Casey Anthony is back in the national spotlight more than a decade after she was acquitted in the killing of her 2-year-old daughter.
In a new three-part docuseries streaming on Peacock titled, “Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies,” Anthony relays her version of what she says led to Caylee’s death. Anthony never testified during her trial, so this is the first time the public is hearing from her on camera, according to the series’ producers. Peacock did not respond to CNN’s request for further comment.
For three years, between the time Caylee went missing and Anthony’s acquittal, the Florida case transfixed the nation as it played out on both social media and in traditional news outlets. The prosecution sought the death penalty, saying Caylee’s death occurred during aggravated child abuse and was committed in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.”
After nearly six weeks of testimony, the jury rejected the prosecution’s allegation that Anthony gave her child chloroform, suffocated her with duct tape and dumped her body in the woods. They found her guilty of four lesser charges of lying to law enforcement officers.
Anthony spent about three years in jail awaiting trial, and was freed after getting credit for time spent behind bars. Outraged protesters took to the streets, calling her a “baby killer” and demanding justice for Caylee.
In the docuseries, Anthony and her defense team drop several bombshell claims in the decade-long mystery surrounding her daughter’s death. Here’s what you need to know about “Where the Truth Lies”:
Time magazine dubbed Anthony’s story the social media trial of the century in 2011. Years later, the mystery surrounding Caylee’s death is still the subject of much chatter.
In July 2008, Anthony’s mother called 911 and reported that she had not seen her granddaughter for a month. Photos of a partying, smiling Anthony, taken between when Caylee was last seen and when she was reported missing, were soon plastered across TV screens nationwide. Tabloids and social media users were fixated on the idea of a mother partying with her friends and getting a tattoo reading “Bella Vita” – Italian for “Beautiful Life” – while her daughter was missing.
In the docuseries, which has stirred up new controversy on social media, Anthony says that period was “the antithesis of what my life really was.”
She has since covered up the tattoo with flowers she described as a symbol of growth and rebirth.
“That was my whole life up to that point, acting like everything’s okay, but knowing nothing was okay,” she says.
At the beginning of the documentary, Anthony talks about why she decided to speak out after years of silence.
“I spent the last 10 years making sure that I knew who I was, that I started to cope with this loss and that I had something to say to make my daughter proud, but also to honor her properly,” she says. “And this is part of that.”
Anthony and her defense team admitted she lied many times. After Caylee went missing, she lied that she worked at Universal Studios. In another lie, she said that a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez stole her child. She admits in the docuseries that the story was made up and the only other person who took care of Caylee besides her was her mother.
In the docuseries, she also discloses that she lied to an ex-boyfriend that he was Caylee’s father because she was too ashamed to admit that she was raped at a party and didn’t know who the father was. A paternity test revealed he was not.
“I’m a convicted liar,” she says. “I lied to everyone… it was years of trying to show everyone I lived a certain life because I didn’t want people to pity me,” she says. “No lie was out of bounds, no lie was out of limit.”
For months, Anthony and her parents maintained that Caylee was alive.
During the trial, the defense said the child drowned in the Anthony family pool on June 16, 2008, and that Anthony and her father covered up the death. In the docuseries, Anthony provides a conflicting theory that solely blames her father.
She also reiterates her allegations that her father sexually abused her as a child – claims he denied during the trial along with any involvement in Caylee’s death. In the docuseries, Peacock says George Anthony turned down an offer to appear in the show. CNN has reached out to the elder Anthony.
Anthony now works with one of the lead investigators in her defense team, Patrick McKenna, who runs a private investigations firm. In the documentary, McKenna says he believes she’s innocent. Anthony lived with his family for a while after the trial ended due to fears for her safety, McKenna says, adding that she’s like a daughter to him.
Anthony admits she still has no answers.
“It’s hard because a thousand questions go through my head. I’m responsible for answering every one of the world’s questions about her, about what happened,” Anthony says. “I still don’t know what happened to Caylee. I know what I’m afraid of. I know what eats at me at night.”