At 2.31am on June 6, 1996 emergency dispatchers received a frantic call.
“Somebody came in here,” a woman screamed down the line. “They just stabbed me and my children.”
Darlie Routier, then 26, described how an intruder had stabbed her and her young sons, six-year-old Devon and five-year-old Damon.
Within minutes, police arrived at the house in Dallas, Texas and found the boys suffering from multiple stab wounds – they were soon pronounced dead.
Routier also suffered “superficial” stab wounds, which she claimed she received when she chased off the intruder. One wound came within two millimetres of her carotid artery in her neck.
Her husband Darin and their youngest son, seven-month-old Drake, were asleep upstairs at the time and both escaped harm.
Routier described the intruder to police: A man wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap.
He had escaped through the garage, she said.
But scene investigators had their doubts. Dallas News reported they found no blood in the garage, and although a window screen in the garage had been cut open, the window sills in the garage had layers of dust.
Lab tests found fingerprints on the garage window that did not belong to Routier, her husband or law enforcement, but it's unclear who left them.
There was no blood splattered in the utility room, where Routier said she found the knife that was used, and no significant amount on the couch where she claimed to have been stabbed.
Much debate also focused on a bloody fingerprint found on the coffee table near one of the boy's bodies which belonged to an adult, not one of her children.
Then, just eight days after her son's deaths, public opinion turned on Routier - echoing the criticism of Australian Lindy Chamberlain, who was accused of not grieving enough over the death of her baby daughter Azaria and was wrongfully convicted over her death.