WelcomeTo My World

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


's media will be shamed when International media report . 's #innocent. AND THEY WILL! JM

Secret Courts Takes Away Children from Parents in the U.K

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to family rights campaigner Paul Manning about his activism that started when his son was taken away from him by the family courts in the U.K.

Connect to Paul Manning herehttps://www.facebook.com/paul.manning...

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A preview for the film Iris

Owner Turns Blind Eye to Dog's Ugly Appearance, Opens Heart - KiiiTV3.co...

PTL!!! This LORD willing is the proper video. Showing the length GOD goes to save us, as this owner SAVED Lucky:)))

Is Orange The New Black? Sheriff Updates Inmate Dress Code

"If orange is the new black, as the popular TV show title says, then black-and-white stripes are the new orange at the Saginaw County Jail.

The jail's all-orange jumpsuits increasingly are viewed as ‘cool,' Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel says, prompting him to begin purchasing jumpsuits with horizontal black-and-white stripes for use inside the jail instead.

The choice was not arbitrary, the sheriff says.

'It's because as you see shows on television, like 'Orange Is The New Black,' some people think it's cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail with wearing all-orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public,’ Federspiel says, referring to the Netflix drama. 'It's a concern because we do have our inmates out sometimes doing work in the public, and I don't want anyone to confuse them or have them walk away.' *

Friday, 25 July 2014

The blood of the fallen.

A letter a day to number 10. No 810.

Saturday 26 July 2014. The blood of the fallen.

Shares are encouraged and welcomed. If this letter speaks for you and you wish to send your own copy please feel free to copy and paste, and alter for your own needs, the text for your own letter.

Website updated, letters and replies plus bonus material featuring Mr Suggs, Eeyore and Ribbit.

Also on the website, download the support compilation three album set from Atona. Not to be missed.


Dear Mr Cameron,

I don't write a letter a day to you because I am brave (I am not particularly brave at all), nor yet because I am afraid, or to combat fear. I do this because I know that if I do not oppose what you are doing I will have compromised myself. Let me put that another way. If I am offered stolen goods, say a computer, and decide to take the deal, I know I am complicit in crime. Even if, on a balance of probability, I feel I will get away with it, I will know I have made a moral compromise and I have to decide if that is acceptable to me.

The question then is, what's my tipping point, where is the line, at what point will I say, 'This far and no further?' And that's the point, Mr Cameron, I am by no means perfect and nor do I try to pretend otherwise, I am an ordinary guy with a very chequered history but you have crossed the line into despotism that is as heinous as it is unconscionable.

When I read that the UK, which means the UK government, abstained in the vote for the United Nations investigation into human rights violations in Gaza unleashed by Israel's military assault, that just said it all. When push comes to shove, you stand for nothing and no one other than your own selfish ends. Such contempt for life!

It does not matter whether it is thousands dying in Britain or the people of Palestine being massacred you make no effort to protect the lives of ordinary people. As is always the case, it is not the families of the rich and powerful being wiped out, it is not your children being blown apart, it is not your fathers and mothers, grand parents or friends being persecuted, bombed or sacrificed.

Those who make war do so knowing that it is not they who will suffer the consequences. The USA actually voted against the UN investigation, the only country to do so, and I am sure I will hear and read a great deal of anti US vitriol in the coming days. Yet, it is not the USA, not the population who are at fault, as a dear friend in the USA said today, 'Not in my name!' it is those who inhabit the corridors of power in the White House and the Pentagon and, of course, their corporate puppet masters.

The crimes and betrayal of government are written in the blood of the fallen.

 — inPeasedown Saint John.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Loyal Pit Bull " Herman " Stands Guard Over Companion Run Over by Car - ...

ATLANTA, Ga. - An image of a pit bull standing guard over his female companion has gone viral and touched the hearts of hundreds. Michael Mason was driving on Sylvan Road near Deckner Road in Atlanta when he saw the injured pit bull. Mason snapped a picture of "Herman" the pit bull standing over his female companion until help arrived.

Herman's companion was seriously injured when she was hit by a car and did not survive the incident.

Walking Dead actress Kylie Szymanski posted it on her Facebook fan page and it's received more than one thousand shares.

Fulton County animal services have received hundreds of calls, but no one has adopted Herman.

Mason tells FOX 5 he's glad his picture will possibly help find Herman a home.

NYPD Attempts To Cover Up The Execution Of Eric Garner In Exposed Report

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Depriving the poor should be a hate crime

A letter a day to number 10. No 808.

Thursday 24 July 2014. Depriving the poor should be a hate crime.

Shares are encouraged and welcomed. If this letter speaks for you and you wish to send your own copy please feel free to copy and paste, and alter for your own needs, the text for your own letter.

Website updated, letters and replies plus bonus material featuring Mr Suggs, Eeyore and Ribbit.

Also on the website, download the support compilation three album set from Atona. Not to be missed.


Dear Mr Cameron,

You know, trees are made almost entirely out of thin air and they have been doing it successfully for billions of years and the entire planet benefits.

The banks use the same principle of creating money out of thin air and whilst they are very, very good at it, only they do well on it. All the rest of us get is debt and we also have to pay interest charges on that debt.

In your Barbie Doll homogenised world of profit there's no room for anything real; not nature, not people, not real work or workers and definitely not anything as imperfect as sickness and disability, unless you can turn it into profit.

What nature gives abundantly in fecundity, bankers and politicians take and parcel out the absurdity of austerity. What has become blindingly apparent is that austerity is good for business, everyone can make a buck out of austerity except the poor on whom it is imposed and who are in every way its victims.

Austerity is the whip to drive poor people to pay for business, cattle market 'stock' milked for every last ounce of sweat, blood and tears and then left to die clutching a food bank voucher and a phony bailiffs warrant for not paying the bedroom tax with money they don't have.

