisk her away, probably in the middle of the night, the experts said. Jail officials have not disclosed when she will be released.
Exactly where she will go also remains unclear. It's unlikely she'll return to the home she once shared with her parents, as the trial left her family fractured. Defense attorney Jose Baez argued during the trial that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that Casey Anthony's father, George, covered it up to make it look like a homicide. Baez also argued that George Anthony molested his daughter when she was a child -- which resulted in psychological issues that caused her to lie and act without apparent remorse after Caylee went missing.
"Most of the time you can always go home, but she doesn't have that option," said an Atlanta lawyer who has represented football star Michael Vick and actor Wesley Snipes. "Baez has to have somewhere for her to go for her to get herself together."
Casey Anthony was convicted of telling detectives several lies in July 2008, when Caylee's disappearance was reported. She said that Caylee had been kidnapped by a nonexistent nanny, among other things. Caylee's skeleton was found that December in some woods near the home Casey Anthony shared with her parents.
While defense attorneys argued that Caylee's death was an accident, prosecutors alleged that Anthony suffocated her daughter with duct tape because motherhood interfered with her lust for a carefree life of partying with friends and spending time with her boyfriend. Jurors have told various media outlets that prosecutors didn't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt as required for a conviction -- although most have added that they don't think Anthony is innocent.
Casey Anthony Testimony!
July 11, 2011
'In Session' recaps the best testimony from week two of the Casey Anthony trial.
July 8, 2011
Three days after a jury cleared her on charges she murdered her young daughter, Casey Anthony on Friday rebuffed her mother's attempt to visit her in jail, a Florida correctional official said. Cindy Anthony testified for both for the prosecution and the defense during her daughter's trial, with some tapes from her jail talks with Casey Anthony being entered in as evidence. George and Lee Anthony, Casey's father and brother, likewise took the stand during the more than six-week trial. The mother had hoped to visit her daughter in jail at 7 p.m. Friday, said Orange County Corrections Department spokesman Allen Moore. Casey Anthony heard about the request on Friday morning and declined it, he said.
This appeared to be the first such request by a relative to visit Casey Anthony since the end of her trial on Tuesday. Cindy Anthony was similarly rejected when she asked to see her daughter in the weeks before the trial began in May. Casey Anthony did get a visit Thursday night at the Orange County jail in Orlando from an unidentified member of her defense team, according to Moore.
A 12-member jury acquitted Casey Anthony on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child. She was found guilty on four counts related to misleading law enforcement officers, and an Orange County Corrections statement released late Thursday indicated she will be freed on July 17.
Movie Intermission! Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer!
Description: Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer looks at Aileen’s violent, tortured childhood in Troy, Michigan and her subsequent years on the road as a hitchhiking prostitute which culminated in the murders.