“It’s been almost six months since a Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Since then, the court of public opinion has continued to question the verdict and the case the prosecution presented.
One very important person involved in that case was Dr. Jan Garavaglia, or Dr. G, as she’s known to fans of her TLC series “Dr. G: Medical Examiner.” Six months after the disappearance of Caylee, with only skeletonized remains, hair, duct tape and a few weathered objects to work with, Garavaglia concluded that “the cause of death will be listed as homicide by undetermined means.”
It was Garavaglia’s determination that allowed prosecutors to move forward and charge Anthony with murder, but many believe the “undetermined means” part of that also allowed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.
Fact: If you watch Dr. G: Medical Examiner, you will at some point come across a case where someone thinks they have a spider bite, when in reality it’s Merca – a deadly staph infection that is also a flesh eating virus – and it goes into their bloodstream and kills them while they sleep.
Fact: You will at some point in your life, most probably right after watching this show, get some sort of insect bite.
According to NBC news correspondent Kerry Sanders, that may be because of what’s called the “CSI”-factor, “an expectation among jurors today that a medical examiner will present high-tech, flashy, convincing forensic evidence.
But in an upcoming TLC special, Dr. G will try to piece the forensic case back together and explain why the jury dismissed some of her findings. She’ll also fire back at a defense expert who, during the trial, took the stand and referred to the autopsy she performed as “shoddy.”
“My job is not to determine who did it,” Garavaglia explained during a Thursday morning interview on TODAY. “My job is to determine what happened. So I feel very strongly that we could say this was a homicide — death by the hands of another. My job is not to point the finger at one person or another.”
But now that her job on the case is over, she is able to share her personal perspective on that.
“Well, obviously we always have to look at the last person who was seen with the child — the person who is legally, morally, ethically responsible for the child,” she said, alluding to Caylee’s mother. “What stories do they give? What happened? We never did get anything from (Casey) on what happened. Yet we found (Caylee) with duct tape, discarded in the woods. That tells a lot.”
In her television special, Garavaglia intends to make the point that there simply wasn’t more that the forensic evidence could have revealed.
“These were very dry bones,” she explained. “Information that’s coming out makes it seem like we could do this test or that test or that we could expect DNA. You wouldn’t expect that. These are bones that don’t have anything left on them.”
Which is why, ultimately, she believes “we’ll never know what happened until the perpetrator states what happened.”
As for the information she’ll present on “Dr G: Inside the Caylee Anthony Case,” which airs Sunday night on TLC, Garavaglia wants to make one thing clear: she’s simply providing information about the case, not profiting from it.
“First of all, I’m not making a penny off of it,” she insisted. “I never wanted to. Anything I make from that show, because it’s part of my regular series, will go to children’s charities. I really just did it to get away from the hype and be able to explain why you could say that the duct tape was there in less than just little sound bites.”