Living with mental illness has always meant living a precarious, fragile, life. I've lived my entire working life knowing that there would always periods when I was too sick to work, then clawing my way, with screeching nails, up the iron hard sides of hell, back to work.

The precariousness of such a life includes the relentless demands for money, frequently money that I do not have and have no access to. I've wondered at times whether money, or the lack of it, constitutes a disability hate crime, just as I wonder whether the violence of poverty is a hate crime and now, whether your austerity is a hate crime? Certainly listening to the feelingless, heartless, robotic nonsense that comes out of the mouth of Esther McVey my reaction is one of revulsion and disgust at her cold, disdainful, hatred towards the poor.

I've been keenly observing you and your party for four years and all you are is the party for profit and there is no lie so great you will not tell it nor depth too deep you will not plumb it in order to achieve profit. Apart from that you are entirely useless.



 — in Peasedown Saint John.

Rasmea Odeh's status hearing in Detroit changed to July 31st

Yesterday, Judge Borman changed the date of the status hearing from Friday, August 1st, to Thursday, July 31st.

There are cars departing Chicago at 6:30 AM on July 31st.  If you want a seat in one of the cars, or if you are planning to drive and can take others, please write to Joe Iosbaker of CSFR at joeiosbaker@gmail.com.

* People mobilizing for the hearing from other cities and states should also email Iosbaker, so that we can get as accurate a count as possible of attendees.

** In addition, for those who cannot go to Detroit, we are calling for support rallies to be organized across the country on the day of the hearing.  Already, Minneapolis' Anti-War Committee has one scheduled, and we will announce others.

WHERE: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
              231 W. Lafayette Blvd., in Detroit, Michigan

WHEN: We will gather on Thursday, July 31st, at 1 PM Eastern Standard Time (hearing begins at 2 PM EST)

WHY: On October 22nd, 2013, Rasmea was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security and charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, for allegedly failing to disclose that she had been imprisoned by the Israelis in Palestine over 45 years ago. The wrongful conviction in Palestine was the result of vicious physical and sexual torture by the Israelis, so Rasmea is fighting this U.S. charge in a Detroit courtroom, where the full trial begins on September 8th.

Like so many other victims of political repression in this country, especially African Americans; Puerto Ricans; Mexicans, Latinos, and other immigrants; Arabs and Muslims; and peace activists; she has committed no crime, and is only under attack because she is a Palestinian icon, known worldwide as a leading representative of the legitimate Palestinian struggle for self determination, independence, and the Right of Return.  

Please join us in Detroit for this status hearing.  We must fill the courtroom, and be outside with our banners, posters, and flags--to show the judge, the prosecutors, and the whole world that Rasmea has broad and unqualified support.  

See uspcn.org and stopfbi.net for more information, and our recent press release below:

Replace pro-Israeli judge, say Odeh lawyers (published July 16th)

In a major development, attorneys for Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh filed a motion July 14th, calling for Judge Paul D. Borman to step down from the case. The supporting brief argues that Borman, as a life-long and dedicated supporter of Israel, cannot play the “neutral and detached” role that the law requires.

spurious report from the Associated Press irresponsibly presumes that the defense is bringing this motion because Judge Borman is an American Jew.  Odeh and her attorneys, including Michael Deutsch, who is an American Jew himself, deny this, noting that the motion and supporting brief extensively document Borman’s close ties to the State of Israel, never once mentioning his religion.  The AP article has been picked up across the country, and the national Rasmea Defense Committee demands a retraction.

Odeh has pled not guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, a charge alleging that she failed to mention, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago, and tried in an Israeli military court that “convicts” 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it.  Odeh was physically and sexually tortured into a confession by Israeli prison authorities in 1969.

The motion describes how this is important to her defense: “The defendant’s case directly raises issues about the legality of the continuing 47 year belligerent occupation of the West Bank by the State of Israel and the State’s policy of sanctioning the systematic torture of Palestinian detainees by the Israeli military and security police.”

In the papers filed with the court this week, attorneys Deutsch and James Fennerty describe Judge Borman’s long history of support for Israel, including fund raising for, and donating millions of dollars of his own money to the state.  They argue: “Clearly, one who has been a life-long supporter and promoter of Israel and has deep ties to the State of Israel spanning over 50 years, who no doubts believes that Israel is a great democracy and protector of human rights, cannot be ‘reasonably’ said to be impartial when these claims of torture and illegality are raised by a Palestinian defendant.

“Further, it is reasonable to conclude that as a result of this Court’s many trips to Israel, and its active support and substantial efforts in fund raising for the State of Israel, that this Court has ‘personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning this case.’”

According to one of the defense committee’s spokespeople, Hatem Abudayyeh, “This motion is about trying to get Rasmea a fair trial. Borman’s bias is clear.

“Winning this case is not limited to a legal strategy,” Abudayyeh continued.  “Thousands of people from across the country are supporting and fighting for Rasmea Odeh. We are urging the government to drop the charges against her.  If they don’t, we are mobilizing to fill the courtroom every day of the trial.”

The trial is set for September 8 in Detroit.

Step Down, Judge Borman!

Freedom Archives 

Questions and comments may be sent to claude@freedomarchives.org


Free All Political Prisoners!

Political Prisoner Jalil Muntaqim's Parole Strategy, read and pass on !

This statement below is written by Jalil, if you want to write him or read more of his writings please visit freejalil.com. His blogspot mysteriously disappeared from cyberspace, so we have moved it to his website. He also has a lot of great poetry and other essays on his website, as well as "What the PBA Doesn't Want YOU to Know about the NY3" and five hours of recently digitized video, some of which has not been seen since 1988! PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CHECK OUT THE VIDEOS, SINCE IT TOOK A LOT OF WORK TO GET THEM DONE AND POST THEM.

