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The Disputed Conviction of Darlie Lynn Routier

por Tracie Anderton (2020-05-21)


The following article falls under the Copyright Disclaimer, Section 107 of The Copyright Act of 1976. Allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Above: Crime scene tape around the Routier home in upscale Rowlett, Texas, the morning after the murders.


Darlie Routier's murder conviction has been debated in depth since the day she was found guilty 24 years ago. There have been numerous documentaries, a made for TV movie, countless websites and blogs, and several books written about the case. As recently as June, 2018 a multi-part ABC documentary: "The Last Defense" aired discussing the Routier case.

Although closely followed in the State of Texas, the trial didn't have the same level of nation-wide fascination as the Susan Smith, Casey Anthony, or Jodi Arias trials did. Cameras weren't as frequently allowed in courtrooms in 1996 and Turner Broadcasting's Headline News (HLN) and Court TV didn't exist to broadcast each day of the trial into every home. If the Darlie Routier case had occurred in more recent years, it would have been a household name.

Since her conviction, Darlie Routier's attorneys have filed several pleas and appeals to the Texas courts. The last known appeal for re-examination of physical evidence was filed by her current and longtime appellate attorney, Stephen Cooper, and accepted by State District Judge Gracie Lewis in 2014 requesting updated forensic DNA testing of evidence found at the crime scene. Stephen Cooper's intent was to prove through DNA test results that an outside intruder was in fact in the house, committed the heinous murders of Darlie and Darin Routier's two sons, and attacked Darlie before fleeing the scene.

Numerous items from the crime scene were submitted. The majority of the items were samples from the nightshirt Darlie wore on the night of the murders, but other samples included fingerprints on a knife blade handle, (The murder weapon) a swab from the sweatband of a cap, 2 buccal (saliva) swabs from Darlie, and a sample from a sock found outside of the house containing blood stains belonging to both of her boys. The evidence was submitted to the UNT Health Science Center, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics in Fort Worth, Texas, for DNA testing.

The test results were returned to Judge Lewis in June of 2015. The testing conducted on the knife handle, the sweatband of the cap, and the sock turned out to be inconclusive due to their poor condition. However, the test results on the nightshirt samples revealed more than Darlie Routier's attorney had bargained for.

The nightshirt samples submitted, revealed: (In summary)

" A female partial DNA profile was obtained from 10-2589-502. Darlie Routier cannot be excluded as the contributor of the DNA from 10-2589-502. The DNA profile from 10-2589-502 has an estimated frequency of occurrence of 1 in approximately 150 quintillion Caucasian individuals. To a reasonable degree of scientific certainty (Assuming no identical twin) Darlie Routier is the source of the DNA from 10-2589-502. No Y-STR results were obtained from 10-2589-502."

A copy of the 2015 DNA test results can be found here: website

The nightshirt blood samples that were submitted with the hopes of finding male DNA only revealed Darlie's DNA as the prosecution originally claimed during the trial. These new test results utilizing new and improved technology as opposed to 1996 technology, just all the more confirmed Darlie Routier's guilt. DNA technology has advanced significantly since the night of the murders, and readings can be gleaned even from the trace oils on human skin. On this last DNA study, the results once again pointed solely to Darlie Routier. These results are not posted or even mentioned on the "" website, overseen by Darlie's mother, Darlie Kee.


This is a highly debated case and it's important for the reader to understand that these debates are not about someone awaiting trial, Darlie Routier has already had her day in court. She was convicted by a jury of her peers and was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Was the trial perfect and free of errors? Of course not, no trial is or ever will be.

People that believe in Darlie Routier's innocence provide all kinds of reasons and theories that they often try to pass as fact as to how she couldn't have been the killer and/or how she deserves a retrial. Their favorite claim is that she didn't have a motive, they love to say a motive was never proven. Prosecutors don't need to have a motive to prove someone committed murder, they only have to prove the accused did it. Which in this case, they did.

Claims are frequently made such as botched evidence testing, contamination of the crime scene, manipulated evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, evidence suppression, witness tampering, jury tampering, perjury; you name it, it's been thrown out there. But when asked to support these claims with provable fact, the Darlie supporters just can't do it. Their "facts" consist of hearsay and theory which would not hold up and obviously didn't hold up in a court of law.

There's a large group of amateur armchair detectives that sit at home in front of their computer screens watching YouTube video's critiquing the techniques utilized by the evidence investigators and lab technicians at the Routier crime scene. These are individuals that are not trained forensic investigators and had no part in processing that particular crime scene. They're hardly qualified to criticize the certified professionals that were actually there doing their jobs. These denunciator's are simply repeating things they've read on an Internet Darlie support site or saw on a YouTube video which prompts them to say "Oh, the police botched up that crime scene." People ALWAYS say the system failed when a trial verdict doesn't go the way they wanted it to.

When people don't agree with a verdict where circumstantial evidence convicted the defendant, blame always goes directly to the police and the investigators; even when the local police detectives decided that it would be a good idea to bring in outside investigators for a second opinion including experienced FBI personnel and a crime scene investigator with 39 years of experience.

Much of the debate is based on incorrect and inaccurate information, in some cases even outright made-up information is passed as fact. Although this Hub contains some open questions and opinions, it's based on the trial transcripts, media interviews, police reports, DNA test results, defendant statements, physical forensic evidence found at the scene, Darlie Routier's own courtroom testimony, and her written statement to police 2 days after the murders. The trial transcripts were found to contain numerous errors and have been corrected utilizing audio tapes of the trial. Many Darlie supporters feel that the transcript errors alone warrant a retrial. Obviously, if a retrial were somehow granted it still wouldn't change the forensic evidence that convicted her.

Darlie and her family of course maintain her innocence, but what family says their loved one convicted of crime is guilty? Many Darlie supporters point out that it's been 24 years and she still claims her innocence. Of course she does, she has to. She's committed to that claim at this point, she's on death row; the very moment she admitted guilt her appeals process would come to a grinding halt and a date for execution would be scheduled immediately.

Most new-generation Darlie supporters admit they haven't read the trial transcripts. A guilty or innocent opinion cannot be accurately formed based on watching YouTube videos or simply reading a book; which are inevitably someone else's opinion. With the unique complicity of the Darlie Routier case, people who say she's innocent as well as people who say she's guilty are truly not qualified to offer an opinion until they know all the facts of the case. Due to most published literature referencing the Darlie Routier case being a one-sided opinion (the author either believes in her innocence or her guilt) the closest one can come to achieving unbiased information about the case and proceedings would result from reading the court transcripts in their entirety.

