In 1983, horror stuck in Oregon as a mother took it upon herself to end the life of her own children. Diane Downs became one of the most infamous murderers in the city after she was convicted of shooting her three children, killing one of them, along a roadway in Springfield, Oregon. And, considering how the emotionally flat blonde responded to the whole experience of the shooting, the trial, and the conviction, it was no surprise that ABC’s ’20/20′ decided to cover the case.
What’s fascinating, though, is to see how differently her children – including the fourth one, who she conceived after her original surviving ones were taken away from her – responded to her doings. If you’re here because you’re curious to know where the surviving children are now, you’ve come to the right place.
Who Are Christie and Danny?
Christie Ann, born in 1974, is the eldest of the Downs children, and Stephen Daniel, known as Danny, born in 1979, is the youngest. They had another sibling, born in the middle, in 1976, Cheryl Lynn, but she didn’t survive the shooting. Steve Downs, their father, actually left Diane in 1980 because he thought that Danny was the result of an extramarital affair that she had. From Arizona to Oregon, the family had moved just shortly before the incident for Diane’s job in the U.S. postal service. And, Cheryl Lynn, had reportedly told a neighbor of her grandparents that she was afraid of her mother.
On May 19, 1983, Diane shot the children – Cheryl, 7, Christie, 8, and Danny, 3 – multiple times at a close range. And, by the time she took them to the hospital, Cheryl was dead. A year later, when Diane was arrested and put on trial, Christie, at just 9 years old, having just recovered her ability to speak, testified against her in court. When she was asked who shot them, she replied with, “my mom.” After everything was said and done, and Diane was convicted, both Christie and Danny went to live with Fred Hugi, the lead prosecutor in the case. He and his wife, Joanne, legally adopted the children in 1986.
Where Are Christie and Danny Now?
From their wounds, Christie suffered a stroke that left with a speech impairment, and Danny got paralyzed from the waist down. Famed true-crime author, Ann Rule, provided an update on them by writing on her now defunct website: “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.”
Both individuals chose to live a life away from the spotlight- they didn’t want prying eyes to remind them of the horrors of their past and to haunt them more than it already did. Therefore, they grew up privately and continue to live their adult lives privately. Christie, now in her mid-40s, still lives in Oregon, in Springfield, and has a big, loving family. Not just a son, but a couple of other children as well, including a daughter, who she named after her dead sister, Cheryl. Of course, being married, she has also changed her last name. (Featured Image Credit: ABC News / 20/20)
Read More: Where Is Steve Downs’ Now?