Book Review–Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony: A Psychological Portrait by Keith Ablow

brvws14

 

This is the 9th book from my 115 in 2015 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony: A Psychological Portrait by Keith Ablow
Published November 22nd, 2011 by St. Martin’s Press

The trial of twenty-five year old Casey Anthony for the death of her daughter Caylee was the most sensational case in America since O.J. Simpson’s—with a verdict every bit as stunning. After being acquitted in July 2011, Ms. Anthony instantly became one of the most infamous women in the world.

Dr. Keith Ablow distills tens of thousands of pages of documents he has obtained, his behind-the-camera, one-on one interviews, and his decades of experience in the world of forensic psychiatry to make sense of a woman whose defense attorney described as an innocent victim of childhood sexual abuse, but the state insisted was a cold-blooded murderer. Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony delivers an incisive, riveting way of understanding this troubled young woman.

 

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***Review might contain some spoilers.***

Like many others, I got caught up in the whirlwind that is this case. I was hoping this would be an unbiased, more factual look into why Casey Anthony reacted the way she did to pretty much everything that happened, and what would have led her to kill her daughter (or at the very least seem unaffected by her “accidental” death).

Sadly, that was not the case in this book. The author claims to have sources but rarely names them and has no references to double-check against so I don’t even know if I believe half of what his sources claimed. Plus he did not manage to interview the most important people in this case–Anthony and her parents.

Most of what is in this book is an imaginative speculation on the author’s end. I do admit that the theories themselves are fascinating, and if this were fiction, I’d be all over it. The author also does a great job engaging the reader and keeping them interested. But the fact remains that this isn’t true non-fiction/true crime.

I also felt the author didn’t spend nearly enough time on the later events, such as Caylee’s death and the trial. Those things were mentioned but kind of felt like they were quickly tacked on at the end.

It’s also very clear that for whatever reason, the author has a strong bias against Cindy and George Anthony, as well as their ancestors. While I agree that the Anthony family seemed off and that people do react to how they have been raised, it felt like a scapegoat.

The author was constantly on George and Cindy for every little thing they did. Worse, he would keep bringing up the rants over certain things all over the book, like how Cindy was annoyed at having to spend $10 to go to Universal Studios only to discover Casey was no longer there. The author also kept rehashing how George was there when Caylee was born and how he supposedly was obsessed with Casey’s vagina. He seemed obsessed with pointing out this detail, as well as the alleged sexual abuse George and Lee did to Casey, over and over again.

While I agreed with the author on a few things, I do not agree with his tactic of blaming Casey’s parents (especially Cindy) and other ancestors for what happened. Newsflash: Casey was a grown, legal adult when she gave birth to Caylee. While I understand that family situations can be difficult to get out of, Casey could have made the choice to leave her parents. She has demonstrated that she can survive just fine on her own.

Regardless of upbringing, each person still has the ability to make choices. Even if all of the abuse in the Anthony family is true, that doesn’t give someone the right to act in the way that Casey did. I believe she accidentally killed Caylee. But we’ll never know, will we? Even if she didn’t kill Caylee, she is still responsible for her actions.

Anyway, while this book was entertaining, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I might have liked it better if the author tried to be less biased toward the family and wasn’t so repetitive. I am glad I am finished so I don’t have to read any more lines about how Casey has been psychologically dead, how ironic the address they lived at is, how Casey was being deprived of oxygen, George and Cindy in the delivery room, etc etc.

 

1star

 

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