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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony by Keith Ablow, MD

Dr. Ablow tells a very fascinating portrayal of Casey Anthony's psychological makeup, trying to explain why she acted the way she did and told all the lies she did.  The thing is, he never once spoke to her.  He uses documents and interviews to base his analysis.  I think a lot of it is probably accurate, but I also think a lot is conjecture.  Essentially, he believes that all of Casey's behavior is the result of the pathology of her parents, particularly her mother, Cindy.  He repeatedly asserts that Casey has no self or identity of her own and that the tales she spins are a coping mechanism.  There is a lot more of course and it is very engaging to read.  

However, without actually interviewing her himself, how can his assertions be validated?  Very little of the book deals with the death of her daughter Caylee.  It is a study of a very sick woman who was acquitted of murder.  He attempts to explain what made her the person everyone watched aghast as her behavior and lies came to light after her arrest.  That said, despite the way his explanations (he ends with a diagnosis of her not based on DSM standards.  It may be true, who knows, but I think you have to take it all with a grain of salt because just because he believes it is likely true (like her allegations of sexual abuse), it doesn't mean it is.  Therefore, conclusions based on the assumptions are not necessarily valid.

So, MY conclusion:  a very interesting read, certainly full of talking points, seems to paint a portrait of a very troubled family.  We knew that from what we did see from the media.  That doesn't mean she is any less culpable or excuse any of it.  Nor does it mean his conclusions are definitive. 

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