15 Years Later–Did Darlie Routier Kill Her Sons? (Part 10)
Part 10: Darlie Routier on Death Row–Guilty or Innocent? Shocking Statement From Author
True crime writer Barbara Davis attended every day of the Darlie Routier trial. She wrote a book about it called “Precious Angels” and was more than convinced justice was served–Darlie Routier was guilty. Here is a description of her book:
Early one June morning, a frantic 911 call shattered the tranquility of an upscale neighborhood in Rowlett, Texas. Darlie Routier claimed that an intruder had entered her home, viciously stabbed her two young sons, and then slashed her with a knife. When the police arrived, they found six-year-old Devon and five-year-old Damon Routier near death. But the wounds of their mother were only superficial. As more and more bizarre facts came to light, authorities began to suspect that the young mother’s hysteria masked a darker and far more terrifying truth; Darlie Routier had butchered her own children in cold blood.
Here, for the first time, is the complete inside story of the sensational murder case that rocked a community and a nation. Through exclusive interviews with the Routier family, friend, neighbors, and police, and by including facts that were never revealed in court, acclaimed author Barbara Davis weaves a terrifyingly true story that delves with chilling insight into an unspeakable crime – and the heartless woman who was finally brought to justice.
But in a shocking turn around, Barbara recanted her book. With nothing to gain and a lot of credibility to lose, she released this statement:My name is Barbara Davis. I have visited Darlie Routier’s website from time to time and am amazed she is still getting so much attention. I worked for over a decade for criminal defense attorneys and then I spent the next decade working in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. First as a felony secretary for the prosecutors of Criminal District Court No. 3, then as a Victim’s Advocate for 8 years. A newly elected felony judge asked me to go to work as his court coordinator which I did and stayed with him until my first book “Stalked” was written. I am also the author of “Precious Angels” a very damaging account of Darlie’s trial in Kerrville, Texas. I attended the trial every day for almost five weeks. I know the evidence that was presented in court like the back of my hand as well as every witness and their sworn testimony. It all proved to be devastating for Darlie. Everyone knows that justice was accomplished in that Kerrville courtroom over two years ago.
So why in the world won’t you people just drop this thing??? And, Christopher Brown, where do you get off trying to convince the public that there’s trouble right here in River City??? Well, I can tell you why. YOU PEOPLE won’t drop this thing because you know that Darlie Routier happens to be completely innocent of the crime she was placed on death row for. And Christopher Brown gets off trying to convince the public that there are terrible troubles surrounding this case, because there are!
During the trial I amassed over 40 steno pads filled with trial testimony and notes. After I reduced the evidence and trial testimony gathered to writing and sent “Precious Angels” to my publisher, I did what I always do when I finish a book, I went on as usual with my life. But my life decided not to go on as usual with me. My world wrapped securely in my beliefs of justice and fairness was shaken to the very core one day shortly after my book was released. Christopher Brown, author of “Media Tried, Justice Denied” called and asked me if I would keep an open mind and let him show me the true facts gathered by him in Darlie’s case. I can honestly tell you that I was more than annoyed with him. After all, he hadn’t sat in court day after day, week after week, but I sure had. And who did he think he was dragging this thing on while trying to convince me of something I already knew everything about. I told him he was wasting his time because there was no way I’d ever…I repeat, EVER, believe that Darlie was innocent. He assured me he could afford the time and we met. As I examined piece after piece of evidence I found myself convinced beyond any doubt that Darlie Routier was not the one who murdered her children and inflicted her own wounds on June 6, 1996. I found the State’s case against her to be immersed in cover-ups, lies, false representations and evidence that was tampered with, tainted and even created to suit particular purposes.The police and prosecutorial tactics and the work they produced is questionable at best and criminal at worst. I cried. I trembled. I became sick at my stomach to the point that when I got home I threw up.
“Media Tried, Justice Denied” is more than a disturbing book. It is dark and positively catastrophic for those responsible for Darlie’s arrest, indictment, trial, conviction and incarceration. As a person raised to respect law enforcement, the judicial system and the district attorney’s office, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that a system I cherish, trust and have worked in and been a part of could go so very wrong. It plucked Darlie from her family, husband, only surviving child and friends and threw her into a deep, dark pit because her two little boys were slaughtered at her feet and she had the misfortune to survive and not be able to explain to the authorities how it happened.
