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In the 1980s, Danny and Christie Downs made the news when their mother carried them to the hospital with fatal bullet wounds. Many people were horrified by their story because it was reported that their own mother had injured them.
Christie Downs, then eight years old, unexpectedly survived after her mother Diane shot her and her siblings, Danny and Cheryl, in the backseat of their car in Oregon in 1983.
The story of the twins is still a topic of debate across the world, with many people asking what happened to them following their adventure.
Christie Downs’ parents split when she was five years old in 1980. But that would be nothing compared to the events of just three years later, when Christie’s mother, Diane Downs, attempted to murder Christie and her siblings, Danny and Cheryl, because her new lover didn’t want children.
While Diane Downs had a traumatic childhood, she managed to flee her father’s cruel grasp and begin a new life. Christie Downs, Cheryl Lynn Downs, and Stephen “Danny” Downs are the three children she had with her high school lover.
Diane Downs’ children were then neglected while their mother began to date again in the hopes of finding a new companion. She eventually met Robert Knickerbocker, the guy she eventually met, who showed no interest in “becoming a daddy” and ended the relationship. Diane Downs retaliated by attempting to murder her own children on May 19, 1983. She then informed authorities that they were shot by a “bushy-haired guy” after a failed carjacking.
Diane Downs’ children had a variety of outcomes, all of which were terrible. Cheryl Downs, seven years old, died in the hospital. Danny Downs, three years old, was paralyzed from the waist down. After a stroke, Christie Downs was momentarily unable to speak. When she got her voice back, she used it to say that the person who shot her was her mean mother.
Christie Downs’ Early Years Prior To The Shooting
Christie Ann Downs was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 7, 1974. On Jan. 10, 1976, she was joined by Cheryl Downs and Stephen Daniel “Danny” Downs, the eldest of Diane Downs’ children. Unfortunately for the three kids, their parents, Steve and Diane Downs, were on the verge of divorcing.
Elizabeth Diane Frederickson was born on August 7, 1955, in Phoenix. She would soon testify that her father, a local postal worker, had sexually molested her before she was a teenager. Then she met Steve Downs at Moon Valley High School.
While the two newfound lovers graduated together, Steve joined the US Navy and Diane enrolled in Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in Orange, California. According to The Sun, she was eventually dismissed for promiscuity after only a year. The couple reunited in Phoenix and eloped on November 13, 1973, with the intention of starting a family.
Christie Downs’ parents became dissatisfied quickly after she was born after only a few months. Their days were interrupted by arguments about money, while their nights were dominated by Steve’s claims of Diane’s infidelity. Stephen’s father was unsure if the boy was his when he was born.
In 1980, the couple decided to divorce. Diane Downs was 25 years old and had a history of abusing her children. Christie Downs was frequently conscripted to look after the younger siblings, or she left them at their father’s place while she looked for a new spouse.
In 1981, she appeared to have met someone, but her partner, Robert Knickerbocker, was already married with children. While her children displayed signs of starvation, Downs kept a frenzied diary of her romance. Christie Downs had no idea that her mother was about to be dumped, putting her at grave risk.
How Diane Downs Made Her Mind to Shoot Her Children?
According to The Washington Post, Diane Downs, who was interested in surrogacy, signed a $10,000 contract in September 1981 and agreed to be artificially inseminated. The girl, who was born on May 8, 1982, was given to her legal guardians. In February 1983, Downs tried again, spending three days at a reproductive clinic in Louisville, Kentucky.
Christie and the rest of her family were spirited away to Springfield, Oregon, by Diane in April. Downs was thrilled to be near her parents and even accepted a job with the United States Postal Service after an alleged promise that Knickerbocker would follow once his divorce was finalized. Knickerbocker, on the other hand, ended the partnership.
Diane Downs shot Christie Downs and her siblings six weeks later on an apparently regular trip on Old Mohawk Road, convinced it was because of her children. Their mother pulled over, pulled out her gun, and fired one.22-caliber round at each of her children. She then shot herself in the forearm and drove five miles per hour to the hospital, hoping that they would bleed dead before she arrived.
“When I looked at Christie, I believed she was dead,” McKenzie-Williamette Medical Center’s Dr. Steven Wilhite told ABC. “She had dilated pupils.” Her blood pressure was either zero or extremely low. She was all white… She had stopped breathing. It’s incomprehensible that she’s that close to death.
Diane was emotionless when Wilhite told her Christie had suffered a stroke and was in a coma, according to Wilhite. He was taken aback when she advised him to “pull the plug” because Christie was most likely “brain dead.” Christie Downs’ legal guardians appointed him and another doctor as Christie Downs’ legal guardians so that they could treat her privately.
Cheryl Downs tragically died as a result of her injuries. Danny Downs lived, but he would never be able to walk again. According to ABC, Wilhite knew the 28-year-old was guilty after 30 minutes of chatting with their mother. Even though the murder weapon was never found, bullet casings were found in her home, and she was arrested on February 28, 1984.
Christie Downs, Where Are You Now?
When Christie Downs was able to talk again, the authorities inquired as to who had shot her. She said simply, “My mother.” Diane Downs’ trial began in Lane County on May 8, 1984. She was plainly pregnant, much to the surprise of the media and jurors alike.
According to lead prosecutor Fred Hugi, she shot her children in order to restart her affair with Knickerbocker. Meanwhile, the defense claimed that a “busy-haired stranger” was at fault. Diane Downs was convicted of all charges on June 17, 1984, after being charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and criminal assault.
On June 27, the same year, Diane Downs gave birth to a daughter called Amy Elizabeth. According to ABC, the baby was a state ward before being adopted by Chris and Jackie Babcock and given the name Rebecca. She is the only daughter of Diane Downs who has ever talked publicly about her mother.
According to Heavy, Christie and Stephen “Danny” Downs were adopted by Fred Hugi, who provided them with a nice home and a loving mother away from the spotlight.
While Christie Downs continues to struggle with a speech impairment, crime author Ann Rule told Heavy that she has matured into a loving and caring mother. She married and had a son in 2005, as well as a daughter she called Cheryl Lynn, after her sister.
Meanwhile, Diane Downs is still serving a life sentence. Her most recent parole hearing, scheduled for 2021, was refused.
Read the amazing story of Annie Wilkins, who started a unstoppable journey to see Pacific Ocean after neglecting doctors’ advises about her death within next two years.
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