Unfortunately, many if not most newcomers to the Darlie Routier case are immediately fed propaganda and manipulated facts of the case due to the large number of Darlie supporter blogs and websites. There aren't many internet sites supporting her guilty verdict because most people feel that justice was duly served and have moved on; it's old news. Darlie support sites as well as some authors that believe in her innocence are notorious for engaging in a journalistic tactic known as "cherry picking." Cherry picking is where the author selectively pulls tidbits of information about a subject that affirms their position or the point they're trying to get across. In doing this they neglect to provide all of the data or information about their position that might countermand what they've written. It's not outright lying per se, it's more like just not providing all the information in its entirety. Most if not all of the Darlie support sites are good at using the cherry picking tactic when extracting testimonial quotes from the Darlie Routier case court transcripts. They'll quote a question and answer from witness testimony that relates to their point, but won't print all that followed in that testimony during a prosecutorial line of questioning. This is one method of manipulating the reader and their beliefs, also referred to as "quote mining.". Politicians are famous for cherry picking during campaign debates. The problem with the cherry picking tactic is that it directly suppresses evidence or additional information that could lead to a more complete picture; which of course is the intent of the author.

A very large number of people who blurt out their opinions on this case haven't actually conducted any independent research themselves. They prefer to absorb information in a "pre-digested" form by reading and quoting the work of others.


On June 6, 1996, at 2:31 am, the emergency communications center (911) in Rowlett, Texas received a call from a private residence in the upscale Dalrock Heights subdivision owned by 28 year old Darin Routier and his 26 year old wife, Darlie. The caller, Darlie Routier, frantically told police dispatcher Doris Trammell that her home had been broken into and that an intruder had stabbed two of her sons, 6 year old Devon and 5 year old Damon. She claimed she had been attacked as well.

Curious neighbors from Eagle Drive gather in front of the Routier home the night of the murders.

Within three minutes of the 911 call, Rowlett Police Officer David Waddell, was the first to arrive at the Routier home. He had been sitting in his police cruiser in a church parking lot doing paperwork just a few blocks away. Upon arrival he observed Darin Routier coming out of the front door wearing only pants with no shirt or shoes. Officer Waddell, not knowing if this was the suspect, drew his weapon and told him to stop. Darin identified himself and told the officer that his kids and been stabbed and were dying. He told Officer Waddell that a nurse lived across the street and he was going to get her.

When Waddell entered the house, he was shocked at the site before his eyes as he surveyed the scene. Two young boys lay on the family room floor covered in their own blood with obvious deep penetrating stab wounds to their chests and backs. There was blood everywhere; around them seeping into the carpet, on the walls and all over the kitchen floor. Officer Waddell stated that one of the boys (Devon) was obviously dead, and the other boy (Damon) was close to the wall near the hallway doing what he called "a slow craw" and making gurgling sounds as he tried to breathe.

The mother, Darlie, clutched a wet bloody towel to her neck and was standing near him on the phone. She began screaming at Officer Waddell that the intruder might still be in the house and that he ran out through the garage. Waddell instructed Darlie to get a towel and put pressure on the boy's wounds. Which, it should be pointed out here, she didn't do. He told her 4 separate times to put pressure on Damon's wounds and she never did it. With his weapon in hand, he entered the utility room and peered into the darkness of the garage. He stated in his testimony that both his training and his instinct told him it was best to wait for backup before actually entering the dark garage alone. Seconds later, Rowlett police Sergeant Matthew Walling arrived on the scene along with a Rowlett Fire Rescue ambulance staffed by paramedics Jack Kolbye and Brian Koschak.

The paramedics "staged" or waited outside the front door waiting for the officers to secure the scene and tell them it was safe to enter. Officer's Walling and Waddell drew their weapons and began searching the house starting in the utility room adjacent to the kitchen which led to the garage where Darlie said she had chased the intruder out of the house. Being dark, the officers switched on flashlights, found the light switch, but didn't find anyone in the garage or spot anyone in the back yard. They did observe an open window in the garage close to the floor with a vertical cut to the screen.

A short time later Officer Walling opened the front door and told paramedics Kolbye and Koschak to come in and advised they were going to need additional medical help. Paramedic Koschak radioed for an additional ambulance as he followed his partner into the house.

Paramedic Kolbye went to Damon located to the left of the entry hallway in the family room close to a wall and paramedic Koschak went to Devon on the other side of the room at the foot of the couch. Kolbye testified that Damon was face down and took his last breath as he turned him over. He began trying to ventilate Damon with a bag valve mask but he stated that Darin and Darlie were both shouting which was distracting so he picked Damon up and carried him outside to a stretcher and began CPR. Koschak testified that after assessing Devon and noticing that he was obviously dead, he went over to Darlie in the kitchen to look at her neck. He also wanted to get her away from the shouting so he took her out on the front porch to assess her wounds. Both medics' were asked in court if Darlie was visibly upset and crying in the house and they both said she wasn't crying but there was a lot of shouting going on. Paramedic Larry Byford, who examined her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, testified that during the entire trip she didn't ask once about the condition of her children.

Ambulance that took Damon Routier to the hospital

Rowlett police officer Steve Wade stands guard at the front door of the Routier home as the crime scene is being processed in the early morning hours of the murders

The crime scene was secured immediately after the murders took place on June 6, 1996 and was still being investigated as late as Nov 21, 1996, less than 2 months before the trial.


Officers Waddell and Walling searched the upstairs areas of the house and discovered Darin and Darlie's youngest son, 6-month old Drake, in his crib. Fortunately he had not been harmed. No intruder was discovered upstairs or anywhere else in the home.

In the meantime, K-9 officers had arrived on the scene and began searching a wide perimeter around the house; no intruder found.

Paramedic Kolbye stated that when they loaded Damon in the ambulance he was just barely hanging on and gasping for air in his blood filled lungs. They proceeded transporting to Baylor Medical Center, Dallas, but he died enroute. Paramedic Koschak remained at the scene and when the second RFD paramedic team, Larry Byford, Rick Zimmerman, and Rick Coleman arrived, he turned over Darlie's care to them. Rowlett Police asked Koschak to examine the baby (Drake) and Darin who was also unharmed.

