ORLANDO, Fla. — When Casey Anthony stepped out of jail on Sunday after nearly three years inside, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office whisked her to ...
Puerto Rico? (Where her criminal lawyer has deep roots.)
Texas? (It’s big and far away.)
A plastic surgeon? (For obvious reasons.)
Into the fold of a lucrative book or television deal? (Because she is broke.)
With Ms. Anthony’s lawyers saying little about her path from jail to a new life, her destination is a macabre parlor game of sorts here, in a city more than ready to bid her farewell. To make sure the message is clearly understood, a throng of protesters was outside the Orange County Jail on Sunday to suggest that she go elsewhere — for the city’s sanity and her safety — and keep mum about her story. Ms. Anthony was freed shortly after midnight, escorted by armed guards to a black sport utility vehicle. She then rode away.
“I think she should go someplace very far away,” said Jessica Isaac, 24, an Orlando resident who attends Florida State University and was shopping at a Wal-Mart here. “I would go overseas.”
Amber Fife, 28, a kindergarten teacher, said at a nearby Barnes & Noble, “Rhode Island, I have friends there who have never heard of her.”
“I think she is in danger,” Ms. Fife added more gravely. “I really do.”
Ms. Fife makes a valid point.
Ms. Anthony, 25, was acquitted of first-degree murder nearly two weeks ago in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. The verdict shocked trial observers and unleashed a kind of collective tirade, which has sometimes spilled into outright threats and violence. On Friday alone, Ms. Anthony received seven threats, her civil lawyer said.
Even Casey Anthonys who look nothing like her are bearing the brunt. One Casey Anthony — a burly man from Pennsylvania who so loves his name that he bestowed it on his two sons — told reporters there that his Facebook page had been inundated with threats.
In Melbourne Beach, Fla., a mini-melee broke out recently among a group of fishermen over whether Ms. Anthony was guilty or innocent.
Jose Baez, Ms. Anthony’s criminal lawyer, said he was worried about her safety. But short of giving her some help just after her release, there is little he can do. He did confirm that she was not headed to Puerto Rico.
“I am trying to stay away from that whole thing,” Mr. Baez said about her post-release plans. “I’m her lawyer. I’m not a relative. I am assisting her to a certain extent. There is not much beyond that I can do. As a legal professional, you are always concerned about all of your clients. You want them to go on to live productive lives. I will say that when a person is acquitted in a court of law, that should mean something.”
On Friday, Ms. Anthony appealed her conviction for lying to the authorities during the investigation.
Even jurors are suffering ramifications, a turn that has upset and disillusioned Ms. Anthony’s defense team. Only three jurors have spoken out, two of them anonymously. One juror, No. 12, retired early from her job at a grocery store and fled to Michigan, her husband told NBC News.
The jury was imported from Pinellas County because of the case’s prominence in Orlando.
A local Democrat, State Representative Scott Randolph, is proposing a bill to keep jurors’ identities secret unless they choose to come forward. The same lawmaker also would bar jurors from selling their jury room tales for 270 days after a trial.
“It’s terrible that the jurors have been made to feel this way,” said Dorothy Clay Sims, one of Ms. Anthony’s lawyers, who called the hostility “shameful.”
“They were doing their civic duty, and I mean that. I never got the impression that any of them had an agenda. It took six weeks out of their lives. They left their homes and their families.”
Ms. Anthony, who is estranged from her family and friends, left jail with no money, according to court papers. Finding a job, at least in the short term, will prove difficult. Her quickest road to cash is likely to be through books or television, which she can pursue because of her acquittal.
Agents said her story was highly marketable, despite the furor over the verdict and the disgust over her behavior after her child’s disappearance. Ms. Anthony failed to report her child missing for 31 days, a fact that contributes to lingering doubts about her innocence.
“There would be a lot of buyers for the book in the publishing market and a significant amount of money,” said Robert Gottlieb, the chairman of Trident Media Group, who added that Ms. Anthony could get a seven-figure deal as long as she does not share her story in advance. “This is a controversial story. Controversy sells books.”
As for promoting a book, publishing houses can hire security to protect clients who require it, he said.
“At the end of the day, people will want to hear her story,” Mr. Gottlieb said.
A local mother is already organizing a boycott, fueled through Facebook, of any book or movie that would enrich Ms. Anthony.
“We refuse to be a part of blood money,” said Bree Thornton, a part-time bartender who is the chief organizer of Boycott Casey. “We would like to stop the publication of a book before it starts.”
Others peripherally attached to Ms. Anthony are also jumping into the post-verdict swirl, seeking payback. The latest is a Texas company, EquuSearch, which helps find missing people. The company has sued Ms. Anthony and is asking for $100,000 in expenses it incurred in its search for Caylee.
A second lawsuit, this one for slander, comes from a woman who shares the name of a nanny Ms. Anthony invented. She told the police and her family that a nanny, nicknamed “Zanny the Nanny,” kidnapped Caylee.
As lawyers dueled over that civil case in court on Friday, Charles Greene, Ms. Anthony’s civil lawyer, told the judge that a recent psychological evaluation of his client concluded that she was “emotionally unstable” and should be given “breathing room.”
Safety precautions are needed, he said. The judge ruled that Ms. Anthony could give her deposition in the case in October and not sooner, as the plaintiff had asked.
Although it is unclear what sort of life Ms. Anthony can cobble together for herself amid such notoriety, some in Orlando expect karma to step in.
“It will catch up to her,” said Faith Reed, a nurse who lives in Orlando.
But Ms. Sims, who comforted Ms. Anthony during the trial, is hoping for a different outcome.
“I hope that she receives compassion from the world — that would be my hope,” Ms. Sims said. “She was found not guilty of these crimes. It’s time to move on.”