A violent struggle, in which two children ages 5 and 6 are stabbed to death with a kitchen knife. Their mother is taken into custody. Nerves on all sides crackle in a tense Dallas courtroom as the prosecuting attorney approaches the jury...
Thank you, I'll wrap this up as quickly as possible. Ladies and gentlemen, I intend to prove the woman pictured above, Darlie Lynn Routier, stabbed and murdered her own children, Damon and Devon, while they slept in their own home on June the 6th, 1996.
The evidence will show you that this woman, the woman sitting right over there, this spiritless creature with unbleached roots and fake airbag tits, conforms perfectly to the universally-defined textbook definition of predator mommy. Although you'd never guess just by looking at her three-story mansion in the fashionable suburb of Rowlett, Texas.
As soon as Darlie Routier moved into this home with her wealthy, entrepreneurial husband Darin, she began snatching up all manner of things which might better illustrate her financial success. Lighted water fountains, satellite dishes, jewelry, fancy clothes, and leather furniture. Even a Jaguar automobile! Bling bling, ma'am! In 1995, the Routiers took several vacations. They bought a nine thousand dollar redwood spa for the backyard. A twenty-four thousand dollar cabin cruiser for the lake. In 1996, Darlie Routier had an expensive new baby named Drake, keeping her busier than she'd ever been with her two other children, Devon and Damon.
But instead of investing or saving the money from her henpecked hubby's thriving business, the defendant preferred to spend the profits on herself. It's no exaggeration to say that in a very short time, the money just plain ran out.
And sigh, there was now the matter of her ever-expanding waistline. All that gosh darned weight from her pregnancies. No longer was she the glamorous center of attention. As if it isn't bad enough staring at banner ads targeting fat people every time you check your Yahoo! mail. All these fucking kids, Jesus Christ. No wonder you're so enormous, she must have said to herself. No wonder you're so hyperactive and excitable, desperately clinging to the belief that permanent, perpetual motherhood might somehow fill the void better than a tanning booth or a new Range Rover. And where did my childhood go, anyway? Don't I get that back? Hello? Anyone? I'm still young, here! Who wants to take some E and go dancing?
But there would be no ecstasy for Darlie Routier. No rolling on the bean, no methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Only fat pills. Only Prozac, Xanax, Wellbutrin could possibly keep this material girl's needs at bay.
It all happened so fast, and it just kept getting worse. When the Jaguar stopped running, Darlie had no transportation. That's right: stuck at home all day long with three little shits. This is Rowlett, we're talking about. You have to walk a long way in the hot sun just to find a mattress outlet. The cabin cruiser on the lake? That wasn't working either. Exacerbating her inability to find inner happiness was the fact that her husband's business was starting to flatten out. This family of five had no savings account, no retirement account, and less than $2000 in the bank. If Darlie's mental state was a cartoon sound, it would be Sideshow Bob's slide whistle, twiddling sadly from high to low.
Their situation grew so bleak, that on June lst of 1996—five days before
the murders—the Routiers tried to borrow five thousand dollars from a bank
in Rowlett. Because of their hemorrhaging credit situation, they were turned
knife, knife and baseball caps and your fucking fingerprints?
Stop talking about that shit, lady! Now might be a good time to clamp your mouth
shut already. Darlie Routier might as well have used a potato peeler to whittle
these kids down to wedge-cut curly fries. She could have strung them up the
backyard lemon tree like a pinata. A plastic Safeway bag. Anything. Ridiculous
statements like these delivered moments after a violent midnight crime in her
own home quickly drew suspicion, and Darlie Routier became the object of intense
It's unlikely a killer would slice two people one way, and a third in a different way. As she sat in the courtroom, Darlie Routier hoped the jury would believe she'd been suffering from traumatic amnesia, and that she couldn't much recall the events of that night. Her recollection of the intruder's appearance had deteriorated to the point of being worthless. Nevertheless, the attack on these children was personal. "The killer focused on their chests," FBI agent Al Brantley emphasized, "almost as if going for their hearts. That indicates an extreme anger."
and extreme anger? Toward these two precious little angels sent from heaven?
Gee whiz. Yes, let us never lose sight of interchangeable Devon and Damon alongside
baby Drake: three costly young boys assigned drippy, melodramatic soap opera
names, ultimately destined for onomatopoetic dustbins of disaster. Christ lady,
why not Dylan, Daegan and Dakota?
