Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Diane Downs: Her Children Got in the Way of Her Love

Elizabeth Diane Downs

Diane Downs was born August 7, 1955, in Phoenix, Arizona. Her parents Willadene and Wes Frederickson named her Elizabeth Diane. (As the years passed she trimmed her name to simply Diane.) Having wed as teens and still in their teens when Diane came along, the parents awed at their having a human life to maintain; and while they loved their baby, they fell short in their ability to emanate a warm fondness a child inherently expects.

As a school student, Diane was bright but not one of the in-crowd. Disciplining, old-time-Baptist parents forbade trendy clothing and fads, resulting in their daughter being considered a washout. Wherever she went, she was the "square," the ugly duckling.

According to Rule's Small Sacrifices, Diane's father allegedly molested her when she was 11 years old. Diane told authorities that the occurrences never led to fornication, but she was fondled and caressed. On weekends, Diane claimed that he took her on rides to the desert; once away from civilization, he would make her remove her blouse and bra as he watched.

Diane said that these perversions ended as quietly as they had begun, and Wes Frederickson became more of a typical father as if cessation would eradicate all memories. He allowed her to enroll in a charm school when she was fourteen. And that was the beginning of a new Diane, one who with her hair cut stylishly and her garb up to date the local boys began to notice. And Diane, hungry for love by this time, responded by being the babe with the flashy eyes, swaying hips and silly, come-hither giggle.

Teenage Diane
Teenage Diane

Steven Downs, one of the boys at Moon Valley High, fell instantly in love with the pretty and now suddenly shapely blonde, Diane. The pair became an item and roved together, everywhere they went, arm linked in arm. After graduation, they parted for a spell he to the Navy, she to Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College. They corresponded regularly, but if Diane had promised to "save it" for Steve, she had weakened, for she was expelled from the religious school after a year for promiscuity.

Steve returned home and the couple wed on November 13, 1973.

From the starting gun, the marriage was, at best, shaky. Steve worked half the time and Diane found her high school sweetheart less a noble escape and more of a repetition of her domineering papa. She had wanted love and realized too late that Steve was not that love.

She found solace when she became pregnant; carrying a baby made her feel for the first time that she was actually in charge of a love that was all-dependent on her. It was a feeling of power she'd never before realized, and she relished in the delight that she was the helmswoman of her own path to total love. But, after Christie was born in October, 1974, it was back to serving Steve his meals nevermind that she had a baby to care for and worked part-time at a local thrift store, too. To keep from falling apart emotionally, she needed to feel that emotion once again of the seed of love stirring inside her. She again became pregnant. Cheryl Lynn followed her older sister into this world on January, 1976.


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