When the camera zeroed in on Casey Anthony just prior to court resumption last week her manner prompted a comparison.
To watch the coquettish 25-year-old engaged in conversation generated a comparison to her real life demeanor and case history alongside the femmes fatale of film noir. The unfolding pattern of Ms. Anthony and the staggering number of lives she has led in the course of her first quarter century makes her in some ways appear more event-filled, and in many instances far more dramatic, than the life of a busy centenarian.
A snippet from the testimony of former Anthony fiance Jesse Grund reveals the lock she held on his emotions. Grund revealed being told by Anthony that her older brother Lee had made sexual advances toward her.
Grund explained that he never had anything to do with Lee Anthony after that. At that point in his life, Grund explained, he believed everything that Casey Anthony told him. His explanatory manner left no doubt about the powerful emotional grip Casey held over him.
This can be compared to Robert Mitchum in "Out of the Past." Revealed in frequent dialogue to be a very shrewd detective, as well as by his witty comments and professionally intelligent actions, Mitchum became putty in the hands of femme fatale Jane Greer.
When asked by Mitchum about the $40,000 that Greer's former boyfriend, mob boss Kirk Douglas, claimed she had stolen from him after putting some slugs in him first, she denied stealing the money and had the detective hired to find him believing her and much more. Mitchum was so intent on keeping Greer that he was willing to cross the powerful mob boss who had hired him to hold onto her.
Mitchum uncovered the lie when he found Greer's bank deposit book. This happened after she had skipped out on him. This occurred after killing Mitchum's former partner. Later, after returning to Douglas, she would sign an affidavit declaring that Mitchum had committed the murder.
The femme fatale combines sexual allure with persuasiveness to leave her victims as lock shorn Samsons. This is a pattern that also asserted itself with notable femmes fatale Barbara Stanwyck and Claire Trevor in the memorable dramas "Double Indemnity" and "Murder, My Sweet" respectively.
These were women who lied often and convincingly. None of the aforementioned, however, caused the kind of lengthy and continuing stir that Casey Anthony did nationally when she switched stories frequently and even made up a fictitious nanny to explain what had happened to her missing daughter Caylee.
In addition to having more than her share of young men willing to respond to her beck and call, Casey Anthony had a family believing such stories as continuing employment at Disneyworld long after she had ceased working there and serving the role of enablers, allowing her to perpetuate her fantasy life. The family, like Casey, had trouble separating fact from fiction.
With admirers and enablers galore, the party loving Ms. Anthony flashed triumphant smiles at Orlando area nightclubs alongside friends and admirers. She was confident enough to enter a "Hot Bod" contest at one nightclub and pose twisting her body and interacting suggestively with one of the club's dancers.
During that period when her daughter was missing Casey visited a tattoo parlor to have her prevailing motto inscribed on her skin. It read bella vita, Italian for beautiful life. Her activities of the period underscored that this was one time that a young woman known for lies was assuredly telling the truth.
Despite many tenable claims that she cried phony tears on various occasions, there was one time when an outburst was legitimate. This came when she was in jail uniform and in court, preparing to be tried for murder.
In the manner of a true sociopath, Casey Anthony could cry real tears when the fruits of charming and benefiting from enablement had ended and a new period of cold reality had commenced.