Tag Archive: Dr. Garavaglia

“TLC special “Dr G, Inside the Caylee Anthony Case”

My first thought, Dr G paints the perfect picture for her perfect little murder as long as she robotically tells the State’s story.
In Dr G’s TLC special, I was sickened listening to the State’s entire theory for what seems like the 100th time. Starting with the 911 call, seeing the pictures of Casey in the iconic blue dress, and a other provocative pictures, followed by adorable pictures of innocent little Caylee swimming in the pool; smiling for the camera and then in Dr G’s own voice, reciting that incriminating accusatory mantra “her little body thrown in the woods like trash” a highly derogatory statement that would naturally enrage anyone who has a heart.

While listening to the State scenario all over again, I honestly understand why so many felt such strong hatred for Casey Anthony. I’m just shocked that a professional medical examiner would stoop to pulling at heart strings. I just assumed any medical examiner or licensed pathologist with a medical degree who’s being paid would not simply offer her personal opinion and surely wouldn’t solely rely on circumstances to proffer that opinion.

Usually in a legal case, the medical examiner performs an autopsy to report the manner of death and more importantly in cases of first degree murder, offer a cause of death.
However Dr Garavaglia was unable to determine cause of death.

Dr Garavaglia’s Conclusion?


Conclusion/Opinion: As often is the case with a skeletonized individual, the exact cause of death cannot be determined with certainty. The manner of death is based on available information, including circumstances.

CAUSE OF DEATH?  Homicide by undetermined means

Dr G, not only was unable to report the exact cause of death, she based the manner of death on available information, ie,(pictures of Casey dancing, knowledge that Casey’s failed to report Caylee missing and speculation that Caylee was drugged and suffocated)
From this she based the manner of death, homicide and with this, the State of Florida wanted permission to kill Casey Anthony.

The Duct Tape?

On pg 6442, Dr G says,
“The duct tape was clearly placed prior to decomposition, keeping the mandible in place.”

Referring to Pg 6445

The canvas bag is 24″ long and has a ring at the top with a diameter of 16 ½ inches. This tells me it’s likely that the duct tape was used to seal the top of the canvas bag. The body of a 3yo toddler would be a tight fit in a bag this small. The bag didn’t have a drawstring to close the top. Instead of claiming the duct tape was clearly over the mandible, it’s clearer to me that it was stuck to the top of the head and hair. Or perhaps, gravity was the reason the mandible was held in place.

During the middle of her special, Dr G boldly asserts that all of the teeth were still attached to the mandible, yet on pg 6447-6448 she reports the mandible still has nine lower teeth attached with four teeth still present in the maxilla.
“All the teeth that were lost during decomposition were subsequently found at the crime scene, except for one incisor.”

A professional medical examiner should only rely on what can be proven before stating something as fact.  Additionally, using the term “clearly” is subjective.  Clearly to who?

In the TLC Special, Dr G was astounded by the tiny rootlets that had intermingled with the bones. Was she referring to new roots and not roots from 3 or 4 months before?
Why were these rootlets so tiny as she described?

She also noted she saw no trauma although she did look, which should affirm there were no violent acts however she follows this statement with, “just because you don’t find anything, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

Is this really a statement from a professional County Medical Examiner? Perhaps Dr G just didn’t want to find anything else. Especially anything else that would indicate an accident such as accidental drowning with over-the-top cover-up. Remember she did not test for diatoms either.

Considering how this television special is a Johnny Come Lately in the grand scheme of Casey Anthony specials, I’m taken aback by her constant assertion, “thrown in the woods like trash“. What is the intent of such a statement and why now? And why is State Attorney Jeff Ashton and WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer included in her TV Special on her network, TLC? Is this a last ditch effort, ie. gift to them, as her colleagues and friends? Needless to say, after watching this show, I find myself with more questions than answers.
She uses the term “thrown in the woods like trash” yet complains it was a like a media circus. Wasn’t that what she and her colleagues planned in order to get a conviction? Make the public hate her, leak all of the sorrid details, flash pictures of her as a slut, demean her in any way possible? A feasible plan when there isn’t any viable solid evidence to pin first degree murder on the accused so attacking her character might have worked. Unfortunately for the State Attorney’s Office, the jurors weren’t impressed.

