Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Shotgun Slaying of Bruce and Darlene Rouse

The Evidence

All three children stuck to their story of not seeing or hearing anything. They also said they never heard their dog, a black Labrador, bark at anything. So detectives were left without any witnesses and focused on collecting whatever physical evidence they could find.

Crime scene
Crime scene

Bruce had a gun collection that was missing. The shotgun that killed the Rouses was not located either, nor was the knife used to stab Bruce. Nothing else inside the house appeared to be amiss.

Robbery did not appear to be the motive for the killings. No one had broken into the house and it wasn't ransacked. The Rouses were wearing expensive jewelry and Bruce had $300 in his wallet on the nightstand.

Reenactment: Police investigate crime scene
Reenactment: Police investigate crime

But outside, detectives found something interesting. Bruce's car had blood on the outside of the door and the windshield wipers were left in the "on" position. The storm had not started by the time Bruce had arrived home. Police suspected the children knew more than they were saying, but were unable to get anything more. They would later ask them to take polygraphs, but they refused.

Then a coroner's inquest was convened and the children sat on the witness stand, mute. The same thing happened during the grand jury hearing. Relatives had obtained lawyers for the three and all were told not to talk to authorities. With nothing more to go on, the case stalled. Detectives knew they would have to wait for a lucky break such as confession or locating the murder weapon.

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