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What are Casey Anthony's motives for killing her daughter?What is Casey Anthony's...

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amazona0125 | Honors

Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM via web

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What are Casey Anthony's motives for killing her daughter?

What is Casey Anthony's motives for killing her daughter?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 10, 2011 at 6:59 PM (Answer #2)

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I think that the ongoing trial is attempting to answer the question or to even assess whether the question is valid.  Simply put, we cannot fully say that Casey Anthony did kill her daughter.  Accordingly, it becomes very challenging to ascribe motives to something that did not happen.  If one believes the prosecution, there was a premeditation regarding the death of the child, and that the mother sought to remove the child from her life.  Along with the original charges, the prosecution did bring child neglect charges against Casey Anthony.  The belief was that the mother wanted to live a life where her daughter would no longer be a part of it.  This would be the primary reason why the prosecution believes that Casey Anthony killed her daughter.  The fact that the child was not reported for nearly a month after the day of her death also helps prosecutors contend that the mother's primary motivation was to simply rid herself of her responsibilities.  I think that you could probably find many in the media who would be able to give you some type of speculation as to motives.  For example, Nancy Grace spends a great deal of time focusing on this case.  In the end, though, I think that you probably have to wait until the end of the trial and examine the transcripts from it to fully ascertain what motives played a role in the action taken against Caylee Anthony.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 12, 2011 at 4:50 AM (Answer #3)

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Being a Central Floridian, I have been following the Casey Anthony case since her daughter's death was first reported. I don't believe we will ever know the exact truth, since Casey's lies have been constant, and even if she did decide to tell the truth now, who would believe her at this point? I'm not sure the death of her child was intentional; one of the prosecution's theories suggest that Casey may have only wanted to put Caylee to sleep while Casey entered her regular "Hot Bod Contests" in Orlando nightclubs. This would explain her apparent interest in chloroform; she may not have wanted to kill Caylee, but only knock her out for a few hours while she partied. Thus, she may have given Caylee too strong a dosage.

However, we will probably never know the truth. In any case, Casey decided to hide what she claims was an accidental drowning--a decision that few people would make if it was truly an accident. As one of the prosecution witnesses pointed out, nearly all people call paramedics and the police in such a circumstance. An accidental death such as she describes would normally not bring criminal charges against the parent. And how can the remnants of the duct tape be explained? It may be tough for the prosecution to prove Casey guilty with what is substantially circumstantial evidence, but my guess is that the jury is so disgusted with what they have heard and seen that they will bring a guilty verdict against Casey. Then, many more years of appeals will follow. The bottom line is that Casey is one selfish, dishonest individual, and it would be difficult to find a poorer example of bad parenting.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted June 14, 2011 at 11:22 PM (Answer #4)

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Hang on a sec, ... the trial is still going on here!  Innocent until proven guilty, right?  However, assuming her guilt (as you are doing by the nature of your question), we can speculate on a few different motives for Casey Anthony to kill her child (and you will see some of these are more speculative than others):

  • To attain freedom to do what she wants when she wants it.
  • To stop the child from annoying/bothering/interfering in any way.
  • To erase a life-burden.
  • To return, as much as possible, to her earlier fancy-free lifestyle.
  • To exert her power over at least one aspect of her life and over a "lesser" member of society.
  • To exact revenge over a previous lover (Caylee's father).
  • To make the message on her newest tatoo ("Vita Bella," "A Beautiful Life" in Italian) come true.

In reality, though this list can be summed up by one very simple phrase:  to rid her life of the burden of child-rearing.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM (Answer #5)

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As mentioned, Casey Antony should be considered innocent until proven guilty. IF evidence proves beyond a doubt that she is guilty (and honestly, it does not look good for her), I still don't think we will truly ever know the specifics. For whatever reason a mother might give for killing a child, it is a horrendous act that must be steeped in some kind of mental fragmentation. When serious mental illness is present, there are no longer any rules that can make sense to us, for the insane cannot comprehend rules in the same way other people do. There is also a question as to what lies beneath the face of this woman—could it simply be evil—the kind the world has seen with Charles Manson, Hitler, Ted Bundy, etc.? Is this the same as some kinds of insanity? Could psychiatrists draw a distinction between evil and insanity with Casey, under these circumstances? (I really don't know.) The reasoning of a murderer should be hard for us to comprehend: it's unnatural. Of course, when I look at pictures of her daughter when I'm in the check-out line, I ask myself how is it possible? I can't make any sense of the situation.