While paramedics were tending to Darlie's lacerations, (Not stabs like the boys) she told Sergeant Walling that an intruder had entered her house, and had gotten on top of her while she slept on the couch. Darlie's well known story changing habits began right here at this point and would continue to present day. She originally told Officer Waddell that the intruder awakened her, she screamed, and after fighting with him at the end of the bar, (Located between the kitchen and the family room) he ran on through the kitchen, through the utility room, and into the garage area. She said it was then that she realized the boys had been attacked and savagely butchered. Approximately fifteen minutes later, Darlie told Sergeant Walling that the fight between her and the intruder occurred while she was still on the couch. Both officers testified to these different stories during the trial.

Prosecution: And when she told you that she had a struggle with the individual, did she indicate to you that morning where that struggle had taken place?

Sergeant Walling: Yes, sir, at the couch.

Prosecution: At the couch?

Sergeant Walling: Yes, sir.

Prosecution: Are you sure that she didn't tell you that the struggle occurred between the kitchen and the family room?

Sergeant Walling: No, sir. She said that when she woke up, the person was standing over her, and that she was laying on the couch, and that she began struggling with him

It was now 3 am and the paramedics were preparing to transport Darlie. Her husband, Darin, told her he would meet her at the hospital. Darin told a next door neighbor he was shook up and asked him if would drive him to the hospital. The neighbor's wife volunteered to remain at the house and stay with baby Drake. Evidence investigators and technicians now began arriving along with local media trucks. Neighbors had begun to gather outside of the crime scene tape.


In this author's opinion, the first red flag would have to be the fact that not once did Darlie ask about her youngest child Drake, or go upstairs to check on him. Her two oldest boys are laying on the floor in their own blood stabbed to death and she never asked anyone about her baby upstairs? There's something seriously wrong with that picture. We know she didn't ask about him (or check on him) from the time she called 911 to when she was admitted to the hospital, unless she asked the paramedics enroute to the hospital (which neither mentioned in court) or Darin told her Drake was fine before she dialed 911; again, not mentioned anywhere.

Even if Darin told her Drake was fine before she dialed 911, what mother wouldn't rush upstairs to see for herself that her baby was ok? Especially with the possibility of the supposed intruder still being in the house. What mother in the world would leave their baby all alone upstairs in that situation? ....Unless she already knew Drake was fine because there was no intruder.

Darlie told investigators that she and the boys had decided to sleep in the family room with the boys on the floor and her on the couch watching TV (As later discovered she had done for several nights before the murders) while Darin and baby Drake slept upstairs in the bedroom. She said Drake's tossing and turning in his crib upstairs kept her awake. The family room was the scene of the crime. This is where the boys were viciously stabbed and Darlie claimed she was attacked by an intruder while sleeping on the couch.

Lieutenant Grant Jack, commander of the Rowlett Police Department's Investigative Division, was summoned at home and arrived on the scene around 3 AM. He was briefed by detective Jimmy Patterson at the house as to what Darlie had stated and began conducting his own assessment of the scene. As the crime scene was being "processed," Rowlett PD evidence specialist, Sergeant David Nabors, began dusting for prints and examining blood evidence as other technicians were taking photos all over the house. After realizing the magnitude of the crime, Lt. Jack thought it best to call for some investigative assistance. He called in James Cron, a retired veteran Dallas PD crime scene investigator with an excellent career track record. Cron was now doing consulting work for other law enforcement agencies in the Dallas area. After being notified he arrived at about 6AM and began his analysis of the scene. While gathering evidence in the kitchen, Sgt. Nabors noticed Darlie's purse and the many gold rings and bracelets (Including a Rolex watch) she had worn that day sitting on the kitchen counter where she had taken them off before lying down on the couch. He thought it was odd that an intruder that presumably came in to rob the house would walk right past the purse and jewelry without taking it all.

Nabors also noticed that with all the blood on the counter and kitchen floor that the sink was perfectly clean and the cabinet doors under the sink were clean as well with the exception of blood smudges around the edges. It gave the appearance that someone had tried to wipe the counter and cabinet doors clean of blood. Nabor's sprayed Luminol, a chemical compound that picks up the copper found in blood which often remains behind after attempts are made of cleaning it up. The Luminol indicated there had been a significant amount of blood there which had been obviously wiped up.

James Cron found it odd that other than a blood smudge on the door leading to the utility room and two blood smudges on the side of the washing machine, there was nothing else past that point to indicate that an intruder had exited through the garage as Darlie had claimed; not one drop of blood anywhere. The cut screen on the garage window was just that, cut. It wasn't bent in or out or stretched in any way to indicate someone had gone through it in either direction. The dust on the window sill was undisturbed, there was no blood or fingerprints found on the window or the screen, and the ground outside the window had no bloody footprints or footprints of any kind. There was absolutely nothing to indicate anyone had gone into the garage and through the window; coming in or going out.

The investigators discovered a motion sensor light on the redwood spa the Routier's had installed in the backyard. Tests revealed that it would stay on for 18 minutes after it was activated. If Darlie's "timeline of events" was accurate according to her 911 call and what she first told police, that light would have still been on when officers Waddle and Walling arrived on the scene in 3 minutes and 4 minutes after the 911 call. Both officers testified that it was not on when they initially checked the garage and backyard. Darlie repeatedly stated that the intruder exited the house through the garage and went out the window.

A significant amount of blood was found on the kitchen floor in front of the sink. The only footprints found were Darlie's bare footprints and a partial boot-print found to be consistent with Sergeant Walling's boots from where he first checked the garage. There was broken glass on the kitchen floor from a wine glass, but the glass was on top of the blood, there were no blood drops discovered on top of the shards of glass suggesting that it had been broken after the events that had supposedly taken place. Examination of Darlie's feet (she was barefooted) revealed no cuts from the glass. A vacuum cleaner was found turned over but with blood underneath it as if deliberately placed there after the fact. An intact expensive flower vase was found lying on the floor with long stem flowers. The stems were unbroken giving the investigators the impression that they had just been laid there, not knocked over during a struggle. One investigator later commented "Strange....maximum human devastation with minimal property damage."

