Real Names: Devon and Damon Routier
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Rowlett, Texas
Date: June 6, 1996
Details: One night in June 1996, Darlie Routier was sleeping on the sofa in her family room while her two sons, Devon and Damon, slept on the floor near her. Her husband, Darin, and other son, Drake, were asleep upstairs when she awoke to a person standing over her. She screamed for Darin, and the assailant fled the house, dropping his knife on the way out. Darin began CPR on his sons who had been badly stabbed as Darlie stood by. By time paramedics arrived, Devon was already dead; Damon died on the way to the hospital.
Darlie was treated for cuts and wounds across her body; one gash in her throat came close to severing a major artery. The police directed all their investigation against her since the evidence seemed to point to no one but herself instead of looking for another assailant. They found undisturbed dust on a slashed window and that the blood trail never left the house which suggested there had been entry by no other person, but it was possible to enter the house through the window without affecting the dust. A hair believed to be hers was instead connected to one of the officers. Foreign fingerprints found in the house were never identified. A sock found outside the house had the boys' blood on it, and not one drop of hers which was everywhere else. The fact that it had been violent break-ins in the area at the same time of other houses was considered unrelated to the murders. It was entirely possible that evidence was contaminated in the collection process. At her trial, it was suggested it was too dark and quick for her to have made an identification of her attacker and even though she claims she slept through the attack of her sons and herself, none of her injuries were life-threatening. A videotape of her behavior while she was on medication was used against her. She was subsequently accused of killing her sons over a life insurance policy, which was only for $5,000 per child or $10,000 total, barely enough to cover the cost of the funerals. Her family and friends rallied in her defense while she was convicted of the murder of Damon. One juror on her case, however, changed his opinion of her after re-examining photos of her injuries, and is now more than convinced that he accidentally convicted an innocent woman while the real killer wandered off scot free. She now sits on death row in prison; many of her supporters still have a hard time accepting her as the murderer of her sons. Unless significant new evidence is discovered that persuades the police or prosecution's evidence, it is very likely she might be executed for the murder of her sons.
Suspects: The Routiers believe that the murders were a sexual assault gone awry, and that a serial rapist was responsible. A man who commited several rapes throughout the Rowlett area with similar M.O. to the murders, who entered windows of the homes, acosted the victims with knives from the kitchen and wore tube socks on the hands to avoid leaving fingerprints, was suggested as the real killer. This unidentified figure was arrested for the rapes in 2001, and the Routier family considers him a suspect.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the August 24, 2001 episode. It was also on Court TV and The New Detectives.
Results: Solved/Unsolved. Darlie and her attorneys have conceded that she is the only possible killer, as noted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on May 21, 2003. A request for retesting of a limited number of items was granted on June 18, 2008 and the parties are waiting for the results. Only if they show the actual existence of an intruder can a court order a new trial on her claim that she is actually innocent of the crime for which she was convicted. The retesting appears to have been completed by the end of December 2012, and there is hope that the results will be announced some time in summer 2013. Right now, the evidence cannot conclusively prove if she is lying or if there was another person in her house.