May 31, 1984: In Oregon, on trial for murder, Diane Downs takes the stand.
The screengrab below is from the 1990 Corgi reprint of Anne Ruleís book Small Sacrifices; as ever, my apologies for the quality, or in this case, the slant!
If you have not heard of this horrible case, briefly, Elizabeth Diane Frederickson was born at Phoenix, Arizona on August 7, 1955. In 1973, she married Steve Downs, and by 1979 was a mother of three, although they divorced the following year.
On the evening of May 19, 1983, she turned up in her car at a hospital in Springfield, Oregon with her two young daughters and son in the back seat. They had all been shot. Her youngest daughter didnít make it; her son would be paralysed for life, and Downs herself had been shot in the arm.
The medical staff were immediately suspicious of her story because of the way she acted, but as the sexual grievance industry never tires of telling us, there is no correct way to respond to trauma. In her case though, the forensic evidence was damning, even without the testimony of her surviving daughter; it was not the mysterious man who had flagged her down who had committed this outrage; he did not exist.
Downs was convicted.
Her false allegations against her father are sadly par for the course for women like her, compare for example Casey Anthony (entry for May 24, 2011). Anthony didnít dare take the stand at her trial, but Downs had always been an attention seeker.
She was said years later to have retracted her claim about childhood sexual abuse; certainly her father stood by her, and professed to believe in her innocence. Some people have attempted to muddy the waters in this case, but Diane Downs is as guilty as was any woman ever of murder.
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