Cron quietly approached Lt Jack outside in front of the house and told him that from what he was seeing so far, it was starting to look like these murders had been committed by someone living in the house. Lt. Jack told Cron that he had the same gut feeling after he heard Darlie's account of what happened and compared it to the scene. As the investigation proceeded it was beginning to appear as if the scene of the crime had been staged to give the impression that a struggle had taken place between Darlie and an intruder. None of the forensic evidence was matching Darlie's initial story. Cron told Lt. Jack that if a struggle had taken place, it was minimal and if an intruder had been there, he couldn't find any evidence of his presence in the house. He said there was no visible evidence to suggest that someone had exited through the garage as Darlie had stated.

Author Note - Out of due respect for the victims and family, no photos of the boy's body's will be displayed here.

The back yard motion sensor light on the Routier's recently added $9,000 redwood spa. It was off when officers arrived 3 and 4 minutes after the 911 call. It came on when officers walked out and checked the back yard and stayed on for 18 minutes.

The kitchen sink in the Routier home

Darlie's jewelry in plain sight on the kitchen counter

The cut screen in the garage


The vacuum cleaner in the kitchen with blood underneath it. Obviously placed there after the fact.

Rug in front of the sink. Blood drops on top of drops found here indicate that Darlie stood here bleeding for some time. It's believed this is where she stood and cut her throat and arm. The blood here was identified as hers

Some of Darlie's bloody footprints on the kitchen floor near the sink. Luminol application indicated at least two of her footprints had been wiped up. Why would she do that?

States Exhibit 122, the blood map. Note - the author added the placement of Darlie, Devon and Damon to this map along with references for orientation of the 1st floor.


Darlie Routier was again interviewed the day after the murders in the hospital, this time by detectives. Her story was now more detailed and ?????? changed a bit from her original story.

"I woke up hearing my son Damon saying 'Mommy Mommy,' as he tugged on my nightshirt. I opened my eyes and felt a man get off me. I got up to chase after him. As I flipped the light in the kitchen on, I saw him open his hand and let the knife drop to the floor. Then he ran out through the garage. I went over and picked up the knife. I shouldn't have picked it up. I probably covered up the fingerprints. I shouldn't have picked it up. I looked over and saw my two babies with blood all over them. I didn't realize my own throat had been cut until I saw myself in a mirror. I screamed out to my husband."

Luminol binds to the copper in blood. It will show up under a black light even if attempts are made to clean the blood up.

The Luminol application to the kitchen area showed that a significant amount of blood had been rinsed down the drain most likely with the sprayer. It showed wiped up blood from the counter, the cabinet doors, and on the sides of the sink. There also appeared to be wiped up blood smears on the water faucet and the sprayer as well. Blood discovered on the inside of the cabinet doors where it had run down from the sink proved to be Darlie's. Blood found on the sink back splash turned out to be a combination of both Damon and Devon's blood.

Darlie denied cleaning or even being anywhere near the kitchen sink, despite her blood being everywhere around it and in front of it. (Until she testified in court, yep, her story changed again) That would insinuate that the supposed intruder stopped to wash his hands, clean up the sink, the counter, the outside of the cabinet doors, the sprayer, the back splash, and wipe up two of Darlie's foot prints from the floor all while being chased by Darlie. And if so, how did he accomplish that without leaving a single bloody footprint on the floor in front of the sink that had Darlie's blood everywhere? That idea is so preposterous it's not worth considering. More on the sink will be addressed later in this article.

Investigators discovered blood drops on top of blood drops on the small carpet immediately in front of the sink indicating that someone that was bleeding had stood there for some time. (Identified as belonging to Darlie) And as mentioned, Luminol applied to the kitchen floor showed that someone had attempted to clean up Darlie's bloody footprints facing the sink.

As Darlie's accounts of what happened continued to change in the days following the murders, she now said that she fought the intruder on the couch who was a male, about 6 feet tall, wearing a black t-shirt ball cap and blue jeans that was holding a large knife while still on top of her. With the various cuts that Darlie presented upon arrival of the police, only a small amount of blood was found on the couch or the pillows where Darlie's second version of what happened claims the knife fight took place.

There were no stab marks, punctures, slashes or cast off blood of any kind discovered on the couch where Darlie claimed the knife attack took place. This "revised" version came just minutes after her first story changed from fighting the intruder just inside the kitchen area just before the intruder ran into the garage.

A bloody hand print of Damon's was found on the carpet where he was first stabbed and a second hand print was found on the couch (which had initially been wiped off-discovered with Luminol testing) showing that he had moved. A trail of his blood discovered on the carpet indicated that he moved a second time toward the entry way where he was found when emergency services arrived. Blood spatter found on the wall suggested that he had been stabbed a second time by someone who was bleeding. Tests on blood drops near Damon's body were identified as Darlie's.

A blood imprint of the knife on the carpet was found near Devon's body. A small pool of blood indicated that someone bleeding, most likely from the hand or arm had been there. Blood found pooling at the tip of the knife indicated that blood had run down the knife from the handle. This blood turned out be a combination of Damon's and Darlie's blood. Darlie had a laceration on the top of her right arm and she is right handed. Darlie told police she saw the intruder drop the knife in the utility room, she picked it up and placed it on the kitchen island. She never said she carried into the living room where it had obviously been laid down next to Damon's body.

Damon and moved some distance from where he was initially stabbed. His body was found near the wall almost directly in front of the bathroom. It appeared that he was trying his best to make it out of the family room and move toward the stairs. Maybe to get away from Darlie?


Interestingly, of the cuts Darlie had on her, the two areas she was most proud of, her face and her breasts, were uninjured.

Darlie has said more than once in post-conviction interviews from prison "How could I have done those things to myself? My neck was cut from ear to ear."

Hardly, the 3 and a half inch laceration (9 cm) on her neck was defined by two physician's (one a surgeon) as superficial. It was not life threatening as Darlie supporters and many documentaries (Including the recent June 2018 ABC feature: The Last Defense) would have you believe. Yes, one end of the cut was close to a carotid artery, but the carotid arteries are also very close to the surface. Her laceration did not penetrate muscle and was less than a half of an inch deep. Darlie has stated that she had to go to surgery to have her necklace removed that was embedded in her neck from the knife blade. That is 100% false. The surgeon, erring on the side of caution decided to do a small exploratory procedure to evaluate the laceration.

Here is a perfect example of inaccurate, or most likely intentionally made-up information about the necklace and surgery direct from the Darlie support site "" In reference to the necklace the website dramatically states:

"She was in surgery for 2 hours, the necklace was removed by doctors from her neck wound."

