Diane Downs was one of the most infamous murderers of the 1980s; the emotionally flat blonde was convicted of shooting her three children, killing one of them, along a roadway in Springfield, Oregon.
Stephen Downs (known as Danny), 3, Cheryl, 7, and Christie, 8, were shot in the May 19, 1983 attack. Cheryl died; the other two children survived, but they suffered terrible wounds – according to Glamour, the bullets paralyzed Danny and gave Christie a stroke.
The first two children were Diane’s kids with her ex husband Steve Downs. Danny was the product of an affair. Prosecutors think that Diane had sparked up a relationship with a married man who didn’t want kids and that this became the motive for murder. Diane Downs also gave birth to a fourth child with yet another man; she became pregnant with that daughter, now known as Becky Babcock during the investigation.
The horrific crime, which Downs has always denied committing, is the subject of a 20/20 documentary that is airing on June 21, 2019 in an encore presentation.
Here’s what you need to know about where Diane Downs’ children are now:
Christie & Danny Downs Were Adopted by the Prosecutor in the Case
Christie Downs, now 44, and her brother, 39, were adopted by the prosecutor in the case. Christie was the star witness in her mother’s prosecution; she testified that her mother was the shooter. Christie’s Facebook page shows she has children, has a different married last name, and is living in Oregon. Heavy is withholding that last name and the photos to protect her privacy. Her Facebook photos showcase a loving family living a normal life. She graduated from the University of Oregon. She named one of her children after her dead sister Cheryl.
According to Oprah.com, “Christie and Danny…have chosen to live private lives.” In 1989, the Associated Press reported that then 14-year-old Christie Ann “was left with speech impairment, and 9-year-old Danny is paralyzed from the waist down. The lead prosecutor in the case, Lane County Assistant Dist. Atty. Fred Hugi, adopted the children.”
Famed true-crime author Ann Rule wrote about the case. She provides an update on Christie and Danny today, writing on her website: “Adopted by Lane County Prosecutor Fred Hugi and his wife, Joanne, in 1984, Christie and Danny–who somehow survived their gunshot wounds–have no contact with Diane. They have both graduated from college. Christie is married and had a baby boy in 2005. Danny, a computer whiz, is still partially paralyzed from the bullet in his back, but he is living a happy and normal life. They have grown up in a very happy home with the Hugis.”
A surgeon told ABC News of treating Christie: “When I looked at Christie I thought she was dead,” he said. “Her pupils were dilated. Her blood pressure was non-existent or very low. She was white… She was not breathing. I mean, she is so close to death, it’s unbelievable.” Diane’s emotionless, cold demeanor about the children convinced people immediately that she was the shooter.
Becky Babcock Works Today as a Behavioral Health Coordinator & Has Spoken Out About Her Mother
Unlike her siblings, Becky Babcock has been very public about her mother, granting interviews over the years. The circumstances of Becky Babcock’s birth were troubled to say the least. Her mother was on trial for shooting her siblings, and some believed that Diane Downs got pregnant to gain sympathy. However, according to her interviews and Facebook page, Becky today appears to have forged a successful life. She, too, is now a mother.
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 and with Oprah Winfrey.
“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. 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.”