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The Little Girl Who Survived Being Shot By Her Mother

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Most people assume their parents will always be the ones who look after them and keep them safe. So what happens when they’re the ones who try to end your life? Thankfully it’s not something most of us ever have to deal with.

Tragically, it was the case for Christie Downs. She was just a child when her mom tried to take Christie and her siblings out of this world. However, the little girl who survived being shot by her mother was ultimately the one who brought her to justice.

Everything seemed so normal for Christie Downs, but her personal life was far from it

Everything seemed so normal for Christie Downs, but her personal life was far from it

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Source: The Sun

On the outside, it looked as though Christie Downs and her family had everything they could need. Christie grew up in a family with her mom and dad and two siblings, Cheryl and Danny, and it appeared that they never had an issue. Sadly, many of us have learned that looks can be deceiving to the world.

Behind closed doors, Christie and the others were subject to a host of neglect and joined by parents who spent most of their time arguing. In the end, Diane and Steve Downs decided to go their separate ways. Tragically, that’s where things took an even darker turn that would ultimately be enough to rip the siblings apart.

Elizabeth Diane Frederickson claims her dad assaulted her before becoming a teenager

Elizabeth Diane Frederickson claims her dad assaulted her before becoming a teenager

Source: The Oregonian

Diane Downs wasn’t always known by that name. In fact, she was born Elizabeth Diane Frederickson on August 7, 1955, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Like many children, it seems that Diane was known in the neighbourhood and appeared to be a happy child. That was until she later spoke out against her own father.

Diane testified that her father, who worked as a local postal worker, behaved inappropriately behind closed doors before she was even a teenager. It was a significant claim and one that reportedly tore the family apart at the time. It seemed to many that Diane was willing to do anything to get away from her parents.

Steve Downs and Diane met in the ‘70s at a high school in Arizona

Steve Downs and Diane met in the ‘70s at a high school in Arizona

Source: The Sun / Arizona Sports

Eventually, Diane Downs enrolled at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, where she met and fell for Steve Downs. The pair were both at the school throughout the 1970s, with The Cinemaholic reporting the couple quickly had a brief high school romance that saw them fall head over heels for one another. Still, this wasn’t to last.

The Cinemaholic continues to state that Steve was one of the only people who saw Diane as someone who was anxious and determined to assert her independence instead of someone most considered to be an outsider. It often meant Diane struggled to fit in. Still, falling for Steve gave her the confidence boost she so desperately needed.

Being high school sweethearts wasn’t enough to keep Diane and Steve Downs together

Being high school sweethearts wasn’t enough to keep Diane and Steve Downs together

Source: YouTube

One of the many harsh realities plenty have faced is that things don’t always work out like they do in the movies. Many of us are used to seeing scenes of people falling head over heels for someone at school and going on to make a life together. Sadly for Diane and Steve Downs, the universe got in the way.

After graduating, Steve enrolled in the US Navy, meaning he was quickly deployed miles away from home. Diane? She signed up at the Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in Orange, California. It appeared the distance was too much to handle and caused them to split. However, the universe had more in store for the couple.

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Diane Downs was expelled from school for being promiscuous

Diane Downs was expelled from school for being promiscuous

Source: ABC News

No one is really sure what happened during Diane Downs’ time at the Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College. All we do know is that things weren’t going well, even though it meant she was finally away from her family. Being a religious school likely meant there were even more rules in place than in other colleges.

Perhaps that’s why reported promiscuous behavior meant Diane Downs was expelled from the college less than a year after she first signed up? At least, that’s what The Sun reports. All of this meant Diane was forced to return to her parents, where they hoped their daughter would work on her future – one that didn’t include Steve Downs.

Rekindling their love quickly saw Diane and Steve Downs welcome a family

Rekindling their love quickly saw Diane and Steve Downs welcome a family

Source: The Sun

It’s unclear what made Diane Downs’ parents dislike Steve, but they made their feelings clear. The Cinemaholic reports that Steve was often known for being immature and irresponsible, something that didn’t see their rekindled relationship get off to the best start. That wasn’t all that stood in their way, as Diane eventually ran away from home.

Diane was just 18 years old but determined to get married. The pair tied the knot on November 13, 1973. Diane Downs fell pregnant just a couple of months later, welcoming Christie Downs on October 7, 1974. She was followed by Cheryl, born on January 10, 1976, and Stephen Daniel “Danny” Downs, who entered the world on December 29, 1979.

