Monday, December 08, 2008

"Small Sacrifices," indeed

"Small Sacrifices" is one of Ann Rule's most chilling true-crime books. (You may have seen the TV movie, with Farrah Fawcett as Diane Downs.)

It tells the story of a beautiful mail carrier and mom who shot her three children (one died, one was paralyzed) to try and free up her life for the (married) man she was seeing. It was one of the most notable "bushy-haired stranger" stories, and as Rule points out over and over in the book, Downs' story was full of holes.

She's now up for parole in Oregon, and has yet another new story. Now she says she was dating an FBI agent, and agreed to meet a stranger who claimed to have information about a case the agent was working on, and that led to the shooting. Yeah, it doesn't sound any less convoluted in the article, either.


Bea said...

Wow. That's

I think "Small Sacrifices" is, by far, Rule's best book. She handles the incredibly convoluted story well. And that courtroom scene when the little girl is testifying? DAMN. Very good book, horrifying story.

Anonymous said...

I watched Portland, OR news last night. Diane's parole was denied, thank goodness. She never has owned up to what she did. Scary woman!

Anonymous said...

I moved to Oregon when I was 8, about a month before this story broke. I remember being totally blown away that a mother could do that to her children. She was denied parole, thank goodness! What a horrible person she is- no remorse or anything of the sort comes out in her statements. Ugh.