Marie Robards, also known as Dorothy Marie Robards, confessed to poisoning her father, Steven Robards, with barium acetate after she listened to a reading of Hamlet. Today, she is a free woman.
The following is a Timeline of the Marie Robards case
Marie Robards, 16, attends high school at Eastern Hills High. While attending the school, she steals a vile of barium poison from a science lab.
February 18: Steven Robards, a local postman, picks up some Mexican food with his daughter, Marie Robards.
At some point before his meal, Marie Robards laces her father’s refried beans with barium poison.
She watches as her father becomes gravely ill. He later dies in a nearby hospital.
Doctors determine that heart problems could have been the main cause. His death is ruled death by natural causes. He was 38 years old.
After Steven Robards is buried. His daughter continues her studies until she graduates from high school.
Marie Robards is attending The University Of Texas. She also works as a waitress at TGIFriday’s.
In a drama class she listens to a reading of Shakespear’s Hamlet during a scene about poisoning. She becomes overcome with grief and confesses to her friend, Stacey High, that she poisoned her own dad.
Stacey High tries to keep her secret but later tells her parents. The police are alerted and they put out a warrant for Dorothy Marie Robards’ arrest.
October 18: Marie Robards is located and arrested in Austin and placed in a juvenile facility in Tarrant County.
The media outlets are reporting on the story. Some news media decides not to publish her name because she was a minor at the time of the murder.
She makes her first court appearance. The prosecutor tells the judge that she would have committed the “perfect crime” had she not confessed to her friend.
October 28: Marie Robards is released and placed in the custody of her mother and stepfather until a determination is made about whether she will face trial as a juvenile or as an adult, according to The Fort Worth Star.
March 30: Marie Robards is indicted for the poisoning murder of her father. She is released on $10,000 bail. She will be tried as an adult.
Stacey High appears on American Journal to discuss the patricide case.
May 5: Marie Robards tell a reporter that she never meant to kill her father. Her only intention was to make him feel sick because she was angry about the divorce.
May 6: Marie Robards admits to the judge that she mixed the barium acetate poisoning in her father’s food but never meant to murder him.
May 7: The court hears testimony from college friend Stacey High, that Robards did cry but later seemed unconcerned about what she had done.
The court also hears from prosecutors that Robards was obsessed with knowing how humans die, and that she had aspirations of becoming a medical examiner.
Teacher Tracie Arnold testifies on the witness stand that the Principal told her not to tell police that the chemical was in the classroom. The jurors also heard that the school hid the poison on campus.
The court hears a taped confession where Robards admits that she knew the poison could kill her dad.
May 9: The jury finds Marie Robards guilty of murder. Marie Robards makes a tearful apology in court to her family. Her grandfather, Jim Robards, cries while listening to his granddaughter speak, according to The Dallas Morning News. Beth Burroughs, her mother, also cries.
May 10: Dorothy Marie Robards is sentenced to 28 years in prison. She is eligible for parole after she serves at least 7 years.
District Appeals Court upholds Marie Robards 28-year conviction.
Marie Roberts now-today
Marie Robards was released in 2003. According to public records she is married and goes by a new identity.
Her case was covered extensively in an article by Skip Hollandsworth of the Texas Monthly. The article, “Poisoning Daddy” can be find here.