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The couple constantly argued, with Steve Downs believing their youngest wasn’t his

The couple constantly argued, with Steve Downs believing their youngest wasn’t his

Source: YouTube / The Sun

Many believe that Diane Downs was the one who wanted to start a family in the hopes that welcoming children would be enough to save their marriage. Sadly, it only made things worse for the pair. Suddenly, they had three more mouths to feed alongside the responsibility of raising the children while constantly battling Diane’s parents.

It’s said that things often went from bad to worse. The couple reportedly often argued about money and how they would pay the bills. Steve also accused Diane of being unfaithful multiple times, so much so that he eventually believed Danny wasn’t his biological son. It was a huge accusation and one that didn’t end well.

Diane would often leave Christie Downs in charge of watching her siblings while she searched for men

Diane would often leave Christie Downs in charge of watching her siblings while she searched for men

Source: YouTube

All the arguments, teamed with new accusations of Diane Downs being unfaithful, meant that she and Steve soon went their separate ways. Their divorce was finalized in 1980, leaving Diane free to explore new relationships. Sadly, being 25 years old, a single mother, and wanting a new love was a recipe for disaster for the Downs family.

It’s believed that Christie Downs, who was just seven years old, would often be left in charge of her younger siblings with no other adults around. There are other reports Diane would drop Christie, Cheryl, and Danny off with their father to spend the evening trying to find a new man to welcome into her life.

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It’s reported all of the Downs children showed signs of neglect

It’s reported all of the Downs children showed signs of neglect

Source: Fox 4 News / The Sun

Of course, it might come as little surprise that a seven-year-old looking after herself and two young children didn’t end well. Diane Downs followed in her father’s footsteps by getting a job with the United States Postal Service and was often out of the house for hours at a time. Christie Downs was the one left in charge.

Sadly, the lack of food in the house meant the Downs siblings were reportedly malnourished and often showed signs of neglect. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s believed that Cheryl made a startling confession. It’s said the youngster told one of her grandparents’ neighbors that she was afraid of her mother and what might happen to the family.

Diane Downs met another man, but he was already married with a family

Diane Downs met another man, but he was already married with a family

Source: ABC News / ABC News

It appeared it wasn’t long after the ink dried on her divorce papers that Diane Downs found another man to fill the void in her life. He came in the form of Robert Knickerbocker, but there were several issues. The couple first met in 1981 as they both worked at the US postal service office and quickly hit things off.

The problem? Robert was already married with children, meaning the couple had to embark on a secret affair. While they had to remain quiet, Diane did open up about it all in her various diaries. Here, it seems Diane admitted to falling for her new man and documented how far she would go for Robert.

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The mother became interested in surrogacy – for a price tag

The mother became interested in surrogacy - for a price tag

Source: YouTube

Working at the postal office meant Diane Downs had some income to support her family, but it might not have been enough to raise all three children. Perhaps that’s why she ended up opting for surrogacy shortly after meeting Robert? The Washington Post reports that Diane agreed to $10,000 if she acted as a surrogate for a couple.

According to the interview, Diane admitted she had previously had a termination and lived every day thinking she had ended someone’s life. Being a surrogate meant she got to “turn that life over to them,” and she hadn’t “done anything bad.” The girl, Jennifer, was born in May 1982 and immediately handed to her new parents.

The Downs family moved to Oregon in the hopes of starting a new life

The Downs family moved to Oregon in the hopes of starting a new life

Source: Associated Press / LinkedIn

Everything seemed to be going perfectly for the Downs family as Diane was busy rebuilding a life for her children after divorcing their father. What the world didn’t know was about all the lies and deceit going on behind closed doors. That’s why so many were surprised when Diane announced the family was moving across the nation.

In April 1983, Diane, Christie, Cheryl, and Danny all moved to Springfield, Oregon, where it seemed they were about to start a new life once again. No one was entirely sure why the mom wanted to leave a stable job and being surrounded by her friends and family. Little did they know Diane had an ulterior motive.

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Robert Knickerbocker was supposed to follow but broke off his relationship with Diane Downs

Robert Knickerbocker was supposed to follow but broke off his relationship with Diane Downs

Source: YouTube

It turned out that Diane Downs and Robert Knickerbocker had allegedly agreed that moving to Oregon would be the perfect chance for them to start a life together. After all, they would be over 1,000 miles away from anyone they knew and could settle into the ideal family life. The problem? That might not have been the case.

