DIANE DOWNS: MURDERER OR VICTIM
YOU BE THE JURY
DIANE'S EARLY YEARS
Isaiah Chapter 41 Verses 10-13
When Diane and her children were shot, there were many questions raised by the sheriff's investigators. Why didn't she cry? Why did she use her middle name? Why didn't she have a lot of furniture in her apartment? These were just a few, so let's start there. Diane used her middle name because we called her by her middle name. It's just that simple. Diane has two aunts (her mother's sisters) who go by their middle name. What's wrong with that? When you relocate from one state to another, it's hard to move a lot of furniture on the bed of a pick-up. My wife and I helped Diane move and her choice was to sell or give away most of what she had and find furniture to replace it when she got to her new home. We used my pick-up and the two girls rode in a car while Danny rode with grandma and grandpa. She had only been in Oregon for six weeks when the shooting occurred and the children always came to grandma's house after school till there mother got off work. Those two questions didn't seem too hard to answer. Not everyone has a house full of furniture and haven't a lot of people gone by nicknames or their initials or whatever? It could have been her choice to go by Elizabeth, but she was raised as Diane and that's how she stayed.
Why didn't she cry? Diane told the media and the police she was raised that way. The answer is: She and her sister and brothers were raised to be strong (not showing emotion). It was wrong, but that's the way they were raised. My theory was, "The strong survive." Let's just say it was my stupid idea, because it was, and even though I'm sorry, I can't change what I did.
Consider this! If you think something works, you probably use it until the world gets sick of what you do. Well, I finally got sick of what I did. I didn't wait for the world to tell me. When Diane was about 17 or 18 is the first time she and my other children ever heard me tell them I loved them. I knew I loved them and I showed them I loved them by giving them things, but I never told them. Diane told her children she loved them and she showed them by giving them a caring and loving home, even if it didn't have as much furniture as the investigators thought it should have. Yes, Diane loved her children. Personally, I thought Christie was Diane's favorite. She used to say Christie was her best friend and her buddy.
My wife and I have 5 children. We love each and every one of them. It' hard to love each child the same as you do the others, but each should be loved in their own special way. Our little kids are now in their 40's and 50's and I still tell them I love them. It's still not natural for me to say it, and the reason I say it is because I need to and because they need to hear that I LOVE THEM.
When Diane and the other children were young (I think Diane was about 9), I decided they needed to learn to hunt. Another dumb mistake. The prize of the day was "dove". I learned to hunt when I was young and I loved the taste of dove meat. We drove out west of Phoenix (we were living in Arizona) to Buckeye, because that's one of the areas I used to hunt. We were having fun knocking around in the desert until I shot down the first dove and wounded it. I quickly removed it's head and placed it in the bag to be eaten for supper. Diane screamed: "No! Daddy! No!!" I didn't know it, but that was the end of the hunting trip. I would bring my shotgun up for a shot and Diane would scream, "Miss! Miss!" Almost immediately there was a chorus of, "Miss! Miss!" from all my children. Diane told me later that she wanted to bring that dove home and nurse it back to health.
Ann Rule wrote a book about Diane. In the book she said our family "moved a lot, living mostly on farms". Well the secret is out, but there's a small problem with that theory. There was only one farm, if you can call 10 acres a farm. One year on a 10 acre "farm" doesn't quite qualify as "mostly". I like the way this woman called my wife a "sturdy farm woman". In a way, it's a back-handed complement from a woman who knew nothing about any of my family or anything else for that matter. Now, let's get back to that one year of living mostly on farms. It all revolved around the wife and I buying a horse for Diane when she was in the eighth grade. She had a couple of friends who had horses and she bugged us about buying her a horse until we finally gave in. I believe she was a freshman in high school at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, when we finally got her the horse. We lived in a subdivision in northwest Phoenix, in an area called Westtown and there was a stable less than a mile away where she went daily to feed and care for the horse. Now there was a problem with having a horse, and that was, she didn't have enough time with the horse.
We always had a family session at evening meals. The standard meeting went like this: Diane talking about this and Diane talking about that. One day I said, "Diane, why don't you shut up and let someone else talk for a change". She shut up and sat there silent for about 3 minutes. There was nothing but sweet silence until Diane finally said: "See! They didn't have anything to talk about." At one of those evening meals Diane brought up the issue about a farm. Everyone joined the cry except our oldest son. I remember at one of those family meetings, I made the statement, "You don't want to move to a farm. There's all kinds of hardship. You have to work in the field. you have chores that you wouldn't have in the city. There are many hardships, more hardships than you would care to think about." About that time, our youngest child, who was about three, raised his hand for recognition and said, "Daddy, if you will buy me a sailor suit and a sailor hat, I'll go with you on your hardship." That was the end of that meeting. The cry to buy a farm went on for weeks until we finally decided to give it a try. Another dumb move. So, for one year of our lives we lived mostly on farms.
There are a lot of reasons I know Diane didn't shoot her children. The biggest reason is that her children were her whole life. The theory that Diane shot her children for a lover she had in Arizona is dumb. Check it out! In Oregon, her new home, she was dating several guys and I never saw her sitting around grieving for the guy she left in Arizona. Let's get it straight. She left him in Arizona. I did see her grieving when they took her children away from her. Some of the biggest reasons I know she didn't shoot her children are found in these pages. She didn't hold or shoot a gun. ANTIMONY AND BARIUM A man has confessed to the shooting. The gun she was supposed to have shot herself and her children with was found in a drug raid in California and it didn't match the ballistics. Besides that, the bullets taken from her apartment didn't match the ones from the shooting site. You need to spend a lot of time on this one. BALLISTICS My wife and I have grieved along with Diane over the loss of Cheryl and with Christie and Danny living where we can't reach them is cruel to them and to family. When we tried to visit them at Children's Services Division we were denied. After Christie and Danny were adopted by Prosecuting Attorney, Fred Hugi (and that is unthinkable), we advised him that we wanted to visit our grandchildren. His answer was: "They are not your grandchildren." See: Hugi.letter1.pdf