Return to Transcripts main page


Speculation About the Murder of Caylee Anthony

Aired December 19, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. The tiny bones are Caylee's.

DR. JAN GARAVAGLIA, ORANGE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: With regret, I'm here to inform you that the skeletal remains found on December 11th are those of the missing toddler.


KING: Her death is a homicide. Her grandparents angry. A sheriff's nightmare.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No child should have to go through this.


KING: And what does all this mean for the little girl's mother, who's sitting in jail and charged with her murder?

And the man who found the remains comes forward.



And I spotted something suspicious.


KING: Did police ignore his tips?

As one search ends, another begins.

Who killed Caylee, why?

That's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

News today -- Florida authorities announced the remains found last week in a wooded area in Orlando have been positively identified as belonging to missing Florida toddler, Caylee Anthony. The cause of death is listed as homicide by undetermined means. Joining us in Orlando, Florida is Jessica D'Onofrio. She's a reporter with affiliate WKMG.

And in New York, Jane Velez-Mitchell, the HLN host of "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."

And Ashleigh Banfield, Court TV's anchor of the program, "In Session."

Jessica, what happened today?

JESSICA D'ONOFRIO, REPORTER, WKMG-TV, ORLANDO: Well, Larry, they confirmed what many of us already suspected. They were able to match the remains found down the street from here, from the Anthony family home, to missing toddler, Caylee Marie Anthony. They were able to match her remains. They used nuclear DNA on the remains. But, of course, at this point, they can't determine a cause and manner of death.

We understand from forensic experts that during a Florida summer, if a child's body was dumped out there at the time, it would have taken two weeks for the child to completely skeletonized. And in that soft tissue, you would find a lot of the answers. And, unfortunately, the medical examiner doesn't have that soft tissue to analyze.

So we won't know a cause of death here and we may never know. It may always be a mystery, Larry.


Do we know, Ashleigh, how the grandparents and the mother were informed?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": We do. Fifteen minutes before the rest of us found out, Larry, the pastor in the jail where Casey Anthony is being held on murder charges informed her of the match that was made -- that those bones were, in fact, her daughter's. Fifteen minutes after that, when the rest of us were informed, her own family pastor showed up at the jail to speak with her, console her and offer support. And she refused to see that pastor. Yet she did see her attorney. At least he was on site at that jail.

The change in dynamics of this case is whole-hearted. Everything changes from this part forward, now that we have a body.

KING: But, Jane, if the cause is undetermined, how do we know it's homicide?



KING: Jane, can you hear me?


I can hear you, Larry.

Can you hear me?

KING: Yes. The question was, if the cause is undetermined, how do we know it's homicide?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that's a very good question. I think that with no tissue found on the body and the remains skeletonized and no trauma to the skeleton, that is going to be something the defense will try to use to create reasonable doubt, meaning other explanations. And, of course, with this meter reader now reportedly finding a needle in a haystack not once, but twice -- having said that he's the one who found the skull a week ago Thursday and he's also the one who called authorities three times in August to report a suspicious bag at the very location -- the defense is also going to take that ball and run it with. They've already indicated that that raises a whole bunch of questions.

And, again, all they have to do -- this dream team of a defense team that's been assembled -- very famous attorneys and forensic experts -- is come up with reasonable doubt. And they may have enough to do that. We'll have to wait and see.

KING: Jessica, who goofed on this report in August, not following up on it?

D'ONOFRIO: Well, you know, we are -- we're dealing with three dates here, Larry. It's August 11th, 12th and 13th. And this meter reader called in a tip that he spotted a suspicious bag -- a gray plastic bag off the side of the road down here on Suburban Drive.

A deputy responded out. The first time, he never met with the meter reader and cleared the call. The second day, the tip -- he sees the bag still there. It goes to a detective in CID. The detective looks at his records, sees that they already had cadaver dogs in that neighborhood and that he didn't even have to come out to the scene.

And then we're dealing with that third day, when the meter reader actually called again -- still sees the bag. And then the deputy does respond out and actually meets with the meter reader and the meter reader shows him where the bag is. The deputy takes out his retractable baton, starts poking around, never gets to the bag and actually encounters a snake back there. So he backs off. And it's unclear why he ever left the scene and cleared the call. So that's really what the sheriff's office is doing right now is investigating that follow-up.

Why didn't the deputy go any further?

Why didn't he -- why did he clear that call?

So that's what that investigation is about.

