On May 19, 1983, Elizabeth Diane Frederickson Downs shot her three children: Christie,8, Cheryl, 7, and Stephen, 4. She told police that she had been carjacked. Cheryl did not survive. She also shot herself in the left arm to try to make her story believable.Downs had been having an affair with a man named Robert Knickerbocker, who had let it be known that he did not want children in his life.
On June 17, 1984, Downs was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and assault. She was sentenced to life in prison plus 50 years. Christie and Stephen were adopted by Prosecutor Fred Hugi and his wife Joanne.
The 1989 made-for-TV movie stars Farrah Fawcett as Diane Downs. In the movie, the names of the children have been changed. Christie is Karen, Cheryl is Shawna, and Stephen is Robbie.
|Farrah Fawcett as Diane Downs|
|Emily Perkins as Karen Downs (Christie Downs)|
|John Shea as Prosecutor Frank Joziak (Fred Hugi)|