The truth is, when nurse Jodi Fitts removed the bandage applied by EMS in the ambulance, the necklace fell right off of her neck, prior to any surgery. The website says "doctors" as if a whole team of surgeons were meticulously working on her in a race against the clock to save her life. There was one physician, Dr. Santos conducting the procedure accompanied by a resident (doctor in training) who was observing. The website goes on to say that she was in surgery for "2 hours." According to her medical chart, the cleansing, evaluation, and closing procedure took 49 minutes and was considered "an outpatient procedure."

Darlie supporters love to say a "nick" or flattened area in the chain "proves" that it saved her life because it kept the knife blade from lacerating her carotid artery; pure speculation. Darlie bought that necklace at a pawn shop; it was used jewelry. Who's to say that nick wasn't in the chain when she purchased it? It's proof of nothing.

All the surgeon (Dr, Santos) did was take a peek at the cut, cleanse it, and close it right back up. He didn't even use sutures or staples, he used steri-strips. (See pic above) He had her placed in the ICU only to keep the press from hounding her. Dr Santos testified that under any other circumstances he probably would have discharged her later that morning. The press in-turn, (at the family's approval and invitation) jumped at the opportunity of getting photos of Darlie in bed in the ICU. It's standard procedure for any patient in a critical care unit to have an IV, be placed on oxygen, capnography1, a heart monitor, and pulse oximetry2, matter how serious the patient's condition is. So now we have these dramatic photos of Darlie in bed with all these wires and tubes and her intentionally displaying a look on her face as if she were on death's doorway. All with a simple procedure that would have under any other circumstance had her discharged from the ER in a couple of hours. The Darlie supporters proudly display these photos on their blogs and websites and say "OMG, look at her, she almost died, she couldn't have possibly done this to herself."

1 - measures end-tidal co2, your exhaled air
2 - measures oxygen saturation at the capillary beds, the little clip they put on your finger with a wire attached to it,

Darlie and her defense counsel claimed that her bruises, all predominately on the underside of her right arm were defensive bruises where she had fought off the intruder. If that's true, what caused the bruises? According to one version of Darlie's 5 different intruder stories, he supposedly had a knife, not a baseball bat. Why were there no slashes or stabs underneath her right arm where she was using it for defense? Why only bruises? Bruises like that don't just come from someone grabbing your arm, they came from striking something. If she were striking out or defending herself with her arms how did she not get cut by the knife? No cuts were found under either one of her arms. Why weren't the palms of her hands or her fingers cut while fighting a man with knife?

Suggested theories as to the causes for the bruises have included the boys kicking with their legs to ward off the stabs. (Especially the right arm holding the knife) Juror Rina Way said on the "Liza Show" that the fact that Devon had a knife wound on his buttocks suggested that he had both legs up in the air kicking Darlie's right arm to ward off the stabs to his chest. The other theory is that Darlie (or with Darin's assistance) created the bruises herself to support her story of fighting the intruder..

A trauma surgeon, an emergency room nurse and four ICU nurses testified during the trial that the bruises under her right arm were definitely not there while Darlie was in their care and up to when she was discharged. As to be expected, the Darlie supporters claim that their testimony was manipulated by the prosecution. This infers that a doctor and four nurses from Baylor University Medical Center were talked into risking their careers and risked receiving jail time by committing perjury on the witness stand. After the trial, juror Charlie Samford publicly stated that if he had seen the photo of her under arm bruise, he would have voted not guilty. The trial transcripts clearly describe Asst. DA Toby Shook instructing the courtroom bailiff to be sure to show the photo of her large underarm (Right arm) bruise to every single juror. Was juror Charlie Samford asleep when this picture was shown to them?

During the trial, Dr. Alejandro Santos, the trauma surgeon that closed Darlie's wounds was called to testify. Asst. DA Toby Shook showed Dr. Santos the infamous bruise photo of Darlie's right arm (Shown below) that her supporters say prove that she fought off an intruder.

Prosecutor: Okay. Now, you never saw any evidence of this injury to the right arm on her stay [in the hospital] on the 6th, 7th or 8th of June; is that right?

Dr. Santos: Other than the other wounds that we talked about earlier, no, I did not see any other type of injury.

Prosecutor: How long would it take for bruising like this to occur to the arm after receiving this blunt force trauma?

Dr. Santos: I'd say 24 to 48 hours

Prosecutor: Would the nurses make notes of that if they saw this type of injury?

Dr. Santos: Yes. That's part of their duties, is to find injuries that we may have missed. And certainly something like this would be something I would expect the nurses to point out to me or to the other doctors before we sent her home.

Even Darlie's friend and neighbor Karen Neal, a trained Registered Nurse, testified that she didn't see the underarm bruise on her right arm while visiting Darlie every day in the hospital. She said the only bruise she observed was around the cut on the top of Darlie's arm. It's interesting how no one saw these mysterious bruise's before June 10th, except of course.....Darlie's family members.

The bruise photos were taken on June 10, - 48 hours after Darlie's discharge from the hospital. That falls right in line with Dr. Santos' expert opinion of bruising occurring within 24-48 hours. June 10th was 48 hours after her discharge. Which is highly suggestive of assisted or self infliction when she got back home from the hospital prior to the police photos.


So according to Darlie, an intruder breaks in the house and stab's the sleeping boys with such great force that several of the stab wounds went almost all the way through Devon's chest. All of this vicious action takes place just a few feet from her and she doesn't hear a sound; she continues sleeping. Then with the element of surprise on his side, the intruder attacks her but for some unknown reason he completely changes his attack style by performing slashes, not high force stabs as he did on the children. Why would he just slash at an adult who could fight back better than a child? Why would he not ram that knife down into her chest several times as was done to the two boys and be done with it? It makes no sense that he would only slash her where she could wake up, fight back, scream for help, or even survive and become a witness that could testify against him. And she claimed she slept through her attack too ! The Darlie Supporters say that it was just so traumatic to her that she erased it from her memory and doesn't remember it.

The supposed defensive bruise under Darlie's right arm that was not seen by one doctor or nurse in the hospital. This photo WAS SHOWN TO THE ENTIRE JURY, except to Charlie Samford. according to him.