KING: Ashleigh, will the defense's forensic team get to examine all of this? BANFIELD: Well, now, it's open season. Yes. Up until this point, this body was anonymous. And no one has a right to -- to all findings like this. It's not all public. Now that this is attached to the case -- Caylee's body -- the defense will not only get to perform a second autopsy once it's clear -- once the body and the remains are cleared from the M.E.s and released by the family, they can also make the plans for the burial. I know that's hard to sort of talk about at this point because this is just a child.

But it is open season for almost everything now.

KING: How...

BANFIELD: This defense team it's going to have every right to all the forensics in discovery.

KING: Jane, how is the mother able to obtain this high defense team -- this high profile defense team?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is a mystery, although some reports coming out of Florida are that there is a trust fund that is being funded by anonymous people. And it's really tantalizing.

Who would want to pay for Casey Anthony's defense?

And that person or persons would probably have to have a lot of money, because when you're talking Dr. Henry Lee and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky and Linda Kenney Baden, the famous attorney who was in the Phil Specter case and many, many other experts and tests of cars, etc....

KING: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:'re talking about a lot of dough.

KING: Speaking of Dr. Kobilinsky, he's going to be with us in a couple of minutes.

Thanks, guys.

We'll check back with you a lot.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.

Two forensic experts, including the aforementioned Dr. Kobilinsky, will join us after the break.



GARAVAGLIA: The manner of death in this case is homicide. The cause of death will be listed as homicide by undetermined means.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Now joining us in New York, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, forensic expert, professor at John Jay College, consulting for the defense in the Anthony case.

In Charlotte, North Carolina is Dr. Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist, has also been consulting for the defense.

Let's start with Dr. Kobilinsky. The cause of death is listed as homicide by undetermined means.

Then how do they know it's homicide?


The only...

KING: That's why I asked it.


The only reason that -- well, the one possibility is that they are including not only the findings of the autopsy, but also the circumstantial evidence that they are aware of from law enforcement and evidence collected at the crime scene.

KING: Yes.

KOBILINSKY: But you are asking the fabulous question, because if you don't have a cause of death, isn't it possible it might have been an accident?

And remember, if this was not declared a homicide, what would happen to the charges against Casey?

KING: Dr. Reichs, if I'm correct, doesn't the medical examiner have to take the stand in this case when it comes to trial and state the cause of death?

DR. KATHY REICHS, FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGIST, DEFENSE CONSULTANT: Well, I'm not exactly sure if they have to state a cause of death. She's -- there's a difference between cause of death and manner of death. And what she's saying is that manner of death is homicide, probably, as Larry says, based on circumstantial evidence or evidence that we're not aware of.

Cause of death has to do with the exact physiological mechanism leading up to the stopping of the heart. And that's what they don't know.

KING: Dr. Kobilinsky, do you want to be part of the defense team that will view the scene?

KOBILINSKY: I'm going to leave that up to Defense Attorney Jose Baez. I am available if he feels I need to be there. But there are many experts here. They need the entomology. They need the botany, the anthropology. They need certain experts there. The pathologist, Dr. Warner Spitz, is a preeminent pathologist. And I think they can handle it very well. And I did mention Dr. Henry Lee.

So they...

KING: Of course.

KOBILINSKY: You know, the team is good. It's a dream team.

KING: Dr. Reichs, is this not a tough case for the defense?

REICHS: This is going to be a tough case for the defense. But I do think, given that there is no evidence as to the cause of death, and, as Larry pointed out, you could have an accidental death and a mother that panics. And this is pure speculation. But there are alternative explanations.

And that's what the experts are going to try to look at the evidence -- to see what evidence is available to us, to see if we can determine anything that might suggest another manner of death.

KING: Dr. Kobilinsky, who is paying for this high profile defense team?

KOBILINSKY: I -- I -- first of all, I don't know, Larry. And, secondly, if I knew, I probably wouldn't be at liberty to say so.

KING: Dr. Reichs, do you know or care to say so?

REICHS: We -- when they retained our services, there is a clause in that contract about nondisclosure and confidentiality. So if I did know about the other participants in the team, I wouldn't be at liberty to say.

KING: But you are...

REICHS: I know I can't...

KING: You are being paid by...

REICHS: I can squelch...

KING: ...the lawyers, right?

REICHS: I can squelch some of the rumors pertaining to where the money has come from.

KING: All right. Squelch them.

REICHS: Well, there is a rumor that's been said back to me by the media that I've signed a book deal and that the money is somehow going to go to the Anthony family to pay for this defense team. And I can unequivocally say that's absolutely untrue. I've never been approached about it.

