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Darlie Lynn Peck Routier’s June 8, 1996 Police Statement Analyzed
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Statement Analysis / Linguistics
It should be noted that linguistic/statement analysis is not a perfect nor infallible science. Nor is it universally accepted by the law enforcement community. However, it does provide for speech evaluation which examines a person’s use of words and grammar in everyday life and in a specific instance. Awkward constructions, use of words different from normal usage, and sentence content and context are called into play to determine the level of deceit or truthfulness. On a subconscious level, people reveal what they may intend to hide, and this is where the value of linguistics becomes effective. That being said, let us now turn to this statement and see what we can glean from it.
Darlie Lynn Peck Routier's Statement and Analysis
Statement of Darlie Routier
Taken at Rowlett P.D., June 8, 1996
This is the statement in which Darlie Lynn Routier locked in what happened from her point of view for all time. This will be compared against her courtroom testimony in a later article, but first must be compared for internal consistency and against the evidence of the crime scene for further uniformity. It will also be compared against her verbal statements made to others before and after this police statement was made. The portions in boldface type are Darlie's own words; plain type are the analysis.
Darin and Dana my sister came home from working at the shop. The boys were playing with the neighborhood kids outside. I was finishing up dinner. Damon came home and Devon called and I told him to be home soon because we were going to eat. Darin played with the baby (Drake) with Dana while I pulled everything together to eat. Devon came home and we all ate dinner together. After we ate we cleaned all the plates. I was changing Drake while Darin put everything in some containers for leftovers.
The first paragraph sets a domestic scene at 5801 Eagle Drive. The two oldest Routier boys were playing outside when Darin and Dana, Darlie’s sister, arrived. Darlie was finishing preparing dinner, while Darin and Dana played with Drake, the baby. Damon came in, but Devon called and was told to come home for dinner. When he arrived, they ate dinner, then cleaned up. Darlie changed Drake’s diaper while Darin took care of leftovers from the meal.
Some have accused Darin and Dana of having an affair, so the wording used here is interesting. It may show suspicion of the affair; the construction is an awkward one. Rather than saying “Darin and Dana played with Drake,” she instead wrote, “Darin played with the baby (Drake) with Dana…” The question should be asked, did Darin play with the baby and with Dana, or were the two of them playing with the baby? It should also be noted that she doesn’t name the baby outright, but puts his name in parentheses, setting him off from the others. Why is this? Is it because he has put a strain on her, and her relationship with everyone else, and perhaps the reason Darin might have had an affair with her younger sister? This is something that should have been explored, but wasn’t.
We all talked a little about how happy we were that the shop had been so busy for the past three weeks and that we hoped it would continue since work had been slow for a couple of months. Devon and Damon asked if they could play with one of their friends a little longer so we said ok. Darin Dana, and I just sat around and watched a little TV. Later, I’m not sure of exact time I asked Darin to drive Dana (my sister) home because I wasn’t feeling to (sic) well. While Darin was gone the boys brought down their blankets and pillows and asked if they could watch TV. I said yes. They came downstairs and played on the floor in front of the TV with Drake while I made some popcorn.
The domestic scene continues. Conversation turns to Darin’s business and how well it appears to be doing after a lull. The two older boys ask to go outside to play with a friend, and are allowed to do so. Another interesting construction occurs here, as “Darin Dana, and I just sat around…” Why is there no comma between Darin and Dana, separating them? Does Darlie feel there is something going on and realizes the two are together? She puts the words “my sister” into parentheses, although she has told us before who Dana is (refer to the first paragraph). At the first mention, she doesn’t offset the words, so why here? Is this an attempt to distance herself from someone she feels is an intruder? The reason she gives for this is that she is not feeling well.