Darlie in the hospital with her wounds. This photo was taken in the ICU. Darlie must have put her earrings back in for the photo. Operating room staff remove ALL jewelry before any type of surgery and the nasal cannula tubing would rub on the earring

The laceration on the top of Darlie's right arm

Damon and Devon Routier, innocent murder victims

Darlie at her arraignment


The only blood discovered in the utility room, (Which led to the garage) was found on the edge of the utility room door and in two separate places on the left side of the washing machine; it was identified as belonging to Darlie. No other blood was discovered past that point. The utility room floor, the garage floor, the window sill, the screen, the patio, and the back yard gate showed no blood drops; no fingerprints, and no bloody footprints.

The gate in the back yard had hinge problems. Darin had attempted to temporarily repair the hinges with wire. It was quite difficult to open or close because it dragged the ground. It was found closed and in place when police investigators inspected it.


Kathy Cruz, author of the book, Dateline Purgatory: Examining the Case that Sentenced Darlie Routier to Death, (A book that contends Darlie is innocent) stated: "That sock is the most important piece of evidence in this entire case," It is important, but not the most important. Actually, it was probably more valuable evidence to the prosecution than it was to the defense. A white sock, presumed to have belonged to Darin was found 75 yards away down an alley next to a garbage can. It was on the ground and laid out flat in a conspicuous manner, almost as if the person that placed it there wanted it to be found. It had blood belonging to Damon and Devon on it, and the inside of the sock had skin cells belonging to Darlie. It also had a hair on it identified as belonging to a deer. The prosecution contended that it was most likely used as a glove to conceal Darlie's fingerprints on the knife as she stabbed the boys. The Darlie supporters maintain that the sock proves Darlie didn't do it because she wouldn't have had time to run it down there and get back to make the 911 call in this so called "time frame." They claim she didn't have the time to put the sock there.

The distance to where the sock was located from the Routier house is 75 yards, that's 450 feet round trip and can be completed walking a fast pace (Not running) in 5 minutes or less. It was 3 houses away. I, the author, did it myself and I walked the distance and timed it. It took me 4 minutes and 51 seconds; and I'm by no means a world class athlete.

This "time frame" as it's called, didn't begin until the moment Darlie dialed 911. She had all the time in the world prior to dialing 911 to stage the scene at the house, stab the boys, and walk the sock down the alley in an attempt to confuse police and draw attention away from herself. This would explain why none of her blood was on the sock and none of her blood was found anywhere along the route to where the sock was found. She could have returned from dropping the sock, stood at the sink and cut herself at which time she realizes that Damon is still alive. (He had scooted himself from the couch to the wall) She stabs Damon a second time depositing her own blood next to him as was discovered, places the knife on the kitchen island, then screams for Darin and calls 911.

The investigators and prosecution considered at one point the possibility that Darin may have ran the sock down to where it was found to make it look like it had been discarded by the intruder as he was running away. (Hence none of Darlie's blood found) This author has not ruled out the strong possibility that after Darin woke up to Darlie's screams and saw what Darlie had done, he decided to help stage the scene (including running the sock down the alley) to keep Darlie from being arrested and charged.

The faulty gate in the back yard. It was in place and secured when police officers checked the backyard

Location of the sock found down the alley from the Routier home, 3 house away. When observing the photo, it's not really that far from the murder scene.

The blood tainted sock. Obviously deliberately placed where it would be quickly found

Close up of sock showing Damon and Devin's blood on it

Blood on the utility room door and washing machine identified as belonging to Darlie. No other blood was found past this point.

There were two knives used in this crime, one used to cut the screen, the other used as a murder weapon. Both of these knives belonged to the Routier's and were kept in a knife block located in the kitchen on a counter top. The defense maintained that the mystery intruder cut the screen in the garage window, and came into the house; even though the screen frame itself was loose and could have easily just been removed. The only problem is that a serrated edged bread knife found in the knife holder on the counter in the Routier kitchen was discovered under analysis to have fiberglass rod fibers and adhesive dust on the blade matching the fibers that comprise the screen. This would mean the intruder mysteriously entered the house, got a knife to cut the screen, went back outside, cut the screen and came in through the window? He was also courteous enough to put the knife back in the block when he came in.

The Darlie Routier defense team and Kathy Cruz, author of Dateline Purgatory: Examining the Case that Sentenced Darlie Routier to Death, have stated that the fibers on the knife could have come from the evidence technician's fingerprint brush.This was proven not be true though microscopic and chemical analysis. The screen fibers were larger than the fingerprint brush fibers and the screen fibers on the knife contained black rubber and asbestos. The fingerprint brush fibers did not contain any asbestos. Darlie Kee, Darlie's mother has stated in later years that the serrated knife couldn't have possibly cut the screen due to its rounded tip. However, that knife successfully cutting a screen was replicated in the crime lab. The knife used to stab the boys was also a knife from the Routier kitchen knife holder.

Re-enactment photo

Darlie mentioned twice to police 911 dispatcher Doris Trammell, twice to officer Waddell and Detective Patterson, and four times to the hospital staff that she wished she hadn't picked the knife up off the floor that she claimed the intruder dropped as she chased him out of the house. It was as if she were trying to establish an alibi as to why her prints and blood would be found on it. Police dispatcher Trammell stated that she thought it was odd that someone who's children had just been murdered would make an obvious point of mentioning how their finger prints got on the murder weapon during the initial 911 call for help.

In one of Darlie's versions of the intruder leaving the house, she claimed that as she was chasing the intruder out of the house, she saw him drop the knife on the floor of the utility room. Forensic testing was conducted on this knife to replicate what Darlie had claimed. The knife was dipped in animal blood and dropped on the utility room floor in the house from waist level while walking, and then again while running exactly as Darlie described the intruder had done. Each time it was reconstructed, a certain amount of blood spatter shot off to the sides of the blade when dropped. No spatter marks or knife imprints were found anywhere on the floor of the utility room. As mentioned previously, a knife imprint was discovered near Devon's body but from the blood marks around it and lack of spatter marks, it appeared to have been laid there rather than dropped there. When police arrived, Darlie showed them where she had placed it on the counter top.

Doug Mulder, Darlie's lead defense attorney was well aware that he was going to have trouble explaining away the knife evidence. After Darlie was sentenced Mulder later stated in an interview, "I always worried about the knife, my biggest problem was that knife."

