Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darlie Routier: Doting Mother/Deadly Mother


The murder weapon
The murder weapon

The Routier home buzzed with stark-faced policemen taking stark notes, shooting stark crime photos, dusting for fingerprints that would tell a stark tale. In the kitchenette, something very telling had occurred. Sgt. Nabors thought it was strange that the sink was spotless and white while the floors and edges of the countertop around and above it were blood-smudged. And if someone had taken the effort to clean the sink of blood why? His job being to process blood traces at a crime scene, Nabors went to work.

"(He) conducted a test to detect the presence of human blood that cannot be seen with the naked eye," explains the book, Precious Angels. "The chemical compound Luminol is the tool that investigators use for this test. If the white crystalline compound in the Luminol detects the copper component found in human blood, the area sprayed becomes luminescent, casting a brilliant bluish light. The sergeant sprayed the sink and the surrounding counter. When the lights were switched off, the entire sink basin and the surrounding counter glowed in the dark."

Repeating this process on the leatherette sofa, the detective found a small child's handprint glowing iridescent blue near the edge where Damon had been stabbed. Like the blood in the kitchen, someone had wiped it away. Again why?

Simultaneously to Nabors'  findings, crime scene consultant James Cron found other variables of the case out of sync. Like Sgt. Nabors, he realized what appeared to be wasn't. The moment he arrived at 5801 Eagle Drive, his years of experience told him, as he began taking mental notes, that Darlie Routier's testimony of what happened didn't.

The questionable point of entry, the garage screen
The questionable point of entry, the garage screen

Mrs. Routier had stated she believed the killer had gotten in and escaped through the garage. Indeed, Cron found, as the woman said, a slit screen on the side of the house, in the garage but he knew at first glance it was a no-go. The screen showed no signs of having been forcibly pushed in or out to allow a body through its netting, but even more telling was the fact that the screen's frame was easily removable. Any criminal with an idiot's IQ would have simply taken it off its setting. Additionally, the ground below the window, comprised of a dewy, wet mulch, was undisturbed. Perhaps, he figured, the woman in her panicked condition may have been wrong perhaps the intruder had found other ingress and egress so he rounded the entire home for other visible indications of breaking and entry. He found none.


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