About 20 or 25 minutes later Darin came in and sat down with us while we watched TV. Drake started to get fussy so I made him a bottle. Soon after the boys fell asleep. Darin took the baby upstairs and put him in his crib and came back downstairs. We talked about a few problems we were having with the car and the boat and had a few words between us. Since I had the baby I have been having some depression. I told Darin I was depressed because I hadn’t been able to take the boys anywhere because we only had one car. He told me he loved me and asked me if I wanted him to sleep downstairs with me because I wanted to stay up a little and watch TV. I told him no because I didn’t think he would be able to sleep on the couch and get any sleep. I had been sleeping on the couch the past week or so off and on because the baby slept in our room in the crib and when he moved he woke me up. Darin and I laid together for a little while and then decided to go to sleep because he had work the next day, this was around 12:30 or1:00, I’m not sure. He kissed me and said he loved me, and I told him I loved him and would see him in the morning.
Continuing her narrative, Darlie mentions that 20-25 minutes later Darin came in and sat with them while they watched television. However, is this 20-25 minutes after he left? Or is it from the time the boys returned inside? From when they brought their things downstairs and asked to watch television and played with Drake? From when she made popcorn? We do not know, so the timing here becomes a point of interest. They discussed the problems they were having with the car and the boat and then “had a few words between us.” Interestingly, she does not elaborate. Did she tell him she wanted a separation or a divorce? She doesn’t tell us what these words were. Darlie mentions her depression since having the baby. She then goes on to say the depression was because she couldn’t take the boys anywhere due to having one car. Post-partum depression is well known to cause major mood swings, incapacitate, and even present suicidal leanings. It has also been the cause of homicidal events (Andrea Yates for example). But here Darlie presents two sides to her depression, having the baby, and having only one car. Would the two put together be enough to finally push her over the edge, especially if she suspected an affair? It is not unreasonable to suspect that she murdered her two boys, intending to murder Darin and Drake afterward, and then commit suicide, as evidenced by the fact that she suffered minor wounds herself. But that is getting ahead of ourselves here.
Next comes a statement that is interesting in the fact that it is disjointed from the rest of the narrative before it. Darlie stated that Darin expressed his love and offered to sleep downstairs with her because she wanted to stay up and watch television. She refused his offer because she “didn’t think he would be able to sleep on the couch and get any sleep.” Why would he express his love for her? Darlie doesn’t tell us, and we are left to speculate. Why would she refuse his offer? Was it just because she was concerned he wouldn’t get any sleep, or was she upset about something else, or would it have interfered with what she was planning to do later? We do not know, we can only speculate. But with the benefit of hindsight, we can speculate that he would have interfered with her plans, and she didn’t want to be stopped once she got started.
Darlie next tells how she had been sleeping downstairs because the baby slept in their room upstairs in a crib. His movements in the crib would awaken her. This means that she was a fairly light sleeper. In light of what happened later, this fact would come back to haunt her and be a major point in finding her guilty of murder. People don’t like to lie, unless they are pathological liars, and this insertion doomed her. Darin lay down next to her anyway, as she next stated, and then decided to go upstairs and get some sleep because he had work the next day. Was it because she was not responsive to his overture and therefore he decided to leave her to think about what they had discussed? Again, we do not know and cannot know unless Darlie decides to speak up from death row and let us know what truly happened. At any rate, she isn’t sure of the time this happened, but places it around 12:30-1:00 am. This would be about an hour and a half to two hours before that 911 call. The last thing Darlie stated concerning the final domestic scene is that Darin kissed her and said he loved her, and she said she loved him and would see him in the morning. What is omitted is that she never said that she kissed him in return. Obviously, there is some tension between them, but we are uncertain what it concerns. However, we do know that having had words between them earlier, it was enough for a tragedy to occur, and that is what we find next.
After a while I started to get sleepy. The next thing I wake up and feel a pressure on me. I felt Damon press on my right shoulder and heard him cry, this made me really come awake and realized there was a man standing down at my feet walking away from me. I walked after him and heard glass breaking. I got halfway through the kitchen and turned back around to run and turn on the light, I ran back towards the utility room and realized there was a big white handled knife lying on the floor, it was then that I realized I had blood all over me and I grabbed the knife thinking he was in the garage so I thought he might still be there and I yelled for Darin.
