The Casey Anthony trial continues today with the defense calling witnesses. Anthony’s lawyer, Jose Baez, has been trying to discredit the prosecution and local legal authorities, suggesting that “tests done by prosecution experts on air samples from Casey Anthony’s car trunk were marred by errors and departures from correct procedures,” Reuters reports. That doesn’t change the fact that a computer forensic expert determined that Anthony searched the Internet 84 times for the word chloroform and looked for several other grisly terms as well, though the defense’s argument may mean that Casey Anthony walks away from this trial unpunished. If she is found guilty, Anthony may escape death, since on Monday, Federal Judge Jose Martinez ruled Florida’s death penalty sentencing procedure to be unconstitutional.
Not since the Andrea Yates trial – and the subsequent appeal that led to her insanity conviction – has America been so riveted by the mind of a murderous mother. Anthony, with her many lies, is forcing the public to begin to comprehend the scourge of sociopathy that silently plagues this nation. Because the truth is so heavily obfuscated in this case it’s unclear what will happen, but one thing is for sure: Casey Anthony isn’t the only mother to be tried by both a jury of her peers and the media. In the digital age, many high-profile mothers are scrutinized and vilified, some for murderous deeds, some for their political views, and others for their lifestyle. These are the moms we love to hate, the Top 10 Most Villainous and Vilified Moms of the New Millennium:
10. Julie Schenecker 1 of 10Julie Schenecker was living the "perfect" life as a Florida mom of two children, 13-year-old Beau and 16-year-old Calyx. In January, Schenecker was arrested after she confessed to killing both teenagers for being - quote - mouthy. Schenecker pleaded not guilty and awaits trial in jail. Her husband has filed for divorce, but she is asking that he pay for her defense, which he does not wish to do. Photo via MSNBC.
9. Amy Chua 2 of 10When the WSJ ran an excerpt of Amy Chua's book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" back in January, I doubt they had any idea they'd spark such intense debate among parents. Chua's Chinese Parenting philosophy made her a hero to some, but a villain to many more Americans who see her strict no-fun methodology as cold and unloving. Chua was criticized by Asian comedians like Jen Kwok and Becky Yamamoto and even became an Internet meme. She's pictured here with her daughters. Photo via Wiki.
8. The Botox Mom 3 of 10We all remember Kerry Campbell, aka Sheena Upton, aka the Botox Mom. Back in March, as Campbell, she told British tabloid The Sun that she was injecting her 8-year-old daughter with Botox shots so she wouldn't get wrinkles. In May, she appeared on Good Morning America to defend the practice, and subsequently lost custody of her daughter. Campbell then admitted to actually being Upton and said she made the whole story up for $200. It was announced today by Radar Online that in order to maintain custody of her child, Upton is being forced to undergo mental health treatment and take parenting classes.
7. The Octomom 4 of 10Nadya Suleman, aka Octomom, made headlines in 2009 when she gave birth to eight children on top of the six she already had. Suleman has had trouble financially supporting her 14 children, and was facing eviction in December. She appeared on Oprah with financial expert Suze Orman, who told her to film a reality show in order to make some money. Instead, Suleman released a fetish video involving adult diapers. According to PopEater, Suleman will soon be featured on a "celebrity" dating show. Will it pay enough to help her raise 14 kids? I doubt it. She needs to team up with the Duggars. They seem to have no problem finding money to raise their brood. Photo via Flickr.
6. Jill Haskins 5 of 10You might not know Jill Haskins by name, but you may remember her story. Haskins lost her son, Baby Joshua, in October 2010. Joshua was born with a congenital heart defect and died at two months old. Intactivists blamed circumcision surgery for Joshua's death and attacked Haskins on her blog. Haskins had been told that an anti-circ group had plans to protest at her son's funeral, but the Intactivist group denied those allegations. I'm happy to report that Haskins is pregnant with a boy she's calling her rainbow baby, due 11-11-11. She's not the only mother who has been criticized for circumcising her son. Taffy Brodesser-Akner was berated on Salon after admitting that she circumcised her son, and Russell Crowe took to Twitter recently to let the world know he thinks circumcision is barbaric. Haskins became an unwilling poster-child for the anti-circ movement and has begun to get comments urging her not to circumcise her unborn son. Photo courtesy Jill Haskins.
5. Elisa Baker 6 of 1011-year-old Zahra Baker had been missing for months before her remains were found. Zahra's step-mother, Elisa Baker, admitted to having faked a kidnapping and forged a ransom note before the remains were identified. Elisa Baker was given a plea deal after giving police a letter that led them to Zahra's remains. Baker is charged with second-degree murder and dismemberment in the death of Zahra, and pled not guilty earlier this month to charges that she illegally sold prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety pills. Photo via The Australian.
4. Sarah Palin 7 of 10Sarah Palin has been widely vilified for using her son Trig as a prop, but she's had to endure a lot as his mother, as well. Political blog Wonkette recently used "the r word" against Trig in a mean-spirited attempt to sully Palin's image as a dedicated mother. Palin has certainly used her Mama Grizzly persona to gain the attention of voters, and challenged comedian Kathy Griffin to "come up to Alaska and pick on me" but leave her kids alone. Is Griffin justified? Sarah's daughter Bristol isn't exactly the best spokesperson for abstinence and her daughter Willow was caught using homophobic slurs on Facebook. Photo via Wikipedia.
3. Gwyneth Paltrow 8 of 10Gwyneth Paltrow is the mom the other half loves to hate. Don't get me wrong, she's practically perfect in every way - and that's the problem. Whether she's talking about being a working mom on her fancy lifestyle website GOOP or publishing cookbooks which recount her life as a tortured hippie macrobiotic, Gwenyth has proven that she's floating so high above the rest of us she's lost touch with reality. Photo via Wikipedia.
2. Kate Gosselin 9 of 10Kate Gosselin is the O.G. reality TV mom, and for that fact alone, people vilify the woman. We're still not sure as an audience how we feel about Kate raising her children on-camera; child advocates say the Gosselin kids are sure to be screwed up. People judged Kate for, well, appearing on the cover of People, but at this point that's part of her job description. I suppose it's a good thing Kate grew her hair out, because I imagine her signature cut was making people angry, too. So many spikes!
1. Jennifer Petkov 10 of 10Jennifer Petkov is a grown woman, a mother and a relentless bully. She began torturing then 7-year-old Kathleen Edward, who is in the final stages of Huntington's Disease, last fall with photos of her dead mother. Petkov tried to run another of her neighbors over with her car and eventually lost custody of her children. UPI reported yesterday that Petkov has once again started bullying Edwards online, violating her parole. Disgusting, pathetic and sad.
Main photo: Mugshot via Wikimedia
Do these moms top May 2011’s Top Parenting Scandals?
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