I'm very busy writing my Temperance Brennan novels and producing the show. And I wouldn't have time, if I did have the inclination.

And, also, I would be constrained by a confidentiality and nondisclosure with regard to what's going on in the case.

KING: Got you.

REICHS: So that's definitely...

KING: Larry...

REICHS: ...not where the money is coming from.

KING: Larry Kobilinsky, is -- on the other side, is this going to be a tough prove?

KOBILINSKY: A tough what?

KING: Prove.

KOBILINSKY: I'm sorry. I don't understand the...

KING: Will it be tough to prove it?

KOBILINSKY: Oh, oh, oh. Tough to prove it. I think that the prosecution is going to have a great deal of circumstantial evidence. And, as I said before, this is a physical evidence case. This is not a question about credibility, although, obviously, a jury looks at credibility and contradictions. But the physical evidence will either include her or exclude Casey.

And I think it is, as Kathy just said, it's an uphill battle for the defense. Clearly, you know, the prosecution has all of the resources of the government -- the federal government, state and county. And the defense has put together a formidable team, but, nevertheless, it's an uphill battle for the defense.

KING: Dr. Reichs, what will the toxicology report show you?

REICHS: Well, the toxicology report is going to show if they can pick up anything in her system that shouldn't have been there -- any foreign substances, any poisons, anything toxic -- anything along those lines.

KING: I see.

Do you want to view the remains?

REICHS: That's going to be my primary role, Larry, is I'm going to look at that -- that little skeleton. Identification is not going to be an issue here, because that was done with DNA. But I'm going to look at that skeleton very carefully to see if there's anything -- any kind of trauma, anything that is going to give -- give me information that might have been missed by a pathologist. Because, really, the skeleton -- the expertise brought to bear primarily in that situation would be those of the anthropologist.

KING: Yes.

REICHS: So we just want to cover all our bases. And I'd like to take a look at it and document what I see.

KING: Thank you both very much, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, Dr. Kathy Reichs.

I'm sure we'll be calling on you again.

REICHS: Thank you.

KING: More on what all this means for defense strategy is 60 seconds away.


KING: We're back.

We'll hear from you and what you've been writing on our blog when LARRY KING LIVE comes back in a little while.

But let's meet our panel.

Mark Geragos is in Mountain View, California. He's the noted defense attorney.

Stacey Honowitz is in Miami, the assistant Florida state attorney who specializes in prosecuting cases involving child abuse and sex crimes.

And back us with from New York, Jane Velez-Mitchell, the host of "Jane Velez-Mitchell" on HLN. That's "The Issues" show.

And also in New York, Ashleigh Banfield, the anchor of "Banfield & Ford In Session."

Now that the body is identified, Mark, how bad is this for the accused?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it's been an uphill battle all along, as your previous guests noted. Now that you have a body and, obviously, any other element -- you know, she's still out there or I gave her to somebody is obviously foreclosed -- it does become -- and the defense will try to focus, I'm sure -- on all of the forensic evidence and whatever else they can do.

But, you know, they're always going to be up against it with the she didn't act right evidence. And that's the hardest thing to combat in this case.

KING: Would a defense, Stacey, be the little child died by accident?

I didn't mean to. I hit her and I panicked.

STACEY HONOWITZ, ASSISTANT FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: Well, I mean if they're going to mount a defense, I would assume that's probably one that they would look at to say that it was an accident, I didn't mean to do it.

I personally think it's an I didn't do anything. I think she's going to stick by her story. That's how it's been up until now. And I don't really think it's going to change.

But that's certainly an alternative theory for the defense, if they want to go that route.

KING: Of course, Jane, if she didn't do it, the fact where the body was discovered is not material, is it?

Or is it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it was so close to her family home. And there is a wealth of circumstantial evidence, according to prosecutors, against this young woman -- the smell of death in the trunk of her car, cadaver dogs hitting on it, the fact that air samples that were tested showed decomposition, a hair found in the trunk showed decomposition and that hair was analyzed in a way that it revealed it had to be a member of the Anthony family and the numerous lies she told to investigators as to her really crazy and kooky explanations of what happened.

The very fact that she waited a month before telling even her mother that her own child was missing is, perhaps, the most incriminating piece of evidence that there is against her.

KING: All right. Ashleigh, it would appear that she is up against, does it not?

BANFIELD: Look, when it...

KING: Is it fair to put it that way?

