Murderous Moms: Did Silly String Send Darlie Routier To Death Row?

Darlie Routier mug shot [Rowlett Police Department]

ROWLETT, TX — In the wee hours of June 6, 1995, 26-year-old mother-of-three Darlie Routier screamed in horror. Two of her three sons — Damon, age 5, and Devon, age 6 — had been stabbed to death.

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Routier, too, had been knifed in the neck during a struggle, she said, with a home invader who subsequently fled into the night.

Eight days after the murders, though, a video emerged of Routier breaking out a can of Silly String. It proved to be an act that seemed, in some courts of popular opinion, to portray her as depraved enough to have savagely slaughtered her two children.

The Silly String incident occurred on what would have been Devon’s seventh birthday. The video depicts Routier and other family members visiting the dead boys’ adjacent graves, which are covered with balloons, and essentially having a party.

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In addition, Routier is clearly seen on the tape laughing, joking, chewing gum, all of which leads up to her jubilantly spraying Silly String all over her sons’ final resting places.

Local news stations aired that home-video footage nonstop. Later, during Routier’s trial, the jury watched it in court no less than seven times.

Initially, police bought Routier’s story about an outsider attacking her family while her husband Darin and seven-month-old Drake, the couple’s third (and only surviving) child, slept upstairs.

On June 18, though, four days after the Silly String video scandalized seemingly all who saw it, officers arrested Darlie Routier and charged her with the murders of Damon and Devin. The authorities cited no witnesses, no motive, no confession, and, early on, no real evidence.

Darlie Routier mugshot [Rowlett Police Department]

Darlie Routier mug shot [Rowlett Police Department]

What everyone involved did keep citing, though, was that Silly String.

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Chief among those blasting the video was Dallas County assistant district attorney Greg Davis, who later said:

“Here’s a mother who has supposedly been the victim of a violent crime. She has just lost two children, and yet she’s out literally dancing on their graves.”

An eight-month trial followed. Prosecutors portrayed Routier as a pampered hedonist who killed her kids over fears that they would be too much of a financial burden.

In addition, the state presented a letter from Routier addressed to her three sons turned which she asked them to “forgive me for what I am about to do.” Routier said she wrote that while she was contemplating suicide.

Ultimately, the prosecution proposed that, after stabbing her boys, Darlie staged the break-in scene by cutting open a garage window screen, planting a bloody sock in an alley, and slashing her own throat.

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Defense lawyers countered that any such theory was preposterous, noting that Darlie would have trailed blood all over had she attempted that fakery. They also kept pointing out her lack of motive.

The accused mom did not help her case, though, by taking the stand where, under cross-examination, she “withered” and ended up claiming she had amnesia. And of course, as noted, the Silly String video got played over and over again.

It all resulted in the jury proclaiming Routier guilty and sentencing her to death. Afterward, Darlie Kee, Routier’s mother, said: “They ended up deliberating on the Silly String. Silly String is not a lethal weapon.”

Darlie Routier mug shot [Rowlett Police Department]

Darlie Routier 2016 mug shot [Rowlett Police Department]

Darlie Routier has been incarcerated for more than 20 years now. She has never once stopped proclaiming her innocence.

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Over the past two decades, Router’s attorneys have filed multiple appeals and won some rulings regarding DNA evidence. A growing movement to get a new trial continues to gain ground.

In regard to the Silly String video, in 2015, Routier told ABC News:

“[Devon] wanted to be seven. I did the only thing I knew to do to honor him and give him all his wishes because he wasn’t here anymore. But how do you know what you’re going to do when you lose two children? How do you know how you’re going to act?”

Those are questions perhaps only Routier herself can answer.

For more Murderous Moms, watch full episodes of Investigation Discovery’s Evil Stepmothers, Deadly Women, and more on ID GO.

Read more:
Dallas News
Texas Monthly
HC News
CBS News
ABC News
Darlie Routier Official Site

Main photo: Darlie Routier mug shot [Rowlett Police Department]

  • Jamie Massey

    It didn’t send her to death row but it helped to pave the way.

    • ImOpining

      Well DNA proved her guilt again. Latest from June 2015 show no unknown DNA. One smudged fingerprint that can’t be indentified but is about the size of Darlies fingers. You can view the report at the bottom of her wikipedia page, just above the External Links link.

