ORLANDO (CBS4)- For nearly two months, the murder trial of Casey Anthony was a living entity. It breathed daily across national television airwaves, then was reinforced nightly on cable TV programs that dissected every word uttered in the courtroom and fueled speculation on her fate.

When Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, hundreds of thousands of people captivated by the case — and certain of her guilt — poured their rage into postings on Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter. Those and other social media sites provided a platform and a large audience for a decibel level of vitriol seldom seen before.

The threats, both veiled and blatant, were disturbing enough to make the judge hold off on releasing jurors’ names, and to make it all the more likely that Anthony will be secretly whisked away upon her release next week.

Postings continued to fill one “I hate Casey Anthony” Facebook page on Saturday morning, with nearly 39,000 people having “liked” the page. In reaction to Anthony’s July 17 announced release date, one person wrote, “… maybe she won’t even make it out of jail alive.” Someone else added a picture of Anthony manipulated to give her horns and included a backdrop of flames.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a psychologist who authored “Mothers on Trial,” said the case connected with people by the millions because it taps primitive instincts rejecting the thought of a mother ever doing anything to harm her child.

“Once a mother is merely accused, she stands convicted, because the instinct is to blame the mother,” she said. “She’s an outlaw even though she was found innocent. … People in down times spend their waking hours looking for bright, bushy-tailed distractions. Casey and her poor daughter’s sick and sad saga will fit the bill for now.”

Even those who weren’t as enraged said they found a sort of electronic catharsis in boiling down their emotions to 140 characters and posting them in anonymity on Twitter.

Wendy Thompson squealed when she got a text message that the verdict was in, but later was in disbelief as she heard the words “not guilty.”

Thompson, who lives just outside Detroit, read one tweet asking, “Soo is it like too early to ask (hash)CaseyAnthony out on a date? Maybe?” and replied that the young man should bring condoms.

“I would never say that to someone’s face, but I can say that behind my screen,” she said.

Anthony was sentenced to four years for lying to police but is close to completing that term because of time served and good behavior.

“Sucks for her,” Jillian Barrieu wrote on Facebook in response. “If I was her id (sic) rather stay safely in jail…”

Barrieu, of East Hartford, Conn., said she felt comfortable sharing her outrage with others online.

“It was a convenient place to vent where I knew people would mostly feel the same way as I do,” she told The Associated Press Friday in an interview conducted through Facebook messaging.

There are occasional voices of those that offer the view that prosecutors didn’t prove their case.

“She’s not guilty it’s already been proven get over it…stop wishing someone to be dead” one man wrote on one of the anti-Anthony pages. But those items are few and almost immediately met with ridicule.

On Yahoo!, Casey Anthony was a top search the week of her acquittal. The case was also fueling the popularity of those closely associated with it. Searches were up 1,000 percent for cable host Nancy Grace, who made almost nightly pronouncements insisting that “Tot Mom,” her nickname for Anthony, was guilty.

By Friday morning, nearly 2.6 million people indicated on Facebook that they would keep their porch lights on in honor of Caylee. “Caylee, I know you see this, I know you are hearing the prayers. This is for remembering you,” the organizers wrote on the page.

Also by Friday, more than 700,000 people had signed an online petition at Change.org calling for a federal “Caylee’s Law” making it a felony to not report a missing child in a timely manner.

The strong reaction has left its mark on the courtroom.

During a hearing Thursday, several media groups including The Associated Press asked the judge to release the names of jurors in the Anthony trial. Judge Belvin Perry said he normally doesn’t have an issue with releasing names, but he was mulling a delay to allow the anger — some of it pointed at the jury — to dissipate.

“You realize there are folks out there who want to do crazy things, like fillet people open, pour salt on them, and feed their legs to the piranhas,” Perry said.

He said he doesn’t want public reaction to translate into harm for people who “don’t have a choice about serving on a jury.”

Sandy Lisella of Hartland, Conn., said in a Facebook messaging conversation that while many posts she’s seen have simply been rants, others “are more substantial and thought-provoking, trying to make sense of how our legal system could conclude these results.”

“The way the story unfolded was unfathomable to the masses. It was like watching a sick movie!” Lisella said. “Social media, in a roundabout way, allows everyone to get involved in the causes that strike a chord in us.”


(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (24)
  1. Martin Fee says:

    Aww poor babies. Did not get to see more blood spilled? Convinced yourselves YOU know better than the Jury that had the evidence presented to it?
    Grow up and get over yourself

    1. Money says:

      Ummm?? We saw the same evidence !! Do you forget the entire trial was televised , duhh !!!

    2. Jones says:

      Don’t confuse justice with bloodlust. Many of us are outraged that a sociopathic child murderer is walking free. I felt the same way over the OJ verdict. And, it’s our RIGHT to have, and voice, our opinion. You can be a sheeple and hide your head in the sand, but many of us are voicing our opinions.

      For some reason, this jury thought you needed a cause of death for a murder conviction, which is not true at all.

      And, yes, we saw the entire trial, and all the evidence, with the exception that Caylee’s remains were fuzzed out. That jury gave a bad verdict.

  2. mike williams says:

    All you people crying over the verdict are probably the same ones falling all over yourselves to get out of jury duty! Get over it, you weren’t on the jury and can’t now second guess them.

