Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darlie Routier: Doting Mother/Deadly Mother

Crime Scene Tells Story

Returning inside, he followed the bloody footprints. They indeed led from the room where the children were slain through to a utility room then onto the concrete floor of the garage, trailing off below its window. But, again, the screen seemed an unlikely escape port. Doubling that suspicion, the dust on the sill was undisturbed, there were no hand prints, bloody or otherwise, around the window; odd, since the killer in forcing his way through the window would have had to hang onto the walls for balance!

The investigator double-tracked to the yard, this time looking for drops of blood left behind by the slayer in flight. Surely, his savagery had produced vast amounts of blood and his clothing would have been dripping with it yet there were no apparent traces beyond the interior of the house. Not on the mulch below the window, not on the yard's manicured lawn, not along nor atop the six-foot high fence that surrounded the yard, not in the alley. The blood was contained within the house. Nowhere else.

In the entertainment room where Darlie described a struggle, Cron found little evidence of a melee having taken place. The lampshade was askew, and an expensive flower arrangement lay beside the coffee table. Nothing more out of place. He found, in fact, the fragile stems of the flowers unbroken as if the arrangement hadn't fallen, but been placed there.

In the kitchenette, only Darlie's bloodied footprints were visible. Pieces of a shattered wineglass, too, lay among the prints, and a vacuum cleaner had been deposited on its side. Blood underneath these items indicated, to him, that they were dropped after not before, nor during the violence.

Darlie's jewelry
Darlie's jewelry

Atop the kitchen counter sat Darlie's purse, which appeared in order and undisturbed, and several pieces of jewelry rings, a bracelet and a watch aligned in order, untouched.

Reports author Barbara Davis in Precious Angels: "Everything the professional saw at the crime scene disturbed him. The lack of a blood trail away from the home coupled with virtually no signs of a struggle bothered him most."

Late afternoon, after his thorough and all-day examination, he summarized his findings for Lt. Jack and Sgt. Walling. "We all know the crime scene tells the story. Problem is," he nodded, "that story's not the same one the mother's telling. Somebody inside this house did this thing. Gentlemen, there was no intruder."

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