  • Christine Chrissy Fougere

    the overwhelming physical evidence proving she murdered her two children is what sent her to DR. the ss party only proves she’s an idiot

  • Judy Latty

    Something just isnt right

    • Bev Simas Denn

      Judy, I agree with you !

      • Christine Chrissy Fougere

        Don’t rely on her story, she lies every time her mouth opens. Rely on the physical evidence that proves she committed the crime. Most of this article has false information anyway. They make it sound like the SS party was the only evidence against her, as if you could conduct a trial with one piece of evidence

        • Jade Marks

          Exactly. She would have been convicted even if there were no SS video

      • ImOpining

        You mean the “stories” she gave. She kept trying to fit the stories to the facts. 100% guilty.

    • Bev Simas Denn

      I agree….she sounded pretty credible. As far as the Silly String…I agree it is weird. Then again people don’t always react the way you think they should when they have experienced tragedy like that. Not 100% Convinced.

      • ImOpining

        DNA proves her guilt again. Latest from June 2015 show no unknown DNA. One smudged fingerprint that can’t be indentified but is about the size of Darlies fingers. You can view the report at the bottom of her wikipedia page, just above the External Links link.

    • VenusDoom3

      Have any of you actually read the details on this case, including the physical evidence? You won’t have any doubts about her guilt after that. Google “Darlie Routier Fact and Fiction” and read the “Myths” section on that site. Excellent source.

      • VenusDoom3

        After you’ve Googled that site, next look up “Peter Hyatt Statement Analysis Darlie Routier” and see what a trained expert in the field of statement analysis has to say about her 911 call. She’s as phony as her blonde hair.

        • ImOpining

          And her fake boobs.

  • Jade Marks

    It’s a shame all her supporters and family always say the silly string video sent her to death row as if people are stupid…killing her kids sent her to death row

  • VenusDoom3

    Hmm. Interesting. I submitted a lengthy comment yesterday slamming the author for this blatant opinion piece (as opposed to a relatively unbiased news piece), and the moderators have approved every other comment but that one. Curious, no?

    Anyway, anyone who has done even the most perfunctory research into this case would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this woman is guilty. Physical evidence doesn’t lie.

    • Breah Olczak

      That is very interesting! I wonder if the same will happen to me!

      • Breah Olczak

        Looks like it. Well, I’ve seen plenty of evidence and agree! Guilty all the way!

  • Pamela Le

    Shes innocent

    • Jade Marks

      Pamela Le your a fool

    • ImOpining

      DNA disagrees with you.

  • NYSmike

    I’ve been trying to find out info on what results occurred after her 2008 DNA testing was done, but there’s nothing out there.

    • VenusDoom3

      There was recent DNA testing done that they were crowing about for months/years… and it turned up absolutely nothing to exonerate Darlie or point the finger at another soul.

    • ImOpining

      DNA proves her guilt again. Latest from June 2015 show no unknown DNA. One smudged fingerprint that can’t be indentified but is about the size of Darlies fingers. You can view the report at the bottom of her wikipedia page, just above the External Links link.

  • Denise Rae Groce

    I’m still on the fence about this case, but leaning more towards her being guilty.

    • ImOpining

      Yes and DNA did prove her guilt. Latest from June 2015 show no unknown DNA. One smudged fingerprint that can’t be indentified but is about the size of Darlies fingers.

  • Angel

    Thank God they can now use DNA and when it proves that this Mother did get the death penalty because of a silly string video. I will celebrate for this innocent Mom!!

    • ImOpining

      Look at the bottom of her wikipedia page for the link to the DNA testing that did prove her guilt. Again. Latest from June 2015 show no unknown DNA. One smudged fingerprint that can’t be indentified but is about the size of Darlies fingers.

  • Anne Benedict

    She claims she slept through an intruder viciously stabbing her two children to death as they slept a few feet away from her (stab wounds 5 inches into the body) as well as the intruder attacking HER afterwards (she had minor “slice” wounds across her neck — no stab wounds at all) but woke up when her son walked over and tugged on her nightgown (son was in no condition to move, much less walk) then woke up, saw the intruder and chased him out of the house. Intruder dropped the knife which she then picked up. Knife came from her kitchen knife set. Oh for sure.