Despite growing up on opposite coasts – Jodi in California and Casey in Florida – the women have startlingly similar upbringings and now their mothers are being compared by HLN's Raising America in hope of shedding light on what led Arias to stab Travis Alexander 29 times, slit his throat and shoot him.
Sandra Arias has sat quietly in the Maricopa County Courtroom for the past three months without blinking an eye as graphic and cringe-inducing details of her daughter's sex life were openly discussed, but the world saw a startling emotional side to the desperate mom this week when video footage of a police interrogation from 2008 showed her break down in tears.
"Jodi has mental problems, Jodi would freak out all the time," she sobbed. "We don't have a good relationship."
The confession of a troubled relationship with Jodi, now 32, is disturbingly reminiscent of the mother-daughter dynamic between Cindy Anthony and Casey, who was acquitted of killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee following her bombshell trial in 2011.
Cindy was stony-faced in court as she told attorneys how Casey had taken money from her. "I wanted her to speak to the officers so that they could get information from her about Caylee… I didn't care about the money. I cared about Caylee," she said about her dead granddaughter.
Whereas Jodi's mom was very open when questioned about her suspected involvement in the grisly death of former boyfriend Travis, Cindy was more protective of herself and leading with anger, revealed HLN's psychiatric expert Dr. John Sharp, while both women were trying to improve a relationship that is "very distant and very flawed."
Sandy was accused of being an abusive mom who ran her household with a wooden spoon when raising her kids, but Dr. Sharp describes her as being under Jodi's "coercive control."
What is telling in both cases is how the moms reacted when they heard their daughters were murder suspects, explained HLN. Sandy told investigators that some of the evidence they found may have been circumstantial and she was unsure if her daughter could have committed such a heinous crime.
"Maybe she did do it… I can't even imagine," she weeped on the interrogation, revealing how devastated she is at the life-changing news.
However, in a heartbreaking blast from the past, Cindy can be heard in the infamous July 15, 2008 911 call telling dispatchers, "I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month. Her mother, her mother finally admitted she's been missing.
"We're talking about a three-year-old little girl, my daughter finally admitted that the baby sitter stole her. I need to find her."
Anthony went on to reveal that her daughter's car smelled like there had been a dead body in it, as she stressed her concern about Caylee – which led to her saying things on the phone that pointed the finger at Casey.
Casey and Cindy have been understandably estranged since the explosive trial and subsequent acquittal, and although the Tot Mom currently is in hiding, "Cindy does know Casey’s whereabouts. They are in contact," revealed a family member.
While the Anthonys are doing their very best to escape the spotlight, Sandy is forced to sit front and center every day in court with the eyes of the world on her until Jodi's marathon trial is finally over.
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