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7.06.2011

Why I Think People Are So Obsessed with Casey Anthony

She has been on our minds for months, because the news media won't let us forget her. We've seen her face on the television every day. But I don't think that is why we're so obsessed with her.

On one hand, we want to believe she's innocent, as the courts have decided. We want to believe in justice and we want to believe that if we were in her shoes, we'd get the best legal defense and the best outcome possible. It's entirely possible that she's truly innocent and they jury did her right.
But on the other had, part of us can't fathom her actions. Innocent or guilty, it doesn't make sense. What kind of a mother waits for 31 days before notifying authorities that her daughter is missing? What kind of mother parties it up like she did when her daughter is either missing--or dead? And we wonder, if her story is true that her daughter accidentally drowned in the pool, how can she act so wild and carefree?

Photo from TIME.com
Our compassionate side wants justice for Caylee whose lifeless body decayed in a trash bag in the woods for months. We want someone to pay for the horror of it all.  We want the stain of human pain wiped from our imaginations and we don't want to think of what the child must have suffered.

Social media buzzes with angry comments about the outcome of the trial. And I'll confess, I have a difficult time believing that Casey is innocent. But our justice system works that way. Sometimes guilty people go free and innocent people get locked up.
I don't think any of this is why we're so obsessed with Casey Anthony.

I think we're obsessed because we wonder if somewhere down inside us, we might be just a little bit like her. We wonder if we were faced with the same circumstances, we might do exactly the opposite of what we think Casey ought to have done. We might just have acted like her. We can't tear our eyes and ears away from the news because we wonder if Casey's painful past might contain just one element that pushed her over the edge. And we wonder how close we are to succumbing to that same element.

We weren't the ones accused. But, if we've suffered a painful childhood, taken wrong paths, and ever made foolish decisions, we can thank God that by his grace, and that alone, we aren't standing in her shoes. Perhaps her story can inspire us to reach out to a young mother who desperately needs a friend. Someone who longs for someone to understand. Maybe in our obsession, we can be the ones to prevent another story like Caylee's and Casey's from occupying the news in the future.

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