BANFIELD: When you add a body to the case, it gets a lot more difficult. But, listen, without any sort of real specifics on this body, the -- you know, no ante-mortem trauma. It shows that there wasn't a gunshot. It shows that there wasn't some kind of trauma to her head that killed her. It doesn't tell you a lot.

So it also doesn't tell you if there was a smothering. It doesn't tell you if there was a strangulation. There are a lot of things that are open for both sides, the defense and the prosecution, at this time.

And let me tell you, the defense and prosecution both got something out of the findings today. The cops made a big mistake, Larry. They didn't look into three tips from the same guy. The defense is going to have a field day with that at trial, saying they bungled.

HONOWITZ: You don't know the circumstances of that, though. We don't -- you know, it's still early on to talk about it.

BANFIELD: They can use it. No matter what, you can convince a jury of anything, as we've learned in O.J. Simpson. And they will use that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Ashleigh, let's face it, there were computer searches on Casey, the tot mom's computer, months before this child went missing for "neck breaking" and "missing children" and "chloroform," all sorts of suspicious...

BANFIELD: But there's no neck breaking shown in the...

KING: All right, Mark...

BANFIELD: the finding of this skeleton.

KING: Mark, do they have to...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, her head is separated.

KING: Do they have to show what killed her?

GERAGOS: No, they don't have to show what killed her.

KING: They don't have to show that.

GERAGOS: They do not have to. I mean, that's not an issue. I mean, it really is not an issue.

The -- they've got -- they've got the evidence, from the prosecution's standpoint, that she goes missing; as has been stated here, the most damming piece of evidence is, is that the mother does not say anything to anybody for a month, goes on about her business. The body is later found.

She's got multiple statements that have been made that are going to be introduced, because they're declarations of hers. The -- you know, this idea that somehow you're going to try to show something in terms of what happened to the body, there's still got to be an explanation. Somebody is going to have to give an explanation, at some point, as to when she last saw the child, who she gave the child to.

And until that is done, I don't care what they put together, it's not going to carry any weight.

KING: Stacey...

HONOWITZ: Well, I'll tell you what the...

KING: -- this...


KING: This sounds like an easy prosecution from the way Mark presents it.

HONOWITZ: Well, he lays it out very nicely for the prosecution. But like I said before, it's never going to -- nothing is ever a locked case. And we don't even know half of the evidence. They've kept a lot of it close to the vest. It went before a grand jury. They returned an indictment.

But I think the whole issue in finding the body was that it kind of knocked out the defense's theory that they were going on a couple months -- a couple of weeks ago that there are sightings of her all over -- we think she's still out there.

They were trying to get the videotapes of Orlando and all these different places, because that would have been a method for them to go in court and say there's no body and there are sightings; therefore, she could still be alive.

So that has really cut the legs out from the defense, the finding of the body.

BANFIELD: And, Larry, there's something that we all need to talk about here, and that's what we don't know. All of this talk about evidence that was found at this one acre crime scene -- there could be a lot that ties Casey to this crime. And there could be a lot that doesn't.

KING: Yes...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there's the duct tape. And there's duct tape that was reportedly found on the skull -- or possibly across the mouth -- of this remains. And there were reports that there were some Facebook conversations that Casey had about duct tape.

And one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence, Larry, is that not only did she not report her child missing for a month, but she was spotted out dancing and partying during that time.

KING: Yes.

GERAGOS: I can't...

KING: All right, Jane will be coming back...

GERAGOS: I can't emphasize enough.

KING: And so will Mark and Stacey.

All right. We'll get back you to, Mark.

We'll hear from what you and you've been writing on our blog when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


KING: Our own David Theall is here with your blog comments.

He's live from Orlando, Florida, working this story for us -- David, what are the people saying?

DAVID THEALL, LARRY KING LIVE PRODUCER: Larry, we are continuing to update our blog from Orlando, Florida. And, you know, every talked about this before, that there are certain stories that just get people commenting. This happens to be one of them.

The overwhelming majority of people that we're hearing from tonight on the blog are, of, critical of the Anthonies. And they are critical, as well, of Casey and her defense team.

One of them says: "This is merely concluding what many of us have known in our gut when they found remains last week."

We are hearing from others, however, such as somebody who chimed in tonight. And they said: "Let us, as a nation, put her, Caylee, to rest the right way."

And the Anthonies do have their supporters or people who are leaning toward supporting them. Somebody chimed in tonight and they said: "How can those screaming so loudly for justice be so willing to deny Casey and her family a lawful defense?"