My heart physically ached and still does for the inconceivable miscarriage of justice done to Darlie, Darin, their families and Devon and Damon. Although Darlie did not murder her babies I can assure you she is caged inside a tiny cell waiting to be put to death for it, nevertheless. Can you imagine how she feels and how she has felt every day of her life since her arrest almost 3 years ago? I can’t. I just absolutely cannot! Anyone who knows me knows I tirelessly champion victim’s rights not death row inmate’s rights. But this time, for the very first time, I’m championing both because Darlie Routier encompasses both. She is a death row inmate and she is also the innocent victim here.
Good and bad police officers, investigators, prosecutors and judges intermingled with each other throughout the history of this tragic story. It appears that the bad element proved to be stronger and eventually dominated the course of events. I don’t know if the good element knew what was happening or if they were too scared to speak out. But the one thing everyone must remember is that all evil needs in order to prevail is for good people simply to do nothing. If this verdict stands and Darlie dies, we will all have to answer to God for it.
What’s my motive here? Well, I can think of plenty of motivation to keep my mouth shut and hope and pray this nightmare will just quietly go away. Or, I could try to convince the media that Darlie’s supporters,her family and Christopher Brown are all just zealots. This has been an extremely difficult personal and professional path for me to take but it was the only one I could take. Am I worried? You better believe I’m concerned about potential repercussions…harm to the career I love, criticism and character assassinations that will be hurled in my direction by those still wanting Darlie to be guilty. Daily I deal with feelings of shame, remorse and guilt regarding my part in all this for being too trusting; for not holding the police and District Attorney to the highest standard of accountability; for being so judgmental and so quick to believe gossip about a young woman I didn’t really know.
The only motive I have to put myself through this misery by speaking out is a simple one…if you know the truth you have to tell it and do whatever you can to right the wrong done. In the end it really doesn’t matter who may get in trouble or hurt because of the truth coming out. You see, in the scheme of things they can’t matter…I can’t matter. What does matter is every single second of every single minute of every single hour of every single day of every single week of every single month of every single year that we allow an innocent woman to languish on death row waiting to be led away and murdered.
I’ve visited with Darlie in jail for many hours since I learned the truth. I was amazed to find that after all that’s been done to hurt Darlie and her family; after all I’ve personally done, this loving person (who has been called every vile name and treated like the scum of the earth, and I did it, too) not only forgave me for everything when I asked for her forgiveness, she told me she had forgiven me before I asked. If that doesn’t break your heart, then nothing ever will.
On a personal note I would like to say that despite negative comments throughout the world about Texas, I love this state and the wonderful people who live here. As a Texan I will proudly welcome Darlie home when she is set free. I have to believe she will be.
Now is the time for us to rise up and exert so much relentless and tremendous pressure on officials that they will have no other choice but to set Darlie Routier free. I’ll probably never get this out of my system but I was WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! There are a lot of good, decent people who were in that boat with me and many still are. I know if you will open your minds and hearts and reexamine what really went on in Rowlett and Kerrville, Texas, you will want to join me in standing up for Darlie, now, as fervently as you and I once stood up against her. Please unite with me in the battle to put an end once and for all to this horrifying ordeal. After all, “justice” means protecting the innocent as much as punishing the guilty. God be with you.
Coming up in Part 10, The Texas Monthly’s Skip Hollandsworth wrote a follow-up story 5 years after Darlie was sentenced. In that article, he writes:
“…Darin Routier admitted last year that in the spring of 1996, when his business was in trouble and he was $22,000 in debt, he had asked Darlie’s stepfather, Bob Kee, whether he knew anyone who might break into the family’s house as part of an insurance scam. Once the furniture and other items were “stolen,” Darin would retrieve them from the “burglar” and pay him out of the proceeds from his insurance claim.
A couple of months ago, when I asked Darin if he had made such a statement, he denied it. But a few days later, when I confronted him with affidavits given to me by Darlie’s stepfather and Reyna, he confessed that he had, in fact, talked to Kee about faking a burglary. When I asked if he had discussed the plan with anyone else, including a couple of reputed car thieves in Rowlett, Darin hesitantly replied, “There is a possibility I said the same thing in conversation with people that worked around me. I don’t remember what I said. But there’s a strong possibility that was on my mind, and in conversation I could have said that.”
Is it possible Darin may have set the wheels in motion which led to his children’s death?