Last Sunday, Casey Anthony left a Florida jail a free woman. In the days prior to her release there was speculation as to whether she would alter her appearance and if her defense team would attempt a "slight of hand" maneuver to get her successfully out of Dodge. Shortly after midnight, she left the jail, looking pretty much like we've all seen her, with her hair up in a bun, wearing a bright pink V-neck shirt. She got into a waiting SUV and made a drive to one of her attorney's office garages where the media lost track of her. So much for the disguise part, but the attorneys did a pretty good job making her disappear.
Casey Antony is free but that freedom comes with a cost. Her legal troubles are not over, as two lawsuits loom in her future, one from a company that spent money searching for a live child (who at that time Casey allegedly knew was already deceased) and one from a woman whose name matched the elusive nanny accused to have spirited Caylee away. These lawsuits are part of the tangled web woven by Casey Anthony's many deceptions. Those lies didn't keep her in jail but they could trip her up in the days to come, siphoning off her anticipated interview and media profits.
In the interim, Casey Anthony is hardly living the "beautiful life." She can't go home. She can't go out in the open. She hides from public view in a sort of inverted witness protection program brought on by at least one emailed death threat and the perception of an organic, public fatwa -- if not calling specifically for her physical death, than declaring open season for her personal vilification.
For now, Casey Anthony and her handlers, whoever they are (how long before her attorneys move on to the next case?), are left discussing name changes, how to alter her appearance and whether to undergo surgical modifications. The public is left wondering if she's still in the Orlando area and when and where she'll resurface. There was even a Casey Anthony sighting on Monday at a sparsely populated beach in the British Virgin Islands, with locals sure it was her lounging under a palm tree reading a magazine before she disappeared off the beach and into her bungalow. For many, that thought of Casey Anthony basking in a tropical locale sets off another wave of sheer repugnance, whether it was really her or not.
It took roughly a decade for the fatwa against author Salman Rushdie to be lifted for writing The Satanic Verses. During those years, he lived a life of exile, under constant threat. Since 1998, it's gotten better for the author but he still has to be extremely careful. The official fatwa is lifted but the threat of individuals taking independent action against his life must occasionally keep him up at night. It took a decade for the Iranian government say "never mind" in regards to Rushdie. I wonder how long it will take the public to say "never mind" to Casey Anthony.
There was speculation after the Rushdie fatwa was lifted that he would write a memoir about his years under threat. Recently, he revealed he's actively working on that book. It's bound to be a very popular, and some say controversial, book. When Rushdie's book does come out, Casey Anthony may find she's got some extra time on her hands. Whether it's at a beachfront villa in the British Virgin Islands or some other undisclosed location, she might consider foregoing reading a magazine and picking up Salman's book instead. In an odd way, she and Rushdie have something in common.