We're going to continue to update the blog. The conversation happens on Of course, as always, go there and look for the live blog link. We've moved it around on the site tonight, but look for the live blog link, click it and join the conversation.

KING: Thanks, David, on top of the scene.

He'll check back us with later.

David Theall. And we'll check in again with him in a little while, so stick around.

By the way, Joe Biden, the vice president-elect, is our special guest this Monday night for the full program.

We'll be right back.


KING: Jessica Lunsford, remember, went missing on February 24th, 2005, from her home near Sarasota, Florida. She was held captive over a weekend and later murdered by 47-year-old John Couey, who was living nearby. Her body was found buried a short distance from her own home.

Couey, a convicted sex-offender, was sentenced to death in the case. You'll always remember the trial and that haunting picture of the defendant.

Joining us now is Mark Lunsford, the father of Jessica Lunsford. Jessica was nine years old when she was kidnapped and killed.

He introduced Jessica's Law, to increase the sentences and release conditions for sex offenders. He got that passed into law.

Mark, for a short period of time, you were a suspect, weren't you? MARK LUNSFORD, DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED, MURDERED: Yes, sir, Larry. You know, that's usually where the investigation will start, will be inside the family -- you know, the closest ones to the child. So, that's pretty normal.

But I'm not, you know, a specialist on searching, although, you know, Marc Klaas is pretty good at it.

KING: Yes.

But now we have this case of the suspect becoming the arrested and now the accused, the mother.

What do you make of this, Mark?

LUNSFORD: Well, you know, we've seen these kinds of things before and we end up with no answers. But maybe this time we will have an answer.

I think what's important, though, is that we realize that, you know, Caylee is home now. It's time to focus on her because that's what this is all about. This child, you know, has lost her life and she's home. And I think it's time that we let everyone grieve over this.

You know, Christmas is coming up. It's a very sad and horrible day for the family, and what they have to go through and the decisions that they will be forced to make.

KING: You say she's home, you mean in heaven?

LUNSFORD: Yes, sir. I mean this is just like with my daughter, Larry. I mean, even when Jesse was missing, I said let's not worry about how she comes home. Let's just bring her home. And we did. And once again, we are faced with another victim of a child being murdered. But she's home now. And it's time to grieve for her. I mean we owe Caylee that. I mean, you know, the child needs to be grieved for.

KING: Yes. All right, well, we will not pass on the guilt or innocence of the mother. And she certainly must be presumed innocent. That's the way the Constitution and the society reads. Let's talk about the grandparents. What would you say to them, Mark, in their grief?

LUNSFORD: I pretty much tried to stay out of all this over here. You know, it's just got really crazy and everything. But the grandparents, you know, without the media, without the interference of anything, you know, I understand what they're going through. And I can, you know, be more than willing to grieve with them with this. And I mean, we just have to let this family go through what they're going to have to go through for losing their grandchild.

KING: You would meet with them if they asked?

LUNSFORD: Most certainly. They wouldn't even have to ask. All they have to do is tell me where to go. You know, I mean this is -- it's undescribable what it does to a family, you know, regardless of what happened or anything. It's about the child being gone. She's home now. Now we have to put her to rest.

KING: One can only fathom -- fathom the loss of a child. Do you ever get over -- how do you deal with it?

LUNSFORD: I don't think you do get over it, Larry. I mean, I think it -- you know, I've seen John cry on national TV and he'd been there so many times for me, John Walsh. I mean, even after all these years, I mean even he is still hurting just as if it was yesterday.

KING: But you feel some good in getting that law passed, don't you?

LUNSFORD: You know, what I feel good about is the support that people gave across the country to Jesse's Law. We're looking at over 40 states that have implemented some sort of Jesse's Law. We have what John and his wife worked so hard on, you know, the Adam Walsh Act. You know, we have all these good things that's becoming of losing our children. But I'd rather not lose our children, and neither would any other parent.

KING: Your daughter was held captive for a few days. Do you at all blame the authorities?

LUNSFORD: I think it's very easy to place blame because none of us know how to be a victim. I mean it's just not something we know how to do. But I think what's important is that now that Caylee's Home, we let the family grieve over this. Let the system take its course. Let law enforcement do its investigation. And when all is said and done, someone will be tried for this crime. Someone will be found guilty. And then the faults will appear, if there's any.

