How A Missed Search From Casey Anthony's Computer Could Have Changed The Trial

The not-guilty verdict for Casey Anthony shocked the nation back in 2011. The case had been a fixture in the press for years, thanks to the constant twists and turns in the case — often created by Anthony's own lies. According to Biography, the sad saga began in 2008, when Caylee Anthony, Casey's 2-year-old daughter, was reported missing. Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy, was the one who made the call after learning that her daughter had not seen Caylee for a full month.

From that point, Casey Anthony hindered the case with numerous fabrications, including the claim that Caylee had been kidnapped by a babysitter. Anthony even led investigators to the babysitter's apartment, which was uninhabited. Around half a year after Caylee was first reported missing, law enforcement finally found her remains less than half a mile from the Anthony home.

At the time, the public firmly believed that the 22-year-old single mother from Orlando was guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. However; the jury disagreed, with one later saying that though the dozen believed that Anthony was a bad person, they didn't believe the prosecution had shown "without reasonable doubt" that she killed her daughter (via People). However, since then, a key new piece of evidence has emerged — and it might have changed the course of the trial.

The frightening ways detectives bungled the case

After Casey Anthony was arrested, the authorities went through her computer to see if her internet searches provided any clues that hinted at her guilt. They did — but the sheriffs didn't find a number of searches for one simple reason.

According to USA Today, authorities performed the search on only one web browser: Internet Explorer. Though Anthony, or someone in the Anthony household, did use Internet Explorer, Casey Anthony preferred to use Mozilla Firefox. When searching for "suffocation" on the former, there were zero results. When searching on the right browser, not only did suffocation come up, but also around 1,200 other searches.

Looking at the internet trail of the computer, the person who looked up suffocation — adding the tag "fool-proof" and misspelling suffocation as suffication — then clicked on an article that listed several methods. One technique written about was using poison; another was putting a bag over the head. The search was made on the last day Caylee was seen alive, and five months later, Caylee was found wrapped in a plastic bag, per CNN.

The wrong murder method led to a weak case

Because the search on the computer was overlooked, prosecutors were forced to guess how Caylee was killed — and the hypothesis had some glaring holes. In the trial, prosecutors claimed that the 2-year-old had been poisoned with chloroform and then suffocated after Anthony placed duct tape over the child's mouth and nose. The accusation wasn't crazy; the computer analysis did show searches for chloroform, per ABC News. In addition, Caylee had been found with duct tape on her face. However, since Anthony had not purchased chloroform, the prosecution argued that she or a family member had made it at home, a difficult process that would be hard for the average person to pull off.

"I think this was probably the part that the jury didn't buy into — that anyone from the Anthony household was making chloroform to either render Caylee Anthony unconscious or to kill her. And I have to say, neither do I buy into that narrative having run the real-life experience that showed it was highly unlikely," noted New Scotland Yard criminal behavioral analyst Laura Richards to Oxygen. The chloroform crisis probably played into the jury's biggest gripe when it was deliberating a verdict: that prosecutors hadn't given them enough solid evidence to convict (via People).