The list of reasons mentioned in posting #4 could all have been floating through Casey Anthony's mind if she killed her child—they seem like the things you might hear on Law and Order: out of left field, but true to the mentality of a disturbed person. None of them obviously would excuse Casey's behavior. However, they might seem to have made sense to her, in my unprofessional opinion, if she is insane (a sociopath) or evil…or both…and if she did it.

As mentioned before, I don't believe that Casey really has a chance of being found not guilty. We probably won't ever know the reasons or what truly happened, and I doubt it will ever make any sense.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 1, 2011 at 10:56 PM (Answer #6)

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I understand the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing but, when you look at the Anthony family, actions speak much louder than words:

1. The family is clearly enmeshed. They recognize no boundaries among each other, and they do not respect one another, as established in the testimony they provide every time they contradict each other.

2. As an enmeshed family, they share secrets and become compliant to one another during specific moments of need. Notice how mom Cindy hid Casey's pregnancy from her brother and pretended that it was not true- even at the 8TH month!!!

3. There is no clear leader in that family, so Casey (manipulative as she seems to be) took the reigns by allowing her manipulation become the leader of the household. You can see this in the way that everything- from her attitude, to her tone of voice- seem to model the behaviors of the family.

This being said, Casey may have accidentally killed her daughter by overdosing her with something and now she lies about it because, in her mind, she does not feel guilty for something that happened accidentally.

This is the way an enmeshed family member thinks. These people are the original "oh well", and "if/then" thinkers for their own benefit.

Why did she overdose her daughter and needed her to sleep A LONG time? So that she does not have to be a mom for A LONG time. The baby never came back from the dosage, so Casey had to do something. She blocked her off her head "oh well", she placed her the way the family placed their family pets, and she went on to forget about it by partying, making it TRUE that she may have been grieving (if/then). What she was actually doing was FORGETTING what she did by partying and keeping her mind drunk as ever.

She is egotistical and narcissistic. She only cries during the trial when the testimony is about her. Casey feels that her daughter is OK in heaven, and that she (Casey) is the victim.For this reason, I feel she needs to really suffer a painful time in general population. Forget about putting her on death row, enjoying peace and quiet for the next 25-30 years on my dime. Death penalty cases cost ME, the taxpayer, way too much $$$.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 2, 2011 at 3:57 AM (Answer #7)

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Innocent until proven guilty is a judicial tenant; it does not always bear itself out in facts. One need only consider the O.J. Simpson case, or if you are a history buff, the Lizzie Borden case. There is obviously some question about her guilt, but for purposes of this discussion group, I don't think we have to bind ourselves by judicial fiat. We can do the same thing the members of that jury are doing; use our best common sense to ascertain what happened, and hope to God that we get it right.

Having said that, the young lady's constant lies and her failure to take the witness stand in her own behalf (and yes, I know she has the right not to testify in her own defense; I also know that inferences are created by that fact independent of her "right") she appears to me to be emotionally disturbed and quite immature. I have trouble with the thought that she murdered the child in cold blood; but I can well envision carelessness or reckless homicide as she was too immature to be a proper mother. Even that explanation does not explain her actions during the time the child was missing. Any mother worth her salt would be out of her mind. Her casual demeanor speaks volumes about her knowledge. As the old expression goes: Only the guilty sleep in jail.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 4, 2011 at 2:25 AM (Answer #8)

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Evidence is fairly easy to assess, while motive is inherently more difficult.  Prosecutors will make arguments that they know and understand Casey Anthony's motives, it will be nearly impossible to ever proved them.  Forensic testimony and evidence only indicates if someone did commit the crime, not why they did it.

Assuming her guilt, the most likely reason seems to be that she didn't want the life of a mother, she wanted to be childless and carefree, thus the partying while Casey Anthony was missing.  But if she did in fact commit the murder, we are talking about a serious mental illness, and perhaps sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies.  Such disorders defy simple descriptions.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 4, 2011 at 9:19 AM (Answer #9)

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Who knows what drives a person to kill another person...especially such a young and helpless child as Caylee.  It is always a sad event when a child who trusts his or her parent unconditionally is so horribly betrayed and mistreated.

