Nothing takes one's mind off the sticky summer doldrums like a sensational murder trial. During the hot months of June and early July, the nation was captivated by the case of Florida's comely single mom Casey Anthony, 22, who stood accused of smothering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee and dumping her body in the woods in late 2008. In the end, there was reasonable doubt prosecutors couldn't prove how Caylee died but the details set tabloid tongues a-wagging. Anthony's hard-partying lifestyle and the fantastic claims made in her defense, from the initial placing of blame on a fictional nanny to the startling accusation that her father had molested her as a child, kept the media's appetite whetted for months. While Anthony has mostly disappeared from tabloids for now, and the true details of her daughter's sad, senseless death will likely never be known, her days in court became what TIME's John Cloud called "the first great trial of the social-media age" one obsessively covered on blogs and Twitter feeds and dissected daily by thousands of followers.
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