Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder Mass Market Paperback – Jul 5 1988
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From Publishers Weekly
This searching analysis of the shooting of three children in Oregon by their mother devolves into a study of personality. In May of 1983, Diane Downs drove to a Williamette Valley hospital emergency room with her children, all gravely wounded; one did not survive the first hour, and the other two were disabled for life. Downs initially told of a "bushy-haired stranger" who had committed the crime, but frequently changed her story. Under police questioning she recalled her childhood with a cold, domineering father who abused her sexually, her weak mother, a rape by one of her bosses, her failed marriage and many men with whom she had sex. One of these men, whom she claimed to love, did not want children, and that may have prompted the crime, speculates the author. The greatest strength of this book is the exploration by ex-policewoman Rule (The Stranger Beside Me of the aberrant personality of Downs, who is now imprisoned and not eligible for parole until 2009.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Superb... the most riveting true-crime account since IN COLD BLOOD KIRKUS REVIEWS Vivid... extraordinary... a page turner New York TIMES BOOK REVIEW --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
gency room doctor; his assessment of patient's needs is deft. In his late thirties, married, and the father of young children, he had worked full-time in the ER for eight years. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Diane was a sociopath with absolutely no conscience. Her father enjoyed molesting her and shooting her pets, and her mother stood by her father no matter what he did. Diane became obsessed with her very wishy-washy married boyfriend "Lew" who vacillated between his emotionally masochistic wife and Diane. He told Diane he would marry her, then told her he loved his wife more than her...he was astonished that Diane blew a gasket at this news. He then took a two week vacation with his wife to Texas, but came back to Arizona and asked Diane to move in with him in his apartment. A lot of mixed messages there....since he didn't want to be a "daddy" to her kids, Diane shot them (blaming a non-existant stranger) in hopes that "Lew" would come after her...but he finally woke up and smelled the coffee.
There are still some things that the book just didn't go into, that I wonder about. Such as...why didn't her other two brothers say anything at all? Only her sister Kathy and and brother Paul were mentioned in the book, but Diane had two other brothers who never came forward to speak.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I saw the movie with Farah Fawcett years ago. Obviously it is difficult to explain the psychology of a murderer in a movie. The book however, explains a lot. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Louise Lechasseur
Well written detailed account of Diane Down's case. All aspects of the events preceding crime, the crime and the trial are presented in all their complexities in a very clear and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
I couldn't put it down. Have actually read it more than once.Published 17 months ago by victoria oberhammer
One of Ann Rule's best .So well written. A horrible story, but Rule handled it gently and even that monster of a mother was portrayed as a human being with some good... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Eilleen Baker
well, if you like poking around the mind of a serial killer -- in this case, a mother who murdered/attempted to murder her 3 children -- then this is the book for you. Read morePublished on April 22 2013 by salsa bandit
Small Sacrifices is an excellent book!! Ann Rule does an incredible job telling the tale of Diane Downs and her sick and twisted lifestyle,morals and the consequences of her... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2004 by Karoline
Having seen the TV movie based on this book, and not being able to believe it, or turn it off, when I saw this book at a used book store, I bought it, thinking it would shed more... Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2003 by J. Conn