Unpredictably I found Dr G emotionally shaken during most of her show, almost angry. Maybe Dr. Spitz was the sole reason for the Dr G Special Show. Perhaps calling Dr. G’s autopsy of Caylee Anthony “shoddy” brings out her emotional side?

From my perspective, I was unimpressed and if Dr G ever decides to change professions, I think showbiz suits her just fine.  Oh that’s right, she is in showbiz.







No one knows where Casey Anthony is, but America’s most notorious recent murder defendant doesn’t have to fret about her legal bills reaching her so says Chris Lehmann, editor of Yahoo News.
That’s because $119,000 in defense fees racked up during her trial which produced a shocking not-guilty verdict in her home jurisdiction of Orlando, Fla., earlier this month have been picked up by Florida taxpayers. The same is true for another spending $5,800 in fees that Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez has billed to his client’s case, putting the overall taxpayer tab at just shy of $125,000.
This is an incredible amount of money, especially when you add $200,000, the amount ABC paid to Casey Anthony for pictures of her daughter Caylee Anthony, the 2 ½ year old victim of the alleged crime that Orange County Florida indicted, making this entire disaster a $325,000 waste of tax-payer money so far. Obviously first degree murder with possible death penalty doesn’t come cheap.


According to an article titled “The Costs of Capital Punishment” by J. Rank, provider of thousands of free legal articles;
In 1989, the state of Florida executed 42-year-old Ted Bundy. Bundy confessed to 28 murders in four states. During his nine years on death row, he received three stays of execution. Before he was put to death in the electric chair, Bundy cost taxpayers more than $5 million.

In the good old days of 2003, the cost of a proper execution without the bothersome appeals was minuscule. In 2003 the state of Florida paid $150 to the executioner, $20 for the last meal, $150 for a new burial suit, and $525 for the undertaker’s services including a coffin, the cost on a decent execution was less than $1,000.

But thanks to a Supreme Court decision, Furman V. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 92 S. Ct. 2726, 33 L. Ed. 2d 346 (1972), states found it necessary to introduce a complex appeals process that would guarantee the rights of death row inmates.
Apparently capital trials are much more expensive to carry out than are their non-capital counterparts because of the price at stake, a human life.
Evidence gathering is also more expensive. Evidence must be collected not only to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused but also to support or contradict a sentence of death. All sentences of death face a mandatory review by the state supreme court, at an additional cost of at least $70,000. If a case advances further in the state or federal appeals process, the costs are likely to jump to $275,000 or more for each appeal. Incidentally these figures are those of 2003, not 2011.

Perhaps, the good citizens of Florida should send out a big “Thank You” card to Jose Baez and the entire defense team for their hard work in getting Casey Anthony acquitted of first degree murder relieving them of the cost and the expense of several hundred thousand dollars for each of her appeals.
Had she received the death penalty another $275,000 bill would surely come their way. The tax-payers wouldn’t be delighted and possibly remorseful after hearing that the State had withheld evidence that proved Casey Anthony only searched “chloroform” once and not 84 times as Linda Drane Burdick claimed. They would most likely wonder if it was worth the price to execute someone on unreliable evidence.

Instead, I would suggest that the tax-payers of Florida should spare no expense in getting answers and possibly financial retribution from their own State Attorney’s who erroneously over-indicted Casey Anthony without solid evidence or proof of premeditation and for withholding exculpatory evidence that perhaps would have stopped the trial before it began had they doubled checked CacheBack’s reliability.