Write to Jalil: Anthony J. Bottom #77A4283, Attica C.F. P.O. Box 149, Attica, NY 14011-0149

Analysis on Prison-Parole Reform StrategyDear Friends and Supporters:
As many of you may have heard on June 17, 2014, I was again denied release on parole for the 8th time. Obviously, efforts to change the parole system is not gaining significant or measurable traction. This is especially daunting when considering of the two dozen prisoners appearing before the parole board on June 17, 2014, none were granted parole. While there have been strides made to raise public consciousness and interest in the need for prison and parole reform, it has not translated into unified and uniform actions resulting in a substantial change. It appears the myriad voices on the subject and the diverse "pet projects" have weakened the potential for a statewide determination.
There is a need for a unified strategy that challenges the specific problem of NYS recalcitrant parole policy. As an analogy of the diverse "pet projects" activity, it is like treating someone complaining of a migraine headache with heroin. The headache is anesthetize, however, the treatment creates an addiction for perpetual "reformism". The diverse "pet projects" are treating the symptoms of the problem, and not the problem itself. The misdiagnosed problem is the [person] is suffering form a brain tumor that requires precise surgical excise of the tumor to cure the reoccurring migraine headaches.
Therefore, it is important to review the problem of parole, which in my opinion is based on two dynamics: 1) The disparate and vague language in Executive Law S259i(2)(c)(a); and 2) The composition of the parole, top heavy with former law enforcement personnel.
1)  Executive Law S259i, in pertinent parts read as follow:
           "Discretionary release on parole shall not be granted merely as a reward for good conduct or efficient performance of duties while confined but after considering if there is a reasonable probability that, if such inmate is released he will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and that his release is not incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the seriousness of this crime as to undermine respect for the law..."

When statuary language is absent of "certainty" and "definiteness" it can be categorized as vague. A quick reading of this language presents two specific concerns, the word "Discretionary" and "Deprecate". Each presents a problem of the lack of 'certainty' and 'definiteness' in the parole decision- making process. For example, at what time or circumstances does any "crime" no longer "deprecate the seriousness of his crime as to undermine respects for the law?" The Record is replete with decisions in favor of release for one inmate for the same crime, same criminal history, similar circumstances and exact same sentences, and denied to others. The question then is at that point does any crime no longer deprecate the seriousness of the crime? The answer is left to the "discretion" of parole commissioners. On this topic, in a criminal appeal People v. Stuart, 100 N.Y.2d 412,  the court made this statement: "[A] 'statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that [persons] of common intelligence must necessarily guess at tits meaning and differ as to its application violates  the first essential of due process of law'" (id. at 419, 765 N.Y.S. 2d 1, 797 N.E.2d 28, quoting Connally v. General Constr. CO., 269 U.S. 385 , 391, 46 S.Ct. 126, 70 L.Ed. 322 [1926]). A two-part test is used to determine whether the statute in question is sufficiently Definite to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his [or her] contemplated conduct is forbidden by the statute" and "[s]econd, the court must determine whether the enactment provide officials the court must determine whether the enactment provide officials with clear standards for enforcement". Given this understanding of the law, clearly the language of this statute is "vague", whereby the mere application voids 'certainty' and 'definiteness'. Since there is no certainty or definiteness in the parole decision-making process, leaving decisions to the "subjective" discretion of parole commissioners. As recently learned by the Evan's Memo fiasco, and the parole board ignoring the legislative intent to amend the procedural process, in can be stated the language in the law is by definition statutorily vague.
So, what is the remedy? Obviously, the law has to be changed, or at minimum the language amended to produce "certainty" and "definiteness" that include equitable and just parole release decisions. Needless to say, there is a plethora of material and statistical evidence that provides the greater probability for decisions that inform, "if such inmate is released he will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and that his release is not incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the seriousness of his crime to undermine respects for the law."  Unfortunately , that information is not being used by parole commissioners, as their "discretion " is not guided by such principles. Therefore, I propose a statewide unified determination demanding the passage of the Safe Parole Act which would eliminate some of the vague language in Executive Law S259i. So, I will here pose the question, why haven't New York State parole reform activists unite to forge a statewide strategy for the passage of the Safe Parole Act?
2) The Second point is the composition of the parole board. It is well known the parole board is top heavy with those whose former careers were to capture, prosecute and incarcerate criminals. For them to now be deciding who will granted release on parole is a diametric contradiction. It is analogous to having the wolf gaurd the hen house, not a fox- a WOLF! When the parole board comprises such characters like, the unknown "conservative" W. Smith, a former director of the Crime Victims Board, coincidentally, whose alleged two terms on the parole board have expired yet he continues to preside; the former Suffolk County prosecutor, E. Elovich, who consistently brandished her prosecutorial demeanor in parole hearings; and Sally Thompson, a former NYPD officer and detective, and current card carrying member of the Fraternal Oder of Police and the Detective Endowment Association, we should not be surprise so many qualified candidates for parole are denied. This reality speaks directly to the need for direct action demanding revamping of the parole board.
In this regard, NYS parole reform activist should identify individuals form the community who would be prime candidates to be parole commissioners and actively/aggressively promote their appointment to the parole board. Such NYC candidates may be selected form the Fortune Society, Osborne Association, Correction Association, Center for Constitutional Rights, Legal Aid Society, Prisoners' Legal Services and Riverside Church Prison Ministry. They and others should be considered as qualified candidates, and from upstate NY, perhaps Buffalo University Law Professor Theresa Miller, or Rochester attorney/activist Cheryl L. Kates, or Syracuse attorney/activist Alan Rosenthal, may be considered qualified candidates to be appointed to the parole board.
Here, I would urge the choosing of two NYC and two upstate candidates for this purpose. For the parole reform community to vet such candidates, and then formulate a campaign to persuade Governor Cuomo to appoint them as parole commissioners. This also means it will be necessary to identify State Senators on the Crime and Corrections Committee, and persuade them to confirm these appointments. In this way, the potential to shift the balance of the parole board to a more equitable composition is possible. This direct action will ensure a more fair and just decision-making body and process for parole release considerations.
In NYS we are confronting a backward and archaic parole system. While some activists with their "pet projects" are functioning on the periphery of the problem, buy pruning their tree unable to see the forest, we recognize their good laudable intentions. But for as long as the language of Executive Law S259i remains the same, and the composition of the parole board remains the same, like hamsters on the wheel, to the dismay of those suffering from multiple denials, it is not expected they will be going anywhere fast.
Under the prevailing circumstances, I felt compelled to offer my insights into the general prison/parole reform efforts in New York State. When the parole board can continue to deny parole to two dozen prisoners, many with multiple denials and meeting all of the prerequisites to be granted parole, with impunity; meaningful response from the community opposing parole boards actions, it is time tor re-evaluate and reassess the tactical and strategic initiatives for parole reform. It is time to stop treating the headache with heroin, and make every effort to remove the tumor.
I ask that these concerns are widely distributed and discussed. I firmly believe you will agree, when there is a consolidated and united campaign to challenge these two specific areas, the status quo will take notice, and your efforts will not be ignored. I welcome constructive criticism in order to ensure we all are on the same page, seeking to build a unified and uniform statewide determination for prison and parole reform.
Respectfully Submitted,
 Jalil Muntaqim

