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Casey Anthony Trial Day 12, June 8, 2011

June 7, 2011

I’m a couple of days behind, but thought I’d go ahead and post today’s high points and try to catch up later 🙂

Gerardo Bloise

Dr Gerardo Bloise was back on the stand this morning.  He testified that the trash did not smell like the car (in spite of Jose’s best effort to get him to say it could be something else) “That smell,(human decomp) once you smell it, you will never forget that smell.”  Bloise  described each piece of garbage in the trash bag, (there was no pizza in the pizza box).  The trash was damp when he received it, and he dried it out before packaging it according to police protocol.  Baez accused him of destroying evidence by drying it. (which he quickly changed to–drying the trash might have “altered the evidence”) Dr. Bloise vigorously denied the accusation saying he was following police procedures which LDB clarified on cross.

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Dr. Arpad Vass

Dr. Arpad Vass was also back on the stand today. Surprisingly, Jeff Ashton announced he brought him back to correct a mistake the prosecution made yesterday. Apparently, Mr.Ashton accidentally handed him the wrong can of stench to identify, and Dr. Vass did not catch the error–which allowed Baez to attempt to paint him in a bad light. I don’t think he succeeded, and Dr. Vass will remain a credible witness for the prosecution.

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Michael Rickenbach

38: FBI Forensic chemist Michael Rickenbach. He found a small amount of chemical consistent with chloroform on the piece of tire cover he examined. .  Baez asked him if there were “shockingly” large amounts of chloroform found as Dr. Vass had stated yesterday.  Rickenbach said, “No.”  Uh Oh! This appeared to be in direct conflict to Dr. Vass’ testimony. But, on cross, it was clarified that Michael Rickenbach was testing a piece of carpet, and Dr. Vass was testing the air. (two completely different things.) In fact, because chloroform doesn’t stick around for very long, Rickenbach said he was surprised he got a reading for any chloroform at all. (which would be consistent with Dr. Vass’ claim of a huge amount. There must have been  a lot of chloroform  for  Rickenbach to get a reading on the carpet all that time later.)

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Detective Jason Forgey

39:  Deputy Jason Forgey dog handler for OCSO.  He has been on 200 cadaver searches and over 3000 other searches using dogs.  He gave the jury an education on the training of cadavar dogs,(I was surprised at the length and intensity of the training) and described his and his dog, Gerus’ impressive qualifications.

Gerus, when taken to Casey’s car, hit on the trunk.  When the trunk was opened,  he and the dog were “overwhelmed” by the smell of decomposition.  Baez’ tried to get him to say he was speculating on what he and the dog smelled in the trunk, but Forgey very forcefully told him he knew what decomp smelled like and there was definitely decomp in the trunk of the car.

Prosecution on re-cross: Will your dog alert to trash? “No” Velveeta Cheese? “No.” A pkg that once held chicken? “No.”

Where the cadaver dog hit (noted with blue circle)

He said when they searched the Anthonys’ backyard, Gerus did not hit on the pool. (a blow for the defense theory)  He did hit on an area next to Caylee’s playhouse.  Another dog, Bones, searched the area the next day after CSI scraped the yard for evidence, but he did not make a hit.

Prosecution: In your professional opinion why did this happen?

“I believe the smell was on the surface and with them scraping the area and disturbing it, it was moved or diminished and the dog wouldn’t find it.”

(So Caylee wasn’t buried in the backyard–Casey just laid her in the grass while she made a feeble attempt to dig a grave? )

Baez tried his best to impeach this witness but couldn’t.  In fact, the defense fought hard to have Mr. Forgey’s testimony kept out altogether, and I can certainly understand why.  He was a very credible witness and didn’t let Baez intimidate him.  He made it clear that the dog would not alert to garbage or animal decomp–only human decomp PERIOD.

Something that really bothered me today was the smirky, slightly smug look on her face during the testimony about the stench that came from her own child. She showed absolutely no emotion whatsoever while they talked about the wet napkins with Caylee’s body fluids on them and the dog hitting on the car and yard.  Even after all this time, I’m still just blown away by the enormity of what this woman was and is capable of. I shudder to think she might ever walk among us again.

 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 12:15 pm

    Hey Mystery! I have to agree with you about Casey. She is one cold young woman. I’m amazed at how Baez can expect a jury to see her as a victim.

    If he really thinks the jury will see Casey as a victim then he really needs to check himself into a psych ward. It’s not going to happen. You know, the drowning idea is believable, but when he brought George into it, it took believability out the window.

  2. June 8, 2011 6:05 pm

    Hiyas, Mystery!

    Dr. Arpad Vass totally blew my mind – He was a fun witness to see testify, I thought, inspite of the seriousness of this case – I think one blog ( CallsforJustice?) had photos of him, leaning back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling in boredom as Baez called sidebar after sidebar..

