Monday, July 25, 2011

I Am Sam. Sam I Am.

They call me Sam. It’s short for Samantha. I haven’t had that name for very long but that’s what my foster family decided to name me. I like it and know they’re talking to me when they call me now. I came to live with my foster family on Good Friday (April 21, 2011). That was a rough day for me, but looking back on it now, things worked out much better than I thought they were going to when I woke up to some man (my foster dad) trying to capture me with a rabies pole around my neck. I didn’t know it at the time but my foster mom and dad played a trick on me. The pills they put into those hot dogs I inhaled actually had a dog sedative in them and they made me very sleepy. The hot dogs didn’t fill me up so I started to cross back under the freeway to go look for some more food but I ended up passing out underneath the bridge near my old home.

I used to live at the very busy intersection of Highway 90 & Beltway 8 in east Houston. There was lots of traffic in the area but I had been living there on my own for quite some time. The homeless man who sometimes slept under the bridge near my former home told my foster dad that I had been there since at least January when he first started using my bridge, but that I had never let myself get too close to him or anyone else for that matter. I was terrified of people and if anyone tried to approach me I would take off light a bolt of lightning. I was fast and no one could catch me. I was street smart and very familiar with the four corners of the world I lived in. I even knew that it was safer for me to come out at night to search for my dinner. I slept in the drainage ditch during the day so that no one could see me or bother me. I was even smart enough to walk down to the red light before I crossed the busy road, and even waited for the lights to change. I was a creature of habit and had a daily (well, nightly routine). I lived off the trash that people threw out, or sometimes food that good Samaritans would leave me. No one knows how I ended up there but it was the only life I knew, and I trusted no one.

When my foster mom found out about me after a nice lady posted about me on craigslist, she drove out to see if she could spot me and was hoping that I’d hop up into her truck after she offered me some food. Ha! She was sadly mistaken. When I saw her approaching me I took off running and at one point she was afraid she’d caused me to get hit by a car, but I didn’t. I ran off and hid from her in the brush along one side of the road until she finally gave up and left. Luckily for me she still felt sorry for me even after I dodged her and she left some food and water out for me.

Over the next two weeks she came and left me food and water and made several attempts to try to catch me but I was just too smart for her. Whenever I would see her truck pulling up into my “triangle” that I liked to lounge around in, I would take off to the other side of the bridge and wait for her to get the hint and leave.

One night she came looking for me late at night with some guy and he chased me around with a flash light but I outsmarted him. She actually thought that he could catch me! Then another night she put some food out for me but it smelled really bad because she put something in it to make me sleepy but I smelled it and wouldn’t touch the food. She brought a friend with her and they sat parked under the bridge in her truck for like five hours waiting on me to eat that stinky food. I was beginning to think she was stalking me and just wished she would leave me alone. I did appreciate the food I had learned to count on every evening, but she just wasn’t getting the hint that I didn’t like people and she wasn’t going to get close to me.

Then one night she brought my foster dad out with her to try to catch me, and again, I smelled that stinky food and wouldn’t touch it. They sat for hours in lawn chairs in the back of their truck watching me with binoculars. I laid down in my special spot by the food (they thought I ate it!) and my foster dad managed to get pretty close to me before I heard him but I darted as soon as I saw him. There was no catching me.

My foster mom says she saw something special in me the first time she saw me and her OCD (whatever that is) kicked in and she couldn’t quit thinking about me out there all alone, skinny, living among all those cars and big trucks whizzing past me. Her friends and family thought she was crazy and thought she was going to get mugged by the homeless man or hit by a car if she kept coming out there to feed and try to catch me.

My foster mom called her vet (who is also her cousin) for advice on using sedatives to catch me and he told her he would give her pills instead of the liquid stuff and that’s how she ended up tricking me. I smelled those hot dogs and had no idea there were pills stuffed inside of them. Sigh!

Her cousin was concerned about me biting anyone who tried to catch me so he loaned them a rabies pole, just like dog catchers use, and that’s how my foster dad was able to catch me. I ended up passing out and was in a pretty deep sleep when he snuck up on me, but when I felt him trying to slip the noose of the pole under my snout I woke up, flailing and fighting! It was traumatic for me, and especially for my foster dad. He had to fight with me because I totally panicked and immediately started attacking the pole that he still managed to get over my neck just as I started flailing and we had a pretty good little battle and kicked up quite a bit of dust before I became totally submissive and just froze. My foster mom rushed over with the truck and the kennel that I struggled to keep from being put into. I was barking and biting at the wire cage, but I was only scared. I wasn’t trying to hurt them. I was still pretty groggy and terrified. My foster dad is a police officer and he told my foster mom that the struggle he just had with me was one of the scariest things he had ever experienced and that he would rather fight with a bad person than to struggle with a dog like he just had. I heard him say he had a new respect for dog catchers. Apparently, when I suddenly woke up fighting for my life it scared him pretty bad! He said he almost let go of the pole but he knew I would run out into traffic dragging a pole around my neck so he held on. I didn’t fight for long before I froze, but it was an intense struggle.

I finally got a closer look at the crazy lady who had been stalking me. She was smiling and hugging him and thanking him over and over for catching me. I just laid there in the kennel, still groggy, wondering how I’d been duped and where they were taking me. I was terrified but had no way out. I just knew whatever I was in store for couldn’t be good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Was Always About Caylee, Casey! You Were/Are Nothing Without Her!