Let's Build NYS Coalition for the Passage of the Safe Parole Act!

Freedom Archives 

#MillionMaskMarch #NOV5TH 2014 (NEW PROMO)

Forum: http://anonuk.anonsource.org/
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/48589...
Website: http://www.ukanonymousevents.com/mill...

Expect all of us.

A Mom’s Inspiring Reaction To The Bangalore Rape Case

Don’t let the memory of brutality fade…take the anger and transform it into something other than noise
Right now, I feel sick. Both as a mother and as a woman. I have a lump in my throat that refuses to go away. Intermittently, the tears come and go. I don’t know whether they are tears of sadness or anger. One number keeps echoing in my head. 6 years old. Just 6 years old. “She was only 6 years old,” you sickos, I want to scream!

For Immediate Release LONDON SOHO SQUARE STATIC DEMO AGAINST CHILD ABUSE on the 24th July 2014

For Immediate Release London 23rd July 2014 LONDON SOHO SQUARE STATIC DEMO AGAINST CHILD ABUSE on the 24th July Child Abuse organisations, charities and groups from all over the UK are gathering in central London Soho Square for a static protest on a number of issues related to Child Abuse. This is to protest against Child Abuse, forced adoption, institutional abuse, and missing children and many other worthy issues. According to the events Facebook Page “Come Clean On Child Abuse” It is not a protest march, but is a silent “static protest” against Child Abuse and the series of Child Abuse scandals that have been covered up in the UK. According to Andy Peacher of Freedom Talk Radio, “The Reason for this static protest is that many Child Abuse organizations, charities, groups and parents are appalled that the systemic abuse of children over many years can simply be covered up allowing paedophiles and networks to move on without prosecution”. The combined groups are calling for a full public inquiry into the cover-ups of any cover up of child abuse and are calling for stiff prison sentences to be handed down to anyone responsible for instigating or taking part in a cover up where children are concerned. This is also an advisory posted on the events Facebook page for anyone who may be attending; the emphases are on staying within the law and not to anthologist the Police. The advisory also advises the participants to avoid confrontation at all costs and to report trouble makers to the police. Contact Andy Peacher Tel 0782 773 1060 STATIC DEMO IS TAKING PLACE ON THE 24TH JULY AT 3 O CLOCK IN SOHO SQUARE LONDON...

Picture from google

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Diane Downs’ Case Was No Small Sacrifice

