Danny Down and Christie Downs came in headlines in the 80s when their mother took them to hospital with fatal bullet wounds. Their story shocked many people because reports said that their birth mother had inflicted injuries.
Today, the story of the siblings continues to be a worldwide discussion, with many wondering what happened to them after their ordeal.
How Many Children Did Diane Downs Have?
Diane Downs gave birth to four children.
Her first three children with her husband Steve downs are Stephen “Danny” Daniel (born 1979), Cheryl Lynn (born 1976), and Christie Ann (born 1974).
Contradicting reports say Downs also acted as a surrogate during her fourth pregnancy, giving birth to a daughter after her trial in 1984.
Critics said she deliberately became pregnant to garner sympathy from the jury.
Downs said: “I got pregnant because I miss Christie and I miss Danny and I miss Cheryl so much.
“You can’t replace children, but you can replace the effect they give you.
“And they give me love, they give me satisfaction, they give me stability, they give me a reason to live and a reason to be happy, and that’s gone, they took it from me, but children are so easy to conceive.”
Before the state handed her over to her adoptive parents, she named the fourth baby Amy Elizabeth.
Amy, who was adopted and given the name Becky Babcock, went public about her mother in 2010 and has also met her in a bid to find out about her roots.
Who is Christie Downs?
Christie Ann Downs and Danny Down were among Diane Downs‘ surviving children after Cheryl Lynn died following the tragic shooting.
What happened to Danny and Christie Downs?
Elizabeth Diane Frederickson Downs worked as a postal worker in Springfield, Oregon, until her imprisonment. Danny, Christie, and Cheryl were eight, seven, and three, respectively.
One night in May 1983, Diane drove into the emergency wing of Mckenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield. She carried her children, who had suffered severe bullet injuries shot at close range.
The medical professionals pronounced Cheryl dead on arrival. Christie and her younger brother, Danny, were holding on to dear life.
According to her, a bushy-haired stranger had shot Diane Downs’ children while trying to carjack them on a vacant rural road. She also had a bullet wound on her forearm.
The American criminal claimed they were sightseeing while driving home from seeing a friend when the terrifying attack happened that evening.
Danny suffered injuries that left him paralyzed, while Christie, who had dilated pupils and low blood pressure, sustained a stroke that harmed her speech.
Preliminary investigations into the case revealed that Downs was emotionally flat and her story far-fetched. It was also opaque why a mother would take her children sightseeing in the dark.
Then, as the investigations resumed, the authorities discovered a notebook where Diane had voiced her love for a man named Lew, who never wanted to see her if the children were around.
A few months after the ordeal, Christie started to recollect the events of that night.
She vowed before the District Attorney that she had not seen a stranger that night and that her mother was behind the shootings.
When asked why her mother would do that, the nine-year-old replied, “Maybe she loved Lew more than us.”
The American authorities condemned Diane Downs’ for murder, attempted murder, and criminal attack nine months after the disastrous incident. Her sentence was life imprisonment plus 50 years.
Downs ran from prison three years later but was recaptured and moved to a different imprisonment facility.
Christie and Danny Downs, who had been in defensive custody, were taken up by the prosecutor in their mother’s case, Fred Hugi, and his wife Joanne in 1986.
Despite their traumatic mishap, Diane’s kids lived an everyday family life in their new home.
Prosecutor Fred Hugi Act of Kindness
Hugi and his wife did not have kids of their own. However, Danny and Christie’s story impacted Fred, and he would see them often while they were in the hospital. Therefore, he decided to adopt them into his family.
The prosecutor has kept a low profile, and it is not available where he is today. However, their blended family was a haven for the two shooting victims living in fear of their mother after the heinous act.
Where are Survival Children of Diane Down?
In her mother’s case, Christie Downs, the survivor, and witness, is now 48 years old and was left with a speech impairment after the accident.
She attended the University of Oregon and lived in the town with her husband and children. Her firstborn son was born in 2005.
Christie named her daughter Cheryl after her deceased sister. Diane Downs and Christie have not maintained any form of communication.
Danny is paralyzed from the waist down. He is a computer nerd who has kept a low profile.
The 43-year-old is reportedly going about his everyday life, but details of his private life like marriage and children have remained undisclosed.
Diane’s lastborn has been verbal about her mother and has emerged on platforms like the Oprah Winfrey Show concerning the same matter.
Becky works as a Behavioral Health Coordinator and lives in Bend, Oregon.
Danny and Christie’s Downs have overcome the tragic incident and built a respectable life for themselves.
Their mother, Diane, continues to serve her sentence at the Central California Women’s Facility and has been rejected parole twice.
However, Diane has continually maintained her innocence and has said severally that she still loves and cares for her children.