Becky Babcock: A Girl's Fight to Escape her Mother's Crimes

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For a young woman already struggling with her identity, the discovery was devastating. Babcock said that once she knew the blood of Diane Downs was inside her, she began to mimic her birth mother's impulsive behavior.

"Throughout my teen years, I was wild... and after the movie, it escalated," Babcock said. "I dropped out of high school. I slept around with a lot of people. And I did a lot of harsh drugs. I had no concern for myself."

Things got so bad that Jackie Babcock kicked Becky out of the house. Even Becky's closest friend, Kaylee Hammond, worried that nature was winning over nurture.

"I was worried that she could turn out like her biological mom," Hammond said.

When Becky was 17, she got pregnant and became a teenage mother -- as Diane Downs had been. When her son, Christian, was 3 years old, Becky got pregnant again.

During her second pregnancy, Becky Babcock was broke, homeless and living in a women's shelter. She decided to put her baby up for adoption.

"I couldn't raise another baby and do that to the son I already had," Babcock said. "We picked the most amazing family I could possibly think of."

Babcock felt lost after the adoption, she said. She began to think about her birth mother. Had Downs felt this same emptiness when she gave Becky away? For the first time, Babcock felt a need to connect.

"I thought about, you know, Diane and that was the one and only time I have ever had compassion for that woman," Babcock said.

Babcock decided to reach out to Diane Downs -- her birth mother, whom she calls a monster -- in prison.

Becky Babcock Contacts Diane Downs

Babcock still has the first letter she sent Downs. "I don't know if you're going to believe me," she wrote. "You probably won't. But I believe that I may possibly be your biological daughter." She also sent photographs of herself.

Downs quickly responded. Her first letter was welcoming and warm. But after several letters, Downs' tone changed. Over the course of six letters, Downs' paranoia and psychosis came into full view.

"Just know that someone very powerful has been watching over you all your life for me," Downs wrote in one letter. In another she wrote: "If you love your little boy, you'll take him far from here." Babcock decided to cut off all contact.

"I wrote her a letter," Babcock said. "I said, 'I'm sorry. Please stop writing me.'"

The exchange of letters left Babcock shaken. "I wish I was born of my real parents," she said. "My adopted parents. But I was born of a child killer. People judge me for that."

But Babcock realized that, deep down, she was nothing like her mother. She said she could never imagine hurting a child.

"Never," she said. "I tried to make myself think about it once. It made me physically sick to think about hurting my child in any way. Mothers are put on this earth to take care of their children. It's our job."

Babcock told her story to Glamour. She says she wants to help other children whose parents have committed heinous crimes.

Babcock, the high school dropout, is now a straight-A college student who hopes to go to medical school -- in addition to being a loving mother. She said we all write our own stories, despite our past.

"Being taken away from [Downs] was the best thing that could have ever happened," she said. "It's been quite a journey. There's been ups and downs. I fell off the path for awhile. But I am going to do great things."

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