    I’m really impressed at the way the State has laid out their case against Casey. When the trial first started, I thought ,’Oh, no, they’re laying it out backwards!’ but I think it’s really kewl how the State is pililng layer upon layer of evidence and every single piece of the puzzle is falling right into place finally, for all to see.

    Casey looks to me as if she has totally disconnected herself from her own trial. Maybe she imagines herself a part of the defense team itself? I donno; it’s pretty scary to see her so emotionless as they talk about the grave wax and odor of her daughter decomposing in that car. I wonder how her ex-partying friends feel now, having realized they rode with her in the car as she complained about a smell in it – that Caylee may very well have been in that car when she drove them about. 😦

    I totally agree – It’d be scary were Casey ever released back into society!

    Dr. Vass was a very credible witness and I agree, very likeable.

    I, too, wondered what in the world the prosecution was thinking as the trial started, but now I think they are absolutely brilliant. They are getting it all in and doing it in a way that leaves little doubt that Casey killed her daughter.

    Someone must have clued Casey in because Thursday and Friday she cried, rubbed her eyes, and blew her nose on cue. Too bad, really—Casey Anthony could have been an academy award winning actress if she had only followed a different path. lol

  3. Curious permalink
    June 8, 2011 8:20 pm

    Hi Mystery, great blog! I have a few comments that I’d like to get your take on:

    1) Didn’t Dr. Vass also test the carpet for traces of chloroform as well, and find them? Wasn’t that the problem with Rickenbach’s testimony (for the prosecution, I mean)? From my understanding, Dr. Vass claimed found high amounts of choloroform in the carpet, and then Rickenbach claimed that the carpet had no more chloroform than a standard household cleaner. If you understood or know differently, do tell!

    2) What do you think about the internet searches presented today? I’m honestly not quite sure how to take them. I guess the chloroform search is good to present, because it could show that she was thinking about doing something months before little Caylee died, even though anyone with access to the computer could have searched that. Aside from that though, what’s with the ‘hand-to-hand combat’, ‘ruptured spleen’, and ‘household weapons’ thing? My completely random theory is that she thought she might or did get into a fight at a club with someone, and either wanted to be prepared or wanted to know a little more. You know, a drunken fight or something. Either way, I’m not so sure those are things you are curious about when you want to murder a small child. Why do you think the prosecution presented those searched as well?

    3) I’m new to the curiosity surrounding this trial, so don’t have any information about the Anthony’s except for what I’ve seen this summer. I keep reading critical comments about Cindy and George– are they really that bad? Isn’t it pretty human for Cindy to be tough on a daughter that’s constantly lying and is an irresponsible mom for her granddaughter? I mean, I know there are better ways to handle it, but it has to be so difficult to watch your daughter claim she loves her little girl and then very easily pawn tht same little girl off on her parents when she wanted to go out, or worse take her with her to spend the night at her current boyfriend’s home. What’s this criticism of Cindy being “bi-polar”? Is she diagnosed with BPD, or is that just people thinking she gets angry too easily? Either way, I can’t quite grasp why they are being labeled the most dysfunctional family in America…. OBVIOUSLY Casey is sick, and has more-than-serious issues. But a mom that gets really mad and frustrated at her young, irresponsible daughter seems….expected. So am I missing something here? I mean, I don’t believe the claim that she was molested, so beyond that, is there anything else?
    4) This one is just in reaction to your post. Couldn’t the dogs picking up the smell in the backyard be a little consistent with the defense’s claim that Caylee drowned and they then tried to figure out what to do?

    Side question: I heard this theory, and honestly it makes the most sense to me, what do you think: Casey regularly gave Caylee Xanax to knock her out while Casey partied, hence the “Nanny Xan-y”=”Nanny Zanny”, then one night either gave her too much, or tried chloroform and gave her too much, and ended up killing Caylee. When Casey got back to Caylee, or when she realized Caylee was not waking up, she freaked out, went off the deep end, emotionally detached herself, and took days to figure out what to do as her child lay in her trunk. Finally, (this part you’ve heard), she figuroued a kidnapping would be the best alternative, so she tried to make it seem like that was what happened with the seemingly aggravated way she put the duct tape on the child’s face, and disposed of her body. And from then on, (as her past boyfriend said) she started making up lies, some of which she probably did end up believing.

    Thanks for any reply! Here’s to hoping justice is served!

    -Curious

    Thanks, Curious!

    1) Dr. Vass tested the AIR and Dr. Rickenbach tested the actual carpet. Two completely different things being tested. Dr. Rickenbach stated that he was surprised, given the volatile nature of chloroform, that he was able to find any at all at the time he received the sample. This says to me that there must have been a tremendous amount of chloroform present at one time for it to be there when Dr. Rickenbach tested it.

