6/08/2011

The Psychology of Casey Anthony - I've Invited a Psychologist to Post

I want to understand what is going on with Casey Anthony and her family, and I know that several readers have written, voicing similar interests.  So, I've sent an invitation to an expert in narcissism and asked for a guest post.

Hopefully, we'll have that input by Friday evening - if not, I'll send out another invite to an expert in narcissism or sociopathy, etc. and (fingers crossed) either way, we'll have an expert giving us details on this issue.

Personally, I pondered on this issue a couple of years back, as fodder for character studies in my personal writing and I posted about this at my fiction writing blog (here).

For me, I don't believe that Casey can be considered without looking at her family, particularly her mother.  There's something sad and bad about their relationship - but I'll wait to hear what the psychologist has to reveal about all this.

Reading one reader's comment here - Anonymous on June 5th to Who Is Jose Baez? post - I think she may know more than the rest of us about the family dynamic in that house, e.g., that Casey became a liar as a means of escaping the overwhelming power and control of her mother.  That makes sense to me.  

One other thing:  I wish that I could look at Casey Anthony and consider the possibility of a mother killing her child as a bizarre, unique instance - but I can't.  One of the biggest shocks that I had when I worked the local CPS Docket was the parents, particularly the mothers.  There were some that were blind to their children, they did not care.  I learned that a maternal instinct is not a given in humans.  Some chose drugs, true.  Some, however, just did not love those babies - and "blind" is the closest I can get right now to describing their lack of perception. 

10 comments:

Theresa said...

I completely agree that there is something sad, strange, off about that mother daughter relationship. The fact that Cindy held Caylee before Casey did speaks volumes. I've discussed this with my daughter and neither of us can fathom how/why that happened.

There is something ODD about George as well, if you listen to his secret trip to the police department where he says "I know you can't tell me where you are with the investigation.. but where are you with the investigation". He does not seem very upset about the fact that his daughter might have killed his grand daughter.

My daughter's father was exceptionally violent and abusive and I tolerated it until she was born, once I had a child I got out and never looked back. Some years later I started volunteering at a battered woman's shelter to give back. I encountered a woman there who had a 1 year old little girl. Long story short she flat out told a therapy group I was leading that the only reason she was there is because CPS made her go, that her boyfriend didn't hit her, he hit her daughter. She went on to say that when she got out of the shelter she was going back to him and that is exactly what she did. 6 months later that little girl was dead. Some women will put their need for male relationship ahead of anything else in their life and I think that is exactly what Casey did.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Theresa,

I caught part of Dr. Drew last night, and while I'm not sure about him I did find it interesting that he told the audience he had met with George's ex-wife (yeah, he was married before Cindy). Dr. Drew related her chat with him, he found her to be a "nice lady" and he said she remembered George as being a pathological liar and she had asked Dr. Drew if this could be genetic, if Casey could have inherited this lying trait.

He went on to discuss lying as a behavior, but I wondered about the ex-wife's rememberance of George.

I hear you about the CPS story, I've got stories like this, too, from my CPS Court days. Choosing men, choosing drugs, just didn't get it.

Thx
Reba

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm rather disgusted by everyone blaming only Cindy Anthony and the cover up regarding George. Casey Anthony is her father's daughter. I believe this young woman killed her child, but I believe she either inherited her character flaws or was directly influenced by George. I think any woman married to a sociopath with a child for a sociopath would come off crazy to the outside world, but George is the one who seems to have the same smooth BS ability as Casey. George was in law enforcement, what a better place for a power hungry narcissist to hide? It's completely plausable he molested his daughter. Even in male sociopaths, it's part genetics, but frequently an abusive environment. Casey did not become the monster she is in a void, and while Cindy seems like an easy target due to her emotional volitility, it's really George you can see reflected in Casey. Women who kill are so rare in comparision to male sociopaths, this young woman had to have a lot to drive her over the edge, not just genetics. Most non-violent sociopaths just grow up to just become CEO's or are able to function within society (like George.) Why didn't she just abandone that kid? It's smacks of revenge for some really dark, ugly secret that family is hiding.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm rather disgusted by everyone blaming only Cindy Anthony and the cover up regarding George. Casey Anthony is her father's daughter. I believe this young woman killed her child, but I believe she either inherited her character flaws or was directly influenced by George. I think any woman married to a sociopath with a child for a sociopath would come off crazy to the outside world, but George is the one who seems to have the same smooth BS ability as Casey. George was in law enforcement, what a better place for a power hungry narcissist to hide? It's completely plausable he molested his daughter. Even in male sociopaths, it's part genetics, but frequently an abusive environment. Casey did not become the monster she is in a void, and while Cindy seems like an easy target due to her emotional volitility, it's really George you can see reflected in Casey. Women who kill are so rare in comparision to male sociopaths, this young woman had to have a lot to drive her over the edge, not just genetics. Most non-violent sociopaths just grow up to just become CEO's or are able to function within society (like George.) Why didn't she just abandone that kid? It's smacks of revenge for some really dark, ugly secret that family is hiding.

Joanne said...

I was sexually abused as a child and young woman. My family remains dysfunctional to this day.
Did she make this up? if so, it demonstrates her antisocial, lack of empathy, disconnected character.
Something screwed her up. Severe abuse could cause the afore mentioned disorders.
I have believed from the very beginning that she accidently chloroformed and accidently suffocated this child. And then I look at her and wonder if she could be capable of murdering that child. I do believe we will know the truth at the conclusion of this trial. It is so well run and a textbook example of how a trial should proceed. She is getting a fair trial.
So glad I found this blog.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous and Joanne,
Thanks so much for writing! Like you, I spend time wondering the "why" of this case.

I think that pretty much everyone agrees at this point that Casey Anthony has issues - mental illness, personality disorders, it's now a question of what is wrong and not whether or not something is wrong.

I heard a few minutes of Dr. Drew this week, and they were discussing whether or not lying can be an inherited trait, and in the course of that discussion Dr. Drew mentioned speaking to George's first wife who said that George was a consummate liar.

That was news to me.

I really would like to know more of the psychology of the whole family - and I'm wondering, did Lee escape somehow? Was he the scapegoat to Casey being the favorite?

You just know that this family is going to be the subject of study, and we'll see a book or two ....

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to get a psychologist to guest post here. First one didn't have time, so second one has been contacted.

Well, I'm on a work deadline. Arg. Gotta git.
Thanks for writing!!!!
Reba

Joanne said...

I must correct my previous statement. I don't believe she accidently choroformed the child, she intended to do that, but did not intend to suffocate her. I cannot fathom her justification for duct taping her nose and mouth. What I have difficulty grasping also is the lying. How could a person not eventually break down and confess?
Lying requires stamina in order maintain the facade. I would think she is starting to tire from that expenditure of energy.
an't wait to hear the defense explain all this.

Mary said...

Teresa,
I also volunteered as a victim advocate for both a woman's shelter and a rape crisis center in our county...I know what you mean about women choosing their abuser over their child and have seen first hand the face of victims of incest who sadly tend to protect their family member..

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Joanne,
Someone told me today that discovery revealed that it was a childhood tradition in the neighborhood to bury pets in the woods near the spot where Caylee's remains were found - and to put heart stickers on them. That Lee and Casey did this with their pets.

That's pretty serious stuff but I don't remember it coming into evidence.

Seems like that helps explain why the heart sticker was there, perhaps the defense will try and get this in as evidence of accidental death coverup?

Thanks for writing,
Reba

Anonymous said...

I dont' remember when she was at her boyfriends apartment and left around 3am. I think she was in his apartment and left the child in the trunk and went to check on her and had left her to long.