Diane Downs 2008 Hearing
Video Clip Link to KPTV
Diane Downs faced the parole board Tuesday, sporting a hairstyle
remniscent of the one she bore at the time of her arrest.
As the parole board members questioned Downs, she tried to give rambling
responses and was at times cut short. Ultimately, the parole board denied
Downs parole, finding that she continues to have, and exhibits, a mental
deficiency condition or disorder which predisposes her to the commision
of any crime and rendering her a danger to the health or safety of others.
The condition that made her dangerous is not in remission and she does
continue to be a danger.
During the hearing Downs spun a (yet another) modified version of the
events that left Cheryl Downs dead and Dan and Christie Hugi near death.
A co-worker, Heather Plourd, had told Diane that she was thinking
about buying a horse. Diane had found an ad in the newspaper about
horse rentals that she thought she'd show Heather. She didn't know
Heather's phone no., so she drove out to Heather's home. After
speaking with Heather, Downs decided to drive down Old Mohwak Road
to go sightseeing.
It was after she turned onto Old Mohawk, that she spotted a man
standing in the center of the road, signaling, as if for help.
Downs described the man as "white, late twenties, about 5'9", 150
to 170 lbs, dark hair, a shag-wavy cut and a stubble of a beard."
He wore "a Levi "jacket and an off-colored T-shirt."
She braked and got out of her car. The stranger pulled a pistol
from under his jacket and demanded her car. She refused, and in
retaliation he reached past her, in through the driver's window
and opened fire on her family.
When he then tried to reach for the car keys, she fought back,
outstepping him. But, as she slipped back into her car, he fired
one more time, at her now, striking her arm. Slamming the gas
pedal, her Nissan sped off and away. Her children were hurt, she
could see that, and thought only one thing- to get them to the
hospital as quickly as possible.
In a taped phone conversation with a boyfriend, Downs claimed
it was two men wearing ski masks did the shootings.
In a letter to her Defense Attorney Jim Jagger, the shooter was
a man with whom she had been flirting and smoking marijuana.
She claimed that her boyfriend "Rick" was
actually a drug dealer working with then-Lane County District
Attorney Pat Horton.
Downs wrote: In 1983, I was a letter carrier delivering mail to
the Lane County Courthouse. A man in a suit and tie asked me out.
He said he was FBI and he had credentials, or so I thought. Six
weeks later I received a phone call from someone who claimed to
have photographs of the man "Rick" (the FBI agent I was dating)
was investigating. The caller said if I wanted the photographs,
I had to pick them up right away. I agreed to get the photos for
"Rick." When I arrived at the meeting place, my children were
attack(ed). I struggled with the male shooter and drove my
children to the hospital. Christie and Danny survived.
Cheryl did not.
Version 6 - (A mixture of Version 1 & 5 and a Version 7
added, a conspiracy against her family via her uncle.)
Parole Hearing Version:
It says that you told investigators a stranger flagged
you down, when you got out of the car that person shot
your children. Was that an accurate picture as to what
That is accurate. He was a stranger and he did flag me down.
In the most recent letters that you've written to us about
what happened you mentioned that this was an appointment,
that someone had called you and asked you to come to this
I received a phone call on the night of May 19. I was
asked to meet somebody at that place, I had not yet
arrived at that place when somebody flagged me down...
and that 's why, for.. until 1993, until I received a
photograph from .... ? I had never been certain that
the person that flagged me down was the person I was
supposed to meet or if it was some kookaloo that
stopped me before I could get to the appointed meeting
place. He said something aboutwanting my car.
I thought he was joking because I had a mindset that I
was there to meet someone to pick up photographs. My
thought at the time is, this isn't the person I was
supposed to meet. He wants my car, I don't have time
to play games,with some kookaloo and so I laughed at
Were you inside or outside the car at that time?
I was outside the car.
So you stopped and got out of the car to talk to this
So you laughed at him and then what happened?
He pushed me aside, he got into the car and he started
firing the weapon.
So he didn't want your car he wanted to get in the car...
He apparently did not want my car (chuckles).. I mean..
What was your understanding of why anybody would have done
I had no understanding of why someobody would want to do
this. That's why I have spent, for the past 25 years,
looking for answers as opposed to learning to cut hair
or repair air conditioning units..
And what answers have you found?
(Downs holds up a book and opens the cover that has a
photograph inside.) In here is a picture of my uncle who
was murdered a year before my daughter was murdered. A
year before we wereattacked. My uncle was reporting to
someone in the Foreign Service Department, Far Eastern
Asian Affairs. He was going after counterfeiters and
people smuggling jade and different artifacts in from
The man whe was working with was this man (opens page
with another photo) in the State Department. (Downs
opens another page with a photo.) This man, who is an
Israeli National citizen. This man ...Okay well..
Claims to be my husband...
We need to go back to your situation...
This my situation. This is my uncle...
In your scenario then, this person got into the car and
shot your children? For no reason. Then what happened?
For no reason other than the ultimate was that I ended up
So the person's in the car, and you're standing outside...
what are you doing?
I was shocked. I did not see.. . he did not have a gun that
I could see. He asked some utterly ridiculous question um,
wanted my car, I laughed at him. He shot. He got into the
car, shot the weapon. When I turned to see what he was
doing I saw Christie get shot. I was stunned. According to
the Prosecutor's office the shooting took a matter of 3
seconds. He then exited the car and I fought him. I
struggled with him. I was shot in the process. I was
later told by people connected to ....? (Sounded like
Jane Panes) ? that the shooting was an accident.
I was not supposed to be shot, I was supposed to walk away
and it was supposed to appear as if I had become some kind
of a lunatic.
So these people..
I was shot by accident.
So some people did tell you what was supposed to happen,
that you were not supposed to be shot. Why were your
children supposed to be shot?
According to them. it was to shut me up. As far as I'm
concerned if they wanted to shut me up they should have
killed me. I cannot tell you why they say the things they
say. I cannot tell you why somebody wrote a book with all
of these men in 1995, why it was mailed to an inmate in 2000,
and two years later this man was murdered.
(Down points to the photo she claimed was her uncle.)According
to the Register, "the book Downs was holding up was "Angels
Watching Over Me" and according to book sales Web sites, the book,
which Downs referred to by its International Standard Book
Number, is an inspirational book about angels and not
about the murders she claimed it referenced."