Friday, July 29, 2011

The last of Casey

It’s poised to be the hit of Halloween 2011: the Casey Anthony mask, or more accurately the mask of the pouting mask of contrition and annoyance she wore consistently during the six weeks of her trial for the murder of her daughter Caylee.

KTLA reported Thursday that Torro, a Los Angeles pop artist and sculptor, has sold a latex Casey Anthony mask, one of nine he created for a parody video. The mask sold on eBay for $999,900. The eBay selling point? The mask, “sculpted to precision,” was a “significant piece of crime history.” Someone apparently thought so.

There’s a good chance that we’ll see Casey knockoff masks, made on the cheap in a hurry by some enterprising entrepreneur, loose on the American streets this Oct. 31. Someone’s likely to make a lot of money, and it may not be Casey Anthony. It’s gonna be hard to sue for infringement of your likeness when you — the source of that likeness, the object of death threats — have gone into hiding. When everything you've done from the moment you got out of jail after your acquittal is to transform that likeness into something else.

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No question, Casey's in play. On the HLN channel Thursday night, Hustler magazine Larry Flynt offered Casey Anthony $500,000 to pose for the mag. And there have reportedly been “talks” between the three broadcast networks and those in Anthony’s “camp” about a possible interview, which the networks have already said they wouldn’t pay for.

Speculation is high about where she’s been since she was released from the Orange County jail early on July 17. ABC News reported that Anthony boarded a single-engine prop plane registered to a wealthy California attorney at Orlando Executive Airport.

“She’s only 25 years old,” said Cheney Mason, part of the Anthony defense team, to CNN. “A decade from now, she may have some stability in her life, maybe [get] a husband and they can go somewhere in Montana and start over, I don’t know.”

Montana? Maybe not, counselor. The National Enquirer, that guilty pleasure on a checkout rack near you, reported after her release that plans had already been set in motion for a complete Casey makeover — including a $50,000 reinvention by plastic surgery — courtesy of a mysterious 51-year-old Australian tycoon who once had a fling with Anthony … a man whom the Enquirer speculated may well have been Caylee’s father.

Fox News Orlando said July 18 that news reports had emerged “linking Casey to Central Florida, Puerto Rico, Ohio, Arizona, and California.” With multiple Casey sightings like that all over the country, there may be more of those masks around than we think.

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Eventually, of course, after the perceived outrage of the public has moderated, she’ll almost certainly reappear, after a fashion: interviewed in a secret undisclosed location, arc-welder sunglasses in place, her voice disguised, her face pixielated to a fare-thee-well. That’s when we’ll get the real story — or in all likelihood, a retelling of the story she’s stuck to from the beginning.

Until then, the mask will have to do. This replica and its spinoffs may be the last we’ll see of the Casey Anthony we’ve come to know over the last three years. The real Casey Anthony probably is no longer around, her identity being erased through the work of her lawyers and, quite possibly, some millionaire’s version of the witness protection program.

We’ll forget about her until Halloween, when she shows up in absentia to compete with the replicas of Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and various demons and goblins for the scariest mask of the holiday. When they see this mask coming from a distance, parents are advised to walk on by. Hold their children close. And when the kids ask who the stark, severe, pointy-eared ghoul walking their way is supposed to be, tell them the truth.

Just tell them she doesn’t exist any more.

Image credits: Anthony mask: via Anthony in court: Joe Burbank/Associated Press. Anthony mug shot photo-illustration: Short Sharp Shock.

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