“In Her Own Words” was written by Darlie Routier shortly after she was convicted of first degree murder. In it, she attempts to influence public opinion by twisting the incriminating evidence against her in a less than honest way. As I have done in the Myths section, each of Darlie’s claims can be compared to the relevant testimony in the transcript.
It was said “no intruder” because mulch in the backyard wasn’t disturbed. There is concrete from the gate to completely under the window the intruder came in.
There is a concrete walk from the alleged exit window (far right in the above left photo) to the gate. However, there is also a mulched area running alongside the walkway, up against the house. It was this mulched area that James Cron paid particular attention to, because it had not been disturbed in any way, even though it was the shortest path from the window to the gate.
Davis: If we look at State’s Exhibits 13A and 13B, do we see an area of mulch here?
Cron: Yes, I was looking for any dampness or signs that feet were drug through the area, or fast movement through the mulch. I tested it two ways: One, I walked flat-footed, very gently across the mulch and nothing happened. I then walked very fast and then ran across the mulch and I did disturb it. The upper layer was then exposed and was darker than the top, and it became evident. Then I bent down and took my hand and just ruffled up the mulch, and it appeared dark wherever I did disturb it.
(James Cron, Sections 2190-2192)
On cross-examination, Doug Mulder attempted to distort Cron’s words.
Mulder: You made a big to do about the mulch, is that right?
Cron: Yes, I mentioned the mulch.
Mulder: When you walked through it, were you able to look at it and tell that you had walked through it?
Cron: No, I couldn’t tell that I did. It was–
Mulder: Well, if you couldn’t tell that you’d walked through it, how could you tell if an intruder had walked through it?
Cron: Well, because I didn’t say an intruder had walked through it. I said an intruder didn’t run through it and disturb it.
Mulder: Why would an intruder run through the mulch when he could stay on the sidewalk and the sidewalk goes right to the gate?
Cron: Well, he would have to have gone 12’ out of his way to go on the sidewalk. It’s 12’ shorter to go through the mulch.
(James Cron, Section 2408)
At no time did Jim Cron ever say that there was mulch under the exit window. His testimony – as well as the above photos, which were shown to the jury – made it abundantly clear that the mulch was immediately to the right of the alleged exit window. That mulch was undisturbed, even though it was the quickest route to the gate for an intruder fleeing a murder scene. Those facts are undisputed.
This was no honest mistake on Darlie’s part. It was a deliberate misstatement of Jim Cron’s testimony, a misstatement that has been repeated by supporters countless times over the years. Why has this falsehood endured so long? Well, if we’re to believe Darlie’s story, an intruder
– has just murdered two little boys
– has left a living witness who can scream for help and possibly identify him
– has armed that living witness with a butcher knife
– exits the garage window and…
1) Carefully walks through the mulch to reach the gate or 2) goes 12′ out of his way to stay on a curving concrete path. Unless an intruder has a death wish, he’s not going to do either. And that is why James Cron’s testimony has been twisted into something it never was.