Diane Downs laughs while reenacting shooting of 3 children: Part 2

Police found Downs' behavior suspicious. They also found a diary in which she expressed a desire to be with a married man, and the focus of the investigation shifted to Downs herself.
8:25 | 03/23/19

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Transcript for Diane Downs laughs while reenacting shooting of 3 children: Part 2
I'm Leslie rule and my mother was true crime author Ann rule, and she wrote about three dozen books on true crime. Ann rule is the grand dame of true crime. Like her fictional counterpart, Jessica Fletcher on "Murder, she wrote," Ann rule is a best-selling crime writer who sometimes gets involved in the subjects she writes about -- real-life killers. Ann rule died in 2015, but we spoke with her in 2010 about this case and the book she wrote on this case called "Small sacrifices." It was the story that changed my life. Several parts of Diane downs' story made no sense at all. What mother takes her kids out late at night in the dark for a sight-seeing scenic drive on an abandoned road? What mother then stops to see what a man standing there would want? People started wondering, why is the mother only shot in the arm and the children have fatal and critical injuries? She had taken the time to carefully wrap her left arm in a towel while she drove to the hospital. Would you do that as a mother? I wouldn't put a towel on my arm. I'd put it on them as a tourniquet. Rip it apart. Police are immediately a little suspicious. So they come up with an idea. We ask Diane if she'd do a re-enactment for us. We simply wanted to nail down her statements and she was more than happy to do that. Sitting in the car is Elizabeth Diane downs. She can be seen sitting in the car and she's kind of primping. Making sure that her hair looked the way she wanted it. Diane downs is trying to show the investigators exactly what happened. I'm throwing the keys, I'm throwing the keys. So they can understand and get the forensics right. I go like that. I got in the car, jumped in put the keys in. Ah, I just hit my cast. Started the car and left. The car door shut itself. She was giddy. She laughed. She cracked jokes. I mean she's re-enacting the gruesome shootings of her three children and she doesn't seem at all upset. God dang, this is worse than -- okay. She hit her cast and then made the statement "This is worse than" -- and she caught hers. We speculated of course what -- what she would've said to finish that sentence. And we always thought, "This is worse than when I shot myself." I can guarantee you that performance by Diane downs made cops stand up at attention and take another look at her story. We went to downs' apartment and conducted a search of the residence. After she gave us consent to search, we found diaries where she had written almost daily. Diane had fallen in love with a co-worker. His name was Robert Knickerbocker. Everybody called him Nick. And she fell for him big time. He was married, but he was separated from his wife, Charlene, at the time. Diane was thinking that her married lover in the post office in Chandler, Arizona, would follow her. And when I interviewed him, he said, "Ann, I was just so glad when I realized she'd crossed the county line, headed out of here, that I never considered following her." But she was desperate to get his attention. Diane is heartbroken. So the sheriff's deputies were still investigating. And in the meantime, Diane was holding court, essentially, giving interviews to reporters. I was really surprised that Diane downs and her family offered to have a news conference very early on. I am here just to appeal for people out there, if they know anything to call in. They said that they wanted to set the story right. We were just out I guess sightseeing, you would say, and the kids got tired. They fell asleep in the car. So I decided to just head on home but I saw a road I hadn't been on before. We like to take back roads. I just went down that road. And there was a guy standing in the road flagging me down so I stopped. Everybody knew it didn't ring true. Pretty much a lie. Everything she was saying was a lie. She could feel that the focus had changed from this bushy-haired stranger to her. If I had shot my own children would I not have done a good job why would I have taken my kids to the hospital? Wouldn't I have made sure they were dead and then cried crocodile tears? That's insane to think I would do such a thing and then bring the witnesses in against myself. That's crazy. There wasn't a camera or a reporter's notebook that she didn't chase. She gave one interview in full hair and make-up after the next. Thinking that this would somehow garner sympathy for her. It had just the opposite effect. Christie woke up, and as I say, she may be the only one to get me out of this. Would I have brought her to the hospital? Wouldn't she be the one I would make sure is dead? There are too many holes in it. Her children are still suffering. Danny is paralyzed which she continues to tell everybody, "Oh, he's not paralyzed." Danny's going to walk again. I don't care if we just have to will him to walk. I think he's going to walk. The doctors all say he won't but I know that your mind controls your body and if I can love him enough and encourage him enough I believe he'll walk. Christie suffered a stroke. In my experience, if you've had a stroke of that nature, usually it's hard to recover. It was a long time before I heard her talk. Now even though little Christie lying there in a hospital bed couldn't speak, the nurses noted that every time Diane downs came into the room her vitals spiked, went off the chart when she would sense her mother was in the room. The children were never back in Diane's custody. The state of Oregon removed them and they were placed in foster care. This is an eyewitness news special report. In her own words, Elizabeth Diane downs. Good evening, I'm Ann Bradley. When we got to talk to her I said she could bring her lawyer to the interview that we wanted to do. She showed up by herself and I said, "Gotcha." The Anne Jaeger interview really helped Diane downs dig her own grave. When this man shot my daughter my first reaction was to snap back to my childhood, to the pain that had happened to me back then, my marriage, my entrapment by society. This man was bigger than me. He was stronger than me. He had more power because he had a gun. And I stood there and looked at Christie reaching, and the blood that just kept gushing out of her mouth and what do you do? She used the word "I" or "Me" so many times in that interview, you'd never know her three children have been shot. Everybody says "You sure were lucky." Well, I don't feel lucky. I couldn't tie my damn shoes for about two months. It is very painful. It is still painful. The scar is going to be there forever. I'm going to remember that night for the rest of my life whether I want or not. I don't think I was very lucky. I think my kids were lucky. If I had been shot the way they were, we all would have died. Her kids are lucky? A child is dead. Two children are grievously hurt. And the kids are lucky? It's extraordinary. She could work things out in her mind so that they work for her. She wrapped so many layers of lies around her, that she didn't know herself anymore what was the truth. The more she talked, the better. Diane downs had the penchant for wanting the publicity, to talk, and the more she did, so the tighter the noose around her neck became.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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