by Lise LaSalle
On May 19, 1983, Elizabeth Diane Downs and her three small children were shot on a country road near Springfield, Oregon. Her 7-year old daughter Cheryl died but her 3-year old son Danny and her 8-year old daughter Christie survived. Within three weeks, Diane had lost custody of her remaining wounded children and had become the number one suspect in the eyes of the police department and District Attorney’s office.
This case flew under my radar so to speak because it happened before my ‘time’. I had nonetheless heard of the legendary Diane Downs; the cruel sociopath who had sacrificed her own children to be free to pursue a relationship with the man she loved. I must humbly admit that I had not questioned the facts of the case before readily accepting this image of Diane as a cold blooded killer. I know better now than to accept blindly the truth presented to us on a silver platter by the media and the judicial system.
small scrificesHaving recently done research on the Liysa Northon’s case which was the subject of a book written by Ann Rule titled Heart Full of Lies, I came across some very interesting information about the Diane Downs’ case because Rule attended the trial and also wrote a book about the case called Small Sacrifices.
In reality, the whole case turned out to be no small sacrifice for Diane Downs, but it was a huge victory for the State, the media and a very lucrative deal for the Queen of crime fiction herself; Ann Rule.
In her book Heart Full of Lies, Rule took so many liberties with the facts that Liysa Northon sued her. It opened a huge can of worms regarding the real identity of the heart full of lies in this case. Some 287 errors and falsehoods were documented by Liysa and verified by official sources. Rule sued the Seattle Weekly after they published the article titled ‘’Ann Rule’s Sloppy Storytelling,” but she lost and had to make restitution.
The popular TV movie “Small Sacrifices” was based on Ann Rule’s book and it painted a horrid picture of the mother accused of shooting her children on Old Mohawk Road. The role of Diane Downs was played by none other than Farrah Fawcett and her lover was played by Ryan O’Neal who had been Farrah’s love interest in real life. They brought out the big guns to unload on the public, their idea of the truth: Diane Downs was a horrible creature and a jilted lover who shot her three children in cold blood to be free to pursue a relationship with the man she was obsessed with.
My opposition to movies about true crime stories is unshakable. It should be illegal to use real names and facts from a criminal case while influencing the public to falsely believe that the whole content of the film is true. The Lifetime channel constantly makes movies based loosely on the truth; this approach is an effective weapon aimed at swaying public opinion about high-profile cases.
Ann Rule promotes her books as true crime stories so to this day, viewers believe that the book and the movie titledSmall Sacrifices document the true story of the Diane Downs’ case; in fact, it is a mix bag of truth, falsehoods, interpretation and plain fiction.
Diane Downs
young dianeDiane Downs was born August 7, 1955 in Phoenix, Arizona. Her parents Willadene and Wes were old school Baptist parents who raised her under strict guidelines without much warmth but with complete devotion.
Diane was known for her love of all animals which she treated with great care, and for her independent and wild streak. She was extremely intelligent but her emotional IQ was no match and her desire for freedom, love and affection were dangerously dragging her down a path of self-destruction. In high school, she met handsome Steven Downs who saw her for the great beauty she had become. Growing up, Diane had felt like an outsider and kids had been cruel towards her because of her real or imagined ugly duckling looks and demeanor. She did not fit in and was now anxious to assert her independence  and live her own life.
She learned at a young age to keep her emotions in check and to always present a strong and brave front. That is the way she was brought up, especially at the demand of her rigid but very dedicated father.
After graduation, Steven joined the Navy and Diane was sent to Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College where she failed miserably at remaining pure and chaste, not unlike most girls of her generation who rejected their strict religious upbringing. She was expelled and reunited with Steven against her parents’ wishes. They had dreamt of a good future for their daughter and Steven was not part of it.
diane and kidsSteven and Diane married on November 13, 1973. She was eighteen and soon realized that she had jumped from the fire into the frying pan. Her quest for love had landed her into an unstable and loveless marriage. Her husband turned out to be a player and a very irresponsible guy who did not really love her.
So Diane did what she thought would bring her the deepest satisfaction in life; she became a mother. She felt fulfilled when she was pregnant because she believed it was the road to unconditional love. Christie was born in October 1974 and Cheryl Lynn in January 1976.
This unhealthy marriage survived and became a daily struggle. Diane ran away from her husband many times between 1976 and 1977, but with nowhere to go except her parents’ house, she would come back. And Steven would hunt her down anyway and charm his way back into her life. It was the story of two young people trying to survive without a safety net.
In 1979, Diane gave birth to Danny who was not the biological son of Steven who had no desire to be a father again. As usual, Diane had resorted to the soothing comfort of a pregnancy to pretend life would get better; she would create a nest around her come hell or high water. And Steven was free to follow her lead or not. Surprisingly, he accepted little Danny and learned to love him dearly. But the birth of this little boy did not make this bad boy change his stripes; he remained a cad and a destabilizing force in their lives.
surrogacyFinally, Diane found a full-time job with the U.S. Post Office in 1981, and was stationed in Chandler. She had always been the bread winner and never wavered in her desire to bring financial stability to her family. She even became a surrogate mother to make money and provide two parents the opportunity to have a child. She entertained the idea of opening a surrogacy agency but the project never really took off. This was ridiculed countless times in the media, but frankly, it can be a very honorable endeavor, depending on how you want to look at it.
In Rule’s book, Diane is portrayed as a horrible selfish mother but her family and friends saw another version; she loved her children dearly and worked hard to be a good provider. She was the first to admit that at times, she yelled too much and was not the best mother but she seemed to have turned the corner and was doing her best with the means at her disposal. From all accounts, her children adored her.
matching tattoosDiane, of her own admission, had plenty of affairs while she worked at the Post Office. And Robert Knickerbocker became one of her lovers. He actually was the one who suggested they become intimate after many friendly, platonic conversations. As a married man, the ball was in his court and he decided to go for it. Diane found with him, the kind of relationship she had never known before: there was actually care and intimacy involved. Robert and Diane even decided to get matching tattoos. He separated from his wife and was going to follow Diane who, by now, had decided to move and work in Oregon to be closer to her parents. What followed was a tragedy subject to many interpretations.
The move to Oregon