KING: You hang us with, Mark. When we come back, Mark will be joined by Mark Geragos and Stacy Honowitz, a prominent defense attorney and prosecutor as well. He'll be joining this conversation. He's an eloquent guest. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.


KING: Mark Lunsford, who introduced Jessica's Law to increase the sentences and release conditions for sex offenders, who lost his daughter to a kidnapping and a killing, remains us with. He's in Orlando. And returning in Mountain View, California, is Mark Geragos. And in Miami is prosecutor Stacy Honowitz. We'll start with Mark and then go down, Mark Lunsford and then Geragos and then Honowitz. Mark Lunsford, you first, can you figure out why they got that tip in August, three different days, about a body or skull and they don't do anything?

LUNSFORD: I heard that, Larry. I think, for the sake of everything, I mean, I -- I would, like I said, it's going to be -- it won't be until the end of the trial when we know, you know, what happened three months ago or three weeks ago and everything. I mean before we, you know, start passing judgment and making decisions, you know, it's -- is it possible for mistakes to happen? Of course it is. But, you know, I think we're only going to know the true mistakes at the end.

KING: Mark Geragos, what can you make of it?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that we're going to hear about it a lot sooner than the end of the trial. I think that, you know, when and if the defense starts to attack, whether it's the cadaver dog hitting in the back of the trunk, yet not hitting when it's out there; those are going to be kinds of issues. There is a whole lot of discussion that's going to happen pre-trial on all of these issues. And whether there was the remains there at the time, whether they were put there later, those are all going to be things that are going to be raised by the defense in this case.

KING: Stacy?

STACY HONOWITZ, ASSISTANT FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: The prosecutors are going to have to investigate this very thoroughly. Certainly, they don't want to go into court knowing this is going to be raised. This is going to be a huge issue in court, and be caught off guard. So just like the sheriff said today in the press conference, they are investigating their own investigators, and they have to. And they have to keep a record of the tips that came in, who went out, who didn't go out, why -- I mean all these things have to be known. The tips have to be maintained in a log or some place, because so many cases go cold and ten years later they look back on all these tips in other cases.

So they will be do a thorough investigation. I'm sure the prosecutors down there will insist upon it.

GERAGOS: Well, yes, because the prosecutors are going to want, at a certain point, to try to explain this.


GERAGOS: They don't want to just say, yes, our police are idiots. They're going to want to have some kind of a logical explanation for why this occurred.

KING: Let's take a call from Ottawa, Canada. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.


CALLER: Larry, my question is: earlier on your panel, you had some people talking about accidental. My question is, if it is accidental, how can a body make it into a garbage bag with duct tape?

KING: I meant that mother or somebody killed her and panicked.

GERAGOS: Or it was a -- you know, there have been, Larry -- we have talked about these cases in the past -- situations where somebody will claim later that the death was an accident or it happened as a result of an accident, and then they panicked and covered it up later on.

KING: Stacy, are you amazed at the demeanor of Mark Lunsford?

HONOWITZ: Well, I saw what mark was going through. It happened down in Florida. So we all watched as his case unraveled. And there were terrible things that happened with regard to sexual predators who were not checked at the time and what location they were in. So his demeanor, I think is something that he had to work through, and that he has helped other people now. He has gone to Congress. And he's asked for this law. So, of course, you're amazed he lost a child. It's amazing that someone can sit there and talk about it, but he has to. I'm assuming that's how he gets through life.

KING: He also understands that he was a suspect for a while. He accepts that.

HONOWITZ: You have to. You know that in cases like this, and Mark knows, the first place they look is to the family, to the immediate family. So he cooperated fully. And he was aware of the fact, he was getting legal advice from people that this is part of the deal. These are the motions that you have to go through. So he put up with it.

KING: Mark Lunsford, go ahead. Mark Geragos?

GERAGOS: I was going to say, I've had clients who have been accused. It's always easier to work through that when ultimately the right person is found and the right person is convicted. It's an awful situation and you never get through it if you've been accused and that lingers over you and nobody is ever found or nobody is ever prosecuted. That's --

KING: Mark Lunsford, that's what makes the actions of this defendant so peculiar, right?

LUNSFORD: You know, I think there is a lot of peculiar things to it. I really don't get involved in the investigations and stuff like that, or searches. I solely focus on, you know, support for the U.S. Marshals and things like, for those types of crimes, for what happened to my daughter. And this one here, you know, it's been a mess. I mean, you know, things have flew, using the court of public opinions and, you know -- people are going to be butchered. And there's going to be a lot more of it going on. And what the family is going to have to deal with all of this and they're going to have to make their decisions.

