by John W. Taylor (July 14, 2015)
“I think if I live to be a hundred, I wouldn’t be able to tell you everything that happened that night.” – Darlie Routier (Court Transcripts, The State of Texas No. F-96-39973-J vs. Darlie Lynn Routier A-96-253, Sandra M. Halsey, CSR, Official Court Reporter. Significant errors have been found in the court transcript, which ultimately resulted in the court reporter losing her license. Changes to the transcript could affect the analysis.)
In the early morning hours of June 6, 1996, a 911 dispatcher received an emergency call from a hysterical woman at 5801 Eagle Drive, in Rowlett, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. (The Darlie Routier Case, The Facts, http://darliefacts.com/case-background/, accessed June-July, 2015.) Darlie Routier called 911 after an intruder attacked her and two of her children in the middle of the night. She was badly injured and two of her children were dying.
Darlie, and her husband Darin, had three boys: Devon, age six; Damon, age five; and Drake, who was an infant. About a week prior to the attack, Darlie started sleeping downstairs because Drake’s crying disrupted her sleep. On the night of June 5, Darlie fell asleep on a couch in the living room on the first floor. Devon and Damon fell asleep on the floor nearby while watching television. Darin and Drake slept upstairs. (Court Transcripts, The State of Texas No. F-96-39973-J vs. Darlie Lynn Routier A-96-253, Sandra M. Halsey, CSR, Official Court Reporter. )
In the middle of the night, Damon woke Darlie by calling her name and pushing her on the shoulder. As she slowly came out of a deep sleep, she saw an intruder at the end of the couch walking toward the kitchen. She got up and followed him into the kitchen. He dropped a knife as he walked through the utility room and climbed out a garage window. Darlie picked up the knife and placed it on a counter. Darlie then turned on the lights and realized she was bleeding. She then looked at Devon laying on the floor and noticed he had large, gaping stab wounds in his chest. Darlie screamed for Darin. Though Damon initially appeared unharmed, she turned him around and saw numerous stab wounds in his back. (Ibid.)
Upon hearing Darlie’s screams, Darin raced downstairs. He administered CPR on Devon while Darlie called for help. (Ibid) Darin’s attempts were futile, as Devon was already dead. Damon was barely breathing. Darlie brought wet towels to Damon as they waited for help to arrive. Darlie also sustained injuries, but they did not appear life-threatening. The police and emergency personnel arrived and began treating Damon and Darlie. Both were rushed to the hospital, though Damon eventually succumbed to his injuries. Darlie survived the attacked, but incurred several scars. Luckily, Darin and Drake escaped the attack unscathed.
When the police arrived they immediately searched the house for the intruders, though none were found. The police also searched the neighborhood looking for the perpetrators, but to no avail. No valuable items had been taken from the house, even though jewelry was sitting out in the open. (Darlie Routier Fact & Fiction, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant, subscribed and sworn June 18, 1996, http://www.darlieroutierfactandfiction.com/.) There appeared to be no motive other than the murder of two young boys.
The intruder likely entered [and exited] the house through a cut screen in the garage. The police were left with two dead bodies, a bloody knife, a cut screen, and Darlie’s statements. Since Darlie picked up the knife when she pursued the intruder, the police had no evidence linked to the intruder. (911 Transcript, http://www.fordarlieroutier.org/911Call/transcript.html, Recorded by The Rowlett Police Department, transcript created by Barry Dickey, June 6, 1996. This transcript was done based on an “enhanced” version of the recording and is not considered completely accurate by some involved.They had limited leads to pursue.)
Though Darlie had no recollection of the attacks, her wounds indicated that she incurred a horrific beating. Darlie received numerous wounds of varying severity. Her hands and arms were badly bruised and cut in a manner consistent with defensive wounds. Darlie’s throat was also slashed within two millimeters of her carotid artery. (The Darlie Routier Case Website, http://www.fordarlieroutier.org/Evidence/Wounds.html, Accessed June-July, 2015.) She barely escaped with her life.
