From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Beside Me comes a shocking true crime account of the destructive forces that drove a beautiful young mother to shoot her three young children in cold blood.
“Somebody just shot my kids!” Diane Downs brought her car to a halt in front of a Springfield, Oregon, hospital, her three gravely wounded children beside her. Thus begins the tale of a truly unthinkable crime that shattered the tranquility of a tight-knit community. As police searched for the “shaggy-haired stranger” Diane accused of shooting 8-year-old Christie, 7-year-old Cheryl, and 3-year-old Danny, a suspicion grew that was even more horrifying than the crime itself: Did Diane shoot her own children? Haunted by this question, a dedicated district attorney searched for the answer and uncovered a chronology of incest, psychological wounding, desperate affairs, and surrogate motherhood.
Ann Rule's gripping, powerful, and ultimately terrifying true story of passion and murder will hold you in thrall as it plumbs the unimagined depths of darkness concealed within a human being.
About the Author
Ann Rule wrote thirty-five New York Times bestsellers. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she used her firsthand expertise in all her books. For more than three decades, she was a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lived near Seattle and passed away in 2015.
Praise for Small Sacrifices
“Vivid...extraordinary...A page-turner.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A harrowing pathological portrait, a nearly unthinkable triple-murder plot, a hold-your-breath police procedural and a tale of dedication and compassion all superbly combined to produce the most riveting true-crime account since In Cold Blood.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A detailed, probing inquiry....From start to finish, Rule’s account informatively unweaves the sad features of Downs’s life and gives a moving description of the human side of law enforcement.”—Boston Herald
“Excellent....One of the most detailed studies of a sociopath to dignify the true-crime circuit.”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Superb...[a] riveting detective story...as good a page-turner as any fictional murder mystery.”—Indianapolis Star