If it’s not the duct tape or decomp that gets thrown up in the air by the clueless masses, then it’s the chloroform. The one word answer that instantly solves the entire case.
The myths banded about go something like this:
“Casey used chloroform to knock out Caylee prior to murdering her. She must have done cos’ she searched for chloroform 84 times on her PC. Chloroform was also found in her car and in the trunk of her car where Caylee was hidden. They also found a syringe and a Gatorade bottle filled with chloroform close to Caylee’s remains. They found chloroform on Caylee’s doll. It’s obvious what happened! Casey knocked Caylee out with chloroform then murdered her! There’s no other explanation!”
Now let’s take a step back and add some common sense to the equation here. Let’s look at the facts instead regarding the chloroform, computer searches and the reported chloroform evidence.
The computer searches:
When it comes to the computer related searches, we can always speculate & assume (as the Prosecution did throughout the trial) on who searched for what and why… but what we do know is that there was a Google search performed on a PC in the Anthony home for the word “chlorAform” – which returned results for “chloroform”. The visit to the chloroform related page lasted just a few seconds.
However this was searched for just the 1 time, and not “84 times” as the prosecution claimed. (see below for more info on this subject).
To be exact on the search terms here, Sandra Osborne (OSCO Computer examiner) testified that all of the following search terms were found on the PC taken from the Anthony’s home:
Chloroform, neck breaking, making weapons of household products, hand to hand combat, head injuries, chest trauma, ruptured spleen, death, self defense, inhalation & internal bleeding.
Now to be fair, many of those searches could very easily have been done by Cindy Anthony. Why? Because Cindy is a nurse and there’s a lot of medical terminology in there. The other terms like “hand to hand combat” and “self defense” were probably done by Lee Anthony as they’re what you would call male-related search terms. The main concern here though is specifically the chloroform search.
Cindy Anthony perjured herself during the trial by saying she’d made the chloroform computer searches in March 2008… but a far more feasible explanation for the single search would have been Casey’s basic curiosity.
Casey’s boyfriend at that time, Ricardo Morales posted what he thought was a humorous picture on his MySpace page in early 2008. It was the now infamous picture with the headline that said “Win her over with chloroform”.
Here’s the actual picture Morales posted:
Morales earlier told detectives the picture was “kind of funny”, and testified at the trial that he posted it “as a joke”.
He also didn’t remove the picture from his MySpace page until after Casey was arrested. Casey broke up with Morales mid-April 2008, two months before Caylee was last seen alive.
Getting back to the searches again: It’s apparent that Casey did not know what chloroform was, so she looked it up. When she did, she learned it was a popular anaesthetic from the early 1900’s. If she’d researched the subject any further she would have also have enlightened herself to the fact that chloroform is virtually impossible to manufacture by an individual, without killing themselves in the process.
As if the inference that a 22 year old girl would actually attempt the arduous & dangerous task of replicating a drug from the early 1900’s in her garage was not ridiculous enough, the prosecution also wanted us to believe that Casey actually used it to kill her child. To add more fuel to the fire, the prosecution also falsely stated that the word was searched for 84 times, when they were fully aware that was not the case.
This brings us nicely to the next section of this post.
The flawed search evidence:
The bottom line here is that there were not 84 searches for chloroform. There was just the 1. This is what the defense claimed throughout the trial, but the prosecution tried to convince the jury otherwise.
This ultimately culminated in John Bradley (the “CacheBack” software developer) testifying to the 84 searches, then (soon after) doing a complete u-turn and admitting the discrepancy. The prosecution were well aware of this error too which explains why they decided against using it in their closing arguments, even though they brought it up numerous times during the trial itself.
When asked by Jose Baez about the number of searches, Sgt. Kevin Stenger (OCSO Computer Crimes Supervisor) confirmed there was just the 1 search – the results being generated by the other analysis program called Net Analysis.
Here’s a report on the discrepancy from MSNBC:
Flawed search evidence produced during Trial
The chloroform-filled syringe & bottle:
It has been widely reported – for the best part of 3 years now – that a chloroform-filled syringe was found in the bag that contained Caylee’s remains. In addition, a bottle of Gatorade was also found at the crime scene, that too being filled with chloroform.
Both reports are wrong. Here’s why:
At the trial, the prosecution’s own FBI chemist, Dr. Michael Rickenbach testified that the syringe found at the crime scene was filled with mostly testosterone (a male hormone). There was only a small amount of chloroform residue in the syringe itself.