Even though Darlie incurred various injuries, the police were immediately suspicious of her. The scene looked staged with what appeared to be random items strategically tipped over or broken. Darlie’s explanation was inconsistent with the crime scene, and key elements of her story kept changing. Whether it was the totality of the circumstances or just gut instinct, the police suspected Darlie’s involvement in the murders within twenty minutes of their arrival.
Police officers are forced to make quick assessments whenever they enter a situation. They must determine imminent risk, level of danger, and who needs assistance versus who may pose an additional threat. These quick decisions often save lives. However, if an officer is unwilling to reassess his initial judgments, it can result in a one-dimensional investigation.
Darlie and Darin cooperated with the police. Though the police may have pursued initial leads for suspects outside the immediate family, it was not clear how much these initial suspicions of Darlie impacted how the investigation unfolded. Regardless, most investigations start close to the victims and work their way outward. Inevitably, the police would have to determine whether or not Darlie deserved additional attention as a person of interest. Darin was eliminated as a suspect fairly quickly based on his statements, the crime scene, and Darlie’s statements.
Darlie’s story did not match the forensic evidence. The murders and home invasion simply could not have happened in the manner in which Darlie described them. There was no blood on the couch where Darlie’s alleged attack occurred. There were also no puncture holes or other damage to the couch. (Darlie Routier Fact & Fiction, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant, subscribed and sworn June 18, 1996, http://www.darlieroutierfactandfiction.com/.)
The vacuum cleaner was knocked over and there was broken glass in the kitchen, which both appeared to be the result of the intruder. However, Darlie’s bloody footprints were underneath the vacuum cleaner and broken glass. Since the footprints were beneath the items, Darlie walked through the kitchen after the attacks, but prior to when the glass was broken and the vacuum was overturned. (Ibid.) Testing also determined that someone attempted to clean up blood in the vicinity of the kitchen sink prior to the police arriving.
The Routier’s had a dog known for barking incessantly though the dog did not bark on the night of the murders. The Routiers also had a hostile cat that was kept in a cage because it was so aggressive toward people. The cat’s cage was in the living room on the night of the murders, but the cat also failed to make any noise at the intruder’s presence. (Court Transcripts, The State of Texas No. F-96-39973-J vs. Darlie Lynn Routier A-96-253, Sandra M. Halsey, CSR, Official Court Reporter. Significant errors have been found in the court transcript, which ultimately resulted in the court reporter losing her license. Changes to the transcript could affect the analysis.)
The police had a forensic scientist examine the knives seized from the Routier’s kitchen. The butcher block on the kitchen counter contained eight knives. Upon testing the knives, the examiner found fiberglass rods on the serrated bread knife. He found the fiberglass rods to be microscopically identical to the fibers taken from the cut screen in the Routier’s garage. (Darlie Routier Fact & Fiction, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant, subscribed and sworn June 18, 1996, http://www.darlieroutierfactandfiction.com/.) Someone had cut the window screen and then returned the knife to its allotted position in the butcher block in the kitchen.
Though there was compelling circumstantial evidence pointing toward Darlie as the perpetrator of her sons’ murders, she had many strong supporters. They cite many factors as to why they believe in Darlie’s innocence. They cite police errors at the crime scene and during the investigation, a rush to judgment, and manipulation of witnesses and testimony. Her supporters point toward an unidentified hair in the Routier family room, a bloody sock found outside the house, and an unidentified bloody fingerprint as proof of an intruder. (The Darlie Routier Case Website, http://www.fordarlieroutier.org/HerProof/index.html, Accessed June-July, 2015.)
Finding an unidentified hair at a crime scene is hardly evidence of an intruder’s presence. Some reports have referred to it as a pubic hair, which begs the question as to how an intruder left a pubic hair when there were no indications of a sexual assault, and Darlie described the intruder as wearing pants.
The police found a bloody men’s tube sock outside the Routier’s home. The sock tested positive for both Devon and Damon’s blood. (The Darlie Routier Case Website, http://darliefacts.com/blood-evidence/, Accessed June-July, 2015.) The sock does not point toward or away from the intruder theory, but it does confirm that someone involved left the house after the murders transpired.
The pubic hair and the bloody sock should not be discarded as exculpatory evidence, but their value is limited. However, the bloody fingerprint extracted from the glass coffee table in the family room could conclusively prove the presence of an intruder. A bloody fingerprint was most likely tied to the murders. Some sources indicate that all police, emergency personnel, and members of the Routier family were excluded, while others sources were less definitive.
An expert for the State contended that Darlie’s right ring finger print could not be excluded as a match to the bloody fingerprint. During trial, he testified that the print likely came from a juvenile, but stated the partial print was not enough to make a match. (Court Transcripts, The State of Texas No. F-96-39973-J vs. Darlie Lynn Routier A-96-253, Sandra M. Halsey, CSR, Official Court Reporter.) On the contrary one could argue that an unidentified bloody fingerprint conclusively proves Darlie’s innocence. However, there is significant forensic evidence pointing toward Darlie as the perpetrator, and there is no reason to place more emphasis on this evidence than others. The fingerprint came from the same supposedly contaminated crime scene, and it was collected by the same technicians who collected the other evidence. At this point, the fingerprint does not point toward or away from Darlie, but it is an additional piece of evidence that must be evaluated within the totality of the information collected.
Based on forensic evidence and Darlie’s inconsistent and illogical statements, she was arrested on June 18, 1996. During her trial, Darlie’s injuries were an area of contention. The State downplayed Darlie’s injuries and often referred to them as “superficial,” while the defense highlighted the severity of her neck wound, extent of medical care, and the number of injuries she sustained. (Ibid.) The underlying assumption was that the more severe her injuries the less likely they were self-inflicted.
If Darlie is guilty, it means she viciously stabbed her children to death. There is no more callous an act than this. If a woman is capable of brutally killing her children, cutting her hands and arms is relatively insignificant. Even slicing a portion of her neck pales in comparison to plunging a knife into her sleeping children. Another explanation could be that Darlie intended for her neck wound to be superficial, but accidently cut deeper than she intended. Alternatively, Darlie may have been trying to kill herself, but was unsuccessful.
If Darlie did not kill her children, then the thought of her inflicting these injuries is unthinkable. However, if she did kill her children, her injuries were consistent with her other vicious, psychopathic actions. Regardless, the severity of her injuries is unimportant in the determination of her guilt, it merely validates what one has already concluded.
A more relevant question is, how did Darlie obtain her injuries? She claimed to have no recollection of any interaction with the intruder, though she initially told police on the scene that she fought with the intruder. As a result, one is left to conclude that she received her injuries while fighting with the intruder as she slept. Under this scenario, Darlie incurred her wounds while lying on her back on the couch.
The intruder had a large knife, which he plunged deep into Damon’s and Devon’s sleeping bodies. Darlie sustained no such injuries. For her version of events to be plausible, Darlie had to have slept through the vicious, deadly attacks against her boys, but have awoken before the intruder started to attack her. Otherwise, the first strike against Darlie would have been a deep penetrating stab wound to the body, which she did not sustain. What woke her during this narrow window of time?
Darlie also sustained excessive bruising on her arms. The bruising most certainly resulted from a blunt instrument, yet the intruder had a knife not a baseball bat. Neither of the boys’ bodies exhibited severe bruising. Darlie also had a cut on her neck, yet the intruder would have been driving down with the knife as he stood over her. For Darlie’s version of events to be true, she either experienced some kind of traumatic amnesia or exhibited the skill of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitzu black belt while sleeping.
The two boys were attacked before Darlie, though she could have put up significant resistance. Anyone determined to kill Damon and Devon in the presence of their mother should have killed or immobilized her first. According to Darlie, the intruder was standing at the foot of the couch when Damon woke her. Why did the intruder leave two eyewitnesses to a murder? He could have easily killed them both, but instead opted to walk out of the house. What was his motive if it was not murder?
Evidence technicians found Darlie’s bloody footprints between the kitchen sink and the living room. However, they failed to detect any shoe or boot prints in the blood. (Darlie Routier Fact & Fiction, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant, subscribed and sworn June 18, 1996, http://www.darlieroutierfactandfiction.com/.) How did Darlie track blood through the kitchen, but the killer did not? The evidence appeared to be tied to Darlie, not an intruder, but it was all circumstantial.
Shortly after the attack, Darlie dialed 9-1-1. Her statements and responses were the most unrehearsed and least contemplated statements she has or will ever make regarding the night of her children’s murders. Here is the beginning of the 911 call*:
911 Operator #1: …Rowlett 911…what is your emergency…
Darlie Routier: …somebody came here…they broke in… (911 Transcript , http://www.fordarlieroutier.org/911Call/transcript.html, Recorded by The Rowlett Police Department, transcript created by Barry Dickey, June 6, 1996.)
*If there was a discrepancy or ambiguity in the transcript of the 911 call, the analysis defaulted to the original recording.
Darlie stated to the operator that “somebody” came here. “Somebody” is singular and an all-inclusive term, which could have referred to a man or a woman. “Came here” was a casual description of what had transpired. It certainly did not convey a sense of urgency or the life-threatening nature of the situation.
Darlie then clarified by stating, “They broke in.” She immediately replaced the singular pronoun with the plural. Darlie later claimed to have only seen one man, yet she referred to him as “they.” Inconsistent pronouns can often indicate deception. The person is not remembering, but creating the story as she is speaking. Darlie had not fully decided what her story was going to be, thus she wafted back and forth on the number of intruders in the house. This is clearly not something one would forget or confuse.
Darlie ended the clarifying statement with “broke in.” Her children were either dead or dying, yet she felt compelled to tell the operator that someone broke into the house. The call continued:
911 Operator #1: …ma’am…
Darlie Routier …they just stabbed me and my children… (Ibid.)
Her second statement again identified the intruder in the plural as “they.” Throughout the call, Darlie shifted between the plural and singular regarding the intruder(s). Darlie’s second statement conveyed a sense of urgency and relevance.
With the survival of her child in the balance, Darlie made the following statement on the call, “…we got to find out who it was…” At a different juncture during the call, she repeated “Who would do this?” twice. Ensuring that her son lived should have had a higher priority than trying to determine who stabbed him. Darlie placed undue and excessive emphasis on the intruder(s) when the obvious focus should have been on saving her children.
At one point during the call, Darlie attempted to explain what happened:
Darlie Routier: …some man …came in …stabbed my babies …stabbed me …I woke up …I was frightened* …he ran out through the garage …threw the knife down …my babies are dying …they’re dead …oh my God… (Ibid.)
*Prosecution claimed she said “fighting.”
In this statement, Darlie referred to the intruder as an individual, but added his gender. She also provided a fairly detailed description of what transpired prior to her call. As would be expected, Darlie told the story in chronological order. All of her statements were in chronological order, except one. The one item out of place chronologically was the segment “threw the knife down.” Changes to chronology are done for a reason. A break in chronology can indicate deception as the out-of-place item was not being drawn from memory, but created. According to Darlie, the intruder dropped the knife in the utility room prior to entering the garage though in this utterance she placed the dropping of the knife after the intruder left the garage.
In another statement on the emergency call, Darlie confused pronouns and chronology:
Darlie Routier: …no …he ran out …uh …they ran out in the garage …I was sleeping… (Ibid.)
Darlie changed “he” to ”they” during this statement, apparently correcting herself. She also placed the intruder(s) running out of the house before the fact she was sleeping, though it would have happened after she awoke.
On the emergency call, Darlie stated that the intruder(s) ran away. However, she stated during her trial testimony that the intruder [singular during this recollection] walked away from her. (Court Transcripts, The State of Texas No. F-96-39973-J vs. Darlie Lynn Routier A-96-253, Sandra M. Halsey, CSR, Official Court Reporter.) He walked out of the house. It is a detail one would not confuse. Darlie should have a clear visual image of the intruder in her house if it was a recollection.
Darlie experienced extreme duress during the 911 call. One could argue that her grammatical and speech errors were understandable and explainable due to the circumstances. However, her misspoken statements only occurred where she would have had to fabricate information if she did kill her boys. It is also noteworthy that Darlie did not refer to her boys as girls or call her husband by the wrong name. She never said someone shot her or used future tenses to describe what happened. Her word choices unintentionally revealed more information than she desired.
During her murder trial, Darlie chose to testify. While Darlie was on the stand, her attorney walked her through her testimony until he arrived at the night of the murders. At which time, he shifted to a more open-ended question and answer approach to his direct examination.
Defense attorney: All right. Darlie, what is the very next thing that you remember, that you either felt or heard or saw?
Darlie Routier: The next thing that I remember is Damon hitting my right shoulder, and he said “Mommy,” or he said “Mommy, Mommy,” I’m not sure, but he said, “Mommy.” I looked up, and you’ve got to remember that I’m in a — I am not completely awake, you know, when you first wake up, you are not completely wide awake. And there was a man, that was down, going away from the couches, walking away from me. I started to get up and when I stood up, I heard noise like glass breaking. I started to walk towards the kitchen, Damon was behind me, and when I got to the kitchen, I put my hand back here for Damon to stay. And when I got to the kitchen, I could see the guy going into the utility room. (Ibid.)
When a person makes the statement “the next thing I remember,” she is usually leaving out critical elements of the story. The phrase enables her to jump over critical details. Darlie utilized the phrase in this same fashion, but she claimed to have a reason to segue because she allegedly slept through the murders. As a result, Darlie began her story from the moment her recollection began. Even though she slept within a foot of one of her sons, she did not recall hearing him or his brother being stabbed to death, nor did she wake during her own vicious attack. However, her son calling her name and tapping her shoulder woke her.
Darlie’s first sentence was repetitive, but fairly straight-forward. However, in her second sentence Darlie used the phrase, “…you’ve got to remember…” when she referenced her state of consciousness. Darlie felt she needed to emphasize her low level of cognition. She needed to convince the jury she was not fully awake. She lacked confidence in her statement, and she may have felt it lacked believability. She followed her intro by starting and stopping a statement. She stated “…I’m in a–…” What was she going to say? “I’m in a dream state” or “I’m in a trance.” We do not know what she was going to say because she chose not to continue her thought. Often times, people stop a statement because it would reveal something they did not want to say. She then stated, “I am not completely awake,” which was the wrong tense. She used the present tense rather than past tense. Many times the use of present tense indicates the person is creating the story currently rather than remembering.
She continued with the phrase “you know,” which distanced her from her statement. Darlie stated, “you know,” but we do not know what happened. Rather than telling us, she placed the burden on the listener to fill in the blanks. She went on to say, “when you first wake up, you are not…,” which further distanced her from her statement as she spoke in the second person rather than the first. She was not testifying about herself, she spoke hypothetically.
Continuing with her explanation, Darlie stated “I started to get up…” Unless something stopped her from getting up, “I started” was filler. It was unnecessary. The phrase “I started” implied that there was a beginning, a middle, and end to her action, yet most people consider getting up as one action. Darlie followed this by stating, “I started to walk towards the kitchen…” Once again she began with “I started.” Nothing stopped her from getting to the kitchen.
Darlie continued answering her attorney’s questions:
Defense attorney: Where was the man by this time?
Darlie Routier: He was gone, he was out of my sight… I got into the kitchen, and I got to where the island was, and it was at that moment that I realized that I had blood on me. And I kept going, walking a little bit, and I saw a knife laying in the utility room. The knife wasn’t completely the whole way in the utility room, it was just like, a little bit into the doorway of the utility room. It was an instinct — I picked up the knife, it was an instinct to pick up the knife. I didn’t think about it. It was just an instinct. I picked up the knife, I brought the knife back to the kitchen counter, and set it up on the kitchen counter… (Ibid.)
Darlie’s statement placed a tremendous emphasis on the found knife. She stated three times that she picked up the knife. Repetition is done for emphasis. Darlie felt it was important for the jury to know she touched the knife. Darlie exhibited no obvious maternal instincts pertaining to saving the lives of her children, but she felt an instinctual need to pick up the knife used to kill her two boys. She also stated that she placed it on the kitchen counter, which was an odd decision considering she was following a murderer through her house. Her survival instincts were not well honed either.
The questioning shifted toward the intruder’s attack against Darlie:
Defense attorney: Okay. Do you have any recollection of this man attacking you and beating you severely and cutting you?
Darlie Attorney: I don’t have any — what you would say that, I mean, that I can remember him doing that. I have assumed that that is what he has done, because common sense tells you that that is what he has done. (Ibid.)
The correct answer should have been “no;” yet, her response varied sharply from the expected answer. The question triggered a stressful reaction by Darlie. Her first phrase was the beginning of a question followed by the filler phrase “I mean.” Both answering a question with a question and utilizing filler words provided her person with more time to answer the question. Even though she knew the question would be asked, she hesitated. Darlie also did not use the words “attack” or “beating.” Instead, she provided a confusing assortment of words, “…that I can remember him doing that.” She replaced action verbs with “doing that,” which distanced herself from her statements.
When referring to the attack, Darlie spoke theoretically. She referenced common sense, rather than providing the information, which required the listener to arrive at his own conclusions. Her answer was implied. Since Darlie claimed that she did not remember the incident, it might seem reasonable for her to draw this conclusion, but she should have simply answered, “No.”
Darlie’s husband, Darin, was allegedly asleep upstairs during the attacks. He had knowledge of what transpired in the house after he responded to Darlie’s screams, and he also provided insight into family dynamics, stressors in the family, and potential enemies they may have had.
Part of the State’s case against Darlie involved establishing a motive. Though not required, the State found it necessary to explain why Darlie killed her two boys. The State contended that she was severely depressed due to a confluence of stressors. Darlie likely suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of Drake, compounded by weight gain, trouble sleeping, and financial problems. The State postulated that these factors caused Darlie’s depression and resulted in her killing her boys. (Ibid.)
Darin has steadfastly maintained his belief in Darlie’s innocence. (Darlie Routier Fact & Fiction, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant, subscribed and sworn June 18, 1996, http://www.darlieroutierfactandfiction.com/.) Understandably, he said and did everything he could to protect her. As a result, many of his statements reflected this bias. He was not a disinterested party, but one set on skewing facts to best support Darlie.
Darin owned a business, which had been quite successful; however, during the beginning of 1996, it was struggling. A close look at the family’s finances showed a delicate situation where the slightest adverse shift in Darin’s business would impact the family’s ability to meet its financial obligations. The family had minimal savings, substantial debt, and several past due bills. (Darlie Routier Fact & Fiction, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant, subscribed and sworn June 18, 1996, http://www.darlieroutierfactandfiction.com/.) Darin drew a sizable six figure income, but the Routier’s outspent it.
Darin had recently applied for a loan in order for the family to take a vacation. Compounding the problem, his loan request was declined. Darin responded to the allegations of financial distress by indicating that the family had plenty of money. (Ibid.) Did Darin really believe the family’s finances were sound or was he merely downplaying the severity of the situation? An argument could be made for either one or both. Darin believed in Darlie’s innocence; therefore, the family finances were irrelevant. On the contrary, it is fairly reasonable to assume a man who fostered an environment that lead to this perilous financial situation would be unconcerned. Money came in; money went out. It was how he ran the business and family finances. To Darin, taking out a loan to pay for a vacation when he pulled in a six figure salary was uneventful.
Another aspect of the State’s motive theory pertained to Darlie being suicidal. About a month before the murders, Darlie wrote out what appeared to be a suicide note in her journal. After writing it, she called Darin and begged him to come home from work. He went home and after much discussion, Darlie appeared to be past her suicidal ideations. (Ibid.)
Darin was asked about his wife’s emotional state leading up to the murders and specifically, the day she contemplated suicide. Darin referred to Darlie’s emotional state as “…having the blues a couple of times…not concerned.” Darin claimed he was not worried because she did not go through with killing herself. (Ibid.) Was Darin downplaying his wife’s emotional problems, or was he truly not concerned at the time? He had reason to protect his wife; she faced the death penalty. However, from almost all accounts, he loved Darlie dearly. He would have likely gotten Darlie help if he thought she was truly suicidal, yet he did not.
Darlie had numerous reasons to be depressed, but only Darlie knows how the stress affected her. She may have been severely depressed and even suicidal, but it does not mean she killed her two sons. It was the State’s theory for motive, yet motive is elusive and complex. People want to know the why, but it is not a rational or reasonable thought process that leads one to kill. Therefore, postulating on motive is often ill-fated; however, the prosecution must attempt to explain the unexplainable, because juries want to understand why.
Presenting a motive likely helped, because the jury found Darlie guilty of murder on February 1, 1997. Since her conviction, her defense team has filed numerous appeals, and she has maintained her innocence. However, her claims of innocence are usually indirect denials in second person. Similar to her comments on the 911 call and statements during her trial, her denials lack confidence or believability.
Though the circumstantial evidence compiled against Darlie was quite compelling, she was entitled to fairness within the legal system. During her trial, the State employed “character assassination” against Darlie which could have prejudiced the jury and diverted them away from the facts of the case. Supporters of Darlie accused the prosecution of witness testimony manipulation. (The Darlie Routier Case Website, http://www.fordarlieroutier.org/HerProof/index.html, accessed June-July, 2015.) Further, Darlie’s court transcript contained countless typos, omissions, and material errors, which ultimately resulted in the state board decertifying the court reporter. (“Routier Court Reporter Decertified,” Lubbock Avanlache-Journal, http://lubbockonline.com/stories/060799/sta_060799013.shtml#.VaJyQflViko, June 7, 1999.) Many of the actions by the State weakened the impartiality of the judicial process and provided Darlie with numerous grounds on which to appeal.
Recently, a judge ordered additional forensic testing of various crime scene items. (Wilonsky, Robert, “CNN, new book and judge’s order shine fresh spotlight on convicted child-killer Darlie Routier,” The Dallas Morning News, http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/07/cnn-new-book-and-judges-order-shine-fresh-spotlight-on-convicted-child-killer-darlie-routier.html/, July 13, 2015.) If the testing discovers unaccounted for DNA, it could result in Darlie receiving a new trial. However, the facts of the case have not changed. People seem to think they have the ability to know whether someone is capable of murder or not. Personality traits and gut instinct factor significantly in this determination. No one wants to believe a kind and caring person could also kill. It is much easier to deny or discredit evidence than change the very foundation of security and belief one has.
Darlie slept in the living room because Drake’s moving and crying in his crib disrupted her sleep. Yet, she claimed to have slept through the brutal murders of her two children and the attack against her. It does not seem like Darlie should have had any problem sleeping near a crying baby. Darlie’s story collides with common sense and logic. One must also suspend reason and ignore the forensic evidence to believe her version of events.
John W. Taylor writes in the true crime genre at www.truecrimewriting.com. He has written short pieces and articles on the death of Marilyn Monroe, JFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others. John wrote and published Umbrella of Suspicion: Investigating the Death of JonBénet Ramsey and Isolated Incident: Investigating the Death of Nancy Cooper in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
John’s interest in the darker side of human nature has compelled him to conduct numerous research and writing projects on various unsolved crimes. He currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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