Although she said she “started to get sleepy,” she does not say she fell asleep, and we are left to wonder if she did sleep, did she just drowse, or was she awake but with her eyes closed? Nothing more is said to clarify her statement; instead, the “next thing” that happened is that she woke up feeling a “pressure” on her. Again, there is no clarification as to what this pressure was. Leaving out such pertinent details leads one to believe there was no such incident, but that this was simply made up. The next statement is that Damon pressed her right shoulder and she heard him cry. This, not the pressure on her, caused her to come fully awake. There are several switches in tense here, present to past to present to past; coupled with the confusing construction about where the man was lead to a suspicion that perhaps this never occurred, but is a scene cut from whole cloth like the emperor’s new clothes.
Walking after him she heard glass breaking. Halfway through the kitchen, she turned “back around” and ran to turn on the light, then ran back toward the utility room and saw the big white handled knife on the floor. It was at this point she realized she was covered in blood. She grabbed the knife thinking “he” (the man) was in the garage. Note that she repeats this statement, changing only the wording and tense. The last thing she did was yell for Darin.
This section bears directly on what happened next. She walked after the intruder, heard breaking glass. She did not see him bump into anything, so where did the glass come from that broke? Was it on the counter, or on the table? It could not have been where the other glasses were, as it was conclusively proven that to fall from there took a great deal of effort. She went halfway through the kitchen, and then turned back to run and turn on the light. Why didn’t she turn it on as she went into the kitchen? It would have been easier, especially if she heard glass breaking. Otherwise, being barefooted, she could have gotten cut feet, which we know she did not. She then ran back to the utility room, and realized there was a knife on the floor. Where did the knife come from? In this statement, she does not say she saw him drop it, throw it down, or any other explanation. It is just there. Seeing the knife, she realized at that point she had blood all over herself. She does not say she saw any cuts, merely there was blood all over herself. This could mean that she was not cut at the point that she saw the knife on the floor. If she wasn’t cut, it had to have been someone else’s blood she was seeing. Whose blood could that have been? There were only two casualties that bloody morning.
She grabbed the knife (remember this, it will be explained in a later article), and then we have a repetition of “thinking he was in the garage” and “so I thought he might still be there.” This is before she yelled for Darin, who was upstairs with Drake in their bedroom. Notice the change in tense from thinking to thought. Only one of these could be correct, normally. However, this is an extraordinary circumstance, and this is indicative of subterfuge, in my opinion. She is not remembering anything that happened, she is making it up, and in doing so, trying to convince us of an intruder.
I ran back through the kitchen and realized the entire living area had blood all over everything. I put the knife on the counter and ran into the entrance, turned on a light and started screaming for Darin, I think I screamed twice and he ran out of the bedroom with his jeans on and no glasses and was yelling, what is it, what is it. I remember saying he cut them, he tried to kill me, my neck, he ran down the stairs and into the room where the boys were. I grabbed the phone and called 911. Darin started giving Devon CPR while I put a towel on my neck and a towel over Damon’s back. I remember telling Damon to hang on mommy was there. I looked over at Darin and saw the glass table had been knocked halfway off and the flower arrangement had been knocked over. I then stood up and turned around and saw glass all over the kitchen floor. I tried to glance over to see if anything was out of place or if anything was missing. I took a few steps and opened the door and screamed for Karen. I was still on the phone with 911 and I don’t recall what all was said because everything was happening so fast.
Again, no cuts on the feet, no slivers of glass despite being barefoot and running through a kitchen where there was broken glass on the floor. Darlie next claimed to have run back into the living area and found blood everywhere. Putting the knife on the counter in the kitchen, she ran into the entrance, turned on a light and screamed twice for Darin. This is a telling section; she ran back through the kitchen, into the living area, back into the kitchen to put the knife on the counter, and then back into the entrance screaming for Darin after turning on a light. Could this have been her actions staging the scene? There was an analyst who stated that the 911 call acoustics proved she was going from room to room. Darlie stated that Darin ran out of the bedroom with his pants on but glasses off, yelling, “What is it?” This corroborates his statement and puts paid to supporter statements to the contrary, specifically one that says she did not see him come out of the bedroom.
