Every once in a while, a crime is committed with a perfect set of evidence to set a suspect up before a jury during a trial in which the defense has no hopes against. There are two kinds of perfect murders.

Ones did to correctly trap and snare the perpetrators with hard evidence, factual witnesses and convince the jury of peers that the truth is self-evident.

But there are also perfect murders where the actual perpetrator remains innocent the whole time.

The Routier family was upended when, in June of 1996, the two oldest sons of Darin and Darlie Routier were killed in their own home while watching TV and while their mother was sleeping just a room away.

She claimed that an unknown intruder broke into her house and fled after the stabbings and has maintained that stance to this day, even as she sits on death row under a multitude of appeals to the courts.

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10 Home With The Family

Darlie called 911 immediately after she had been attacked. When police arrived, the two boys were already dead. Devon was 6, just a week away from being 7, and Damon was 5.

Darin and the youngest, the infant Drake, were asleep upstairs. The screen door to the house had been cut open, and the offending knife was found with blood from both children and the superficial, but still dangerous, wounds of Darlie.

She was treated at the hospital for her cuts as her two children were unfortunately beyond help.


9 Perfect Staging

Police investigated the scene accordingly with Darlie’s story. She said she woke up to find the man in her house, brandishing the knife against her after having stabbed her two boys.

He dropped the knife and, without thinking, she chased him with it through the garage where he disappeared without a trace.

He entered by cutting open a hole in the screen door. However, this is where Darlie’s story begins to falter. There were no blood drops or tracks anywhere in the garage.

The dust on the windowsill wasn’t even disturbed, or the dirt outside. The only thing that could prove her right was a mysterious thumbprint that didn’t belong to her on the wall.



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8 Unhappy Birthday

Darlie was released just a few days later, and during that time, she rapidly assembled her family for support, especially for her older son Devon.

He would have been seven just eight days after that lethal day. She had a service held to commemorate his death and then followed it up with a celebration.

Despite her son dying, she wanted her son to have the party he was looking forward to so much.

After the service, the gathered family mourned with smiles and gave a strong presentation for the dead boy with song, presents, and silly string over his tombstone.

7 Hard Fought Trial

Just four days after the funeral, she was arrested as the prime suspect in the murder of her sons. She was charged with capital murder, which in Texas, carried the death penalty.

She was detained and held for an extended period until her trial finally began in January of 1997 in Kerrville, Texas.

She was accused of murder due to her financial difficulties, as she had spent a great deal on her sons and herself despite the family’s low income.

This was refuted by the defense, claiming if she wanted to murder for money, her husband had an $800,000 life insurance policy to his name compared to the combined $10,000 of the boys, which wasn’t even enough for their funerals.

6 Silly String Scandal

Devon’s funeral service was recorded on video, the same any child’s birthday party would have been, and offered as evidence.

The defense intentionally precluded the recording of the actual funeral, which meant the only thing the jurors had to watch was a video of people laughing, singing, and celebrating in front of the grave of a boy who died two days prior.

They observed that video eight times total, sinking the idea in their heads that she was a mother ruthlessly enjoying the death of her children.

5 The Hand That Holds The Knife

The usage of the knife by Darline was contested, citing that the wound in her throat was nearly lethal, within millimeters of her carotid artery, which would have bled out within moments.

The defense offered that the stains on her dress from that day could only come from holding the knife over her head to stab downward at her children.

4 If The Sock Fits...

Further evidence was produced in the form of a blood-stained sock that was outside the house. The defense argued that the timeframe of planting the sock, either before or after killing the children, would have been impossible.

Damon was alive when paramedics came, and Darline held on to the 911 emergency line for six of the eight minutes he had estimated left to live.

The defense argued the sock could have been planted ahead of time and that the timelines for Damon’s survival were estimations at best.

3 The Final Bell

Darlie was sentenced to death for the murder of Damon. While evidence was lacking in proving that she killed both children, just one allegation was enough to place her on Texas’ death row.

In the following years, up to the current year, new DNA tests have been conducted of the samples taken from the crime scene in a series of appeals as Darlie has maintained her innocence in the case ever since.

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2 A Mother Scorned

The allegations against her were mostly character-driven. She was low on money and possibly desperate for a break. The defenses were likewise compelling.

The pastor that serviced the funeral claimed that she was a mother in mourning, without a hint of joy that wasn’t forced for others to feel comfort.

The birthday party tapes were shown to paint a cruel picture to the jury that ultimately ended up working.

1 The Invisible Man

It’s never been proven, but it is possible that a perfect killer got away with an unthinkably evil crime.

A potential serial killer, scared off by a mother who didn’t let a drop of her sons’ blood or her spill on the garage floor as he fled through it, only to lose a blood-soaked sock in his sprint down the block to get away.

If Darlie’s story is correct, there could still be a killer out there, waiting for her to pay his price before striking again…

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