It wasn’t until Diane had arrived in her new home and got the family settled that she learned the truth. Robert didn’t have any plans of leaving his wife and children and instead used the distance as a way to separate from Diane. Now that she was gone, Robert could focus on the family he already had.

It’s thought that Robert Knickerbocker didn’t want the responsibility of raising more children

It’s thought that Robert Knickerbocker didn’t want the responsibility of raising more children

Source: The Sun / ABC News

There’s a good chance Robert Knickerbocker never told Diane Downs why he wanted their relationship to end. How does anyone know? The events that unfolded just six weeks after they split. Of course, most of us never want to imagine losing the one we love, especially when we think it is time for a new start.

Moving across the country was supposed to mean Diane and Robert could be together without raising any eyebrows. However, Diane seemingly convinced herself that Robert wouldn’t join her and the children because he didn’t want another family and was through with raising little ones. It was a suspicion that ultimately had tragic consequences for the Downs family.

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Things took a fatal turn six weeks after the breakup for the Downs family

Things took a fatal turn six weeks after the breakup for the Downs family

Source: ABC News

Rather than accept they weren’t getting back together and going their separate ways, it seemed something was about to bring Diane Downs and Robert Knickerbocker back together in a way they never imagined. It all started on May 19, 1983, just six weeks after Diane’s split from Robert. The family was driving in Oregon when something unimaginable happened.

It’s believed Christie, eight, Cheryl, seven, and Danny, three, were all in the back of the car when something took place. Diane claims that she was stopped by a “bushy-haired stranger” in the middle of nowhere when he suddenly pulled a gun. He then allegedly shot all three children once each before aiming the weapon at Diane.

Diane and the Downs children arrived at the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds

Diane and the Downs children arrived at the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds

Source: YouTube

Diane Downs ultimately ended up getting shot in the forearm before she supposedly managed to escape the attacker and flee to a hospital in Springfield, Oregon. Here, doctors were immediately greeted to a scene straight out of a horror movie, as the vehicle was filled with blood and three injured children all fighting for their lives.

Tragically, Diane explained that Christie had already suffered a stroke and was now unconscious in the back of the car. Danny was also paralyzed from the waist down, but Diane seemed remarkably calm for someone who had just been allegedly carjacked. Still, the doctors didn’t have time to question the story as they needed to treat the children.

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Dr. Steven Wilhite immediately thought that Christie Downs had lost her life

Dr. Steven Wilhite immediately thought that Christie Downs had lost her life

Source: 2020 Extra

Dr. Steven Wilhite was one of the first on the scene of the horrific crime and worried that Christie Downs had already lost her life in the back of the car. He was one of many at the McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center and later opened up about it all to ABC. The doctor immediately knew he had to get to work.

Wilhite continued to add that Christie’s “pupils were dilated” and how her “blood pressure was non-existent or very low.” To top all of this off, Wilhite stated that Christie “was not breathing” and “was white,” leading many to think that the eight-year-old was moments from passing away. Christie was quickly rushed to intensive care for treatment.

The doctors initially believed Diane Downs was too calm for someone who had been through her story

The doctors initially believed Diane Downs was too calm for someone who had been through her story

Source: ABC News

Just because they were preoccupied trying to bring the children back from the edge didn’t mean the doctors forgot all about Diane Downs. However, this wasn’t because they were trying to treat her own gunshot wound. Instead, they were concerned about how the mother was behaving after being through such a traumatic event with her three children.

Hospital workers and investigators believed that Diane Downs was too calm and knew it was more than just the shock of what had happened. To make matters worse, it was later reported that Diane kept making inappropriate comments to several people. Everything was mounting against the mother faster than she imagined as people started to pick her story apart.

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Investigators became even more suspicious when Diane called Robert Knickerbocker from the hospital

Investigators became even more suspicious when Diane called Robert Knickerbocker from the hospital

Source: YouTube

Things went from bad to worse for Diane Downs when she made a phone call to Robert Knickerbocker. She had already been discharged from the hospital but returned to visit Danny and Christie Downs, who were still fighting for their lives. To start, investigators had no idea that Robert had once been romantically linked to Diane.

However, the phone call was enough to tell investigators that Diane had once been involved in an affair with the married father. They believed this was a piece of the puzzle but had to find the other details to put it all together. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Robert to open up about his side of the story.

