14 october 2013
Diane Downs: Her Children Got in the Way of Her Love
Figure 1: Diane Downs. Photograph. Police Officer. Diane Downs’ 1988 Prison Interview. The Oprah Winfrey Show. 22 Oct. 2010
Diane Downs was born in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. to Wes and Willadene Frederickson on August 7, 1955. In her early life, she was molested by her father when she was a little child. She went to Moon Valley High School in Phoenix and met her future husband, Steve Downs. At the age of 14, she began to wear makeups and stylish clothes. She also was into boys and eventually became sexual with Steven Downs who lived across the street from her house. On November 13, 1973, she married Steven Downs but divorced 7 years after they got married. Christie (Born 1974), Cheryl (Born 1976), and Danny (Born 1979) Downs were born after they got married. She worked at the Unite States Postal Service in Oregon (Wikipedia). Issue
On May 19, 1983, Diane Downs pulled over her car by the emergency room at the McKenzie-Willamette Hospital and told the nurses, "Somebody just shot my kids!" (Small Sacrifices) Three kids were found unconscious inside of Diane’s car from thoughtless gunshots. Later, Diane told the investigator a “bushy-haired stranger” stopped her in the middle of the road when she was driving around with her kids. And he just shot her arm and her kids. But the investigator couldn’t find a “bushy-haired stranger” and any witnesses. Only witness was Diane’s children but Cheryl was dead, Danny was paralyzed so he couldn’t speak, and Christie was recovering from profound blood loss for few weeks. (Geringer Ch. 1) Within that few weeks, the investigator couldn’t find heartless, cold-blooded, and cruel suspect because there was no evidence. Claim
Christie miraculously recovered from severe blood loss after few weeks. So when Christie came to the court as a witness on a trial day.
Do you remember when you got shot?
Who Shot you?
mom… (Small Sacrifices).
After hearing from only witness Christie, there was no way Diane could defend herself. As declared on the website, about.com, “The jury found Diane Downs guilty on all charges on June 17, 1984. She was sentenced to life in prison plus fifty years” (qtd. Montaldo). Diane’s plan didn’t work out. She thought her children weren’t going to survive after the nasty blows to their chests. So she thought she was going to have a new fresh life without anyone’s interruption to her loving relationship with another man.
On May 19 1983, approximately 10:48 p.m., Diane Downs drover her red late-model Nissan and pulled over at the emergency section of McKenzie-Willamette Hospital. Then she obnoxiously honked her car for desperate help. She told a nurse, “Someone just shot my kids!” with an annoyed voice. Her three children, Cheryl, Christie, and Danny were found unconscious in her car from a gunshot to their body. Three fatal children were carried and transported by shocked and concerned Fred Wilhite, Dr. Macky, and two nurses to the emergency room. Danny and Cheryl were still breathing but Cheryl, who was in the front seat of the car, was found dead. The nurses, who spoke with Diane, couldn’t believe her condition because she was very calm and wasn’t panicking like a typical mother would if her children were shot. She seemed in full control of her mind and also seemed too accepting of one of her children’s death. “When told that Danny had a chance of surviving, she replied in an almost-perplexed manner, “Do you mean the bullet missed his heart? Gee Whiz!”” (Geringer Ch. 2). This is when the investigator started to feel something suspicious towards Diane. Marriage
Steven Downs met Diane in high school. After Steven and Diane graduated from high school, Steve joined the Navy and Diane attended Pacific Coast Baptist Bible...
Cited: A. P. (11 Dec 2008). “Northwest: Oregon: Parole is Denied for Killer”. New York Times 11 December 2008: A. Print
Bumiller, Elisabeth. "The Mother and the Mystery; Elizabeth Diane Downs Gave Life and is Now Accused of Taking it." Washington Post 12 June 1984: C1. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
Geringer, Joseph., Diane Downs: Her Children Got in the Way of Her Love. Crimelibrary. Owner, eWeb. 2013.
"Oregon Woman is Convicted of Killing Child and Hurting 2." New York Times 18 June 1984: A17. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
Rule, Ann. Small Sacrifices. NY: Signet, 1987. Print.
Small Sacrifices. Dir. David Greene. Perf. Farrah Fawcett and Gordon Clapp. 1989.
Terry, Lynne. "Notorious Child Killer Diane Downs Must Wait 10 More Years before She Applies for Parole Again." The Oregonian. Newspaper. 10 Dec. 2010. Web. 02 Oct. 2013.
Winfrey, Oprah. "Diane Downs ' 1988 Prison Interview." Date Published, 22 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Oct. 2013.
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