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Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder (original 1987; edition 1988)

by Ann Rule

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7391212,617 (3.95)15
Member:iamagirldork
Title:Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder
Authors:Ann Rule
Info:Signet (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:tbr, non-fiction, crime

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Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder by Ann Rule (1987)

  1. 20
    Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss (whirled)
    whirled: Another well-written true crime account of a narcissistic parent on trial for murder.
  2. 00
    Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky (meggyweg)
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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Great book. Fascinating story.
  nandamom74 | Mar 16, 2016 |
What could possibly motivate a mother of three to shoot her own children? This very question is posed and answered in Ann Rule's best seller, Small Sacrifices. Diane Downs is a sociopath and complex character. Her story, Small Sacrifices,will break your heart.

The story begins with Diane Downs driving to the hospital and reporting her children have been shot by an unknown man who stopped them on the road. Through flashbacks we get to know Diane, her early life and her experiences. We follow the police investigation as they start to tie her to the horrible act. We then move on to the court case which plays out with so much drama you don't realize you're reading about an actual event.

I originally read this book when it was first published and recently watched the late 80's made-for-TV movie starring Farrah Fawcett. Probably because of that, when I had a reading challenge that called for rereading a book, I immediately thought of this one. No matter how many times you read it you will still be horrified by what Diane Downs did. Horrified or not, you'll be gripped by this fascinating true crime story.

( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Elizabeth Diane Downs makes a good subject for Ann Rule to study -- pretty on the outside and horrifying on the inside. I think if it hadn't been for the courage of Christie Downs and the talents and doggedness of the Oregon legal system she would have gotten away with murder. Many years ago I had seen the movie made from this trial, but the book both added to the information and reminded me of how awful this crime was. I appreciated that Ms. Rule added the two additions telling us what had happened in the intervening years since the trial. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jan 15, 2014 |
Aside from the horrific crime, this was a very engaging read. Diane Downs is an absolute narcissistic, cold-hearted, selfish, psychotic sociopath. I felt complete disgust for Diane and utter sympathy for her children, and all children who must suffer at the hands of others - especially a parent(s). Ann Rule does a fantastic job relating the true story of the tragedy of these children (and others who had the misfortune of crossing paths with Diane). She leaves no stone unturned and tells an unbiased account of the events leading up to the horror, the aftermath, and the trial. She even includes how irate Diane was at this book. This is a must read for any true-crime reader, but be prepared for your emotions to run wild. ( )
  lesliewright34 | Jun 18, 2013 |
Think this was the first Ann Rule book I ever read. Have been a fan of her books ever since. ( )
  sueZqueZ | May 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The fairest things have fleetest end,

Their scent survives their close:

But the rose's scent is bitterness

To him that loved the rose.

--Francis Thompson
Dedication
For Christie and Danny...and Cheryl Downs
First words
There is no more idyllic spot in May than the Willamette Valley that cradles Eugene and Springfield.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451166604, Mass Market Paperback)

Ann Rule's shocking and powerful account of the destructive forces that drove Diane Downs, a beautiful young mother, to shoot her three young children in cold blood.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story of an Oregon woman convicted of shooting her three children, killing one, in 1983.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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