Casey Anthony Thinks She’s ‘Done her Penance’ & Deserves Time to Party

Close-up on Casey Anthony during her court trial.

It's been nearly eight years since a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty in the mysterious death of her daughter, Caylee. And yet suspicions still swirl as to whether the now-33-year-old mother was involved in her 2-year-old's murder. This week, reports from a source close to Anthony says she is back to her "partying" ways, despite flying relatively under the radar since her case was dismissed.

  • “She believes she has done her penance,” the source told People. “And now she’s partying."

    As for how hard that "partying" really is, though, the source was fairly vague.

    "She’s dating around, meeting new people, and finally creating a social life,” the source continued, adding that blocking out the past is part of Anthony's main coping mechanism. 

    “She describes her old life as a ‘nightmare,'” the source continued. “All of it: Caylee’s disappearance, the trial, her relationship with her parents. She lives in denial a lot of the time, pretending that everything that happened, didn’t happen.”

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  • The details surrounding Caylee's 2008 death, as well as Anthony's actions in the weeks that followed, continue to puzzle those familiar with the case.

    Anthony failed to report her toddler's disappearance for an incredible 31 days, and she continuously dodged questions from her parents about Caylee's whereabouts. When she finally went to police, it was only at her mother's behest.

    Caylee's body was eventually found in December 2008 in a wooded area less than a mile from the Anthony family home. It was wrapped in a Winnie the Pooh blanket and placed inside a garbage bag, with duct tape around the front of the skull. Though homicide was suspected, the official coroner's report listed it as a "death by undetermined means."

  • Deepening the mystery were Anthony's many unsubstantiated claims about what happened in the weeks after Caylee's disappearance.

    First came the claim that her daughter had been with a babysitter named Zanny -- who neither of Anthony's parents had ever met or heard of -- for a curious length of time. Next was Anthony's job at Universal Studios Orlando -- where she claimed to work for two years. In both cases, investigators were able to prove her claims were false, and Anthony eventually confessed to lying.

    In truth, little came to be known about what Anthony was actually doing in those 31 days before reporting her daughter missing, though photographs later surfaced of her partying in Orlando and even entering a "hot body" contest.

    But although prosecutors were able to upturn nearly every lie Anthony spun during the investigation, they were ultimately unable to prove that she was a murderer.

  • Anthony has mostly flown under the radar since her 2011 acquittal, though her parents did speak out in an A&E special last year.

    Incredibly, Anthony's mother Cindy still described her daughter as an "awesome mother," and insisted that she believed Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool, which the defense team had argued during the trial. 

    Her husband, George, however, doesn't seem to agree with that theory. Instead, he believes Casey sedated his daughter (becuase, after all, a search for "chloroform" came up on the family computer 84 times) and went too far. 

    He also placed more blame at Casey's feet than his wife. "Cindy and I must have raised a bad seed," he said.

  • In a series of interviews with the Associated Press in 2017, Anthony broke her silence to discuss the case, but she was vague on many points.

    When asked how she believes Caylee died, Casey would only reply that, "Everyone has their theories ... I don't know."

    "So your parents had her?" the reporter pressed, to which Casey replied, "My dad did ... I did what I was told to do. I don't remember too much of what happened."

    She later clarified that she remembers her mom waking her up briefly that morning to say goodbye before leaving for work. She claims Caylee was beside her in bed at the time, but that when she woke again an hour or two later, Caylee was nowhere to be found.

  • Anthony reportedly now lives in the home of Patrick McKenna, one of the lead investigators on her case.

    According to A&E, she works as one of his researchers, keeps minimal contact with both her parents, and has zero contact with any of the friends she had at the time of her arrest. 

    As one of her former roommates, Cameron Campana, told A&E, learning the news about Casey's actions following Caylee's disappearance was shocking -- especially because she seemed like such a good mother. 

    “There’s a part of me that believes she could never have done anything like that, but then there’s another part of me that’s like, maybe she did,” he said. “[Either way] there was no justice for Caylee. Only one or two people know what happened, and we’ll probably never know. It’s saddening.”

  • Despite being dubbed "the most hated mom in America," this new source tells People that Anthony is "fighting back" against the haters.

    “She used to avoid people, but now she calls them ‘psycho haters’ and is defiant about them," she source shared. "She says things like ‘ugh, they just need to get over me.'”

    Although Anthony was acquitted for murder, she was ultimately convicted on charges for lying to the police and served one year in prison.