Murderers can be charming little girls with good manners, who live in pretty houses with nice parents. Just take a look at the 1956 film classic, “The Bad Seed” or read the novel by William March. The novel was also adapted into a long running Broadway play.
“The Bad Seed” is the story of eight year old Rhoda Penmark, an only child doted on by her parents. She is pretty, smart, manipulative and affectionate, but her parents don’t realize that in reality she is a coldly murderous child who will lie and kill when necessary to get what she wants.
When her mother notices little Rhoda acting strangely after a classmate drowns, she slowly comes to the realization that her daughter is responsible and dangerous, and must be stopped.
Rhoda’s mother’s dilemma is strikingly similar to the situation that Casey Anthony’s mother Cindy now faces. She realizes her daughter is guilty but wants to protect her daughter from harsh punishment.
In “The Bad Seed,” Rhoda (played brilliantly in the film by blonde pigtailed Patty McCormack) is a sociopath. Today many consider Casey Anthony, now on trial for the murder of her 2 year old daughter, a sociopath.
Sociopaths devalue others and have no sense of morality. They want to be the center of attention. This describes Casey Anthony. She seems to be oddly disconnected from the reality of her situation, and seems to be enjoying the drama she has created.
Her lying is extraordinarily creative and she will say and do anything regardless of whom she hurts. She accused her father and brother of sexual abuse and rewards her mother’s loyalty with angry glares.
Research suggests that sociopathic children can result from environment, trauma and genetics. In genetics, if one parent is a sociopath the child can be one. We don’t know that much about Casey’s father George.
However, some research has discovered that even adopted children who have never been with a sociopathic biological parent can develop signs of sociopathic illness. The gene, (the Bad Seed) is very powerful.
In the film “The Bad Seed” Rhoda’s sociopathic behavior was supposedly inherited from a great aunt. Perhaps the bad seed skipped a generation in the Anthony family.
Like the mother in the film, Cindy Anthony went to a counselor to try to better understand Casey, but she was unable to implement the “tough love” approach with Casey.
Cindy’s last argument with Casey about the lies, thefts, and poor parenting might have determined little Caylee Marie’s fate. Casey had had enough of both of them.
Did Casey hate her mom more than she loved Caylee? Did she ever love her little girl? Did she eliminate both obstacles in her life and go happily on her way? A jury will decide.
Cindy’s “something’s wrong” 9-1-1 call came too late. Also, see the film “Bad Seed”. You won’t forget it.
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