Casey strikes me as extremely spoiled and manipulative.  She probably discovered that motherhood wasn't the deal she thought she was getting, and Caylee was keeping her from the exciting life of dating and boys.  Poor child... her grandmother would have taken her, and any number of people would've adopted her.

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educator421 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 4, 2011 at 11:54 AM (Answer #10)

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I think that the ongoing trial is attempting to answer the question or to even assess whether the question is valid.  Simply put, we cannot fully say that Casey Anthony did kill her daughter.  Accordingly, it becomes very challenging to ascribe motives to something that did not happen.  If one believes the prosecution, there was a premeditation regarding the death of the child, and that the mother sought to remove the child from her life.  Along with the original charges, the prosecution did bring child neglect charges against Casey Anthony.  The belief was that the mother wanted to live a life where her daughter would no longer be a part of it.  This would be the primary reason why the prosecution believes that Casey Anthony killed her daughter.  The fact that the child was not reported for nearly a month after the day of her death also helps prosecutors contend that the mother's primary motivation was to simply rid herself of her responsibilities.  I think that you could probably find many in the media who would be able to give you some type of speculation as to motives.  For example, Nancy Grace spends a great deal of time focusing on this case.  In the end, though, I think that you probably have to wait until the end of the trial and examine the transcripts from it to fully ascertain what motives played a role in the action taken against Caylee Anthony.

We cannot fully say that Casey Anthony did kill her daughter? And we can't ascribe motives? 80 odd searches online for chloroform? Neck-breaking? She cannot seem to stop her chronic lying to save her life (excuse the pun). She partied hardy while her daughter was supposedly "missing" for a month. Sociopath? She turns on the tears when discussions turn toward her. No tears at all when dscussing decomposition and dead baby. Trial is now over and jury is deliberating. I trust their intelligence level exceeds that of the O.J. jury.

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bigdreams1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 5, 2011 at 8:17 AM (Answer #11)

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Considering the fact that she was acquitted today, I guess this question is a moot point. However, the prosecution contended that Casey's allegedly killed her daughter because she tied her down too much, and she couldn't be carefree and party with Caylee in her life.

According to an interview I heard from one of the alternate jurors, the jury didn't believe this. They just couldn't reconcile the testimony some gave that Casey was a fairly good mother with the allegations that she would chloroform and suffocate her daughter and throw her in a ditch just to reclaim her carefree lifestyle.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:06 PM (Answer #12)

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I guess that when I said, "We really cannot fully say that she killed her daughter," the jury felt the same way.  In the end, the legal vision of guilt has to be the vision that ends up speaking out.  While the jury verdict might be disagreeable to us, the reality is that this is over and we have to hope that, on some level, healing can begin.

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recharles12 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:04 AM (Answer #13)

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I feel Casey Anthony's motive for murdering her 2year-old daughter was simply because she felt that she did not want the responsibility of being a mother anymore. She felt the weight of caring for another individual was too much for her to handle. I'm not justifying what this woman did was right because there was other solution for liberating her from motherhood, and precious little Caylee Anthony would still have her life. But her motives for killing this little girl is not irrelevant, because i don't think anyone on god's green earth cares about her motives at this point. The issue lays primarily on the fact she killed a 2 year-old and she's was found not guilty of the crime. She free to reproduce AGAIN, and only god knows what she would do next. This crime was committed 3 years ago, and we would never really know what were her motives were or why Casey was found not guilty, but she will have to live with this guilt and dishonesty for the rest of her life. She will have to answer to a higher power, and her day will come.

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littleliar13 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM (Answer #14)

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I've heard she wanted to live her "party-girl life" and her daughter was in the way. I've also heard this theory: she had Caylee with her brother Lee (Casey+Lee=Caylee) and she wanted to cover up the incest so she killed her.

At the end of the day nobody knows what really happened for sure (other than the person who killed Caylee and Caylee herself) and no matter how much we protest, threaten, or speculate, nothing will change.

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hmssucks | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:45 AM (Answer #15)

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shes innocent lololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololollolololoolololololololoololololololololololololoolololololololololololloolololoolololololololololololololololololoolololoolololololololololololol 

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blabla121 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted August 7, 2011 at 8:16 AM (Answer #16)

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ummm... i don't know... i personally feel just bad 4 the girl who was murdered...

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