Casey Anthony has been labeled "the most hated mom in America" in the aftermath of the 2008 disappearance and death of her daughter, 2-year-old Caylee. Caylee vanished, seemingly without a trace, in June of that year. Unthinkably, her disappearance was not reported to law enforcement for a month, and even then, not by her mother but her grandmother instead.
From the beginning, Casey Anthony couldn't get her story straight when it came to what happened to Caylee. She initially told investigators that her toddler had been kidnapped by "Zanny the Nanny," but would go on to change her tune. When her mother, Cindy Anthony, reported her granddaughter's disappearance to police (the same day she learned of it, a month after Casey said she'd last seen the 2-year-old), she claimed that the trunk of Casey Anthony's car "smelled like a dead body."Police would go on to arrest Casey in connection with Caylee's disappearance the day after the child was reported missing. Ultimately, Casey Anthony was charged with Caylee's murder - even before the little girl's body was tragically found in a wooded area near the Anthony family home in December of 2008. When Caylee's remains were discovered, they were badly decomposed and skeletal, making the determination of a cause of death impossible.
Despite lacking a definitive cause of death, prosecutors did have some clues to go on. A search history on the Anthony family computer revealed that someone in the household had been conducting searches related to chloroform. Traces of the banned anesthetic were also reportedly found in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car.
A piece of duct tape attached to Caylee Anthony's skeleton, believed to have been taped over the toddler's mouth, featured a hand-drawn heart.As USA Today reports, the prosecution in the Casey Anthony murder trial argued that Caylee had been murdered by her mother when Casey administered chloroform to the tot, then taped her mouth shut, ultimately causing the toddler to suffocate.
The motive, according to the prosecution, was a mom who wanted to party rather than raise a child. In fact, in the aftermath of Caylee's disappearance, Casey was seen out partying at local Florida bars. As Daily Mail reports, Casey Anthony even took part in a "hot body" contest after she claimed her daughter vanished.During her trial, the Casey Anthony defense team threw a curve ball. They argued that little Caylee had accidentally drowned in the Anthony family pool and that Casey and her father George covered up the little girl's death in a panic.
In 2011, Casey Anthony would go on to be acquitted of murdering Caylee. She was convicted of four counts of lying to police, two of which were later dismissed on appeal. Anthony had spent nearly three years incarcerated awaiting trial, and upon her acquittal, she was given credit for time served and released.While she suddenly found herself a free woman, legally "not guilty" in connection to her daughter's death, Casey Anthony also found herself the target of intense public scrutiny. Most believed that she had "gotten away with murder," and Anthony has lived as a virtual hermit in the nearly six years since her acquittal. As USA Today reports, Anthony filed for bankruptcy after her trial, she also started up her own photography business. Reportedly, customers were few and far between.
Since her trial, Casey has not spoken publicly about the death of her daughter Caylee. Until now. And what she said in an exclusive Associated Press interview has many scratching their heads. Even her AP interviewer said that the interview, initiated by Anthony, was "revealing, bizarre and often contradictory, and … ultimately raised more questions than answers about the case." It was also conducted in a room full of photos of Caylee, as well as the toddler's artistic endeavors. Casey is said to have "teared up" when sharing a finger painting created by her deceased daughter.During her unprecedented sit-down, Casey Anthony once again contradicted herself with regard to the fate of little Caylee. Despite swearing under oath at her trial that her 2-year-old had drowned in her family pool, Casey is now saying that she doesn't know what happened to Caylee.
"Everyone has their theories; I don't know. As I stand here today I can't tell you one way or another. The last time I saw my daughter I believed she was alive and was going to be OK, and that's what was told to me."Anthony went on to say that the last time she saw Caylee, the mother and daughter were in bed and her mom was telling them goodbye before she went to work. She claims that when she woke up again later, Caylee was gone. Casey Anthony also addressed how the public perceives her, a public so vengeful that the hated tot mom can't even go out for a night of bowling without being heckled and verbally assaulted out of the alley. According to Casey, she doesn't care what you and I think of her.
"I don't give a sh** about what anyone thinks about me, I never will. I'm OK with myself; I sleep pretty good at night."According to Casey, despite not knowing her daughter's fate and not knowing how her short life ended so tragically, she is able to "sleep pretty good." As People reports, the reason behind Casey Anthony's recent decision to open up about the death of Caylee is unclear. However, it comes just days after the judge in her murder trial confessed that he believes that Casey did kill her daughter -- by accident.
Despite her inconsistencies, Casey Anthony swore during her interview that she didn't do "what she was accused of."
"I didn't do what I was accused of, but I fought for three years. Not just for me, but for my daughter."Currently, Casey Anthony is living in the home of a male private investigator who worked on her criminal case (she claims she is helping him with his work); as for Caylee, if she had survived, she would now be 12-years-old and according to her mom, a "bada**."
[Featured Image by Joshua Replogle/AP Images]