Social media keeps Casey Anthony in public spotlight
BY NATALIE DIBLASIO AND LUKE KERR-DINEEN USA TODAY
Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter, but scores of Facebook posts still hound her.
Thousands of members of the social networking site have set up Casey Anthony pages to criticize her, curse at her and even follow her when she is released Sunday. Some pages are memorials to Caylee Anthony, 2, who disappeared in June 2008. A month later, the child's grandmother reported her missing; her body was found in December. On July 5, a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her. By late Monday afternoon, 16,265 people had pledged to "Wear Purple for Caylee Anthony's Birthday" onAug. 9. At change.org, more than 1.1 million people have signed a petition calling for passage of "Caylee's Law," which would make it a felony to fail to report a child's disappearance within 24 hours. The Anthony story has taken off online because they give people an immediate outlet for their emotions, says Alicia Cardenas, who is a court-appointed advocate for children in Brownsville, Texas. "The level of emotions with this case is so high because it dealt with a child," she says. "People need to take action now." Most of the Facebook pages target Casey Anthony: - "Where is Casey Anthony Today? Don't let her slip into hiding!!!" says one. More than 500 people agreed, by clicking "like," that people should report the date, time and place of any Casey Anthony sighting. "She can run but she cannot hide," the page says. - More than 1,000 people "liked" the page "Black Ribbons For Caylee," which urges tying black ribbons around trees in Florida, especially near the Orlando courthouse and where jurors and defense lawyers would see them, as well as "anywhere Casey might go." - "I hate Casey Anthony" had almost 37,000 likes. A poster identified as Gayle Rose wrote on the page, "What goes around ALWAYS COMES AROUND To you Casey Anthony." - "Casey Anthony deserves to die" had more than 1,100 likes. Anthony's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Other pages target the jurors: - Two pages have more than 12,000 likes: "Casey Anthony is a murderer no matter what 12 idiots say" and "The 12 jurors in the Casey Anthony Trial are an Embarrassment to America." - "The JURY Failed Caylee" had almost 10,000 likes. At least five Facebook pages support Anthony. "Support Casey Anthony" has more than 5,000 likes. Florida state Rep. Scott Plakon, a Republican, says he got "more than a couple hundred e-mails" demanding action after the Anthony verdict. He responded with a bill that would require parents or caretakers to report a child 12 or younger missing within 48 hours and to report discovery of a corpse within two hours. It would make it a felony to knowingly mislead authorities. Anthony was convicted of four counts of misleading investigators, but the crimes were misdemeanors. "The idea behind this law is that if we ever run into another mother like Casey Anthony, she won't just walk out with a slap on the wrist," Plakon says. "She'll walk out a felon."