Originally Posted by Liebling:-)))
No, itīs not detective Doug Welch. Itīs Prosecutor who knocked Diane Downs off to jail...
I check my video cassette where I recorded & keep "Small Sacrifices" today. The Prosecutor Frank Joziak who worked together with Doug Welch is adopt Dianeīs 2 children.
I just found out from website that Frank Joziak is only handle name... His real name is Fred Hugi. They lived happily with their loving adopted parents, Fred & Joanne Hugi.
That is interesting... I just check on website about Fred and Joanne Hugi. Wow, the children currently 24 or 23 yrs old.
Question: Hi Ann...I'd be interested to know if you know how the surviving children of Diane Downs are doing? I thought that was a particularly chilling case.
Ann Rule: Diane's kids are doing great, but they're Fred and Joanne Hugi's kids now. Christie is 23 or 24, and graduated from college. Danny started college this year and is on the swim team, despite being a paraplegic from where his mother shot him.
Cheryl Ann Downes:
January, 1976-May 19, 1983
Imagine this. You're a nine-year-old girl in the backseat of the family car with your baby brother next to you, strapped tightly into the booster seat the toddler rode in. Your younger-by-one-year sister was in the front. Suddenoly, mommy stops. It's dark and no one's around.
Mommy gets out. She hear a strange clicking sound and she opens the door, holding a gun. Mommy has told you never to touch a gun before, so why is she? All of a sudden, she shoots Danny, your baby brother, then you, then Cheryl Ann, your younger sister in the front seat.
2003 marked the 20th anniversary of the night Diane Downs shot her three children near Eugene/Springfield, Oregon. Cheryl died instantly, and both Christie and Danny were terribly injured. Readers tend to think of Diane's surviving children as still being very young, but Christie and Danny are both in their twenties now, both graduated from college, and still very much a part of Fred and Joanne Hugi's family. The former Lane County prosecutor and his wife adopted Christie and Danny in 1984, and gave them the happy life they deserved. Christie regained her health a long time ago, and was engaged to be married the last I heard. After his mother fired a bullet into his spine, Dan was left with permanent paralysis from the chest down, but he swam on the varsity swim team in college, and he is a whiz at computers, an industry where he works now. Diane Downs herself is still in prison. She is currently held in the Valley Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California, and still claiming that a "bushy-haired stranger" shot her and her children. None of her appeals for clemency or a new trial have been granted, but Diane will come up for parole consideration in about six and a half years. Like Randy Woodfield--to whom she was once "engaged" by mail--Diane receives many letters from admirers of the opposite sex. She will be 54 years old if she is released on her first try for parole. Chances are she will not be freed on her first try. The daughter she carried throughout her trial in 1984, put up for adoption, would have been 19 in July, 2003. A few young women have contacted me, claiming to be that child--but I am doubtful. Many people from Diane's distant past have contacted me, and, someday, with their permission, I will add another chapter to Small Sacrifices.
That's exactly what Christie Downes had to witness, and recount as she told her story on the witness stand at her mother's trial.
Diane Downes, in a desperate attempt to rid herself of her children because her love interest didn't want a family (similiar to the Alex and Michael Smith murder case),
shot her three young children. The shot(s) killed Cheryl Ann, who was announced dead when they arrived at the hospital. Instead of killing them, Christie and Danny survived, although Danny was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. This left Christie to take the stand against her mother, who told emergency care workers that a 'bushy-haired' man had walked up and shot all the children and shot Diane in the arm. The shot Diane 'suffered' would later prove to be self-inflicted.
Diane would also give birth to yet another child-a daughter named Amy-while on trial. Amy was adopted into a caring family almost right away, because her mother-the murderer of her older sister-was accused of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, for the shootings of Danny and Christie. She was sentanced to life in prison.
in 1986, three years after their nightmare began, Danny and Christie were adopted by Fred and JoAnne Hugi. Fred had helped put their mother behind bars as the prosecution.
Her two children were adopted by Joanne and Fred Hugi, the prosecutor who put their mother away.
Christie and Danny, who now goes by Dan, are 28 and 23, respectively. Both graduated from college and are employed. Last year, Christie married the son of a former police officer.
Rule says the Hugis adopted Christie and Dan for the most basic reason: They loved them.
Obviously, Christie is 29 by now. Dan is 24 yrs old.