  3. michellefrommadison says:

    Have the authorities round up everyone connected to any IP-address, phone number, ect making any threats or any derogatory negative comments about Casey Anthony and charge them all with first-degree murder and they should call it CAYLEE’s LAW. Also, everyone charged will be automatically looking at the death penalty when charged with a crime, any crime, even misdemeanors.

  4. Haysoos Creestoe says:

    The prosecution did not have a capital case, and it went to trial based solely on the public anger of a small child’s death. The whole trial was a soap opera from the start. Now we call all go back to watching “One life to live, one death to die.”

  5. Florida Residente says:

    Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Casey Anthony was found NOT GUILTY. She is no way innocent.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Does not matter that she may not be innocent. Doesn’t work that way. The prosecution should serve the death penalty though.

  6. chazzie says:

    Great idea M from Mars………………….let’s round up all 20,000,000 people that would like to put a noose around her neck. Do us all a favor and put one around yours first!!! RU sure you’re not Casey’s long, lost sister??????

  7. manuel alvarez says:

    Reasonable doubt, every person is innocent until proven guilty. so why say she is guilty if a jury that spend a lot of time hearing the complete trial say that there were not evidence presented that attach her to the crime, So people shut up

    1. bo says:

      This person has no education also was using everyone around her cause they did not know what to do with themselves

  8. michellefrommadison says:

    Negative statements against CMA should warrant death penalty. Anyone making any negative statements against Casey or Caylee Anthony should receive the death penalty, according to some blogs. Some say to have the authorities round up everyone connected to any IP-address, phone number, ect making any threats or any derogatory negative comments about Casey Anthony and charge them all with first-degree murder and they should call it CAYLEE’s LAW. Also, everyone charged will be automatically looking at the death penalty no matter what state they reside currently. The jury and the Judge have spoken loud and clear, Casey is not guilty of murder. Turn in your saved-site links to any NCIC so they can pursue prosecution against any business or personal blogger. Baez Law firm also has teams dealing with this issue and you can send them the links also for the upcoming lawsuits against the medias, bloggers, blog-sites and pages, radio, and others.

  9. michellefrommadison says:

    Well, the good thing about this case-result is that there are no well-informed people out there in the world that did not see this verdict coming weeks ago.

  10. gokids says:

    ya Michellefrommadison how was the little kid killed plus who are the parties responsible for her death. We will never know only Casey knows the truth.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Cindy left the pool ladder down, Caylee got outside, climbed the ladder then drown. Pretty simple.

      1. Rhonda McGuire says:

        That is stupid ! what a crock ! Casey left the house for days with Caylee she did not drown. She accidentally gave her too much chlorform an KILLLED her then she got the bright idea to pretend it was a KIDNAPPING took her back home after driving around a few days with her in the trunk. This is where the DUCT TAPE comes in oh ya KIDNAPPING !! then the dad wanted the gas can out of the trunk oh no !! she got them out an threw them at the dad an left again then THREW the bag out in the woods not far from her own home what a stupid stupid woman she is not hard to figure all this out. All her fake people an the kidnapping an disappearing for days an not reporting for 31 days ! She is a EVIL person you can see that on her TAPES talking to her parents watch her face an how she speaks to them its all about CASEY.

  11. Mike says:


    Cindy? Is that you?

  12. chazzie says:

    Michelle from Madison maight be the next psycho receiving media attention from Nancy Grace and then she can be a hero, just like Casey is………??? Anyone see any parallels??????

  13. Money says:

    Ummm?? We saw the same evidence !! Do you forget the entire trial was televised , duhh !!! Casey is guilty !!!

    Reply | Report comment

  14. michellefrommadison says:

    If someone finds Casey Anthony in the public and threatens Casey, how many times can Casey shoot them before it becomes excessive? 10shots? 20shots? How many times can she reload? ten times? If someone threatens Casey, can a bystander shoot the suspect themselves in order to protect Casey Anthony from potential harm? Will Casey be allowed to carry automatic weapons? Will people she associates with carry automatic weapons? When Casey has another child, how soon can the child brandish a weapon? Would the child have to first pass an approved gun-safety course? Can the child shoot a suspect if they threaten Casey? How many bullets can Casey put into a suspect after the threat was removed? 5? 10? 20?

  15. michellefrommadison says:

    Court found Casey not guilty of any crime except lying. Simple as that. If you think otherwise, get some help.

  16. jill says:

    i wrote a poem for caylee
    what did u not see
    you chose a mother that did not grieve, you chose a mother that was misleading
    what did u not see
    she was born a beautiful child and her mother was in denial
    what did u not see
    it started out a beautiful day, she ended up in a shallow grave
    what did u not see
    the jury spoke loud and clear, and thats what mommie wanted to hear
    what did u not see
    all the blame became a game
    what did u not see
    she wore her hair dark and long, and now she will be gone
    what did u not see
    caylee marie looked into the eyes of the person she now despies
    what did u not see
    she is a angel now safe in heaven, and she is no longer looking at mommie in terror
    what did u not see
    her mother took her breath away, so she could have a beautiful day




  17. linda Lefevre says:

    why did casey sit in jail for three years if it was an accicent. her lawyers are as morally backupped as she is. God help us if this is what is happening to our justice system.

  18. Shut up says:

    What the hell are these comments!!!!!!??? A bunch of people who don’t know ANYTHING about this trial. Damn, casey’s family for sure.

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