Daughter of 1983 Murderer Diane Downs Speaks To “20/20” On Friday, May 14 On ABC
For 26 years, it was a secret… what happened to the missing baby of infamous child murderer Diane Downs? Whisked away from the hospital, just after birth, never to be heard from again. And with that kind of past, what kind of future would she have? No one knew what became of this innocent child until now. Rebecca Babcock, born of a child killer, talks to “20/20,” in conjunction with Glamour Magazine, about being the seed of a monster and how that legacy has shaped her life. Elizabeth Vargas’ report airs on “20/20,” FRIDAY, MAY 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Rebecca Babcock always knew she was adopted, but at 16 she was shocked by the discovery that her birth mother, Diane Downs, was a murderer, convicted of shooting her own children. Long before the unimaginable crimes of child-killers Susan Smith and Andrea Yates, the nation was gripped by the story of Downs. In 1983 Downs and her three young children drove up to an emergency room in Oregon; all three children had been shot. One daughter was dead on arrival, and as the other two fought for their lives. Downs told police a horrifying tale. But police found a motive buried in her diary: she was having an affair with a married man who didn’t want her children. As police began to close in on Downs, she became pregnant. After months of testimony, Downs was eventually found guilty. Just 10 days before her sentencing, she delivered a baby girl, who, in secret, was brought just 100 miles away and into the loving arms of adoptive parents.
“20/20” is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo. David Sloan is executive producer.