Becky Babcock had an unusual birth: She’s the daughter of Diane Downs, an infamous convicted child killer who became pregnant with Becky while she was on trial.
20/20 is running a documentary on the Diane Downs case that features an interview with Becky. The show originally aired in March, but there’s an encore airing on June 21, 2019. It’s called My Mother’s Sins.
Babcock has spoken out about her notorious birth mother before; for example, in 2010, she gave an interview to Glamour Magazine. “I found out my mother is a killer,” the article quotes her as saying.
However, Babcock has been able to build a positive and happy life outside of Diane Downs’ shadow.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Becky Babcock Works Today as a Behavioral Health Coordinator
Many people wonder where Becky Babcock is now. According to ABC News, as of March 2019, Becky was 34-years-old and working in Salem Oregon as a “behavioral health coordinator for children.” In 2017, she posted on Facebook about a new job, writing that she works “with the mentally ill helping to give them a better life.”
Becky is active on Facebook, where she sometimes shares stories about her background and television appearances, such as one on Dr. Oz.
“This is why I chose to tell my story. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. Thank you all for sharing your stories with me and reminding me why I came forward. If my story touches even one person, it was all worth it,” she wrote, sharing a positive message she received from a woman whose daughter is adopted and who says Becky was “brought into this life to make a difference.”
On Facebook, Becky wrote that she “works at Pain management” and went to Redmond High School. She lives and is from Bend, Oregon, and is single. In 2016, she wrote, “I got the job! You are looking at the new Wellness Director for a retirement community of over 600 clients. I get to enrich people’s lives every day. I even get my own office…with a balcony!! Feeling so incredibly blessed!!” She is also a mother.
Becky has also written about negative messages she received. “I’ve never received such hurtful messages as I did this time,” she wrote on Facebook about one such message from March 2019. “I know that the people who say such mean things are hurting and feel the need to hurt others. I kind of put a target on my back by going public. All I can do is pray for the person and apologize if I offended them. Still makes me sad tho.”
2. Babcock Was Adopted & Says She Had a Childhood ‘of Dreams’
Despite her difficult start, Becky was adopted and says she had a good childhood. At birth, Downs named the child Amy Elizabeth. Her adoptive parents called her Rebecca “Becky” Babcock.
“My childhood was of dreams and we had every opportunity that we wanted. My parents wanted us to prosper, to learn and to grow,” she told ABC. “I had a great family, a great life. … It was honestly picture perfect.”
According to ABC, Becky “tricked” a babysitter into telling her that her birth mother was the notorious Diane Downs.
Going public has caused Becky other issues. “For the record… ABC or 20/20 or any other news DO NOT pay the subject. I did not receive a single penny for my story,” she explained in a lengthy Facebook post.
“I understand people have their opinions and they are entitled to them. When I spoke with Diane and her dad all those years ago I told them I did not want to hear about Diane’s guilt or innocence. I did not want to hear about the case from either of them. They could not understand or respect that and both sent page after page of her testimony and why they claim she’s innocence,” she wrote.
“I shared my story to help others, no hidden agenda, no financial gain, no fame seeking, nothing. My heart is broken that people could be so cruel. But again, they are entitled to their opinion. Side note, I have blocked Diane’s father and brother many times but they continue to create new accounts to tag me in hurtful posts. If my story upsets you and disrupts your life I sincerely apologize. But if my story helps even one person feel hope and encouragement and brings them out of a dark place then sharing was the right thing to do.”
3. Becky Realized the ‘Horror’ of Her Mom’s Action By Watching the Farrah Fawcett Special
The actress Farrah Fawcett once famously played the character of Diane Downs in a television movie. Becky Babcock, then 16, saw the special on TV, and, she told Glamour Magazine, “as I watched, the horror of what my mother did became real.”
“Every emotion a person can feel swept over me in a haze,” Becky told Glamour. “It was like a dream. I couldn’t be from the belly of such a monster. But I was.”
Becky described to Glamour how she briefly corresponded with Diane Downs in prison but her letters eventually turned nasty and troubling, so she stopped.
4. Downs Shot Her Three Other Children, Prosecutors Say
The Diane Downs case is well-known and infamous, and here’s what she was convicted of doing: While driving down a Springfield, Oregon country road, she’s accused of shooting her three children.
They were Danny, 3, Cheryl, 7, and Christie, 8. Becky was not yet born. Cheryl died and the other two children suffered grievous wounds – according to Glamour, the bullets paralyzed Danny and gave Christie a stroke. The crime occurred on May 19, 1983. The first two children were Diane’s kids with her ex husband Steve Downs. Danny was the product of an affair. She started a relationship with a married man named Robert Knickerbocker and feared he didn’t want kids, according to Inside Edition.
Diane maintained that “a lone gunman with shaggy hair” shot the children in a carjacking, Glamour reports, but prosecutors believe she was trying to get rid of the kids because a man she was dating didn’t want any. Christie was the star witness at trial, saying her mom was the shooter.
According to Inside Edition, although Diane drove the kids to the hospital, suspicions quickly began to mount. There was a lack of blood spatter in places within the car, and Diane didn’t seem emotional enough to some investigators. Her story changed, the show reports.
“Diane is the type of woman, I think, could cut your throat and then sit down and have lunch next to your body,” Lane County Det. Doug Welch told Inside Edition in 1989.
5. Diane Downs Got Pregnant With Becky During the Investigation
During the time frame when she was being investigated, Diane Downs suddenly turned up pregnant with Becky. The father was a different man from the father of her three other children. According to Oregon Live, Downs was pregnant during her trial.
That father’s name is not clear. “I got pregnant because I miss Christie and I miss Danny and I miss Cheryl so much,” Diane explained to reporters, according to Inside Edition. “I’m never going to see Cheryl on Earth again and I just, you can’t replace children, but you can replace the effect they give you.” But others felt she got pregnant to gain sympathy during her trial.
The case was a sensational one that also featured Downs’ brief escape from an Oregon prison. The famous true crime author Ann Rule wrote about the Diane Downs case in a book called “Small Sacrifices.”
Today, Diane Downs is incarcerated in California. She has sought and been denied parole but she has another chance at it in 2020.