If there was one thing Diane knew about her lover, is that he was fickle and did not like trouble of any kind. After asking her to have an affair, he kept vacillating between his wife and her. He strung her along, played with both women’s emotions, and after saying he would join her in Oregon, reneged and stayed with his wife. Moreover, he told her that he did not want her children or any children for that matter. This statement alone would seal Diane’s fate.
After six weeks in Oregon where the children were happily spending time with their grandparents while Diane worked her postal route, the incident happened on a dark road that led to Diane being accused of murder and attempted murder.
The shooting on Old Mohawk Road
old mohawkAfter visiting a friend and looking at her new horse, Diane and her kids went for a drive; not at all unusual for this family not living according to middle class rules. When the young ones fell asleep in the car, their mother decided to head home. She saw a man on the road and stopped thinking he needed help. According to Diane, he shot her kids, she struggled with him and managed to escape after getting shot.
She drove to the nearest hospital where the nursing staff and doctors attended to the children. The police were called in and her parents arrived promptly. Right away, the police asked her to go back to the crime scene even though she did not want to leave her children behind. Her father also insisted she try to help catch the shooter. She unwillingly followed the cops in spite of being in pain and not wanting to leave the premises.
In the nurse’s notes, she is described as in shock and unable to grasp the situation. Most people described Diane’s injury as minor or superficial but in reality, it was a very serious injury. Her arm was severely damaged, so shattered that she needed a graft from a hip bone. A steel plate had to be attached and some lead fragments were removed.
Her children were obviously more severely injured because being captive in the car while a shooter aimed at them gave them less of a chance to wiggle out of the situation than an adult outside the car.
Diane’s injury had to be quite painful and she had to be in shock while driving to the hospital and accompanying the detectives to the crime scene. So how she behaved at the time, should not have been a factor influencing the authorities. But her behavior became the most important factor in the investigation that followed.
The investigation
diane carThe detectives took Diane to the crime scene and were able to retrieve shell cases on the ground where the incident happened. But strangely, they took no photos of the crime scene and did not lift fingerprints from the car. Diane’s automobile was secured and examined and no gun was found. She also underwent a gun residue test that same evening that revealed that she had not held or shot a gun. She had no blood spatter or gun powder residue on her hands, clothing or hair. Meaning, she could definitely not have been the shooter.
In her book, Ann Rule made sure to mention that Diane went to the bathroom in the hospital and running water was heard, meaning she was washing her hands while the door remained open. First of all, she could only use one of her hands and I doubt that the nurses at the time, were preoccupied by the sound of water in a public bathroom. Plus who leaves the door open when they go to the washroom?
It takes a very deep scrubbing with soap and water to get rid of gun powder residues and a little wash with one hand would not do the trick. Plus, Diane could have never cleaned her clothes and her hair to remove blood and gun powder. So that theory does not hold water.
‘’Gunpowder is one of the toughest stains around, when it comes to removing it from clothes. The fact that – if it gets on your skin – it is like being given a tattoo, should give you some idea what a tough stain it is. Washing soda is your best bet: It includes, among its ingredients, the exceedingly corrosive carbolic acid. If you use this mixed water, you can lift off a gunpowder stain.’’
The bushy haired stranger
bushy haired srangerDiane described the stranger that shot them on the road and a police artist came up with a sketch. DA Pat Horton declared early in the game to the local paper that ‘the search for the bearded stranger was not very high on their priority list.’’ To the authorities, it was a ridiculous notion that they would not entertain so they did not follow on numerous leads coming from people who had seen someone corresponding to that description.
They already had made up their mind that Diane was the perpetrator so they laughed off the idea of the ‘bushy haired stranger.’ The problem was that they could not find the gun anywhere and they had nothing on Diane.
Teams of people and detectives combed the area for months looking for the gun but it was nowhere to be found. Even prosecutor Fred Hugi was seen walking the grounds to try to find the weapon. They were in a difficult situation because without evidence, they could not charge her for the crime. Yet in their mind, she was already guilty. Sheriff’s Deputy Roy Pond admitted in court that he had already concluded that Diane was guilty and stopped following leads on the orders of his sergeant three weeks after the shooting.
Almost from day one, Diane was perceived as a ‘cancer’ they had to remove. They did not like her attitude and she did not behave the way they expected a grieving mother to act. So it was a relentless game to try to reel her in.
She was fighting back and they did not like it. So they did everything in their power to slant the media and the public in their favor.
alice crimminsThis case had many similarities to the Alice Crimmin’s story. An attractive woman whose two children were killed in mysterious circumstances and the cops decided to go after her. They hated her attitude and thought she was promiscuous and showed no sorrow or remorse. Instead of grieving, Alice went partying and had sex. They finally charged her and she did 10 years for the death of her children. To this day, there is not enough evidence to prove her guilt or innocence for that matter.
Not unlike Diane, Alice did not want to share her pain in public. They both fainted when they saw their dead child, but it did not count. The authorities wanted to see them mourn and fall apart. But these women did not show emotions and did not fold when asked to. And these men in black perceived this as an act of war. And they proceeded to go after them with every legal or illegal means at their disposal.
The best policy for Diane Downs would have been to remain silent, but she fought back and smiled at the wrong time and according to them, enjoyed the attention. It did not matter that they had no evidence; they did not like her attitude and she was going to pay for it.
The two mental disorders that cause excessive talking are Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. If Diane was bipolar, the non-stop chatter would be part of the deal. And the flat affect and sometimes inappropriate smiling would come with the territory so you cannot judge her actions without taking into account that she might not have been acting according to the norms, but it had nothing to do with the evidence of the case. But it is useless labeling anyway.
Christie Downs
christie_downs 2Right after the shooting, little Danny would ask the nurses, ‘Why did the mean man shoot me?’ and it would be written down in the daily notes. Christie could not speak but after some rehab, she kept saying she did not know who shot her or her siblings.
The powers that be knew they had nothing on Diane so little Christie became their sacrificial lamb. But to convince this little girl to turn on her mother, they needed to isolate her from her family and work relentlessly on her ‘confession.’
