A mother frantically drives her three young offspring to a hospital, their blood painting the interior of the car. It was 1984 in Springfield, Oregon when Diane Downs was convicted of shooting her three children, ending the life of one. Diane Downs was mentally unstable and obsessed over a man who did not want her. What was a peaceful and calm night quickly turned into a fight for survival. Downs had shot her three young children at close range in an attempt to win back the affection of the man she so desperately loved... Crime
Nothing could have prevented the Downs children from meeting an unfortunate fate with their mother, but when fate is involved it tends to meander like a river for those who need it. Diane Downs attempted to murder her children in cold blood as they drove home on a lonely country road. Within the past years she had been involved with a man from Arizona with whom she obsessively loved. She was furious when he had broken off their affair in 1983 to be with his wife. Diane believed that her three young children were the reason for the affair ending when he “refused to be around her [when she had her three] children [with her]” ( Geringer 8) As a result of the termination of the affair, Diane followed the man home where she proceeded to stalk him and his wife, adding to the “neglect [her children endured daily]” (John Doyle), ultimately causing their demise.
On Thursday May 19, 1984 at 10:48PM, Diane arrived at a hospital, her car was stained with hues of red, encumbered by the three delicate bodies starting to fade away. Doctors and nurses prepped the operating rooms as others brought along the seemingly lifeless bodies. Later doctors discovered that the children were shot at extremely close range. Diane could not supply an answer. When Diane was later asked to give a statement on the events that had taken place she stated that a “ big hairy stranger flagged down her car....pointed a gun through [her] car window, and loosened its barrel on her three helpless children” ( Geringer 8). Diane’s children, 8 year old Christie Downs, 7 year old Cheryl Ann Downs, and 3 year old Danny Downs, were in critical condition. When Diane was given the news about the passing of her daughter Cheryl, she responded with grace and was accepting. When given the condition of her 3 year old toddler son, she seemed to be in full control of her senses (Geringer). Diane Downs lacked the compassion and emotion when a mother endears a troublesome night such as this one. Background
Diane Downs was born August 7, 1955 in Phoenix, Arizona to Willadene and Wes Frederickson. Diane's parents fell short in the ability to provide a growing child with the warm fondness they inherently expect. When she was 11 years old Diane told authorities that her father molested her, but it never led to fornication. Diane’s childhood played a key role in her mental state of mind, which was ultimately left damaged and unable to be repaired. Diane enrolled in a charm school at 14 and then later, was expelled from Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College for promiscuity (Geringer). Diane’s damaged brain was clearly showing, but the people who surrounded her failed to notice the signs.
On November 13, 1973 Diane married Steve Downs, thus starting a shaky marriage. Diane felt that she was not in control of the love between them thus increasing the tension between her and Steve. When she became pregnant with Christie, she felt she was in charge of the love that was all dependent on her. In october, 1974 Diane’s first child Christie is born. When Christie left the womb of her mother, along with her went the feelings Diane thought she would have for the child. Thinking another pregnancy would help, Diane became pregnant with her second child. In January, 1976 Cheryl Lyn is born and on December 29, 1979, her third child Danny is born. Diane had fled with her three children on numerous occasions from her husband, but always returned. In 1978, the...