She said she remembered saying he cut them, tried to kill her, her neck, and Darin ran down the stairs into the family room. Notice that this is the exact opposite of what really happened. The boys were killed, she was cut. However, she doesn’t go into any detail about “her neck.” But the fact that she could talk, could think, and could move about so freely means that her neck was not cut as badly as supporters and her family would like people to think. She grabbed the phone and called 911. Darin started giving Devon CPR while she put a towel on her neck and claimed she put one over Damon’s back. She remembered telling Damon to “hang on, mommy was there.” What has not been mentioned or covered by many is the fact that if the wounds in each child meant he could live up to 9 minutes at the maximum, why was Devon already dead? He did not have the wounds Damon did, and it would have seemed likely that Devon and Damon both would have been alive. But does this mean that Devon was attacked earlier than Damon and thus bled out earlier? Or did he succumb to his wounds faster because of their location? This will be dealt with in another article to come.
She looked over at Darin and she (as opposed to Darin) saw the glass table had been knocked halfway off and the flower arrangement had been knocked over. She stood up, turned around, and saw glass on the kitchen floor. This is interesting, as she said she heard glass breaking before this when she ran after “the man” into the kitchen. She tried to see if anything else was out of place or missing, took a few steps and opened the door to screamed for Karen (Neal) while still on the phone with 911. She doesn’t recall what was said because everything was happening so fast. Her screaming for Karen must have been extremely fast, as this is not recorded on the 911 tape. So, either she misremembered her screaming for her neighbor or there was a conspiracy to erase sections of the 911 call. It seems most likely that her version of events was not remembered correctly. However, this is not indicative of the administration of chloroform, date rape drugs, or any other kind of drugs. It means she did not remember what happened, because it did not happen, at least not the way she tried (and is still trying) to say it did.
I went back to Damon and by then he had stopped moving and the police walked through the door. The paramedics came and tried to work on the children. Darin was screaming Who Did This Who Did This and I started asking if my babies were dead. Darin was crying and said yes. After that I just remember screaming and showing Darin my neck. Darin took me out to the front of the house and by then Darin ran upstairs to ma sure the baby was okay and then handed him to Karen our neighbor. I remember them holding a towel on my neck and wrapping my arm and then they put me in an ambulance. Darin got in but they told him he needed to leave so they could take care of me. I remember we got to the hospital and then them telling me they were taking me to surgery. They took off my necklace and put me to sleep. I woke up and minutes later the detectives were there making me all kinds of questions.
Listening to the 911 call tape, the following does not appear to have taken place quite as Darlie stated it did. Darlie claimed to have gone back to Damon who had stopped moving; the police then walked through the door. Darlie skips over the part where the police had to clear the house before the paramedics could enter. Also, there is no part of the tape where Darin was screaming “who did this?” over and over while she asked if her babies were dead. Darin was crying and said yes, after which she just remembers screaming and showing Darin her neck. This is in direct contrast to his statements of when he realized she was cut. He ran upstairs to ensure the baby was okay and he gave him to Karen Neal.
Darlie’s version of events covers without any substantiating details how she was treated by the paramedics and what happened at the hospital. This is because people don’t like to lie, and the events were not as she “remembered” them. First, the “surgery” was an exploratory check on the superficial neck wound performed by one doctor, not a team desperately trying to save her life. Second, the necklace was not embedded in the neck wound, it came away with the gauze covering the wound when the doctor looked at the cut. Third, she cuts directly to the detectives asking her questions as though they had been hovering over her waiting for her to regain consciousness. This was not the case, but her statement as given would have you believe otherwise.
Upon further examination of Darlie’s statement to Rowlett police, there is a lack of internal corroboration and substantiation. It does not hold together well, nor is it verified by the evidence at the scene. Darlie’s statement is perjury at best; at worst, it is a willful attempt at misleading law enforcement and others concerning the events of the early morning hours of June 6, 1996.
Next to come will be an analysis of Darin Routier's June 8, 1996 statement. After that, comparisons with trial transcripts and statements will start. This should take a few articles and will most likely answer the questions set out above in statement form. Hold onto your ifs, ands, and buts....
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