Even Ann Rule in her book, keeps mentioning that they only had a few months to get Christie to talk, otherwise they could not keep her away from her mother any longer.
Three weeks after the crime, Judge Foote from family courts, removed Danny and Christie from the care of Diane Downs and her family. Even if the nurses’ notes indicated countless times that the children asked for their mother and enjoyed her visits, they cut them off from the only family they knew and loved; supposedly for their own protection.
In fact, Diane and her lawyer wanted Christie to be able to heal before being questioned and to be accompanied and taped during the sessions. A very reasonable request that was rejected. It became a judicial kidnapping to obtain a coerced confession.
Christie was only eight, had suffered gunshot wounds and was in shock. She had a stroke and was treated with mood altering Dilantin before and after testifying. She had been isolated from her whole family and being unethically interrogated. It was not unlike brainwashing. Every time, she said she did not know, they told her to think again and made suggestions. And the interrogations were not taped and were barely documented.
The unreliability of children’s testimony has been documented by cognitive psychologists such as Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Cornell and others. The harm done to families by unscrupulous district attorneys who bully children into falsely testifying against their parents has recently been documented in a documentary called “Witch Hunt” by Sean Penn about Kern County (CA) District Attorney Ed Jagels. There is no way that a jury would convict Diane today, based on the clearly coached testimony of Christie.
fred hugiAnd the fact that she and her brother Danny were eventually adopted by Fred Hugi who prosecuted Diane Downs is the most blatant case of conflict of interest I have ever heard of.
It took months to get Christie to say that her mother was the culprit ant that is when they arrested her. Everything was in the bag and ready for trial.
The trial
gregory footeFrom the very beginning, the DA’s office had their ducks in a row because in an unprecedented move, Judge Gregory Foote who had denied access to the children by all blood relatives and given their care over to the State, was promoted from ‘juvenile’ to ‘senior’ judge to preside over the trial of Diane Downs. It was Judge Foote’s first criminal case and it was against a woman whose children he had removed from her care even though she had not been convicted or sentenced; a conflict of interest and pure madness. They had him in their pocket and with the testimony of little Christie they were in business.
Diane’s father had hired an ex-Prosecutor to defend his daughter and his name was James C. Jagger. It turned out to be a mistake because he was married to a County Circuit Court Judge who would become a colleague of Foote and he had no intention of defending Diane vigorously. You wondered at times, which side he was working for.
Mr. Downs must have had a bad feeling about Jagger because before trial, he tried to retain defense attorney Melvin Belli who had the reputation of fighting for his clients and to win all his cases. Belli filed a motion for a 3-week extension to familiarize himself with the case and declared Diane innocent in a press conference, but Foote denied the motion and declared ‘’you have an attorney, use him.”
Foote ruled in favor of the prosecution and against the defense on most of the admissible evidence questions including all the nurse’s notes about Danny talking about a man shooting him but admitted Christie’s reports about her mother shooting her.
Diane’s brother sat in court one day and saw Foote looking at Hugi before ruling on an objection. The prosecutor would gently shake his head and Foote would follow with a ruling.
Foote refused 30 to 50 reports by detectives of sightings or leads about the shooter but admitted reports from people in Arizona willing to badmouth Diane. It was rigged and the fact that Ann Rule sat in the courtroom ready to produce a Masterpiece of Guilt could only help the prosecution.
The gun
rugerAccording to the State, ballistics evidence proved that Diane Downs was guilty. They claimed to have found two lead cartridges in Diane’s rifle after the shooting but there were discrepancies. The tool marks did not match and the detective lied on the stand. During closing arguments, Fred Hugi mentioned the Ruger model number and said he had the bill of sale, but it turned up at a police raid years later in Perris, California where a detective involved in the case, Dick Tracy, had been employed prior to his move to Oregon. The gun did not match the ballistics from the shooting site. Ruger #14-76187; Diane’s gun, was not the murder weapon. They tried to come up with another story to explain that it was not the gun after all but the jig was up.
It was proven in court that the shooter had to be left-handed to have been able to shoot the kids in the car at the right angle and Diane was right-handed. Hugi had to come to this realization during a demonstration at trial.
Fingerprints at the crime scene were suppressed by the State.
james haynesPolice witness reports of strangers and confessions were suppressed or not pursued.
Years later, seven witnesses signed affidavits telling of a man named Jim Haynes’ continuing confession that he was the shooter, and he physically resembled the sketch.
Diane’s Mental State
During Diane’s interrogation, Fred Hugi said in front of the jury that she had been diagnosed as a ‘deviant sociopath.’
In fact, Diane had consulted a psychologist after the tragedy and after months of consultation, she was never diagnosed as a sociopath. The definition of ‘deviant sociopath’ does not even exist in the DSM-HI, which is the official psychiatric diagnostic manual. She did diagnose her as suffering from cyclothymic disorder and treated her accordingly. She signed an affidavit to that effect and wanted the jury informed of it but it was never done.
As soon as Diane was found guilty, Hugi demanded that Diane be evaluated by a psychiatrist before sentencing so they could declare her a dangerous offender and give her a stiffer sentence.
Strangely enough, a woman who was seen for 8 months by a psychologist and declared to be in shock, would now be assessed by the ‘State hired psychiatrist’ to confirm the label Hugi conveniently made up during trial. And Hugi seemed pretty sure he would get what he was asking for.
madSo when Dr. George Suckow from the Oregon State Hospital in Salem was called as a State’s rebuttal witness and he made a professional diagnosis of Diane as histrionics, antisocial and narcissistic, he openly said in court that he interviewed Diane for 1 hour and read evidence presented by the state to make his diagnosis.
It gave Anne Rule carte blanche to use these labels in her book and it stuck. Diane was now labeled as a dangerous offender. Mission accomplished.
The unicorn and Hungry like the Wolf
brass unicornAnne Rule made a big deal of a brass unicorn engraved with the children’s names that Diane had purchased. It was omnipresent in the courtroom as well as the Duran Duran song Hungry like the Wolf that supposedly was playing when the children were shot in the car.
According to Rule and the court, the unicorn was a memorial to her children that she purchased after premeditating their murder. It was farfetched, unfounded and entirely made up by Rule to boost the sales of her book. There is absolutely no evidence that Hungry like the Wolf was playing when Christie got shot but it is another detail they added to bring a dramatic element to this trial. They played the tape in the courtroom, and the fact that Diane did not break down but tapped her foot to the music, was supposed to be another proof of her guilt. Only in Hollywood and in Ann Rule’s books, would you find such fantasy.
