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Jane Velez-Mitchell Headshot

Jodi Arias vs. Casey Anthony: Who's the Worse Liar?

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In researching Jodi Arias for my new book, Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias, I was repeatedly struck by the parallels between Jodi's case history and Casey Anthony's. These two attractive young women are arguably America's two most famous liars. They've earned their place in this pathetic pantheon. Both lied at the very time honesty was needed most. They lied about life-and-death issues. Jodi, however, was convicted of the premeditated murder of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her precious toddler Caylee Anthony. A complete list of their lies could and have filled books. But here's a quick recap of some of their biggest whoppers.

Tot mom -- as she will forever be known -- Casey Anthony lied when she said she worked at Universal Studios. She hadn't had a job for years. Still, she left every morning for what she claimed was a job, often with her adorable daughter Caylee in tow, telling Cindy and George, her clueless parents, that she was dropping the toddler off with a nanny named Zanny. The nanny didn't exist. Casey Anthony lived a lie, pretending to have a career while bouncing around town with a 2-year-old in tow, doing who knows what.

When Casey's toddler vanished, she concocted elaborate lies, so that the child's doting grandmother would think little Caylee was just off on a day trip somewhere. Casey invented vacations and created imaginary friends, and even whipped up a fake rich and desirable suitor, knowing her mother might like that story line and not ask as many questions. Then, after a long month, Casey finally admitted the child was missing but added another lie... that she'd been kidnapped by the nanny. Casey's lawyers later admitted in court that their client knew her child was already dead, but still she let thousands of kind people search fields and streams for the little girl, strangers who desperately hoped they could find her. Then, when Casey was put on trial for murder, she threw her dad under the bus, accusing him of molesting her and having a role in Caylee's death, something her father said was an utter lie.

Jodi's lies were different, but they were no less insidious -- if anything, they were worse.
When asked about her possible role in Travis' death, Jodi initially lied to cops, insisting she was not at Travis' house. When she was confronted with the nude and time-stamped photos of her that proved she was there, she then claimed two masked intruders attacked and killed Travis, but left her alive. That was another ridiculous lie, but she held onto it for two years. After, when Jodi finally admitted she was the one who stabbed Travis and slit his throat with a total of 29 knife wounds, she claimed she first shot him in self-defense when he lunged at her. That scenario was disproven by the physical evidence at the crime scene, because the bullet casing landed in blood, which meant she had already stabbed him long before he was shot. After Jodi viciously murdered Travis she lied about the cuts on her hands saying she got them bartending at a restaurant that didn't exist. Nor did the bartending job.

Those lies about her involvement would have been bad enough, but Jodi did not stop there. She went on to posthumously humiliate her victim, telling the jury and the world that Travis was an abuser and pedophile. He absolutely was not. She claimed he had lots of pictures of women's breasts on his computer. He did not. Jodi claimed Travis broke her finger, after she discovered him masturbating to photos of young boys. But, in her own journal entry for the time period when this supposedly happened, she wrote that nothing noteworthy had occurred.

And yet being caught in these lies didn't stop Jodi from swearing under oath that her story was in fact the truth. Unlike Casey Anthony, who did not take the stand in her own defense, Jodi Arias testified for 18 days. In that time, the prosecutor accused her of repeatedly lying under oath. Perhaps taking a page from Casey's successful defense, Jodi also threw her parents under the bus accusing her mom of hitting her with a wooden spoon, accusing her dad of pushing her into furniture. Meanwhile, Jodi's best friend from childhood never saw any physical violence in the home.

Both young women have a rare ability to lie with abandon while sounding very convincing and assured. Habitual liars master a technique. Whatever they say, they believe. For pathological liars, truth is irrelevant. They are blind to it.

For them, "truth" is whatever comes out of their mouth. And, they say whatever helps them in that moment. Often, this habit lands them in desperate straights at which point their lies become more brazen. As I make abundantly clear in my new book Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias lying is a recipe for disaster, for the liar, for their loved one and for anyone who falls into their vortex. If these two horrific cases prove anything it's that we should all strive for rigorous honesty.