Casey Anthony in her first video diary entry, made public on January 5, 2012.Casey Anthony -- who was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in July and went into hiding soon after -- has resurfaced to tell supporters that her life is "surreal" and starting to "look up."
"It's just a little surreal how much things have changed since July and how many things haven't changed," Anthony, 25, says in the grainy, black-and-white webcam video, which was shot on October 13, 2011 and posted on YouTube on Thursday by one of her supporters. "But the good thing is that things are starting to look up and things are starting to change in a good way. I just hope that things stay good and that they only get better."
Wearing a white tank top and chunky black-rimmed glasses and sporting a short, blonde bob, Anthony seems self-conscious and awkward, but calm and happy. She doesn't mention her whereabouts, the rumors about movie and book deals, or her dead daughter. Instead, she talks about how much she loves her newly adopted dog and how pleased she is with her new computer.
"I'm extremely excited," she says. "I'm excited that I'll be able to Skype and obviously keep a video log, take some pictures and that I have something that I can finally call mine. It's been a long time since I've been able to call something mine."
"This has just been such a blessing in so many ways," she continues. "And now I have somebody to talk to even when I am by myself so I am not bothering the poor dog, who I have adopted and I love. He's as much my dog as any of the other pets I've ever had. As much family as I've ever had, if not more so."
Her own family members have distanced themselves from her since the trial, during which prosecutors said that the toddler was chloroformed, suffocated with duct tape over her nose and mouth, and left in the trunk of her mother's car for a few days before being dumped in the woods in December 2008. The defense said that the 2-year-old drowned accidentally in the family swimming pool, and that Anthony's odd behavior stemmed from emotional distress caused by sexual abuse by her father, the Associated Press reported at the time.
In the end, Anthony was convicted of just four counts of lying to law enforcement. The controversial "not guilty" verdict horrified parents, and Anthony went into hiding soon after she was released from jail.
People Magazine reports that two separate sources have verified that the blonde woman in the 4 minute, 19-second video is indeed the same brown-haired woman the world watched during the six-week-long murder trial. "She is desperate to get her story out," one source, who knows where Anthony currently is, told People. "She thought this would be the best way to do it. Unfiltered, in her own words."
The video was posted on YouTube by CaseyAnthonyIsInnocent.com, which describes itself as "Celebrating the Innocence, Freedom and Total Awesomeness of Casey Anthony" (the site seems to have crashed) and on Facebook by "People Against 'We Support Casey Anthony'."
The administrator of the Facebook page for People Against "We Support Casey Anthony" wrote that he or she received the video from an Anthony supporter and decided to post it on Facebook in order to insure that Anthony couldn't make money off of it. "This video is for one purpose. To expose the fact that she is extorting supporters for money," the person wrote. "I didn't pay for this video. It was given to me. I would never pay Casey for anything. Not one red cent. If people are sending her donations for these videos they won't have to if they are up for free."
While the comments on YouTube are mostly supportive ("Hey Casey! Glad to see you are doing well and that you're getting your new life started. Good luck to you and wish you all the best! Always remember that Caylee is looking down on you wishing the same and don't let anyone get you down girl cuz you are strong!!" writes a user named "Munkiemama83"), the ones on Facebook are decidedly less so. "You mention how you have a new dog and its all YOURS! How about your kid, she was all yours too, and you don't once mention her!!!" writes "Michelle," echoing the sentiments of many other commenters on the Facebook post.
In the video, Anthony promises that she'll stay in touch, and expects to be in her current undisclosed location at least through February and maybe as long as another year. "This is the first of many, and I'm looking forward to this," she says. "It's a little scary, because I hate being on camera. But I need to conquer that fear at some point and this is a good start."
Also on Shine:
Dear Hollywood: Do not reward Casey Anthony by paying her for her story
Casey Anthony: Is a pretty face more likely to get away with murder?
The Casey Anthony "not guilty" verdict: Why it was right even though it feels wrong
Casey Anthony found not guilty of 2-year-old Caylee's murder