Like most of the nation, I was in total shock on July 5, 2011 when the Casey Anthony verdict was read. I’m still trying to come to terms with the mind boggling not guilty verdict and injustice for Caylee. I still struggle with how these 12 (plus 5 alternate) Pinellas County idiots ever came to such a verdict. I can’t even bring myself to respect their decision “because the American Justice system is the best in the world”. I’m totally not feeling it.

I have closely followed this case since day 31 when the media went crazy with the story of a Florida mom who didn’t report her child missing for 31 days. Thanks to the Sunshine Laws in Florida we were privy to countless document dumps from the investigation including photos, lab reports, interviews, jail visits, etc. By the way, I think I love the Sunshine Laws!

I watched pre-trial hearings, jury selection and the trial closely. I even downloaded an app for my iphone that allowed me to watch the trial when in transit. Yes, I was slightly obsessed with the circus it had become and had waited three long years to see justice for Caylee.

I was at HEB when my friend texted me that there was a verdict, moments before my text alert from the Orlando Sentinel sounded. I literally scurried to the check-out with my cart full of groceries so that I could get home for the moment I, and so many others had been waiting for.

I have to say that when friends who weren’t following the case as closely as I was would spout off that she was going to walk, it infuriated me. I was never worried that she would walk. It was inconceivable to me knowing the evidence against her. That was a preposterous outcome. In my mind, there was no possible way that 12 people would all concede that she was not guilty. I had come to terms with the fact that she might not get murder one and even though I personally felt it was premeditated I could concede that there might be reasonable doubt among a few of the jurors and was expecting at the very least a charge of felony murder. I had learned that they could have a broken vote, i.e. 6 for premeditated and 6 for child abuse resulting in the death of Caylee to get the felony murder and was hoping for first degree murder but almost expecting the 2nd degree. I was even prepared for a hung jury, but never, ever did I consider an acquittal on the murder charges. Never!

My husband came home to watch the verdict with me and we had the kids listening on speaker phone because they were away camping and unable to watch it on TV. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut when each not guilty was read. The jury hadn’t even charged her with child abuse. It was literally unbelievable. I was unable to speak and in total shock for quite some time afterward. I couldn't even acknowledge my kids questions and shock as to what had just happened and had to let my husband address them. I was numb and in total disbelief.

After two weeks of trying to digest the end result and Casey walking out of jail this past Sunday, I have finally accepted that there’s nothing we can do in terms of overturning the verdict. It is what it is. I still can’t fathom 12 people reaching this conclusion, much less in 10 hours. Plus it has become obvious from a few juror interviews that they really didn’t understand what the state was required to prove and that motive was not required, however the state did provide one. Plus, they claim there was no cause of death given. I guess it was lost on them that after Caylee’s body had sat out in the swamp for 6 months, her bones being scattered about by animals that the M.E. couldn’t find a definitive COD, but the duct tape on her mandible and the fact that the circumstances surrounding her death all pointed to murder Dr. G was only able to rule it a “homicide by undetermined means”. Nor did her statement that 100% of accidental deaths are reported to authorities or that she has never seen an accidental death be made to look like a homicide seem to register in any of their hollow heads!

The fact that they never asked for any evidence during deliberations or for clarification of the jury instructions made it even harder to swallow. Plus there seemed to be some confusion as to reasonable doubt among the 12 pinheads. I honestly think this group needed a video of Casey murdering precious Caylee in order to have come back with a guilty verdict. The prosecution provided ample evidence of her involvement and being the last person to have seen Caylee alive, and I find the excuses being thrown out by a few jurors about why they came to their decision to be appalling. No wonder they’re in hiding and the local citizens and businesses are shunning them. It’s scary to think 12 people can lack such common sense and that no one was bold enough to stand up against the others or to even ask for clarification on the points of jury instructions they were confused about. UGH!!!!

If these jurors felt there was no real evidence in this case then Scott Peterson must be reeling over in San Quentin because all they really had on him was one of Laci’s hair in a pair of his pliers and he’s sitting on death row! But the jurors in his case used their common sense and put the pieces of the puzzle together. I watched that trial, too, and knew he was guilty but in reality they had so much more evidence pointing at Casey than they ever had on Scott. When will people learn that most cases are circumstantial? I’m so sick of hearing that there was no proof! How often do we have murders caught on tape?

I have turned off my Nancy Grace, In Session and Tru TV’s coverage of where’s Waldo, I mean Casey. I don’t care where she's hiding or what she has to say. I don’t want to look at her smirking horse face anymore. She totally thrives on the media attention and I refuse to be part of the demand for anymore Casey news. I refuse to help put money in her pocket so she can profit from killing her daughter and will boycott any organization or product that offers to pay her for her story. Is anyone stupid enough to think that she would tell the truth now, anyway? Truth isn’t in her vocabulary!

I have signed the petition for Caylee’s Law and will now move on to follow the next sad case that catches my eye. I will never forget precious little Caylee and what an impact her short life and senseless murder had on so many people. I will always look back and remember how the Pinellas 12 failed to see the writing on the wall and allowed a child murderer to walk free among us. Caylee's egg donor will eventually get what she has coming to her just like OJ finally got his. It’s just unfortunate that it wasn’t in a court of law as charged. Mark my words, somewhere down the road someone else will fall victim to Casey Anthony. In the end, Caylee will get justice.

RIP Caylee Marie.