Casey Anthony, the Florida mother who was acquitted in the death of her daughter Caylee, is now living with Patrick J. McKenna, a West Palm Beach, Florida private detective with a history of famous clients.
Anthony revealed in her surprising Associated Press interview that she’s currently living with McKenna. It was the first time the 30-year-old Anthony did an interview with a media outlet since she was acquitted in 2011. The identity of Caylee’s father remains a mystery.
Her daughter, Caylee, was last reported being seen on June 16, 2008. A month later, Anthony reported her missing. Caylee’s remains were found on December 11, 2008. Anthony was on trial from May to July 2011 and it became a media circus.
“Based off what was in the media…I understand the reasons people feel about me. I understand why people have the opinions that they do,” Anthony told the Associated Press. Still, she says she sleeps well at night.
“I don’t give a s— about what anyone thinks about me, I never will,” she told the AP. “I’m OK with myself, I sleep pretty good at night.”
In a response to their daughter’s AP interview, Cindy and George Anthony told People Magazine that George’s “heart hurts even more now.”
Here’s a look at McKenna and his relationship with Anthony.
1. Anthony Is Now Working For McKenna
Anthony is now living with McKenna in South Florida, The Associated Press reported. Since she tries to stay away from the public eye, she also works for him as a research assistant for his investigative work.
It’s not clear why Anthony came forward to talk to the AP. She might have been inspired by retired Judge Belvin Perry’s interview with the Orlando Sentinel on March 2.
Perry told the Sentinel that the jury got it right based on the evidence presented, but he theorized that she might have accidentally killed Caylee when she tried to use chloroform to quiet Caylee. If the prosecution decided to charge Anthony with second-degree murder or manslaughter, he suggested, the jury might have convicted her. Instead, she was charged with first-degree murder and prosecutors wanted the death penalty.
“There was a possibility that she may have utilized that to keep the baby quiet … and just used too much of it, and the baby died,” Perry told the Sentinel. “That’s just one of the many theories as to how this beautiful young lady [Caylee] tragically met her death.”
2. He Was Also the Lead Investigator for O.J. Simpson
The 67-year-old McKenna has a resume full of famous clients, but none more famous than O.J. Simpson. McKenna was the lead investigator for Simpson’ defense when Simpson was accused of killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Like Anthony, Simpson was acquitted.
In her Associated Press interview, Anthony said that she sees “a lot of parallels” between the Simpson case and her own. “I can empathize with his situation,” she added.
In 1995, McKenna was profiled by the New York Times and recalled meeting Simpson while he was in prison. “I love you, man and I’m going to bring you home to your family,” McKenna told Simpson in prison, notes the Times.
“What would make me the most proud — it sounds corny, would be to locate who really did it,” McKenna told the Times in 1995 of the Simpson murder.
As the Times notes, McKenna had two children with his first wife in Chicago. He saved himself from foreclosure by taking on the William Kennedy Smith rape case in 1991. Smith, who is a member of the famous Kennedy political family, was also acquitted.
3. McKenna Helped Casey Anthony Launch a Photography Business
Back in February 2016, The Daily Mail discovered that Anthony registered a new business called “Case Photography, LLC” in West Palm Beach. The Daily Mail also published photos of Anthony using a camera and taking pictures of McKenna.
The address for the company was listed as McKenna’s home. The paperwork she filed to the Florida Division of Corporations showed that she paid $160 to set up the limited liability company.
The Orlando Sentinel also confirmed that Anthony set up the company and tried to ask McKenna about it. However, the twice-divorced investigator refused to comment.
“I was more surprised by Casey’s acquittal than OJ’s because I had more confidence in OJ’s jury. There was just more science to back up his case than Casey’s,” McKenna told ABC News in 2011.
In that ABC News interview, he also said that he didn’t care for Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony. He called George “bizarre.”
“I walked out of that house and thought to myself, ‘I don’t think this kid committed first degree murder,'” McKenna told ABC News in 2011. “There is something really disturbing about this family. I was shocked by their lack of emotion. There was no sense of loss or despondency. Their granddaughter’s remains had just been found and they’re sitting around booking television interviews and talking about how much money their foundation is making.”
4. McKenna Served in the Vietnam War
According to his LinkedIn page, McKenna served in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968 and 1969. He was honorably discharged in 1969 and served in the Vietnam War.
McKenna earned a Masters of Science in Corrections from Chicago State University in 1977 and a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice at Southern Illinois University in 1974.
In 1984, he established Patrick J. McKenna Investigations and says he’s worked with defense teams around the country and outside the U.S. Some of his clients have included Simpson, Yoko Ono, F. Lee Bailey, William Kennedy Smith and even the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Before he established his private firm, he was a probation office and worked as an investigator in Chicago.
In 2008, he earned the Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Award.
5. McKenna Said of the O.J. Simpson Trial, ‘I Haven’t Seen Anything Crazier Since’
When a knife was discovered at O.J. Simpson’s former home last year, CBS12 tracked McKenna down. Even though he had been through the Anthony case, he said the Simpson trial as the craziest case he’s ever handled. “I haven’t seen anything crazier since,” he said.
When asked about that knife, Simpson couldn’t believe it and said that his phone was constantly ringing after it was discovered. “I’ll have to wait to hear what they say about it,” he told CBS12.
In March 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to the LA Times that the knife wasn’t the murder weapon. It didn’t have any blood on it.
“The media attention and absolute conviction by the public that Casey and OJ were guilty early on, without any consideration of the evidence, was so intense in both cases,” McKenna told ABC News. “But they had stark contrasts too. Casey had absolutely no money, and OJ had millions of dollars. Casey’s lawyer, Jose Baez, was a young, fairly new lawyer compared to OJ’s high profile lawyer, Johnnie Cochran. Baez was an underdog.”