Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder Paperback – July 1, 1988
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|Paperback, July 1, 1988||
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- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 0451166604
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451166609
- Dimensions : 1.11 x 4.17 x 6.65 inches
- Publisher : Signet; First Edition (July 1, 1988)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0072Q4EJI
Best Sellers Rank:
#2,206,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #8,543 in Murder & Mayhem True Accounts
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I felt all sort of emotions reading this. I cried for Downs children. What they suffered through. Poor babies. No one was there for them. But was so happy they finally found a loving family. They do deserved it. Cheryl, RIP sweet girl.
If you have not read this, I highly suggest you do. You'll get a disturbing view into a psychopath.
If you look close at all the sketch's Diane Downs had drawn by the sketch artist, You will see the sketches look almost just like her. The Oregon State Crime Lab and Jim Pex did so much work on this case, and no one could put it into words better than Ann Rule. Her Books are the Most accurate recounts of Police investigations you could ever read. Her books just are hard to put down once you start reading them.
I high recommend this book and any other books by Ann Rule to anyone who enjoys true crime books.
Diane Downs shot all three of her children in the car and then dawdled along on the way to the hospital, giving the children time to die. Her little girl Cheryl died at almost once, "death so close behind her it could whisper in her ear" while Christie and Danny were heroically saved by the medical personnel at the hospital emergency ward, but both children were severely handicapped. Christie was so traumatized she sustained a stroke even though she was only 8 years old. She hovered "as tentatively as a butterfly's wings" at death's door before the team of frantically working doctors brought her back from the abyss. Little Danny at only three years old was shot in the spine and will be paralyzed for life from the waist down, but the heroic efforts of the doctors saved his life.
Diane concocted a story of a bushy haired man who suddenly appeared in the street ahead of her car and demanded the car, then shot all three children, a tale that did not convince the police assigned to her case. Diane shot herself in the arm after shooting Cheryl, seven, Christie, eight, and Danny, three, at point blank range. Of course the invented story made no sense at all. Why would a gunman shoot three small children and not kill Diane who could identify him?
Diane wanted to get rid of the children because her married boyfriend Lew didn't want kids. The children, of course, are the "small sacrifices". A year after the shooting Diane was finally indicted and brought to trial. As always, Rule is a hands-on writer and she sat perhaps two feet from Diane during much of the trial. She can describe how Diane at one point along with the people in the courtroom was listening to "Hungry Like a Wolf" the song that had been playing in her car when Diane shot her children. Diane sat there at the side of her lawyer, merrily snapping her fingers and juggling her leg in time to the music, apparently oblivious she was on trial for murder.
While her little girl, Christie, who barely survived being shot in the chest twice, was on the witness stand the courtroom was eerily silent, hushed, almost frozen with horror. The little girl had one paralyzed arm and her speech was halting but she named her own mother as the shooter and the killer of her little sister. Up there on the witness stand she struggled with her emotions and practically everyone in the courtroom except Diane was in tears. Rule described Diane's strange yellow or green eyes and her inappropriate laughter. There is something extremely discordant about Diane Downs.
Rule delves deeply into the psyche of Diane Downs. Diane had lamented over her unhappy childhood and abuse by her father. But most children who are abused do not become killers. Diane is thought to have three serious personality disorders: narcissism, histrionic disorder and she's a sociopath. Like her soul mate Ted Bundy, she is always on stage and the center of that stage. She cares absolutely nothing about anybody, and her obsession with Lew, the married man she shot her children for, is just that: an obsession. Diane believes that people exist to serve her without her giving anything in return. She is and was an empty shell devoid of sympathy, empathy and love. The only love she is capable of is for herself and she has no conscience. Like all sociopaths, she's an accomplished liar. An empty shell.
Ann Rule keeps you reading her page -turner, gasping at the horror and you may even shed a tear or two over those children, wounded so long ago by their own mother. The evil in Diane is balanced by the good of people involved in the case: the doctors who struggled to save the childrens' lives, the detectives who labored on the case, the Slaven family who cared for the children during the trial, and especially the prosecuting attorney, Fred Hugi, who adopted Christie and Danny after Diane was convicted and sent to jail, brought them up with love and sent them to college. (Christie is now married and has a baby boy of her own. Danny, although in a wheelchair, is a cheerful, successful computer whiz).
Diane, Rule emphasizes, is not insane because a psychosis (insanity) can be treated by therapy and medication and can be reversed. There is hope for an insane person, but the sociopath will never change. He bears the mark of Cain which will brand him for life. You could almost say that the tattoo of a rose Diane has on her shoulder is the mark of Cain.
This book describes the crime in detail along with the follow-up police investigation and criminal trial outcome.
The Author, Ann Rule, is a true professional when it comes to writing about true crime. As with all of her books, this book delves into the actual Killer's psyche. The question is, and will always remain, why?..........why was the crime committed? In order to come to a conclusion to the question, the reader will be provided a psychological profile of the Killer herself. The book includes actual photos of some of the police personnel involved and also includes actual photos of the children, their mother, and of the crime scene. Photos are not graphic.
Top reviews from other countries
Compared to the TV film version directed by David Greene starring Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O'Neal, John Shea, Gordon Clapp & Emily Perkins, the book goes into far more detail about this horrific crime and once I started reading, I just couldn't put it down!
Succeeding in killing one of her own children, and seriously injuring the other two, all for the love of her married boyfriend, who didn’t want children. Downs was later diagnosed with three personality disorders, showing no remorse to the crimes inflicted on these poor innocent children. Sadly Down's plans didn't work, the married boyfriend returned to his wife and eventually Downs was tried and convicted of murder, attempted murder, and assault, and was rightly sentenced to life in prison.
The author of this book, American crime writer Ann Rule goes into much detail about this gripping and heart breaking true crime story, a truly harrowing story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book to all crime story lovers, you won't be disappointed.
Downs was obsessed with regaining the affections of a married man with whom she had a relationship but who didn't want the hassle and inconvenience of children. So she decides to eliminate her two daughters and son whilst concocting a false account of their injuries. Her lies and inappropriate behaviour during police questioning and court appearances show her to be a scheming and totally amoral narcissist.
Thankfully, although one daughter did not survive her terrible injuries, the other two children did, and were eventually adopted into a loving home by the DA and his wife.
This is a hugely upsetting true story but so unbelievable that I was engrossed from beginning to end. Ann Rule has come up with yet another masterpiece.
The flow and writing are impeccable, almost like she's lived with the people. So much so, I actually checked online to see if she was acquainted with them (she's not) that's how good she is.
It's the first one I've read and it most certainly won't be the last.