Evidence proved that Diane Downs was lying about her version of events

Evidence proved that Diane Downs was lying about her version of events

Source: Tapatalk

One of the first places to look when determining what happened to Christie Downs and her siblings was the car Diane arrived at the hospital in. Here, investigators could immediately see that things just didn’t add up. That’s because the forensic evidence didn’t match her version of events and instead told a very different story about what happened.

To start, there was no blood spatter found anywhere on the driver’s side of the car, which would have been there if Diane had been shot in the way she said. Plus, there was no gunpowder residue found anywhere on the interior door panel or the driver’s door, which would have shown the assailant leaning into the vehicle.

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Robert Knickerbocker added that Diane had been stalking him and threatened his wife

Robert Knickerbocker added that Diane had been stalking him and threatened his wife

Source: Wikipedia

It wasn’t until the police managed to track down and speak to Robert Knickerbocker that they learned even more about Diane Downs’ private life. He confirmed the pair had been romantically involved back in Arizona. However, Robert had a different version of their relationship to the story told by Diane. Robert claimed she stalked him before leaving for Oregon.

Apparently, Diane had become obsessed with her new love and was determined to make sure Robert was hers. According to Robert, this even saw Diane go as far as to threaten his wife. She allegedly stated she would end her life so that Robert was free and single – and he could be with Diane without anyone getting in the way.

He was allegedly relieved when Diane Downs left for Oregon so he could continue with his life

He was allegedly relieved when Diane Downs left for Oregon so he could continue with his life

Source: The Oregonian

Robert Knickerbocker didn’t end there, as he continued to talk about the relief he felt when Diane Downs finally left the picture. It’s unclear who first suggested that Diane should move to Oregon with her children. However, there’s a good chance Robert could have used this as an excuse to get his mistress out of his life.

He admitted to investigators that he was instantly relieved when Diane left. This meant Robert was free to reconcile his relationship with his wife and continue raising his family. At least, that’s what Robert believed. It appears he thought Diane would forget all about the affair and eventually find someone new to romance, leaving Robert to live his life.

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Steve Downs and Robert Knickerbocker both confirmed Diane had a weapon, but it was never found

Steve Downs and Robert Knickerbocker both confirmed Diane had a weapon, but it was never found

Source: ABC News

Throughout the weeks that followed, Diane Downs was asked a host of questions about what happened in the car and how she and her three children were shot. Diane explained that someone tried to carjack her, but she managed to escape before getting her out of the vehicle. From there, she fled to the hospital to get help.

However, one thing she left out of the interview was how she had a gun. According to Steve Downs and Robert Knickerbocker, Diane bought the weapon in Arizona before she left the state. Sadly, the investigators never located the weapon. Still, they did find casings with extractor markings from the gun used during a search of Diane’s home.

It’s believed Diane Downs planned a crime to end her children’s lives

It’s believed Diane Downs planned a crime to end her children’s lives

Source: ABC News

While Diane Downs was busy sticking to her original story, the investigators created a scene they believed happened. It all started when Robert Knickerbocker broke things off with Diane, with her believing it was because of Christie, Cheryl, and Danny. That’s when they think Diane took her gun and drove along Old Mohawk Road away from prying eyes.

Here, the police theorize that Diane turned and shot each of her children once before firing the gun at her forearm to make it look like she fought off the attacker. From there, there’s a good chance Diane threw the weapon from the car, which is why it was never located, while driving to the hospital.

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Witnesses stated Diane drove slowly to the hospital, likely so her children would bleed out

Witnesses stated Diane drove slowly to the hospital, likely so her children would bleed out

Source: 2020 Extra

One of the main parts of Diane Downs’ story was how she immediately wanted to get her children to the hospital in a bid to save their lives. Sadly for everyone, that’s seemingly not how it all unfolded. Instead, it’s thought Diane took her time getting help as several witnesses came forward with their version of events.

Diane says that she drove at “high speed” as she knew everyone’s lives hung in the balance. Witnesses? They told investigators that Diane was going somewhere between five and seven miles an hour. Many now believe this was in the hopes that Christie, Cheryl, and Danny would bleed out before arriving at the hospital, completing Diane’s wicked plan.

Dr. Steven Wilhite became Christie Downs’ legal guardian to continue her treatment

Dr. Steven Wilhite became Christie Downs’ legal guardian to continue her treatment

Source: The Sun / The Sun

Having a stroke before she arrived at the hospital meant Christie Downs was in a critical state. If the doctors didn’t act fast, there was a good chance that she might not make it out the other side. After all, there are plenty of things to consider in strokes in young people that might not be issues in older patients.