Law enforcement has decisions they have to make upon their own, you know, whether this or that was done properly. But I think that everybody has done what they could and we're all going to learn from this, just like we do in every case.

KING: Thanks for coming on, Mark. I salute you. Always good to see you. Mark Lunsford. Mark Geragos, Stacy Honowitz will remain. You're looking at a live picture of a vigil for Caylee Anthony. It's happening right now in Orlando, Florida. More from the blog after the break. We'll be back in 60 seconds.


KING: David Theall is back at the sight of the vigil, the site of all these occurrences in Orlando, with more of our blog. David, what have you?

THEALL: Larry, the comments continue to come on our blog, Larry. Here from the scene in Orlando. We're going to show you -- you showed this going out to the commercial. More and more people are coming out tonight to a make shift memorial. Past that tree, down this road is where the remains of Caylee Anthony were found. And this is as close as the public can get. You'll see the crime tape there. And throughout the night, they've been coming and leaving stuffed animals, of course, and balloons at the scene, that we have seen several times, me and you, as we have covered these various stories.

The comments that are coming on the blog also are people pouring out, talking about the sadness that they have over this. One lady says "oh, Larry, this whole thing breaks my heart. I just hope and pray that justice will be served for this beautiful little angel."

We also heard from another, Larry, that pretty much summed up a lot of the comments that we're hearing. A lady said, "I hurt. I cry every time I see that child's face. And I hurt for the world with every fiber of my being."

We're going to continue updating the blog. Give us your comments. It's at Again, look for that live blog link. We've moved around on the site a little bit. Scroll down. Join the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

KING: Thanks, David. Doing a great job. David Theall, on top of our blog scene. You can go to our website,, for lots of information and for anything you want to input. When we come back, Mark Geragos, Stacy Honowitz, Jane Velez Mitchell, and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. Don't go away.


KING: Our panel to close it all out in our remaining portions is with us; Mark Geragos, Stacy Honowitz, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. Let's start with Mark. Without a cause of death, couldn't the defense argue that labelling this a homicide is speculation?

GERAGOS: Well, they can argue that. But it's done with some degree -- not often, but it happens, where they will take into account the surrounding circumstances. And they'll take into account what other factors that have nothing to do with the body itself. And they will then say that, based upon all these factors, we're going to list as a homicide. So it will be something that I'm sure will get a lot of attention from both the prosecution and the defense. But it's by no means rare.

KING: Stacy, it is circumstantial. Aren't most cases circumstantial unless there is an eyewitness?

HONOWITZ: Yes. Circumstantial cases are some of the strongest ones. It's a matter of taking all these circumstances, linking them together, and based on that puzzle, if you can put all the pieces together, you can try the case and get a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, even without having direct evidence.

In this case, Larry, just one thing; you have to remember, she was indicted on first-degree murder without a body even being present. So certainly the defense can argue what they want. How do we know it's a homicide? Like Mark said, it is based on the totality of the circumstances, which is exactly what the medical examiner said in her press conference today.

KING: Jane, wasn't the circumstances primarily her attitude?

MITCHELL: Well, that was a very big part of it. And they're going to have testimony from a lot of her friends who are going to talk about her lies. I mean, Larry, she actually lied to police investigators, to their face, and said I work at Universal Studios and took them there and gave them a guided tour, until they finally cornered and said, the gig is up. She said, yes, I don't work here. So this girl is a pathological liar on top of everything. It really is an American tragedy. This girl did not want to have this child. She was a teenager. It's a morality story about teenagers having children.

KING: Dr. Kobilinsky, since the area was flooded at one time, could defense -- could defense issue bring up drowning as a possibility.

KOBILINSKY: Certainly, there are a lot of possibilities. In fact, the other thing we haven't heard about is the time of death, number one. Number two, when was the body dropped at that site. You know, it's very difficult, looking at skeletal remains, especially the area had been submerged, to determine time of death. We have advanced decomposition. And so the question is, was Casey incarcerated at the time that that body had been dropped at that site? There is still a lot of questions that were not answered today.

KING: Paris, Tennessee with the phone. Hello. Hello? Are you there? OK, they must have dropped out. We'll take a break and come right back with this outstanding panel. Don't go away.


KING: Mark Geragos, will Dr. Kobilinsky's area of expertise win or lose this case? That is forensics.

