Case shows public records must be handled correctly

Published 10:08 am Friday, July 15, 2011

Even if you tried, you couldn’t miss the trial of the 25-year-old Florida woman who told lie after lie after her 2-year-old went missing in 2008.

When a jury acquitted Casey Anthony this week in the murder of little Caylee Marie, whose decomposed body was found near the Anthony home, the gasps were heard throughout the Twitter world. …

Why did the trial of this party-hardy mother grab the public’s imagination when so many other mothers around the country accused of harming their children — including several tragic recent cases in Cleveland — barely ripple the surface of the national news? …

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Anthony was an attractive, white mother from the suburbs who acted more like Medea than the Madonna. …. In the public’s mind, child killings aren’t supposed to happen in certain ZIP codes, though any police officer will tell you that, sometimes, they do.

Contrast that with the other Anthony — Anthony Sowell in Cleveland, now on trial on charges that he lured 11 women to his home with drink or drugs, then killed them. …. Survivors have testified about their brutal experiences in that inner-city dwelling.

Maybe “inner city” is the key descriptive. Even this rarest of monsters, an accused serial killer, can’t dent the casual public acceptance of murder and mayhem when they happen in the poorest neighborhoods.

That isn’t Casey Anthony’s fault. It’s all of ours. And it’s so wrong.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer