|Darlie Lynn Routier|
One of, if not the most, controversial female inmates resides on death row in Texas - Darlie Routier. Convicted of the 1996 murder of her son, 5-year old Damon, she is also believed to be responsible for the death of Devon, her 6-year old son. Although many will say the evidence in this case clearly points to Routier, she is not without her supporters. In fact, there are many who believe Darlie Routier is an innocent woman, a victim of incompetent police work and circumstantial evidence.
On June 6th,1996 at 2.31 am, a frantic 911 call was made from within the Routier residence. The caller was Darlie Routier, reporting that she and her young sons had been attacked by an unknown intruder as they lay sleeping in the downstairs living area. Routier reported that as well as stabbing her, the intruder had stabbed both of her sleeping sons. First responders were shocked by the brutal injuries Devon and Damon had suffered, while Darlie Routier had, what many called, superficial injuries. Despite allegedly sleeping through the entire attack on her and the children, Darlie told police she had given chase to the intruder. All of this had happened as Darlie's husband, Darin Routier, lay sleeping upstairs with the couple's seven month old son, Drake. In fact, the first Darin Routier was aware of a problem, was when he heard his wife screaming to call 911.
In the days following the murder, Darlie Routier's behavior was described as odd, even cold. Many people were already questioning whether Darlie was responsible for the horrific murders, as she did not appear particularly upset at the loss of her young sons. This was evidenced further just eight days after the murders, when Darlie and her family held a 7th birthday party for Devon at the little boys' graves. Video recordings of Darlie laughing, smiling, singing "Happy Birthday" and spraying silly string over the children's graves were broadcast across America. Her actions, which Darlie Routier described as celebrating her sons' lives as they would of wanted, seemed to cement her guilt in the minds of many and she was arrested on capital murder charges four days later.
During the Routier trial, prosecutors argued that the crime scene did not match up with Darlie Routier's version of events that night. Rather than being brutally attacked by an unknown assailant, prosecutors accused Routier of brutally stabbing the two boys and then inflicting less serious injuries on herself. They painted her as a materialistic woman, who lived well beyond her means and who, behind closed doors, was sinking under substantial debts. The worry of no longer being able to live the high life and the possibility of losing the family home drove Routier to murder her two young sons. After all, having two less children to care for would relieve some of the financial burden pressuring the family. Blood spatter experts, physcians, crime scene techs and law enforcement officers all spoke out against Routier at trial. According to these professionals the crime scene was staged and blood spatter on Routier's clothes the night of the murder was, in their opinion, cast off spray from a stabbing motion. Despite Routier's defence strongly arguing her innocence, she was found guilty and sentenced to death on Febuary 1st, 1997.
And now, some 18 years after the murders, Darlie Routier sits on death row - still protesting her innocence. For every professional who speaks up for her guilt, there is another who will speak for her innocence. Routier has a legion of supporters who believe the police concentrated straight away on Darlie Routier being the perpetrator -therefore blinding themselves to the possibility that there may actually be a violent murderer out there somewhere.
So, what do you think? Is Darlie Routier a cold blooded killer who picked off her young sons simply to ensure she was able to continue with her lavish lifestyle. Or, does an innocent grieving mother sit on death row, imprisoned for a crime she didn't commit?
|Darlie Routier in 1996|