Dr. Steven Wilhite was concerned by Diane Downs when she suggested that he “pull the plug” because there was a good chance Christie’s cognitive ability was gone. Rather than take the risk, Wilhite appealed to a judge to make him and another doctor Christie’s legal guardians. Thankfully, it was granted, and he could continue to treat the youngster.

Cheryl lost her life while Danny Downs was left unable to walk again

Cheryl lost her life while Danny Downs was left unable to walk again

Source: A World In Pages

Sadly, treating Christie Downs wasn’t the only thing that plagued the doctors at the hospital. They also had her two siblings who needed a host of treatments if they stood a chance of surviving. This was another aspect that made them suspicious, as Diane Downs seemingly walked away with few injuries from the alleged attack on the car.

Tragically, Cheryl Downs had already passed away when she arrived at the hospital. Danny was alive, but he had been horrifically injured. The bullet in his back meant the youngster was paralyzed from the waist down. The team knew it was unlikely Danny Downs would ever be able to walk again, let alone the other effects of being shot.

Diane Downs was arrested the following year and charged with several crimes

Diane Downs was arrested the following year and charged with several crimes

Source: The Oregonian

The investigators spent weeks putting all the evidence together and covering every aspect of the tragic events to ensure they had all the facts before confronting Diane Downs. At last, they decided it was time to tell the mother what they believed really happened. Everything came to a head for Diane on February 28, 1984.

The police arrested Diane nine months after shooting her three children and read out the charges. Ending Cheryl’s life meant Diane was being charged with taking someone’s life. The attack on Christie and Danny also meant the mother was being tried for two counts of attempting to take lives alongside the charges of criminal assault.

Christie Downs ultimately learned how to speak again and told the police who shot the family

Christie Downs ultimately learned how to speak again and told the police who shot the family

Source: YouTube

Amazingly, it looked as though Christie Downs went against everything the doctors believed and ultimately woke up from her coma. This was fantastic news as the youngster had somehow survived the impossible. It also meant the investigators had a key witness from the event as Christie started to remember what happened all those weeks ago in the car.

Having a stroke and being in a coma meant Christie Downs needed to learn how to talk again. Once she understood what had happened, the authorities asked Christie what happened and who shot her and her siblings. Her reply? Two chilling words: “My mom.” The investigators immediately knew they had everything they needed to charge Diane.

Diane Downs was pregnant throughout the trial, with many believing this was planned

Diane Downs was pregnant throughout the trial, with many believing this was planned

Source: YouTube

Diane Downs was kept in custody as the authorities prepared the trial, which eventually started on May 8, 1984. The trial was held at Lane County, and the severity of the charges meant people across the nation were gripped by it all. Many wanted to take a look at the woman who had been accused of shooting her own children.

However, many couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Diane was pregnant as she arrived at the trial. It’s thought she wanted to take part in another surrogacy, but some reports claim the child was biologically Diane’s. Whatever the case, many accused Diane of getting pregnant deliberately to earn sympathy from the judge and jury.

The prosecution heavily relied on Christie Downs’ testimony, while Diane pleaded her innocence

The prosecution heavily relied on Christie Downs’ testimony, while Diane pleaded her innocence

Source: YouTube

Of course, the prosecutors needed to have a strong case if they were going to fight a pregnant woman and prove that she was the one who pulled the trigger on her own children. They also had to prove that Diane planned the event and shot herself to try and make the crime seem genuine.

Thankfully for the prosecutors, they also had a secret weapon up their sleeve: Christie Downs. The court heard as Christie bravely took to the stand to explain that Diane had turned the weapon on the children. The prosecution argued it was all a bid for Diane to try and continue her affair with Robert Knickerbocker.

Diane Downs was diagnosed with a host of disorders and labeled a “deviant sociopath”

Diane Downs was diagnosed with a host of disorders and labeled a “deviant sociopath”

Source: YouTube

Being in court meant that Diane Downs was subjected to a host of tests for multiple reasons. For one, they needed to ensure that she was mentally fit enough to stand trial and couldn’t try and plead not guilty by reason of insanity. They also wanted to strengthen their case to prove what Diane was really like as a person.

