Unless you are totally off the news grid (and probably wouldn't be reading this), you, too, are hooked in some fashion on the Casey Anthony murder case down in Orlando.
It's probably the nation's most high-profile criminal case perhaps since O.J. Simpson walked out of court a free man (only to later get imprisoned in the ultimate karmic payback for trying to strong-arm some fellow punks in Vegas who were peddling his football memorabilia).
Anthony is kind of a hot, white, very bad girl who lies about everything.
Basically, she strung out the world about the whereabouts of her little daughter, Caylee, whom she now stands accused of killing, covering her mouth with duct tape (maybe not in that order), and dumping in a wooded area near her parents' home.
Little Caylee was "missing" for months before a meter reader came upon her chewed-up remains in a location near where Casey and a gal pal supposedly once buried their dead pets.
Anthony didn't tell anyone, including her parents, for about a month, that her little girl was "missing," instead engaging in a bizarre series of lies that included a non-existent nanny and non-existent out-of-town trips.
If you're reading this, you know all that and more.
You also know that Casey Anthony is on trial for her life at the moment -- the defense is presenting its case -- and that she is very likely to go down for the count.
We have been flashing on Phoenix's version of the Anthony case: The early 1990s first-degree murder trial of Deborah "Death Row Debbie" Milke.
Milke also was a young and vaguely good-looking white woman charged with orchestrating the homicide of her 4-year-old only child, Christopher.
As the story went, Milke tired of being a mom, including the time constraints Christopher was putting on her social life (sound familiar, Casey Anthony trial watchers?).
But in her case, Phoenix police accused Milke of persuading her roommate, a mentally twisted Vietnam vet named Jim Styers, to do the deed -- which was to put three bullets in little Christopher's head out in the desert on West Happy Valley Road.
The photographs of the dead child, his chewing gum still clenched between his teeth, still haunt us.
A detective testified that Milke had confessed to him shortly after her arrest, though the fact that the confession was not tape-recorded caused great controversy.
Trial testimony included the allegation that Milke had told her little boy he was going out that day "to see Santa." That line was a keeper, and stuck in the public's collective mind.
"Hitman" Styers enlisted the assistance of a pal of his, Roger Wayne Scott, an idiot who ended up, like Milke and Styers, on Arizona's death row.
We spent a lot of time with Milke back in the day and wrote extensively about her case.
She wasn't as fast on her feet as is the pathological liar Anthony -- but she was relentless in trying to deflect all blame for everything that had happened in her life to her parents, ex-husband, and others.
Here and here are a few of our old-school stories.
We were thinking about Milke the other day as we took at peek at the Anthony trial, and the parallels were eerie.
Questions about Milke's guilt linger, with websites and bloggers continuing to demand justice in her case. We sat through her trial -- it was extremely high-profile, though not close to the frenzy that is surrounding Anthony's -- and the outcome was pretty obvious from the start.
Note to Casey Anthony's attorneys: Deborah Milke probably was the worst witness in her own defense that we've seen, and we've seen some doozies.
The word unbelievable comes to mind.
Milke now is a gray-haired woman in her mid-40s who has been residing on Arizona's death row for about two decades. She's not scheduled for execution, but she's not going anywhere, either.
We suspect that Casey Anthony will find herself in the same predicament, Florida-style, in the not-too-distant future.
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