The Gatorade bottle:
Dr. Michael Rickenbach also tested the fluid inside the Gatorade bottle. He confirmed that the exact content of the bottle couldn’t be identified specifically… but it appeared to be some sort of cleaning fluid with very low amounts of chloroform present. Note: Chloroform residue is found in cleaning fluid.
High levels of chloroform found in Casey’s car:
With regards to the prosecution claims that “high levels of chloroform” were found in Casey’s Pontiac Sunfire – this can be explained as follows:
When George & Cindy picked up Casey’s car from Johnson’s tow yard, due to “the smell”, Cindy sprayed the entire car with Febreze, which as you many know is an air freshener.
The prosecution wheeled out the wacky Dr. Arpad Vass at trial, who subsequently testified that when he took “air samples” from Casey Anthony’s car he found “shockingly high levels of chloroform”.
However, there was only one problem with his findings. The gadget he used to take the air samples was one he’d invented himself. I believe he called it a “gas chromatograph”. He’s actually got a patent pending on his gadget so if law enforcement buys it he stands to make a fortune. Don’t hold your breath for that though.
In addition, testing the air for decomposition and using it as evidence has not been allowed in any criminal court anywhere in the country, as “air testing” is not even an established science. So Dr. Vass used his own self-built air sniffing machine to test the air in the trunk of Casey’s car – and impressed himself no end by jumping to the conclusion the car trunk was packed full of chloroform.
Now… compare Dr. Vass’ shenanigans with that of Dr. Michael Rickenbach, the FBI chemist. Dr. Richenbach testified for the prosecution that he tested the carpet lining in Casey’s trunk and there were low levels of chloroform residue found. This is in stark contrast to Dr Vass and his “shockingly high levels of chloroform” statement. The only thing shockingly high was Dr Vass’ level of stupidity.
Furthermore, Dr. Rickenbach stated that chloroform can be found in water and common cleaning detergents – which brings us full circle back to Cindy having sprayed the entire car with Febreze air freshener. So the chloroform residue found in the car most likely came from Cindy spraying the car with Febreze – not from any ridiculous chloroform-induced murder attempt as the prosecution always falsely claimed.
One last point:
Caylee’s baby doll also had chloroform on it, which was consistent with chloroform found on other dolls owned by the Anthony’s.
The prosecution reported that Caylee Anthony’s baby doll – found in Casey’s car – tested positive for chloroform.
Well, when Cindy took Caylee’s doll out of Casey’s car, she wiped the doll with a Clorox wipe (i.e. a cleaning detergent), then went on to spray the doll with Febreze (an air freshener).
When addressing these points, Dr. Rickenbach stated that it’s normal that a doll would have miniscule amounts of chloroform.
When he found the chloroform on Caylee’s doll, he asked a colleague to bring in another doll similar to Caylee’s – and when he tested it there was chloroform on that doll too. It transpires that chloroform is present on dolls in small amounts. Remember too – this was the prosecution’s own witness – a FBI Forensic Chemist Examiner.
All of the above information pretty much blows away the much favored theories that Casey used chloroform to knock out Caylee prior to murdering her… or that chloroform was searched for 84 times on her PC… or that chloroform was found in Casey’s car & trunk… or that there was a chloroform-filled syringe & Gatorade bottle at the scene.
Not to mention the fact that chloroform has never been used before to kill a child in the US, or to murder anyone for that matter – ever!
The whole chloroform madness was part of a wildly insane puzzle that people tried to piece together to show Casey actually planned the murder of Caylee. BS.
The fact that the cops found the chloroform search term on the Anthony’s computer was also twisted around to try and prove premeditation. There’s one other problem with this whole theory too… that being the fact that nobody buys or uses chloroform to kill someone. It’s not used for that. People buy or use chloroform to knock people out. No one uses it for murder, because it is purely an agent for putting someone to sleep (as seen in countless spy movies).
Yes, we’ve all heard many stories about mothers who wanted to knock out their screaming kid with something… and many of them Tylenol PM, Benadryl or alcohol to name just a few.
My point here is just because there was a search for chloroform, that does not imply premeditation or an intent to murder.
The whole inference that chloroform & duct tape were somehow used as “murder weapons” were part of the web of lies fed to the public for the past 3 years. (I’ll be writing about the duct tape myths in the next post in this series).
Strange as all that sounds, there are actually people out there that fell for the state’s fantasy forensics, junk science & fairytales – hook, line and sinker… and still do to this day.
Thankfully the members of the jury did not.
If after reading the above, you still want to bang the same old drum about Casey using chloroform to knock out Caylee prior to murdering her, then so be it.
Feel free to post your comments below on the subject – and let’s see where it take us.