Review of Dateline Purgatory: Examining the Case that Sentenced Darlie Routier to Death by Kathy Cruz
Imagine being attacked in your own home, with your throat cut almost to the carotid artery. Two of your young children are stabbed to death. And you are the one the police charge and put on death row. That is the unbelievable situation in which Darlie Routier has found herself. While this case happened in Texas, a leader not only in executions but in wrongful convictions, this could happen to anyone anywhere. Our justice system is fraught with incompetence from the jurors whose only concern is getting a verdict so they can go home to judges who fall asleep during a capital murder case.
While I can’t personally right the wrong that has occurred here, I can call out the incompetent people that have led to this travesty. It starts with lead detective Jimmy Patterson, crime scene investigator James Cron, and investigator Chris Frosch. I’ll start with investigator James Cron. This guy thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes. Upon arriving at the crime scene he immediately decides that the scene has been staged. He doesn’t change his opinion when a bloody sock linked to the crime is found in an alley near the home. So not only is James “Sherlock” Cron a genius investigator, but Darlie Routier is a master criminal, smart enough to stage the scene at her home and then run outside to plant the bloody sock, certain that police would find it. Next we have detectives Jimmy Patterson and Chris Frosch. These guys need to look up the definition for tunnel vision, because they had it so bad they couldn’t see past their noses. Once they locked on to Darlie as their suspect, they did what all incompetent detectives do, they tried to fit the evidence to their theory. When it came time for trial, these two geniuses took the fifth. That’s right. The two lead detectives in a capital murder trial were so confident in their investigation that they refused to be cross examined. How does that happen?
Next we have prosecutors Greg Davis and Toby Shook. These two successfully took an innocent person and put her on death row. Congratulations! So what was the motive for such a heinous crime. According to Davis and Shook, the family was having financial trouble and each child had a $5,000 life insurance policy. What evidence did they present to the jury who took all of a couple of hours to sentence someone to death? They claim that Darlie’s wounds were self inflicted. Did I mention that Darlie’s throat was cut deep enough to barely miss the carotid artery. That she had defensive wounds and severe bruising on her arms. They had a video that showed Darlie spraying silly string at the kids grave sites. They had nurses who said that Darlie was “whiny” while in the hospital. Then they had some unchallenged evidence concerning a screen door being cut from the inside. That’s about it.
Then there is Judge Mark Tolle. This guy was about to retire. He wanted to go out on a strong note. He arranged (or at least allowed for it to happen) to have the trial moved to where he could be the presiding judge. Once he was in place for the trial of his career, he fell asleep for portions of the trial. He was assisted by a court reporter who submitted a trial transcript that had some thirty thousand errors.
Next we have defense attorney Douglas D. Mulder. Now here is a top notch attorney. He was hired to replace two court appointed attorneys. So what does Doug Mulder do when the family gives him $50,000 and only a few months to prepare for trial? He goes to Hawaii for vacation. He claims it allowed him to better prepare for trial. Yeah, right. How did that work out? So what were you doing during the trial? Thinking about how you were going to spend the rest of the money you got. How about objecting when the prosecutor makes the unsubstantiated claim that your client is a psychopath? How about asking for a mistrial when the lead detectives pleaded the fifth? How about cross examining the nurses with their contradictory statements? How about putting on a blood expert to challenge the state’s blood expert. How about challenging the states theory of the crime? How about the $250,000 life insurance policy on Darlie? How about showing the jurors what took place prior to the silly string video? How about putting on the stand the neighbors who saw a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood the day of the attacks? Before becoming a highly paid defense attorney, Mulder was a prosecutor. One of his accomplishments as a prosecutor was a wrongful conviction.
Next year Darlie Routier will have been on death row for twenty years for a crime she did not commit. Those involved in this wrongful conviction will fight to keep the truth from coming forward until Darlie is put to death. There is DNA evidence indicating a third, unknown person was involved. Unfortunately, the appeals judges are just rubber stampers who could care less about the truth. They are too busy playing golf to worry about an injustice like this. I hope I am wrong and that some appeal judge will take the time to actually look at the facts.