I recall Cheney Mason’s plea to Judge Perry for acquittal during the course of trial on June 16, 2011. Cheney Mason argued for acquittal, but nonetheless Judge Belvin Perry rejected this motion. Judge Perry claimed “the state has established substantial competent evidence for the jury which is the trier of fact in the case to decide.”
Defense attorney Cheney Mason vehemently shot back that the State has not even proved that a murder occurred. The cause of death is unknown. Only the manner of death was established, to rule Caylee`s death as a homicide. The cause of death “homicide” was an opinion of medical examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia.

In any first degree murder indictment, one of the criteria is premeditation. Suspicious internet searches were deemed premeditation thus manufacturing more ammunition in their quest to charge Casey Anthony with First Degree Murder and possible death penalty.
Considering the latest revelation and the computer evidence now debunked thanks to the State’s own computer expert John Bradley and his software, CacheBack’s erroneous calculations, there’s a few flies in the ointment that needs tending to.

A person’s freedom
A person’s reputation
A person’s ability to earn a living
A person who will forever live in fear because she is in the scope of lunatics who want her dead

She did not premeditate murder as Asst. State Attorney Linda Drane Burdick alleged.


In retrospect, the State of Florida is also responsible for sentencing Casey Anthony unreasonably as a first offender on check fraud charges stemming from checks she had written from Amy Huizenga’s checking account during the time she failed to report Caylee’s death.

By making Casey Anthony a 6-time convicted felon which was a legal maneuver on the part of the prosecution meant to add drama for the media and create doubt of Casey’s credibility if she were sentenced to death and put on the stand to testify in her own behalf.
Another possible reason the State Attorneys wanted Casey Anthony to be a 6-time convicted felon was to further her eligibility for the death penalty.

However, even though she was found not guilty of all major charges the fact remains, she is still a convicted felon which now impedes on her right to earn a decent living. Many employers look down upon convicted felons and refuse to hire them.

Since Casey Anthony was acquitted of first degree murder, first degree child abuse, first degree child neglect and with the check fraud charges still hanging over her, I’m hoping after 5 years of good behavior, that there’s an extraordinary attorney out there who’ll be willing to fight to have those charges expunged from her record.

Linda Drane Burdick perhaps?


As an Afterthought..
What I’ve learned from the Casey Anthony case is that law enforcement is not always honest and that if the crime a person is accused of is against a child or another helpless human being that any zealous prosecutor in need of help at the polls or some other nefarious reason could build a case against anyone with the right amount of help.
In this case, the crime was against a child and the suspect’s own family did the helping.

Given the right amount of dysfunction and public outcry, the worst almost happened yet miraculously our judicial system worked through it all proving hate and revenge is not the answer.
Sadly, what I witnessed was by and large an egregious violation of trust from some elected officials. The state of Florida deserves better.


Headline: Taxpayers foot bill for Casey Anthony defense

 Editor, Chris Lehmann of Yahoo news


Read more: Law Library – American Law and Legal Information http://law.jrank.org/#ixzz1SsTDfgJZ

 In order to write this article, I had to buckle down, harden up and remove myself emotionally from the thought that this article is referencing the decomposition of an almost 3 year old beautiful child named Caylee Marie Anthony.  Focusing on my objective to get to the truth was a task.  Her mother Casey Anthony is accused of killing her daughter Caylee and blatantly slapping duct tape across her delicate little mouth, stuffing her in a garbage bag and leaving her to rot in an empty lot ¼ of a mile away from her backyard playhouse.  This is the horrific crime that has been told to us over and over again by the media circuits and in the autopsy report.  I do not believe it.  I do not believe duct tape was over her mouth before she died. 

My objective is to dispute the news reports and to provide another possible scenario. If in fact the duct tape was stuck to the mandible as reported by Dr. Garavaglia then I think it was placed directly on the bones of the skull no sooner than 3-4 weeks after Caylee died. 

 Here goes..  

Imagine 65% polyester cotton blend, industrial strength Henkel brand duct tape covering the mouth of a small human being. A young human being has a skin surface near the lips that is very delicate along with the slight but present fuzz-like hairs that has been covered tightly by duct tape in 3 strips of 4 to 6 inch duct tape.  The tape is wrapped around so taunt that it extends to the back of the head over the hair of the back of the skull.