The Routier kitchen serrated knife used to cut the garage window screen

Microscopic analysis matched the fibers from the serrated knife to the garage window screen.

The Routier kitchen knife identified as the murder weapon.

The knife block on the counter in the Routier kitchen. After cutting the screen in the garage window, Darlie put the knife back in the block. Smudged fingerprints were found on this knife.

The knife used as the murder weapon. Darlie claimed the intruder dropped it on the floor and she picked it up. She said that's why her fingerprints were on it. She mentioned that twice to the 911 operator and four times to the hospital staff.


This is the one piece of physical evidence that convicted her if nothing else did. Along with Darlie's own blood on her nightshirt, analysis revealed what's referred to as "cast off" blood droplets. Meaning the droplets of blood were cast off an object in motion such a knife in a stabbing motion. This action was also successfully duplicated in the lab with a blood spatter expert wearing a white t-shirt using the actual evidence knife and mimicking a stabbing motion with blood on the blade.

Several cast-off stains of Devon's blood were found on the front and right shoulder of Darlie's nightshirt. (Remember, she was right handed) In addition, several cast-off stains of Damon's blood were found on the back of Darlie's nightshirt, as would be expected if the knife were swung up to the level of her head in a stabbing motion.

Darlie Supporters just love to say that the blood droplets on the nightshirt aren't proof of anything because the shirt was stuffed in a paper bag (which it wasn't) with other items of clothing. These self proclaimed bloodstain "experts" go on to say that being wet any blood on the nightshirt could simply be transfer stain or blood that soaked from part of the shirt to another. Five specific stains on Darlie's nightshirt were proven not to be from soaking through or transfer. Her shirt was cut off by paramedics enroute to the hospital and laid flat. Two separate stains, labeled by forensics examiners as TB2 and TB3 were found on the upper right front shoulder of the nightshirt and suggestive of cast off. TB3 was a mixture of Devon and Darlie's blood, and TB2 was a mixture of Damon and Darlie's blood. The striking feature of these two particular stains is that they weren't simple drops. The extended length of the blood stains indicated motion of the blood from downward to upward.

Two additional stains were discovered on the left shoulder of the nightshirt shirt labeled LS1 and LS3. LS1 was a mixture of Damon and Darlie's blood, LS3 was a mixture of Devon and Darlie's blood. These stains too were suggestive of cast-off. LS1 had a downward trajectory. LS3 had an upward trajectory.

On the back right shoulder of the night shirt was a sole drop labeled TB8. This blood was identified as belonging to Devon. TB8's stain has a long axis and shows an up and down trajectory. This was very strong evidence suggestive of Darlie raising the knife up after completing a stab, depositing Devon's blood on the back of her nightshirt, then bringing her arm down to stab again. Of all the stains on Darlie's night shirt, TB8 was crucial evidence that played a major role in incriminating her.

Similar to TB8, the shape of the TB2 stain shows it landed from the top of the shirt moving downward consistent with cast off from the knife at the shoulder level

Front of Darlie Routier's night shirt.

Back of Darlie Routier's night shirt.

The boy's blood spatter (highlighted) suggestive of cast off blood from the knife at the right arm area of the nightshirt

Highlighted "cast off" blood belonging to the boys on Darlie's nightshirt found predominately at the right shoulder area front and back. Darlie is right handed.


On June 18, 1996, Rowlett Police detectives asked Darlie to come once again to the police station for addition questions. Later that night she was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder. She was immediately placed in custody at the Lew Starrett Justice Center to await indictment.

That evening Sgt. Dean Poos, Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Rowlett Police Department issued (shown here in part) the following press release:

On the morning of Thursday, June 6th, 1996, an investigation began into the murders of Damon and Devon Routier. A significant event has now occurred in this very intensive investigation, At approximately 10:20p.m. this evening, investigators from the Rowlett Police Department arrested Darlie Routier (white female, age 26). Mrs. Routier has been charged with two counts of Capital Murder stemming from the stabbing deaths of her sons Damon (age 5) and Devon (age 6) This arrest is the result of the most intensive and exhaustive investigation ever conducted by the Rowlett Police Department.

Darlie Routier was booked at the Rowlett City Jail and arraigned by Municipal Court Judge Owen Lokken. Judge Lokken ordered Mrs. Routier held without bond. Mrs. Routier was then transferred to the Lew Sterrett Justice Center. I cannot comment on the details of this investigation other than to say we believe that the white male suspect described by Darlie Routier as the man that attacked her and murdered her children never existed. We also believe that the wounds present on Darlie Routier were self-inflicted. As for the father, Darin Routier, at this point we do not believe that he was involved in, or participated in the murders.

On June 28, Darlie Routier was officially indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on two counts of capital murder. Judge Mark Tolle, who presided at her trial issued a gag order barring the defense, the prosecution, potential witnesses, and Darlie's immediate family from discussing the case with the media. Which Darlie, Darin, and her mother Darlie Kee, all violated. She was ordered held on a 1 million dollar bail.

About 3 weeks later after forensic test results on the evidence came back, the District Attorney's Office announced they would be seeking the death penalty and Judge Tolle rescinded Darlie's bail considering her a flight risk.

Darlie and Darin Routier going into the Rowlett Police Department for more questioning. These photos were taken just hours before she was formally arrested and charged with a double homicide.

Darlie Routier arrest photo (left) More recent prison photo (right)

Darlie Routier's written statement to Rowlett Police 6-8-1996


The prosecution. Greg Davis and Toby Shook

The Defense. Doug Mulder and Richard Mosty

The courtroom

The two month long jury selection began on October 16, 1996 in Kerrville, Texas after a change of venue request was granted by Judge Tolle. 165 potential jurors were interviewed by the defense and prosecution. On November 14, the court announced jury selection was complete and it would consist of seven women and five men. Judge Tolle announced that the trial would begin Monday morning at 9:00 AM on January 6, 1997.

The first witness called for the state, Dr. Joanie McLaine from the medical examiner's office, testified that the defense wounds on Devon's body indicated that he had struggled with his attacker and the wounds were savage in nature. The first wound penetrated the left chest, the left lung the left pulmonary artery and the pulmonary valve. The second stab penetrated the left center of the chest in a downward motion and entered the liver. The 3rd and 4th and fourth stabs affected the shoulder and leg. She reported other incised lacerations on the body as well.