Ultimately, Diane was diagnosed with a host of mental issues, such as antisocial, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders. These usually include signs such as being attention-seeking, not caring for others or their feelings, and being obsessed with themselves. In the end, Diane was labeled as a “deviant sociopath” by a team of psychiatrists. It didn’t help her case.

June 1984 saw Diane Downs found guilty of all charges and handed a lengthy sentence

June 1984 saw Diane Downs found guilty of all charges and handed a lengthy sentence

Source: YouTube

It didn’t take long for the jury to reach a decision. A little over a month since the start of the trial, on June 17, 1984, they announced they found Diane Downs guilty on all three charges. This meant that she was sentenced to life behind bars as well as an additional 50 years in prison.

The judge also ruled that Diane Downs would have to serve at least 25 years before she could be considered for parole, but that wasn’t the end. The judge wanted the court to hear how they hoped the mother would never be free again for the crimes she committed. Still, there was only so much they could legally do.

Danny and Christie Downs were adopted by the lead prosecutor on their mom’s case

Danny and Christie Downs were adopted by the lead prosecutor on their mom’s case

Source: Facebook/Nancy Navas

With Diane Downs behind bars, it meant Christie and Danny Downs needed to find somewhere new to call home. The children had already been through a lot, and the idea that their mom was the one who did it to them could be enough to send them off the rails. After all, it was something they would never escape.

It didn’t take long for Fred Hugi, the lead prosecutor working on Diane’s case, to offer to take Christie and Danny in as a part of his family. Fred lived with his wife, Joanne, and it wasn’t long before they grew close as a new family unit. Thankfully, things went so well that Christie and Danny were adopted in 1986.

Diane Downs escaped from prison and was on the run for ten days

Diane Downs escaped from prison and was on the run for ten days

Source: YouTube / Flickr

Believe it or not, but it didn’t take long for Diane Downs to have enough of being behind bars. Perhaps that’s why she plotted and pulled off an escape plan on July 11, 1987? Diane allegedly scaled an 18-foot razor-wire fence after escaping from her cell at the Oregon Women’s Correctional Center in Salem, Oregon.

Diane continued to evade the police, even though authorities were searching through 14 states, for ten days before she was caught and taken back to prison. Her escape and evading the law meant Diane was eventually sentenced to an additional five years. It also saw her earn the label of being an escape risk and was watched even closer.

Fred Hugi fought to have Diane Downs transferred to protect Danny and Christie Downs

Fred Hugi fought to have Diane Downs transferred to protect Danny and Christie Downs

Source: Associated Press

It might come as little surprise that Fred Hugi was worried that Diane Downs would come to try and take Christie and Danny away. This was even more of a worry when the world learned the prison where Diane had been living was just 66 miles away from the Downs children’s new home, meaning she could easily cover that ground.

Although the women’s facility upped all of its security measures to ensure that no one else ever escaped, it did little to put Fred’s mind at rest. In the end, the prosecutor kept fighting until Diane was moved as far away as possible. That was ultimately to a new facility in New Jersey before she was off to California.

Diane Downs continues to maintain her innocence all these years later

Diane Downs continues to maintain her innocence all these years later

Source: The Oregonian

The original sentence meant that Diane Downs was able to apply for parole in 2009. However, the law at the time also stated she could apply for a parole hearing every two years until she was finally released or passed away in prison. It seems Diane has been using every opportunity she can to be released ever since.

In 2008, Diane applied for her first parole hearing, where she continued to state she was innocent. The mother says she has spent years telling everyone, “a man shot me and my children.” Diane also added, “I have never changed my story,” but it wasn’t enough. Parole was denied, and Diane remained in prison following the hearing.

Attorneys claim that Diane Downs continues to change her story about what really happened

Attorneys claim that Diane Downs continues to change her story about what really happened

Source: The Oregonian

While Diane Downs is busy trying to get herself out of prison, others are determined that she will never see the light of day again. One of the many who has fought against her release is District Attorney Douglas Harcleroad, who wrote to the parole board in 2008 to plead that Diane was never released.

Here, Douglas stated that Diane “continued to fail to demonstrate any honest insight” into what really happened in the car. The attorney added that Diane “continues to fabricate new versions of events.” Apparently, she often changes who it was who attacked the family, sometimes stating it was illegal substance dealers or men wearing ski masks.

