A Central Floridian’s View of the Casey Anthony Case

Caylee Anthony

I was one of many watching the news stories about Casey Anthony and her missing baby girl, Caylee. I recall when the news came out that Caylee had been missing for an entire month. I recall when 20-something-year-old Casey lied to authorities about the missing baby, and I recall when she was charged with the murder of her little girl. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, I recall the day that little Caylee’s remains were found near the Anthony home. Silently and behind closed doors, like many others concerned for the baby’s welfare and whereabouts, I cried.

Still familiar with the case, but growing tired of the drama and national attention that overtook other important issues, I began to ignore the whole Casey Anthony drama. I grew tired of the media, everything “Casey Anthony” this and that every time I turned on my television. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in this feeling.

It’s difficult to think a mother could act normal for 31 days without reporting her own baby missing. I did, however, think that Casey wasn’t the only one involved in the death of her baby girl. My gut instinct told me she was also hiding the fact that someone else was involved. But who and why? A boyfriend? A family member? Was anything that Casey said true at all? It’s difficult to believe anything said by a person that could have won an actress-of-the-year award.

Having been out of town for a while and ignoring most of the boring aspects of the trial, I understood that it was still under way, but I had no idea that the trial was at its end. I heard the announcement on the car radio that Casey Anthony’s verdict was going to be read at 2:15. My car’s clock read 2:09. My instinctual gut feeling was that Casey was going to be found “not guilty”, although I was hoping I was wrong.

Tapping at my steering wheel, I heard the extremely long verdict. Come on, just say it! I was thinking. And then I was in awe. My jaw dropped. Hand over mouth, I almost laughed out loud – not in happiness but more like surrealism. This can’t be for real. Is the radio station playing a joke?

My first pity immediately went towards the jurors. I knew that the majority of people watching the case thought Casey would be found guilty of murder. Unfortunately for the jurors, although they have served their time, they will be the next of Casey Anthony’s victims, so to speak. It is not the jurors’ fault that the State of Florida lacked evidence, and the prosecution failed. They did what they thought was right and correct to their best ability, and they have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

As for the Anthony family, the trial is over, but theirs isn’t. Their family dynamic seems to be irreparable. They will never be able to go anywhere again without being recognized as Casey Anthony’s parents or being accused of having an involvement in Little Caylee’s death.

Least of all, no matter how “free” Casey Anthony will be when she gets out of jail next week, will she ever really be free? Will the truth ever be told? Will there ever be justice for Little Caylee Anthony?

25 Years Ago – A Child’s Point of View on Space Shuttle Challenger

Told from a child’s point of view, this is what happened 25 years ago on the day the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up:

It is a chilly, but sunny afternoon. After gym class I head to history. I hear an annoying boy named John yelling in the courtyard.

“The space shuttle blew up!”

He points to the sky at a puffy looking cloud in the air. John is known to say and do things for attention, so I don’t believe him.

“Shut up!” I say. “That’s just a cloud.”

“No, I swear!” he says.

John isn’t lying. I arrive to history class. Our teacher, Mrs. Still, has the television on and announces that the Space Shuttle Challenger has exploded into the sky, killing all seven astronauts, including the first teacher in space. I have never seen a teacher cry until I see Mrs. Still. The entire class sits in awe as we watch the tragedy on the news for the entire fifty minutes. Mrs. Still tells us that it is an historical day in our lives, and that in the future we will always remember what we were doing on the day that the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up.

Excerpt from Unheard: a memoir
©2010 Susanna Hartigan
All Rights Reserved

With Loss Comes Gain – A Commentary on Haiti’s Earthquake

By accident, I discovered a news story today about the Earthquake in Haiti. I am not one to turn on the television or read about world news, so this was surprising to me. This one was bound to grab my attention no matter what. It is an extreme story that no doubt will effect many people, including those who are not involved. This is the type of tragedy that, although with many devastating losses, also brings people together.

Upon viewing some videos put together by Youtube subscribers, I read many negative comments about how the Haitians deserved this. Really?!?!? I was furious at seeing these heartless replies. This type of natural event can happen to any of us at any given time, and the types of people that make those comments sure do have some life lessons ahead of them in the wake of karma. I pointed out to a few of these negative people that not everyone in Haiti is a Haitian, that many Americans are over there as well – several thousand, in fact – and many others from other countries. I had to quit reading those comments because the event itself was upsetting enough and I had to remind myself that subjecting myself to this sort of hatred wasn’t helpful to me or anyone else.

I believe there are more people in this world that are helpful and loving than there are those who are spiteful and full of hate. It’s up to our own selves to seek and find that love. And so I did. I tuned into some radio shows that revealed an outpouring of love from those who want to help. It felt good to be in spiritual alignment and agreement with groups of people I have never even met.

The people of Haiti have been through enough trauma living in a country full of poverty and corruption. This is a perfect opportunity to show the survivors that no matter where we are from, we still care as a human race. People all over the world right now are praying for the survivors in Haiti. Although we all may pray differently and believe in different truths, no matter what, the result will be the same = LOVE.