Rumor has it when the morgue attendants zipped up what was left of little Devon into the body bag, an officer who considered himself "a pretty tough dude" turned his face away and sobbed. Which leads us to Exhibit SS-1.
Police maintained diligent 24-hour video and audio surveillance of Damon and Devon's grave site, in the hopes of catching Darlie break down or confess during a private, somber moment of remorse. They didn't have to wait long. On what would have been Devon's 7th birthday, Darlie organized a posthumous graveside picnic party sing-a-long ice cream social, where she was videotaped spraying a can of fluorescent pink Silly String all over the freshly-padded grave. She laughed, chewed bubble gum, and sang Happy Birthday. Local television station KXAS-5 TV (Kicks Ass TV) was invited along to record the event, more or less negating the cops' need to maintain surveillance in the first place.
Horrified party guests stood mute and skeptical as Darlie Routier shrieked "I love you, Devon and Damon!" without any noticeable signs of grief. One was reminded of that big ol' black lady who screamed "I hate you Jeffrey" at the Dahmer trial.
To justify her actions, Darlie later said, "If you knew [my sons], you'd know they're up in heaven having the biggest birthday party we could ever imagine. And though our hearts are breaking, they wouldn't want us to be unhappy. But they'll be a part of us always. And they played with Silly String all the time."
Darlie Routier's defense team rushed to squelch the significance of the Silly String tape. Would the prosecution honestly have the jury believe this harmless, candy-colored aerosol foam lends insight into the mind of a distraught mother? By concluding this can of Silly String was tantamount to some kind of murder weapon? God knows you can certainly annoy someone with sillied string. It's wet and wiggly, even ice cold when first ejected. It's sticky and surprising. And then, without so much as a moment's notice, it solidifies into a Styrofoam-like consistency around your face. It restricts your breathing. It's impossible to remove from hair. It robs you of your dignity, your self-respect, maybe even your soul. But would that be "silly" enough for this Texas jury?
You can hold the can against the side of your nose and shoot fake snot streams across the room, while horrid gurgling noises percolate from your throat. We all saw Big with Tom Hanks. We've all seen America's Funniest Home Videos, where the 11-year-old birthday girl is sprayed by six party guests while blowing out her candles. She was instantly engulfed by flames—but the substance all by itself is harmless. The label clearly says non-toxic.
Why don't we return to the grave site in our imaginations? Bailiff, you take the can while I put on this modest party hat. Now take three big steps back and hose me down. Gimme a whole lotta pressure. A whole lotta good squirts up and down. Do it! We're having a wake! We're mourning the passing of two dead children! Soak me good! Shoot it out! Yes!
And gosh, I'd be lying if I said all that Silly String didn't remind me of the big, sloppy facials I've come to enjoy in pornographic books and magazines. I'm not "distracting" the jury, your Honor. Hear me out. I'm suggesting we ease back in our chairs for just a moment—and take a break, and enjoy some charts and graphs I spent a lot of time and money on at Kinko's.
These huge blowups took forever thanks to the dimwitted, incompetent fools working behind the counter. Fucking assholes is what they are. It's Nazi Germany every time I set foot in that place. And you can't even steal printouts or computer time from them anymore. In late 2001, in a desperate bid to prevent millions of dollars's worth of theft, each Mac and PC at Kinko's was equipped with a device requiring a valid credit card. So enjoy this slick paper and matte cardstock, it cost me well over a grand.
Anyway, I know the blacks are more like browns and the color separation is a bit askew, but the thrust of my argument speaks for itself, ladies and gentlemen: blowjobs and facials—gotta love 'em!
If Ms. Routier didn't commit this crime, what a fortunate assailant there must be running around this desolate Texas neighborhood. He goes in and brutally murders two children. He slashes their mother's throat as they're struggling face to face. He drops the knife and she wipes off his prints. He runs away, but leaves Darlie alive—the one woman who could identify him, and send him to the gas chamber. Then, d'oh, she gets amnesia and can't remember what he looks like. This must be the luckiest goddamn child killer in the universe.
Four days after being videotaped with Silly String, Darlie Routier was arrested and charged with double murder. She was found guilty, and today she sits on death row.