Dr. Janice Townsend-Parchman testified that Darlie Routier's superficial neck wound could have been self-inflicted and possibly does show hesitation. She didn't definitively say it was or wasn't self inflicted despite Defense attorney Doug Mulder's attempts at getting her to rule out self-infliction on the witness stand. The deep, multiple wounds on the boys, however, showed the attack on them was quick and deliberate and was definitely personal.

The final witness for the prosecution, Special Agent Al Brantley from the FBI's Center for Analysis of Violent Crime in Quantico, Virginia, testified in his conclusion that he found nothing to indicate the presence of an intruder, the entire scene had been staged, the victims knew their attacker, and the attack had occurred in an extreme fit of rage. The attack on the children was personal, said Brantley. "The killer focused on their chests," he emphasized, "almost as if going for their heart. That indicates extreme anger toward them."

In the nearly 1 month long trial, 36 witness testified for the prosecution including police officers, paramedics, nurses, physician's, forensics experts, criminal investigators, neighbors, friends and a local merchant familiar with Darlie Routier. 16 various witnesses testified for the defense including Darlie herself. 15 other friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances testified regarding Darlie's character prior to the sentencing phase and attorney summations.

Defense attorney Doug Mulder and Darlie Routier in court during the sentencing phase of the trial.

Upon the jury retiring for deliberation on February 1, 1997, 8 of the 12 jurors were immediately prepared to vote guilty, while the other 4 jurors weren't quite convinced. A few hours later (the same day) after re-examining some evidence, all 12 jurors found Darlie Routier guilty of capital murder (1st degree) of her son Damon Routier. (she was only tried for his murder)

Darlie must have sensed her guilty verdict. She began crying the moment the jurors entered the courtroom to render their verdict.. She was told to stand but remained sitting and looked up at the ceiling and wiped her cheeks with her hands as District Court Judge Mark Tolle read the guilty verdict. Her husband, Darin, leaned forward in his gallery seat and began crying as Darlie's mother, Darlie Kee, sat stone-faced. Darlie's younger sister Danelle suddenly shouted out, "They're all lying," Greg Davis (the lead prosecutor) is the killer." Judge Tolle banged his gavel down in rapid succession and shouted "Order".

At the sentencing phase of the trial Darlie Routier was sentenced to death by lethal injection.


No one wants to believe a mother could murder her children. Especially a pretty young mother who on the outside gave the appearance of being an attentive mom who wanted nothing but the best for her children. The jurors that were interviewed after the verdict said they went into deliberation wanting to find something to show her innocence, they just couldn't find it.

Darlie Routier denies her guilt. When interviewed, she knows exactly how and when to cry and turn on the heart tugging emotions and people eat this up. They watch these interviews and say, "There's no way she did this." These very same people turn a blind eye to the very evidence that convicted her, or simply say the crime scene processing was tainted and botched up. As mentioned previously in this article, anytime a trial verdict doesn't go the way someone wanted it to, they automatically say the system failed.

Darlie has a unique ability of mesmerizing people into believing her innocence. Every journalist that was granted an interview with Darlie in prison went in either believing she was guilty or they were undecided. Darlie will turn on the charm and the tears and use her "I'm the true victim here" little girl voice, convincing nearly each person that met with her that there was no way she could have murdered her sons.

This author has always found it interesting that now she's been convicted and placed on death row, her interviews always consist of how she didn't kill her kids and how much she misses them. She always says "All I want are people to see I'm innocent." If she were truly innocent, why isn't she saying "Hey people! There's a child killer out there on the loose, why aren't you out looking for him? I want justice for my two boys." But she never mentions that anymore like she did 24 years ago in her letters to friends and family while she was incarcerated during the trial.

The reader may recall the words of OJ Simpson when he was found not guilty. He told the media in a press conference that he was going to make it his "Mission in life" to find the killer(s) of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Hmmm, strangely we haven't heard anything about his doing that since his 1995 press statement.

The people who believe Darlie Routier was wrongfully found guilty, also known as: "The Darlie Supporters," try their best to fit the evidence to their preconceived conclusion of innocence. If it doesn't fit, they'll make it fit; even to the level of absurdity. Most people in this group cannot put up a good argument because they just don't know enough about the case. They recite what they've heard and read on YouTube, but that's it; that's the extent of their knowledge about the Routier case. When it comes down to discussing the evidence and facts of the case, they can't keep up and the discussion on their end and it usually turns to anger. To quote the words of Abraham Lincoln: "If you can't debate the issues, demonize the opposition."

If you look at all the various websites that include reader comments sections, you'll find that approximately 90% of the Darlie supporters are female. It appears that women have more trouble accepting the fact that a mother could possibly do such a horrendous thing to her children then men do. If Darlie Routier had been a man instead of a woman, this case would have simply faded into obscurity and no one would have challenged the jury's decision. Ironically in the state of Texas, 83% of past filicide cases (parents who murder their children) were committed by the mother. In Texas alone in the past 24 years, a total of 64 children have been murdered by their mothers. (Averages about 3 per year)

Source: FBI Stats Data, Dallas News, USA Today, Plano Star Courier, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News

Darlie supporters fall into two distinct categories. One group has second thoughts about the trial and the evidence and in conversation will express their opinion of doubt and provide specific reasons as to why they feel that way. And that's completely fine. It's their right to have an opinion and they should be allowed the time and respect to be heard.

Then the other group with fewer members, consists of the fanatical supporters. The one's that live and breathe this 24 year old case night and day. They're angry and hateful and they're vicious with anyone that opposes their opinions; similar to a 1970's era militant group. This author's name is used in effigy as many times as the clock ticks among this group. This author has been cyber-stalked, insulted, accused of being Darin Routier himself, publicly cussed at and even more recently, threatened with physical harm similar to what happened to author Barbara Davis, until she changed her mind about Darlie's guilt.

A few members of this group can be found right here on the Darlie Routier support HubPages blogs as commenters and one as an author. Most of the HubPage authors themselves, are more controlled. One such author and this author have discussed the case on her HubPage on several occasions and we both politely agreed to disagree.

Most members of this second group get the most hateful when challenged to provide a credible source to backup a statement they've made that they're trying to pass as fact. When they can't do it, they show their a*ses with the cussing and the insults and general cyber-bullying. They go on other support sites and slander your name, make wild accusations about you, and basically set themselves up to be the receiver of a serious libel