During the various stages of decompositional process organic material is broken down into a simpler form.  The science which studies decomposition is generally referred to as taphonomy from the Greek word taphos, meaning tomb.

The 5 stages of human decomposition are Fresh, Bloat, Active Decay, Advanced Decay and Dry/Remains.

During the Fresh stage, immediately after the heart stops pumping the body goes through 3 stages. Livor mortis, the discoloration of the skin, rigidness called rigor mortis and then  algor mortis.  Since the heart has stopped, chemical changes begin and cells lose their structural integrity.  This is called autolysis.  During autolysis blisters may appear at the surface of the skin Imagine at this point that the human being’s skin under the duct tape is blistering and the tape is beginning to loosen as the tape loses its tackiness.

The Bloat stage is an accumulation of gases within the body cavity causes the distention of the abdomen and giving an overall bloated appearance. The gases produced also cause natural liquids and liquefying tissues to become frothy.  As the pressure of the gases within the body increases, fluids are forced to escape from natural orifices, such as the nose, mouth, and anus, and enter the surrounding environment. The build up of pressure may also cause rupturing of the skin.

 Imagine at this point, the body is distended and frothing from the orifices as fluid is being forced out of the mouth and may also cause rupturing of the skin. At this point the duct tape would be either pulling tighter against the skin or possibly because of the frothiness near the mouth the tape is continuously losing its ability to stick. 

Active decay is characterized by the period of greatest mass loss. This loss occurs as a result of both the voracious feeding of maggots and the purging of decomposition fluids into the surrounding environment.  I’m trying to imagine what has happened to the duct tape during this stage. Is it possible that the duct tape is still stuck onto skin that is blistered, bloated and partially liquefied?

Advanced Decay is characterized as part of decomposition that is largely inhibited during this stage due to the loss of readily available cadaveric material is no longer there. Insect activity is also reduced during this stage.  I wonder what has happened to the duct tape at this stage? Is it still sticking to the cadaver when cadaveric material is no longer there? 

During the Dry/Remains stage, all that remains of the cadaver at this stage is dry skin, cartilage and bones which will become dry and bleached if exposed to the elements. If all soft tissue is removed from the cadaver, it will be referred to as completely skeletonized, but if only portions of the bones are exposed, it will be referred to as partially skeletonized.  This is the last stage where the body could possibly be a complete skeleton. It seems logical to me that the duct tape would no longer be stuck to the bones of the facial area and only adhering to the hair of the head.



When I found this chart although it’s related to the foul smelling odor of decomposition, I thought it might be useful in determining how long would the facial skin and duct tape survive in the heat of a Floridian summer.  I noted at 4 weeks the soft tissue begins to liquefy and the face becomes unrecognizable. 

Putrefaction as defined @ Wikipedia.com:

Putrefaction is the decomposition of animal proteins, especially by anaerobic microorganisms, described as putrefying bacteria.  Decomposition is a more general process. Putrefaction usually results in amines such as putrescine and cadaverine, which have a putrid odor. Material that is subject to putrefaction is called putrescible.

Putrefaction as defined @ thefreedictionary.com:

Decomposition of organic matter, especially protein by microorganisms, resulting in production of foul-smelling matter. 

Brief description of putrefaction of a human body with respect of time of death.

  • 2–3 days: Staining begins on the abdomen. The body begins to swell, owing to gas formation.
  • 3–4 days: The staining spreads and veins become discolored.
  • 5–6 days: The abdomen swells with gas (produced by the bacteria that decompose the body), and the skin blisters.
  • 2 weeks: The abdomen becomes very tight and swollen.
  • 3 weeks: Tissues begin to soften. Organs and cavities are bursting. The nails fall off.
  • 4 weeks: Soft tissues begin to liquefy, and the face becomes unrecognizable.

The exact rate of putrefaction is dependent upon many factors, such as weather, exposure and location. Thus, refrigeration at a morgue or funeral home can retard the process, allowing for burial in three days or so following death without embalming.

