She is like a hurricane.
Most of the time, there is a distant calm in Casey Anthony's eyes. On occasion, there is the storm. It is predictable, but its impact unknown.
Each time the criminal charges against her were read aloud during jury selection — and when her daughter Caylee's name was mentioned — she grew visibly upset. She cried during most of those instances.
Her face turned red. Her eyes welled up. She grabbed for the tissue box. The attorney sitting closest would try to console her.
With opening statements to be delivered today, it is likely that Casey Anthony will break down in tears more often in the days to come.
In a case now being analyzed daily and tweeted by the moment, these rare shows of emotion have been interpreted in different ways. Are these the sincere emotions of a woman who sees judgment day approaching? Are the tears contrived and meant to influence jurors?
It depends on whom you ask.
"I personally don't think she's that diabolical that they've trained her to do that on cue," said Orlando criminal defense attorney Richard Hornsby, who has watched the case carefully.
The reading of the charges. The focus placed on her. The gravity of the moment. All of these factors lead Hornsby to think Casey Anthony is reacting to all of it when she cries.
"It comes back to reality when everyone is looking at you," Hornsby said. "Everything else is shut down. And at the end of the day, it's a 25-year-old girl that has no idea what is going on."
But body language expert Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent and professor at Saint Leo University, isn't buying Anthony's tears.
"Casey Anthony has a lot of the features of both a pathologically narcissistic person and histrionic personality," Navarro said. Such people are theatrical, they like attention and are very manipulative, he said.
Who does Anthony manipulate with those tears? The gullible: her parents, prospective jurors, he said.
"This is a strategy she has used over and over," Navarro said. "Tears come out on demand."
Navarro, who authored "What Every Body Is Saying," predicts Anthony will cry during the trial when anything is said or introduced that will hurt her.
Why? Because it will detract from what's being presented.
"If she were in a room by herself, she wouldn't be crying," he said.
'More contrived than genuine'
Bill Sheaffer, a veteran Orlando criminal defense attorney and a WFTV-Channel 9 legal analyst, sat through jury selection and noticed Anthony cried "four out of five times."
"At first, I kind of felt that the real gravity of the situation had come on," Sheaffer said. But now he thinks her defense team has talked with her about the need to be emotional at certain times.
"I'm now absolutely convinced it was more contrived than genuine," he said. "She cries when it's about her, not about the loss of Caylee, not about what was done to Caylee. [It's about] what this situation has done to her."
Sheaffer noted that defense attorneys are very concerned about having their clients appear certain ways in front of jurors — even during the selection process.
"I would have wanted her to cry at the reading of the indictment," he said. "I would want her to look attractive, but only pleasantly so. I would want her to appear distraught, concerned."
Anthony also has likely been coached on how to act when certain evidence is introduced, especially evidence concerning Caylee. The jury will be looking at her to gauge her reactions and she will have to "emote" to some extent. The question is how much and when?
"Too much, then they see through it; too little has no effect," Sheaffer said. "So that's the delicate balance for them to strike."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times