A Florida business is abandoning plans to offer bus tours of sites related to Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old woman on trial for the 2007 murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.
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Casey Tours, based in Orlando, was being set up to give a guided trip of sites made famous by the Casey Anthony trial, but the group is not going through with the tours because of “backlash from the community,” said Chirag Kabrawala, the attorney representing the group, in an email.
Kabrawala -- who originally said he was also an investor in the business, only to later say he was just its counsel -- told FOX Business that, contrary to original plans, the company had never contracted with former Casey Anthony boyfriend Anthony Lazzaro to provide a question-and-answer session as part of the tour. An attorney for Lazzaro contacted FOX Business yesterday about this article and said his client had never been contacted by the company and further that Lazzaro knows nothing about the company.
Kabrawala, an attorney with Latham, Shuker, Eden and Beaudine LLP in Orlando, had said Casey Tours expected to shuttle about 100 people a day among the various sites, including the Anthony home, the site where Caylee’s body was found, and the XS Nightclub, where Anthony was seen partying in the days after her daughter was last seen. The company planned to charge $25 for the tour.
The original story, which was published on June 24, appears below.
People are finding ways to try and make money off the Casey Anthony trial.
For one, Chirag Kabrawala, an attorney at Latham, Shuker, Eden and Beaudine LLP, is a spokesperson for Casey Tours LLC, an Orlando tour bus company that is planning to open next week. “Casey” Tours is in reference to Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old on trial for the 2007 murder of her then two-year-old daughter Caylee.
According to Kabrawala, Casey Tours will take tourists on a guided trip to places that have become famous in the trial, including the Anthony home, Universal Studios (where Casey claimed to have worked when her daughter had disappeared), the home of "Zanny the Nanny" (where Casey claimed her nanny lived), the place where Caylee's body was found, and the courthouse.
The Tour will also include a drink at XS Nightclub in Orlando, where witnesses claim to have seen Anthony partying in the days shortly after her daughter was last seen. Kabrawala said the company has also struck a deal with Anthony Lazzaro, one of Casey's ex-boyfriends, to participate in a question and answer session during the tour once he is no longer a part of the trial. And the company said it is also in talks with some of her other friends and exes.
"There are people that think it's disgusting to try and profit off of somebody's death, but I disagree with that," Kabrawala said. "My client is an enterprising person, and people want to get some of the Casey Anthony action. This is the OJ trial of the social media generation."
Kabrawala compared the Casey tour to Sex and the City tours given in New York City and cemetery tours given in New Orleans. Tickets for the two-and-a-half hour tour will cost $25, and Kabrawala said the company hopes to get close to 100 customers a day, five days a week.
He declined to comment on how much the tour would be compensating Lazzaro for his participation.
"It will be a little more than he makes now, working in a restaurant," Kabrawala said. "Much of the testimony [of friends and exes] has not been very kind toward her. Everyone has made up their mind about her, and [is] looking to exploit their relationships with her to the best of their ability."
eBay is also offering several items by sellers looking to make a quick buck off of the trial. This past week a baseball reportedly signed by George and Cindy Anthony, Casey's parents, was up for auction. Photos of the Anthony home and "Zanny the Nanny" dolls were also listed for bidders.
Travis Barr, owner and general manager of Terrace 390, a restaurant located across the street from the courthouse where Casey's trial is being held, said his business has certainly increased since the trial began in May. The restaurant had planned its re-opening for March, but officially opened on April 18.
"It was a blessing in disguise," he said of the opening. "Summer is known as the slow season. People do show up for lunch—I'm sure the defense team is in here, attorneys, and the judge pops in occasionally. People come in because it's right next door."
Barr officially took over the restaurant in December 2010, and said while he can’t speak for years prior, he does believe business has increased as a result of the trial.
"We didn't know what to expect from the trial," he said. "Some people thought it would be over 100,000 people downtown in Orlando.”
Last year when Harry Potter World opened up at Universal Studios, Orlando business also saw an uptick, Kabrawala said.
"It's like the Harry Potter effect from last summer," he said. "Every hotel in town was doing well last summer. If you look around now, the hotels and restaurants are full. People are hanging out at local bars to get a glimpse of Geraldo and Nancy Grace. We are trying to take advantage of the tourism and increase in business downtown associated with the trial."