Casey Anthony’s parents take lie detector test about granddaughter’s death: ‘Some wounds are just too deep’

Caylee Anthony's grandparents to appear in 'Casey Anthony’s Parents: The Lie Detector Test'

The parents of "the most hated mom in America" want to clear their name.

George and Cindy Anthony, whose daughter is Florida woman Casey Anthony, agreed to take a polygraph test for a two-hour special, "Casey Anthony’s Parents: The Lie Detector Test."

The special, airing on both A&E and Lifetime, will delve into the 2008 death of their granddaughter, Caylee Anthony. The case made international headlines and resulted in a bitter divide within the family. Casey, 37, was charged and later acquitted of the 2-year-old’s death in 2011.


George Anthony sitting down in a lit living room with Cindy Anthony placing her hand on his shoulder

George and Cindy Anthony agreed to take a polygraph test on-camera to answer lingering questions about George’s alleged involvement in Caylee Anthony's death. (©️2023 A&E Television Networks LLC/Mary Beth Koeth)

The polygraph examination was administered by retired FBI Special Agent George Olivo, who has conducted thousands of polygraphs in more than 20 years. He wasn’t allowed to divulge the results to Fox News Digital. Olivo also hasn’t seen the special ahead of its Jan. 4 airing, which will show George and Cindy reacting to the other’s answers and the lie detector results.

"When I met them, they were soon separated, and I tested George first," Olivo told Fox News Digital. "Nothing really stood out to me. They seem like, on the surface, just a regular couple that have been together for a very long time."

Olivo said that despite critics insisting the special might be a publicity stunt from the Anthonys, their motive for coming forward was the real deal.

Caylee Anthony looking up and placing her head on her hand

Caylee Anthony died in 2008. She was 2. (Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service)

"You’ve got your daughter that’s accusing you of some pretty horrific things," he said. "If they claim that they didn’t do anything, it’s like the old saying goes, you’re darned if you do and you’re darned if you don’t. If you say nothing, those same critics will say, ‘Well, there you go. They didn’t say anything, so they must be guilty.’ And if they speak up and say, ‘I’d like to respond to that publicly the same way [my daughter] made her accusations publicly,’ then critics will say, ‘They’re trying to capitalize on it.’"

"You can’t win either way," Olivo added.

In 2022, Casey participated in a Peacock docuseries, "Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies." It was the first time Casey appeared on camera since she was found not guilty of Caylee’s murder but guilty of lying to law enforcement.


Casey Anthony smiling in court

In 2022, Casey Anthony, shown at her trial in 2011, participated in the Peacock special, "Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies." (Joe Burbank/Pool)

While Casey stopped short of alleging her father intentionally killed Caylee in the docuseries, she heavily accused him of being somehow involved.

Casey was arrested in 2008 for Caylee's disappearance. While the child was supposedly last seen on June 16, 2008, she was first reported missing by Casey's mother on July 15. Casey told police that Caylee had disappeared with a babysitter.

For nearly six months, volunteers conducted a nationwide search for the toddler and followed up on hundreds of leads. On Dec. 11, a utility employee working in a wooded area near Casey’s Florida home found skeletal remains that were later determined to be Caylee’s. Experts would testify that air samples indicated that decaying human remains had been present in Casey's trunk.

A cross at Caylee Anthonys memorial

A memorial for Caylee Anthony is shown where the 2-year-old's remains were found in Orlando, Florida. Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, was acquitted of murder charges in the child's death. (Joe Raedle)

Casey was charged with murder and her 2011 trial was a media spectacle. Prosecutors proved Casey was a liar but convinced the jury of little else. The government failed to establish how Caylee died, and they couldn’t find her mother’s DNA on the duct tape that they said was used to suffocate her.

Lead attorney Jose Baez from Casey's defense team argued that Caylee accidentally drowned and that her death was covered up, though Casey said she does not believe her daughter drowned in the family's above-ground pool. Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that Casey suffocated the girl using chloroform and then covered the toddler's mouth with duct tape.