    2)Because of the unusually large amount of chloroform that was discovered in the trunk of the car, I think one theory was that when Casey wanted to party and Cindy was too busy to babysit, she might have chloroformed Caylee and locked her in the trunk of her car so she could go out. By showing the internet searches for chloroform and how to make it (which took place when George and Cindy were proven to not be at home) this could tie Casey to the chloroform found in her trunk of her car.

    3) I can see where if you just started following this case, you might wonder at the criticism of Cindy–especially after watching her on the stand. I don't think anyone blames Cindy for her harsh stance with her daughter for not being responsible for Caylee. The criticism from those of us that have watched Cindy for the last three years is that she changed her story, covered for Casey, made money off this tragedy, and appeared to be doing anything but searching for Caylee, –Cindy didn't really help in the search for Caylee, but in fact attempted to hinder it. (just one example: She intentionally gave police the wrong hairbrush when they asked for one of Caylee's and appeared to delight in the deceit. There are many more examples if you go back and read previous posts by bloggers on this case.)

    4) I would think the dogs would have hit in or around the pool if Caylee had drowned. JMO

    Yes, that theory is possible. But, after Dr. G's testimony on Friday I find it unlikely. Of course, that is JMO as well. Jesse Grund did say that if something happened to Caylee, he believed Casey would go off the deep end and begin living in an alternate reality. Maybe that's what happened. But, even if Casey accidentally killed Caylee with Xanax or chloroform, that is still an aggravated child abuse death and in Florida is punishable by the death penalty.

  4. scott permalink
    June 12, 2011 3:25 pm

    How could the family go on for years believing her lies even after they discovered she was a world class liar??? They had to walk on eggshells lest they upset her when they visited her in jail. And for two years or more they believed she was going off to work every day! Sounds as if they were all so disconnected from reality that anything goes! Either that or she was spoiled rotten. And then both her mom and dad pleading with authorities to overlook the stolen checkbook charges, etc. I just don’t get it. Dysfunctional sure, but to this extent!!! I’d never turn my back on her, that’s for sure. One scary creature.

    Scott, as a parent, part of me can understand why George and Cindy would have chosen to ignore the signs and placate their daughter whenever possible. It was just easier. It’s a full-time job to raise a child up right and no matter how hard you work at it, it’s difficult at best. George appears to be an immature man prone to lying his way out of whatever situation he gets himself in. (Dr. Drew on HLN said he spoke with George’s first wife and she told him that George lied constantly when she knew him, and she believed George passed his “lying gene” onto Casey.) So Cindy, it seems, had 3 children, Casey, Lee, and George, that she had to deal with all while working full-time as the main bread winner in the family. Maybe it was just easier for her in the beginning to make excuses for her daughter and to fix Casey’s mistakes the way she fixed George’s. She couldn’t possibly have known what Casey was capable of when she finally had enough and put her foot down the night of the 15th of June, 2008.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to defend Cindy Anthony, although after watching that broken woman on the stand, it is impossible not to feel sorry for her. I just think there are more dysfunctional families in this world than there are “normal”(whatever that means) ones, and no one could imagine their child capable of doing what Casey Anthony did, including Cindy. Who ever believes their own child is a monster capable of murder? No one, until it hits them in the gut— like it must have hit Cindy in the gut 6 weeks ago when Baez informed her and George that they were using him as the scape goat.

    I agree with you. I’m not so sure George and Cindy weren’t next on Casey’s hit list. Wouldn’t wanna turn my back on her either!

  5. itsamysterytome permalink*
    June 12, 2011 7:17 pm

    Hi! Answered the comments within the comment boxes! 🙂

  6. scott permalink
    June 12, 2011 7:49 pm

    At this point, I’m wondering what the final bombshell will be when the defense presents its case. Will we learn who Caley’s father really was? I’m sure there’s going to be a “surprise witness” of some sort who will throw another twist into all of these mysterious circumstances.

    But I still feel that this whole tragedy could have been prevented if the parenting by George and Cindy hadn’t been so blind to the truth. Cindy’s 911 call should have been made the moment they detected a strong “odor” of decomposition from the trunk of the car–instead of waiting until the end of the month. I realize that they were in denial that their daughter could do such a thing–but they could have connected the dots a lot sooner.

  7. itsamysterytome permalink*
    June 12, 2011 8:43 pm

    Scott

    You’re right–George should have made the call from the tow yard. For that matter, the tow yard guy should have made the call when he smelled it. Even if George didn’t think Caylee was “missing” at the time he picked up the car, the fact that he thought the car smelled like human decomp should have prompted him to call the police. Cindy is also at fault because she didn’t call police when she smelled it.

    Even though I believe that Cindy and George could never have anticipated Caylee’s death, I agree that if they had taken action earlier, they might have gotten custody of Caylee and saved her. (or not–who knows what Casey might have done if they had taken Caylee away from her.)

  8. Curious permalink
    June 14, 2011 4:15 pm

    Thanks for the reply, so interesting to hear your POV!

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