Small Sacrifice: A True Story of Passion and Murder

Rule, Ann

New American Library, 1987

pp. 79, 450

Diane Downs had just shot her own three small children. The prosecutor suspected her but couldn’t prove anything. He purposely did not lean on her. “To a burdened conscience, silence and solitude can be more threatening than interrogation.” “Watching Diane recover was like watching a snake shed its skin; underneath, she was all shiny-new, blooming with health and assurance.” p. 450 Diane’s view of children was “fungible,” i.e., easily substituted for. She kills her children “and then grows new ones, just keeping the number constant the way a sow only counts her litter, unworried about whether the members are the same.”