My only complaint about the book was that there were a number of leads that seemed to be under reported. The author talks about the nurses notes which contradicted their testimony, but didn’t provide the notes. She talks about Darin stating in an affidavit that he had called off a planned burglary, but doesn’t provide any background. She talks about Darin’s bloody jeans found in the laundry room, but explains no further. Those are pretty important facts to mention without more background.
As with all wrongful convictions, there will be those who support the original verdict. Perhaps they are related or friends of the police and those in the justice system that have failed so miserably. I hope they have the courage to speak up here. I’ll give you your forum. Just know that the facts don’t support your cause. For more on those facts go to http://darliefacts.com/. This case was also covered on CNN Death Row Stories Season Two.
The person that wrote this review pulled the old tactic of “cherry picking.” He/she wrote bits and pieces of issues in an attempt to show Darlie was railroaded, but failed to include all of the facts with those tidbits. And someone needs to tell this reviewer that it’s “Silly Sting” not “Silly Putty” how do you spray silly putty? This was written by someone that is obviously completely unfamiliar with this case that’s based their opinion of a “travesty” having occurred on one book, Not a well researched opinion.
I wrote the review. I stand by my belief that Darlie is innocent. You claim that I cherry picked evidence. Well, if even one piece of that cherry-picked evidence proves innocence, then that is enough. Darlie could not have committed the crime. The evidence does not implicate her, it exculpates her. The only people who can realistically look at this case and believe that she is guilty are individuals who have a connection to the people who put her there, or are unwilling to look at the evidence objectively. As for your main criticism that I wrote silly putty instead of silly string, that is not a very good argument against the facts of the case. No one cuts their own throat to commit suicide. You my friend have the same tunnel vision the detectives had. All you have to do is look at the damage to the chain she was wearing around her neck. It’s what saved her life.
Susan J says
Yes, people DO cut their own throats, and some do it with their non-dominant hand to make it look as though someone else did it.
As for the chain, that thing wasn’t strong enough to stop a knife. Especially if the person who was weilding that knife had just stabbed two children hard enough for the knife to go in one side of their body and out the other. He’s not going to just “gently” run the knife across her throat. There was no proof that the nick in the chain was done by a knife. It could have already been there. She bought a lot of jewelry at pawn shops so it probably wasn’t in like new condition.
You are entitled to your opinion. I look at evidence. I don’t just go with my gut feeling. The police said that the cut on Darlie’s throat was superficial and self inflicted. The cut was not superficial. It came within centimeters of killing her. What are the chances that the nick on the chain just happened to be right where her throat was cut? What a coincidence. She had defensive wounds and bruising indicating she put up a fight. How do you explain the bloody sock? Do you really think that Darlie staged that? Search this site for Wrongful Convictions. You will see countless stories about wrongful convictions. I see the same errors over and over: detectives who try to fit the evidence to match their theory. ineffective counsel, prosecutorial misconduct. You formed an opinion because you saw a mother spraying silly string on the grave of her just deceased child. She was given the silly string by a relative. It was her son’s favorite play thing. It was close to his birthday. Your opinion clouded your ability to look at the facts.
Preach it sister. I’m so sick of hearing ‘the necklace was embedded in her neck and had to be surgically removed”. The damn thing fell off as soon as the bandage was removed.
Sharon Carr says
I to agree she did not to this crime, I pray they will review it and find her not guilty,my prayers are with her,so sad to lose two sons and almost lose your own life, but again only her and God know, but I truly believe her.
Susan J says
Darlie Routier is as guilty as sin and is right where she belongs. I have been following the case since the day it happened and nothing I have seen or read has changed my mind. At one point I had my doubts and wondered if maybe I just thought she was guilty because I didn’t like her, so I went back through and read everything I could find on the case again. I came to the same conclusion. She is guilty.
Valerie Thierry says
Only God himself is the only eyewitness to this but that is a horrible situation for anyone to be in I know that much.
No need to worry about Darlie. She murdered her two sons and will eventually pay for it with her life.
Graswald is just as guilty as Routier.