Diane Downs has been denied parole multiple times throughout the years

Diane Downs has been denied parole multiple times throughout the years

Source: The Oregonian

Just because her first parole hearing was unsuccessful didn’t mean that Diane Downs was about to give up trying. Throughout the years, she has applied for as many hearings as she can, with more coming in December 2010 and another in 2021. Sadly for Diane, none of them have even given the results she wants.

It appears the judge stuck to their word, as Diane has been denied early release every time. As of now, the earliest that Diane could be released is 2025, but only if a court rules they think she has served her time. However, Diane will never be allowed out of prison if certain people have their way.

Christie Downs has been left with a speech handicap and now has a family of her own

Christie Downs has been left with a speech handicap and now has a family of her own

Source: Oprah

According to Heavy, Christie Downs has come a long way since she was shot by her mother and survived. The publication reports that Christie has had no contact with her mom since the events that changed her life. It’s said that she eventually enrolled at the University of Oregon before she graduated with an unknown degree.

Things have continued to go up for Christie Downs, as The Sun states she welcomed her first son in 2005 before welcoming a daughter years later who has been named in honor of Cheryl. Sadly, Tuko reports that Christie still lives with a speech handicap all these years later but is grateful to have survived the ordeal.

Danny Downs prefers to keep his life away from the media but is known to still be partially paralyzed

Danny Downs prefers to keep his life away from the media but is known to still be partially paralyzed

Source: A World In Pages / YouTube

Just because Christie Downs has revealed small details about herself doesn’t mean that Danny Downs is ready to do the same. Decades have passed, but the effects of that day still seem to live with Danny. Author Ann Rule told Heavy that Danny is “a computer whiz” who loves to play video games in his spare time.”

Tragically, it’s also reported that Danny still lives partially paralyzed, something that’s unlikely to ever change. To top it off, Danny prefers to keep his private life to himself, not revealing if he has a partner or if he’s started a family of his own. All we know is how Danny still goes about his daily routine.

Steve Downs was deemed unfit to care for his children following the trial

Steve Downs was deemed unfit to care for his children following the trial

Source: The Sun

Things were always known to be tumultuous between Steve and Diane Downs. While he was far from being one of the youngsters who committed unthinkable crimes, it appeared no one thought that Steve would be able to step up and care for his children. One of the many things that were questioned was if Steve was a fit father.

While it’s unclear what made them rule against Christie and Danny’s dad, the courts ultimately thought it was better for the children to be placed into protective custody. Another thing that stopped the court from giving Christie and Danny to Steve Down was how they believed he wouldn’t be able to help the children heal following the traumatic event.

He has never publicly spoken about his ex-wife or the crimes against his children

He has never publicly spoken about his ex-wife or the crimes against his children

Source: YouTube / ABC News

Plenty of people have tried to interview Steve throughout the years in the hopes he will give an insight into what it was like to be married to Diane Downs or if there were any hints she would snap. However, he has largely stayed away from all the press. In fact, Steve has never released a statement.

As if that wasn’t enough, no one has spotted Steve Downs in public throughout the years or heard him talk about his surviving children, Christie and Danny. It appears that no one really knows where Steve lives or if he still has contact with his children, as he wants to stay as far away from the media as possible.

Diane Downs’ final child was adopted as soon as she was born

Diane Downs’ final child was adopted as soon as she was born

Source: ABC News

Shortly before Diane Downs was arrested, she fell pregnant with her fifth child. However, being charged with taking her daughter’s life and attempting to end her other daughter and son’s lives was enough to see she would never raise her child. Amy Elizabeth was born just one month after Diane was on trial in 1984.

However, she was taken from her mother by the State of Oregon ten days before Diane was sentenced and was quickly adopted by a new couple. They were none other than Chris and Jackie Babcock, who renamed Amy as Rebecca instead. Amazingly, it appears they were open with their daughter about her biological mother and Diane’s crimes.

Rebecca is the only one of her children to speak to Diane Downs but regrets the interaction

Rebecca is the only one of her children to speak to Diane Downs but regrets the interaction

Source: ABC News / Heavy

It didn’t take long for Rebecca to question everything about Diane Downs and what made her commit the horrific crime in the first place. Plus, she was just a baby when she was taken by the state, meaning Rebecca never got a chance to ask her biological mother any questions. That all changed when Rebecca was an adult.

Throughout the years, she has appeared on shows such as the news show ‘20/20’ and the talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ to discuss her feelings toward Diane Downs. Rebecca also admitted she wrote to her biological mom when she was younger. However, she now regrets this and believes Diane is nothing more than “a monster.”

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