George and Cindy Anthony sitting down on a red couch and being interviewed

George and Cindy Anthony are shown being interviewed for the TV special. (©️2023 A&E Television Networks LLC photo/Mary Beth Koeth)

After a trial that lasted for more than a month, the jury took less than 11 hours to find Casey not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. Casey was convicted of four counts of lying to police (though two counts were later dropped) and credited for the three years she was in prison while awaiting trial.CASEY ANTHONY BACK IN SPOTLIGHT NEARLY 14 YEARS AFTER TODDLER DAUGHTER FOUND DEAD

Casey Anthony crying after she found out shes not guilty

Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse on July 5, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. At left is defense attorney Jose Baez. (Red Huber/Pool/Getty Images)

Casey didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. A source told The Messenger that Casey "doesn’t give a s--t" about her parents wanting to do a polygraph test.

"She says she knows the truth, and so do her parents," the source told the outlet. "A polygraph won’t change the truth."

According to Olivo, when a polygraph is done correctly, it’s "85 to 90% accurate." It is believed there will be pointed questions about whether George molested Casey and whether he had anything to do with Caylee’s death or hiding her body.

George Olivo wearing a suit and sitting down

George Olivo has conducted thousands of polygraph examinations for the FBI. He has helped resolve issues involving bank robbery, homicide, missing persons, crimes against children, fraud and extortion, among others. (©️2023 A&E Television Networks LLC/Mary Beth Koeth)

According to Olivo, 19 states admit polygraph results in court by stipulation, which means both parties agree on admitting the polygraph results and who conducts the test. He said that while polygraph tests can be used in pretrial and post-trial to negotiate a sentencing or even get a case thrown out of court before a district attorney files charges, the Supreme Court has determined that polygraph tests should not be placed in front of a jury.

Cindy Anthony standing up and looking serious

Cindy Anthony (©️2023 A&E Television Networks LLC/Mary Beth Koeth)

"The Supreme Court – and I agree with them – want the jury to be the final [arbiter] of truth," Olivo said.

Olivo also said that according to studies conducted by the FBI, 75% of guilty people will agree to a polygraph exam if asked properly.


George and Cindy Anthony standing next to each other and looking serious in a low lit room

George and Cindy Anthony agreed to a polygraph test following the accusations that their daughter, Casey, made in her 2022 TV special. (©️2023 A&E Television Networks LLC/Mary Beth Koeth)

"I taught investigators and agents to ask someone to take a polygraph exam, not in a challenging way but in a more cooperative way," Olivo said. "Like, ‘I believe you. Let’s take a polygraph exam to verify your statement. That way you can put all of this behind you.’"

"Guilty people have two strategies. If they think they can get away with it, they always appear cooperative. Otherwise, you’re going to look guilty if you aren’t. … But often, they will start backpedaling before you even start the test. ‘I’m pretty nervous’ or ‘I heard these things don’t really work. They’re not admissible, right?’ They’ll start getting all their ducks lined up because they’re already anticipating that it may not go well."

Caylee Anthony sitting next to her mother Casey Anthony playing the guitar

This photo of Casey Anthony and her daughter, Caylee, is shown on a courtroom monitor at the Orange County Courthouse on May 26, 2011. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service)

Olivo also said that a participant in a legitimate polygraph will be aware of the questions they will be asked beforehand. There should be no "zingers" or "gotcha" moments. The goal of the test isn’t to unleash any surprises on the participant but rather to collect all the physiological data.

George Anthony standing up and looking serious

George Anthony (©️2023 A&E Television Networks LLC/Mary Beth Koeth)

"A legitimate polygraph test will have repetition," Olivo said. "We ask the same questions several times. A truthful person can be nervous at first, but they will habituate after a little while. They will show patterns of truthfulness. A deceptive person will get more anxious every time they have to lie. They feel like they’re sticking their neck out further and further every time they have to lie. We see the opposite; a deceptive person won’t habituate."

Caylee Anthony holding a baby doll

Caylee Anthony (Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service)

Olivo is hopeful that, regardless of the outcome, there will be a form of closure.

"In the end, this is still a family," he said. "… But some wounds are just too deep. I hope they can pick up the pieces somehow. There are still a lot of scattered pieces on the ground."

"Casey Anthony’s Parents: The Lie Detector Test" airs Jan 4. at 9 p.m. on A&E. Fox News Digital's Stephanie Pagones and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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