Let’s be clear: in the murder trial of Casey Anthony the justice system functioned as it must, with the burden on the accuser. Even if we’re certain that the person accused is guilty, even if a little child is lost, even if we’re filled with white hot rage about Casey Anthony’s acquittal, we have to concede that most of the world did not get its desired result because certain actors involved simply failed.
And so this is not further rumination about whether or not we have to move on from our collective rancor for Casey Anthony. It is not a meditation on the loss of life. It is a question: why are we surprised that Casey Anthony has a fan site?
As images of Casey Anthony filled our non-Nancy-Grace-tuned TV screens on Tuesday (March 5) for the first time in 18 months, we learned that she is $792,000 in debt and is declaring bankruptcy. Anthony, as you can imagine, has legal bills out the wazoo, owes criminal fines for misdemeanors, is on the hook to the IRS, and isn’t exactly getting any return calls for jobs at Best Buy. So how has she been surviving in hiding since her release upon acquittal for the 2008 murder of toddler daughter Caylee? By “the kindness of others,” Anthony told a federal bankruptcy court in Florida on Tuesday.
And this is where the fan site comes in – CaseyAnthonyIsInnocent.com. Many frequent visitors to the site funnel cash and gift cards to America’s biggest outcast. The site webmaster, who uses the alias ‘Melissa,’ explains that she believes Anthony has been misrepresented in the media, and that many Americans think she deserves a hand as she restarts her life. Casey Anthony has always relied on the kindness strangers: she is Blanche Du Bois with a Clairol bottle job and a midriff tee.
Okay, the idea of the site may infuriate you. But it CAN’T possibly surprise you. Here is an attractive white woman who, yes, is much-loathed, but is also something else: famous. And we love famous attractive white chicks in this country. If you’re feeling particularly charitable, there’s some good ol’ fashioned American kindness at the heart of the site (I know, I know…you’re asking, “Where is the kindness for Caylee Anthony?”). For many people in this world, it is unconscionable to think, “Let this human being who looks like my high school lockermate starve to death in the desert,” even if she is believed to have done something unspeakable.
But I have to ask: have the donors to CaseyAnthonyIsInnocent.com asked themselves why Anthony is filing for bankruptcy?
Because my Spidey senses tell me that she did it because she is about to rake in millions of dollars. Casey Anthony’s counsel claims that she has only $1,000 in assets – among them, a bicycle and some bedroom furniture – and that there is no book or movie deal in the pot.
Sweet Sassy Moses, OF COURSE THERE’S A BOOK OR MOVIE DEAL. It’s just that no lawyer worth more than $15/hour would even open an email titled “Book” until his or her client was free and clear of as much debt as possible. Not unless you want dozens of creditors garnishing the bajillion dollars (the same dollars that will enable your client to survive without the ability to get any job of any kind forever and ever amen).
This bankruptcy filing should be a big old clue to Casey Anthony’s patrons that they weren’t donating to a social pariah, they were donating to a pre-millionairess. And, Hell, that is totally their right. If I’m giving money to someone who is in trouble – say a man on the street shouting at the parking meters – I don’t need or want an explanation. I don’t feel that I get to tell him how to be, how to act, how to get better, or how to repay me. But I do it with my eyes wide open. Moms, Dads, and randoms who are providing financial support to Casey Anthony, please make sure your eyes are just as open.