IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN DARLIE ROUTIER since she was sent to death row five and a half years ago—if your only memories of her are the glamorous photos, when her hair was platinum blond, her face was caked with makeup, and her fingers were covered with diamond rings—you might not recognize her today. She is now 32 years old. Her hair is long and chestnut brown and pulled away from her face, accentuating her cheekbones and bright hazel eyes. Her body is toned, thanks to a daily workout regimen of five hundred sit-ups in her cell and a vigorous two-hour walk in the prison yard. When she takes her seat behind the shatterproof glass in the visitors area of the Mountain View Unit, in Gatesville, she smiles pleasantly, rests her elbows on the table, and with a soft giggle says that she has been reading the latest Harry Potter book so she can talk about the plot with her youngest son, Drake, age six, the only one of her children who is still alive.
She receives a constant stream of visitors: friends and