hungry like the worlfIn fact, if someone was Hungry like the Wolf in this courtroom, it was a certain crime author who could already smell and taste the fortune coming her way after the publication of this juicy story.
Fred Hugi was pretty upset when Ann Rule went Hollywood with his case. I am convinced that he did not want too many people to know about the improprieties that happened in his courtroom. But he overestimated the kind of people that would go along with this soap opera. They were not truth seekers and enjoyed a nice burning at the stake instead.
Rule defended her right ‘to earn a living’ and to tell her story. Too bad she did not interview Diane or her family. She talked to Diane for 15 minutes, there was the bizarre and partial Oprah interview that was basically a ‘let’s bash Diane’ event and she wrote to Diane in jail to ask her what she thought of Hugi adopting her children. That was the extent of her ‘investigation’ of Diane’s side.
ann rule book signingWhen Diane’s youngest daughter grew up and reached out to her mother, the media and Rule grabbed hold of her and made sure she would hear nothing good about her mother. Rule even talked about writing a book about her but it never materialized. It probably was not impactful enough for readers.
The foreseeable verdict
Diane was cooked the minute she walked in that courtroom. Evidence or not, they were going to do their best to put her away for life. And their plan worked. The poor jury went along and Jagger did not put much on much of a defense anyway.
Considering the lack of evidence, it seems that she was thrown to the wolves because of her personality. Christie became the star witness against her mother and who could resist such a touching testimony? Her lover and former husband testified against her but it did not represent evidence but character assassination. They had to create this monster as they had no concrete evidence.
There was never a real motive for the crime even if the State insisted that Diane wanted to be free to pursue her love interest. Why would she have driven the kids to the hospital then? And she knew that Knickerbocker hated trouble so he would not have come back to her after an ugly shooting where she had been wounded and her kids damaged.
I do not care if the bushy haired stranger made no sense or if they could not explain the why of the tragedy, I do not care if she was madly in love with a guy because all that counts is proof and evidence in a court of law, and there was definitely a reasonable doubt. Without the media blast and rush to judgment from the police and DA’s office, we might have uncovered the truth.
The aftermath
Years later, Christie was heard saying by classmates that she did not know who shot her. There is also a recording where she says that she had no idea who shot them. The tape is real and probably not admissible but it proves that her testimony was coerced. Caught in the act, Hugi declared that Christie said that only because she was pressed for an answer. Of course, because this is what she does when people ask her questions concerning her mother. After all, she was conditioned this way.
diane wantedDiane was found guilty and sentenced to life and she has been in prison ever since. She was in solitary confinement for years and even escaped from prison once but was recaptured.
In 1999, a Board Certified Psychiatrist practicing in Oakland, California wrote a letter to the parole board on behalf of Diane Downs to explain how things had changed since 1984 when she was diagnosed with a ‘severe personality disorder.’ He did not consider her a risk factor at all and believed she would do well if released into society, because she had no prior history of violence and never had a problem with violence or bad behavior while incarcerated.
In 2008, a psych evaluation by L. Williams, Ph.D., Chief of Mental Health at Valley State Prison for Women, explained Diane’s lack of emotions and its relationship to her case.
Ms. Downs makes every effort to avoid emotional stimuli in order to reduce the demands made on her. She functions best in highly structured environments where she has a sense of control. She may be highly vulnerable to losing control of her emotions in emotionally charged situations, creating faulty judgment and ineffective and inappropriate behavior.
“She keeps her emotions under tight control, presenting only socially acceptable feelings and burying other contradictory feelings.”
diane parole boardAs far as her innocence goes and the possibility of being paroled if she admitted her crime, Diane strongly maintains her innocence. She states, “Idid not shoot my children and I can’t say I did. It would not benefit you, my children, or society for me to perpetuate that lie. If I was of a mind to manipulate the Board by giving voice to the words they want me to utter, I’d have sold my soul two decades ago when the lies would have benefited me and my youth passed long ago. It’s too late for me to call myself a murderer (when I am not) just to purchase my freedom. I did not shoot my children.
She goes on to say that she has deep regret and mourns the loss and death of her children.’
If it was not such a high profile case, Diane Downs would have been paroled a long time ago, considering her good behavior and lack of priors. The Parole Board had an obligation to parole Diane between 1998 and 2002 if she could provide reasonable cause to show she was not a danger to society. According to Oregon law, this would have to be supported by a psychiatrist’s report or a Wardens’ letter and Diane provided both. But the Parole Board refused to hear her.  She followed all the correct Parole Board procedures for two years with no hearing.  She then went through the State (Circuit) Court habeas corpus relief for four years to no avail. She is nowhere near being paroled and if she admitted guilt, I am not even convinced they would release her. Her case was too public and they are afraid of public backlash.
witchI do not know what happened on Old Mohawk Road on that dark evening, but I know that they did not have enough evidence to convict and try Diane Downs. They should have taken their time to investigate this case thoroughly and without prejudice.
Diane Downs and Alice Crummins were considered sluts and cold-blooded women and were judged on their unusual character. The lousy men in their lives never took a hit because after all, it was these witches’ fault.
It is ironic that you have to be a perfect mother with no lovers to be considered innocent until proven guilty in America.
farra and lewThe lovely Farrah Fawcett who played in the movie Small Sacrificeswas known for her epic battles with lover Ryan O’Neil. Her son ended up in jail and O’Neil’s children accused him of neglect and bad parenting. Farrah had trouble with the law because of a passionate love affair with a movie director. So if we started judging people harshly for their flaws, it would never end.
A trial should be based on evidence only and Diane Downs was condemned because of her flaws. She has done her time in prison and I hope that she gets the chance to get out and spend time with her aging parents and siblings who have been fighting relentlessly for her release.
Anne Rule might have inflamed the case with her book Small Sacrifices and her theory of the crime, but in reality, the case of Diane Downs was no small sacrifice. The price of celebrity for her was losing her freedom and her children for life. It does not get any bigger than this.
Diane and her brother James
diane and bro
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