GERAGOS: Well, there is a combination of forensics. There is an amazing number of -- there are types or disciplines and experts that can be brought to bear here. There's forensic anthropologists, as you've already talked about. There's entomologists. There's botanists. I can think of probably ten other types of experts that will deal with the forensic evidence. And potentially you're going to get somebody who may be a forensic psychiatrist, as well, involved to analyze her.

But ultimately, I just keep coming back to kind of the bottom line here. You've got to deal with this she didn't act right evidence. Because absent that, absent dealing effectively with that, and having some kind of an explanation, it doesn't matter what else you have.

KING: With all this different kind of testimony, Stacy, does the prosecutor have to be a kind of a master of all trades?

HONOWITZ: Absolutely. I mean, these prosecutors are skilled in forensics and DNA technology. They have to know the right questions to ask the experts to take the stand. But most importantly, they have to be able to translate it to a jury. This is highly technical stuff. It's very scientific. Sometimes it's very complicated. Until you get to the bottom line of this matches this, 100 percent, 99 percent. But that person, that prosecutor must be skilled in their delivery and their talking to the experts and then to explain it to a jury. They will be a master of it all.

KING: Jane, when is the trial scheduled?

MITCHELL: Well, it originally had been scheduled to start early next month. And ironically, at the very same time the skull was being discovered, they were having a hearing to push it back. They're going to meet January 15th, I believe, mid-January to decide. But undoubtedly, given these new developments, it's going to be several months. It could even be this summer.

KING: Dr. Kobilinsky, do you expect to go to the scene?

KOBILINSKY: At some point in time, when Mr. Baez asks me to go and examine various kinds of evidence, I will be going to the scene, yes, Larry.

KING: Mark, is this the kind of case a defense attorney wants? Would you like this case?

GERAGOS: I don't know that anybody wants -- I should take that back. I don't know that anybody wants to embrace a case where you've got a beautiful young little girl like that, especially anybody who is a parent. It just breaks your heart. But at the same time, if you're a defense lawyer, and you do that kind of work, getting --

KING: It's what you do.

GERAGOS: That's what you do, and you do it, and you do it to the best of your ability. It's a tough situation.

KING: Conversely, Stacy, is it the case a prosecutor really digs?

HONOWITZ: Well, there is a lot of evidence. There's circumstantial, and there are forensics. So certainly a prosecutor -- I'm not going to say would enjoy trying this case, like Mark said. You don't enjoy anything like this. But it's certainly something that a prosecutor could feel comfortable in front of a jury, trying to get a conviction on this case.

KING: Jane, why does a reporter, I'm assuming this, like reporting it?

MITCHELL: Well, I think it's a fascinating case. It has all of the elements that make it absolutely tantalizing, and that's why it's captivated America. Nobody wants to think of a young mother, who happens to be very attractive and actually articulate, killing her own child. And so it's unimaginable. And then just the wild twists and turns, just like this meter reader. Every time you cover this case, it's something wild.

It -- these cases get so big, they take on a life of their own. And they're like run-away freight trains, and it is -- it's very sad. I'm very saddened and depressed today to think of this poor little child passing away. But it's also absolutely fascinating and it's an insight into human nature.

KING: Got a call from Kingston, Ontario. Hello.

CALLER: Hi there. Could the defense team be concerned this could be a strong possibility that it was an accidental death and that Casey may crack under pressure, and admit to that?

KING: Dr. Kobilinsky, is that a concern, or would that be a plus?

KOBILINSKY: I -- again, I think that's a good question. I think Casey has been very adamant, up till this point, saying that she did not do this. So I think we're going to have to deal with that, and see how this case progresses.

KING: And we only have 30 seconds. Mark, does the attorney have to believe the client?

GERAGOS: No. The attorney does not have to believe the client, and, in fact, there's a lot of attorneys who take the position in some of these cases that the last thing you want to do is talk to the client initially and wed themselves to a story. And there's a lot of attorneys who take the position that the -- just try the case within the prosecution's case, especially if it's a circumstantial case, and you don't put on a defense, but you try the defense through the prosecution itself.

KING: In other words, they have to prove it.

GERAGOS: They've got to prove it. That's what the law is in this country. And, you know, there is no better system anywhere.

KING: Thank you all very much, Mark Geragos, Stacy Honowitz, Jane Velez Mitchell, and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. Fascinating day.

Go to our website,, for a bunch of great features, including our blog, and keep your eye out for the latest installment of Kings Things, my two cents. It's coming to a computer screen near you. Joe Biden Monday night. Now Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?