Is Diane Downs Still In Jail? Where Is Diane Downs Now?
by Sobhika I H | Updated Feb 05, 2022
Who Is Diane Downs?
Born August 7, 1955, Elizabeth Diane Downs is a criminal from the United States who murdered her daughter and attempted to murder her other two children in May 1983 near Springfield, Oregon. Following the murders, she informed authorities that a guy attempted to carjack her and shot the children. In 1984, nine months after the shooting, she was convicted and sentenced to life in prison plus fifty years. She fled momentarily in 1987 but was shortly recaptured.
Is Diane Downs Still In Jail?
Yes, Downs is currently in prison in the Valley State Prison for Women. She was convicted guilty of murder, as well as two charges of attempted murder and criminal assault, after her daughter, Christie, testified at her trial. Downs escaped from the Oregon Women's Correctional Center on July 11, 1987, and was apprehended in Salem, Oregon, on July 21, 1987. She was sentenced to an additional five years in prison for her escape. In 2008 and 2010, she was denied parole. Downs did seek parole in late 2020, but it was denied.
Image source: newsobserver
Where Is Diane Downs Now?
Diane Downs is currently serving a life sentence plus 50 years in the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California, where she has served since August 1993. Diane had previously been incarcerated in a women's maximum-security prison in Clinton, New Jersey. According to UPI, the reason she wasn't in Oregon was that "[prison] authorities wanted Downs put in a more guarded institution in a state where she is less recognized because she is an escape danger who continuously seeks publicity."
Diane wasn't just a potential escapee; she escaped from the Oregon Women's Correctional Center. Diane climbed the prison's chain link fence on July 11, 1987, when guards were distracted. She fell safely on the other side, her garments protecting her from the barbed wire at the top, and made her way to the house of Wayne Seifer, whose wife was also a prisoner.
After 10 days of manhunting by police detectives, Downs was eventually captured. The police obtained proof of her hiding spot by searching through her belongings in prison, where he discovered some clothes, a map of Mexico, and a few stationery. The paper was initially blank, but when the investigator tilted it to a specific level, he could see the indentation of a map; from the FBI, he obtained a photostatic copy of the map, which had the house address a route drawn in it.
Wayne's residence was searched when he was out of town visiting family. Diane grabbed a BB pistol and attempted to stage a police suicide but eventually gave up and left peacefully. Diane was sentenced to an additional five years in prison, while Wayne was sentenced to five years probation and six months at a restitution facility in Salem, Oregon.
Diane Downs's Crime
Downs shot her three children and drove them to McKenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, on May 19, 1983. When they arrived, Cheryl (age 7) was already dead, Danny (age 3) was paralyzed from the waist down, and Christie (age 8) had had a crippling stroke. Downs had been hit in the left forearm by a bullet. She said she was carjacked on a remote road near Springfield by an unknown male who then shot her and the children. Suspicions were raised on Downs when There was no blood spatter on the driver's side of the automobile, nor was there any gunpowder residue on the driver's door or the inside door panel, which contradicted her testimony.
Diane did not reveal to authorities that she had a.22 caliber firearm, but both Steve and Knickerbocker did. Investigators then learned she purchased the firearm in Arizona. While they could not locate the actual weapon, they did discover unfired shells with extractor marks from the murder weapon at her residence. Worse, witnesses noticed her car being driven extremely slowly toward the hospital at an estimated speed of 5–7 mph (8–11 km/h), contradicting her allegation that she went to the hospital quickly after the incident. Based on this and other evidence, Downs was arrested on February 28, 1984, nine months after the shooting, and charged with one crime of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and criminal assault.
Image source: The Sun
What Happened To Diane Downs' Children?
Cheryl, seven, had already died by the time Diana Downs got to the hospital, and the other two children had sustained severe injuries. Authorities grew suspicious of Downs almost immediately when she arrived at the hospital, citing how she was unusually peaceful.
Officers began an inquiry into her peculiar behavior, which included calling her lover after she was at the hospital, her children claiming they were afraid of their mother. Christie Ann reacted terrifyingly when her mother visited her in the hospital.
Knickerbocker allegedly told officials that he was afraid Downs would murder his wife and that she had pursued him. Cops claimed they found no gunshot residue or blood splatters that supported Downs' account of events, as well as blood splatters that contradicted the notion.
The following February, she was apprehended and condemned to life in jail plus fifty years.
Psychiatrists diagnosed her with a slew of mental health concerns as well. Downs' two surviving children finally moved home with the case's chief prosecutor, Fred Hugi. In 1986, he and his wife Joanne adopted them. Diane had a fourth child, Amy, following her trial. The baby was eventually adopted by a loving couple who named the baby as named Rebecca or Becky Babcock.
Is Diane Downs Still In Jail - FAQs
Christie is married and had a baby boy in 2005. "Danny, a computer whiz, is still partially paralyzed from the bullet in his back, but he is living a happy and normal life.
47 years (7 October 1974)
66 years (7 August 1955)
Becky is now 35 years of age and lives in Salem, Oregon. She works as a behavioral health coordinator and has a son named Chris. She gave birth to a second son but gave the child up for adoption.
Small Sacrifices is a 1989 American made-for-television crime drama film written by Joyce Eliason and based on the best-selling true crime book by Ann Rule of the same name. The film is about Diane Downs and her three children's murder and attempted murder.
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