Where is Marie Robards now? Her new life and identity after parole

Marie Robards

The queer case of Marie Robards can be encapsulated in two phrases – a strange murder and an even stranger motive. On February 13, 1993, 16-year-old Dorothy Marie Robards stole a fatal dose of barium acetate from her high school chemistry class and laced it in her father’s takeout food. Steven Robards was only 38 years old when he died shortly after complaining of stomach ache and nausea.

The autopsy found nothing and his death was ruled as a heart attack. That remained the case for a year until a guilt-stricken Marie confessed the crime to her unassuming school friend. Subsequently, the police were contacted and within two years, Marie was convicted of murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Marie Robards assumed a new identity after she was released on parole – She lives in Texas

Before the unfortunate event transpired, Marie Robards had only been living with her father in Fort Worth, Texas for less than a year. She had previously been living with her mother, Beth, in Granbury after the divorce of her parents. However, she moved in with her father in 1992 after a disagreement with her stepfather.

Although she was a bright student and had a good reputation in school, she was homesick and depressed in the new place. After her father’s death, she went to live with her mother in Florida for a while before moving back to Texas.

In October 1994, Robards was arrested after her friend, Stacey High, reported her confession to the police. Moreover, the forensic test detecting barium acetate in Steven’s body came back positive, confirming the murder. At the time, she was a freshman at the University of Texas.

Robards corroborated High’s account to the police and easily admitted to the crime. The astonishing reason behind the murder was that she wanted to live with her mother and it was the “only way she could go home”.

“I just wanted to be with my mom so bad that I would do anything to be with her,” said Robards.

The police were unconvinced and enquired if she had been a victim of abuse by her father but she firmly denied the allegations. At the trial, the defense claimed that Robards merely intended to make her father sick enough to render him incapable of taking care of her and that the murder was accidental. She pled not guilty and was looking at a manslaughter verdict.

“I never thought anything through. I didn’t realize what I was doing. I knew I had done something very, very wrong. But I did not think of myself as a criminal,” she said in the 1995 trial.

However, Stacey High testified that Robards was aware of the barium acetate dose being fatal. After the jury found her guilty of murder, Robards broke down on the stand and apologized to her father’s family.

After serving a minimum of 7 years in prison, Marie Robards became eligible for parole in 2003. While her parole received a polarizing response from the public, she has since been released from imprisonment and is believed to be living under a new identity in the Fort Worth area. Some accounts say that she married and took her husband’s name.