The University of Tennessee‘s Forensic Anthropology Facility is a body farm made in 1981 to study human putrefaction. Several others have been built since.

I mentioned the fuzz-like hair and tauntness of the tape over the skin as a reminder that the duct tape when examined by the FBI had no traces of DNA.  Duct tape that has been placed over dry bone may not have been a good source for DNA as opposed to skin cells where DNA is normally found.   This could explain why there is no DNA on the duct tape.

———————end of article———————

Related article:


Source: Human Decomposition


Reminder of the Frye Hearing Wednesday, March 23rd thru March 25th.  


Court documents filed on Tuesday show that the defense experts will have a second chance to examine what is being referred to as key evidence. The lone hair and coffin flies found in Casey Anthony’s trunk will be re-examined by Dr. Tim Huntington. He is one of the experts for the defense team who first reviewed the evidence in July at the Orlando County Sheriff’s Office. Huntington said this is the second step in the process.
As expected in the agreement, defense lawyers agreed to waive any claims about the chain of custody during the process of transport or examinations. If any evidence is damaged or destroyed, the State will still be allowed to present the testimony of their experts to the jury.
Considering the value and friability of the lone hair, I can understand the State’s concern. This is key to their claim that Caylee was in Casey’s car trunk and she drove the car with Caylee’s body in the trunk for an undetermined amount of days.
I don’t have a huge problem with the “lone hair” being found but what concerns me is that the jury has to believe that Casey did such a good job at cleaning the trunk, that only one hair was left behind when there were in fact several other hairs that were found that didn’t belong to Caylee or Casey. What are the chances that Casey was able to remove all but one of Caylee’s hairs since the trunk is said to have been thoroughly cleaned? When I think of one hair, I think it’s more likely a clothing transfer than a dead body physically being in the trunk. For instance the person who was either very near the body or had contact with the body may have picked up a hair on their clothing which found it’s way to the trunk; raises the next question; who besides Casey came near her trunk? It doesn’t exactly rule her out but it doesn’t rule out anyone else who opened her trunk either. I’m thinking this as a way to explain why there isn’t any DNA in the trunk along with this lone death-banded hair. As far as the testing itself, I’ve read there’s usually more than one hair to compare when they do an analysis.

For the amount of days Caylee was in the trunk, I suspect the State experts will calculate this by the unknown odor which the State claims is human decomposition. It’s been reported through documents from the Tennessee Body Farm, the odor value is 2.6 days. This may be hard for the State to prove because this science is still in its early stage and has never been used as evidence in a court of law. I would expect the State experts will use the coffin fly development as a gauge because they may have more value.

In another development, defense attorney Cheney Mason says the duct tape was not placed over Caylee’s mouth as it’s been claimed. I was shocked by this statement.
Of course, the investigators, Dr. Garavaglia and Roy Kronk disagree. They say yes, the duct tape was clearly found over Caylee’s mouth when her remains were found on Suburban Drive. There are photographs taken of the body to prove their statement. I imagine they will still contend the duct tape was the murder weapon which I still find peculiar too.
True, Dr. Garavaglia does explain the duct tape placement in her autopsy report but does not specify Caylee’s exact cause of death. She says homicide due to circumstances. In this report she also noted that there were “no visible signs of soft tissue” on the duct tape which could indicate no skin cells. I think this is impossible when it’s duct tape. Duct tape has been known to preserve fingerprints for years even underwater in some murder cases. Duct tape is a forensic scientist’s favorite type of evidence to examine.
Attorney Richard Hornsby of WESH did make this statement. He said, “you expect some soft tissue” beneath or stuck to the tape. He added that this finding may give Anthony some wiggle room. I don’t believe he thinks this will exonerate Casey Anthony, but possibly be grounds to lessen the charge. In my perspective, if the State can’t prove a murder was committed then they should have charged her with something possibly, easier to prove, felony child neglect. I wonder if the State loses, will they be able to later try her on another offense.



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