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The things that I know were that Diane went into labor, was taken to the hospital. I was told that there was a huge media frenzy outside. So once I was born, I was told that she did not hold me. But the way that she tells it is that she spent hours with me in the hospital holding me as a baby.
So I'm not really sure which is the right, you know, I don't know which is true. Trying to anything of the word that I wanted to say. But I don't know. An officer took me out the back to hide from the media and rush me over to a hotel nearby. That's where my parents were waiting. Did your adoptive parents know who you were related to? Yes, my adoptive parents did know. My mom even told me that, you know, she had overheard my father had gone to my grandfather and was like, you know, we've got this child.
We're very excited about it. But, you know, she is Diane Downs daughter. How do you feel? And, you know, he just said she's a Babcock.
You know, it doesn't matter where she came from. She's ours, you know, in some roundabout way. My mom did tell me a little bit about the day I was born and that they were waiting at that hotel room and the officer coming through the door holding the little baby girl, and she said that she looked down at me and that I was perfect. You know, that didn't matter where I came from, you know, because I'm her daughter.
And to her, I was perfect.
Dana Temes was able to confirm some of what Becky had heard about the day she was born.
I was told that the day that I was born that day and held me for a very long time for a couple of hours, then I was also told that I had to be snuck out the back of the hospital by authorities because of the media that was out front covering the story. You know anything about that? That's probably true, although it was you were born 10 days after her conviction, so I'm not sure that I mean, certainly the Lane County sheriffs didn't alert the press to say, hey, don't Diane's been taken to the hospital.
So if they took you out the back, it would have been as a precaution. Not that there was a row of TV cameras set up there. OK, but I think she held you for maybe even longer than two hours and she let welched one of the Lake County sheriff's detectives hold you also. I'll say also that during the trial, as she was sort of continuing to get fuller as her pregnancy was moving along, she was constantly was hands on her belly.
And it was sort of like she had a little partner every day who was helping bring her strength in a tough situation. Definitely got the feeling that she was holding it all that time. The idea of Diane's courtroom pregnancy and subsequent birth after conviction or perhaps an important part of Becky's own experience to come, she experienced pregnancy in her teens and the experience wasn't easy.
And I begged them. I said, please don't tell my dad. You know, she can't let me at least tell him that I'm pregnant, you know? And they ended up telling him and I talked to my dad later about it. I was like I asked them not to tell you. He's like, you're a minor and like, so and that's how I phrased it.
I knew something was wrong. There was a reason you were not at boot camp, you know? And so he was like, that's how we found out.
You must have been going through so many emotions. Oh, my gosh.
I remember I was just crying and it got to the point where nobody was telling me anything at maps in Portland. I just left. I was like, I'm not going to boot camp. Obviously, I can't just sit here and do nothing. And and I left and I went back to where I was staying and I, you know, sat down on the couch next to Christian's biological father and sat there for a while in silence. Then I looked over at him and I'm like, I'm pregnant.
He says, I know. Now that we sat there for like an hour, just silent, and later on I asked him, what do you mean and how did you know?
He's like, because you're back in. Becky's second pregnancy was initially planned with her then boyfriend, a different man from her first pregnancy, she loved him and they wanted a child together. Unfortunately, things began to fall apart and the situation became difficult. It was a high risk pregnancy. I was bedridden for most of it. I didn't want to give up on our family. So I ended up staying in a homeless shelter because I couldn't work.
And he went back to his ex and they just they were awful. They just kept telling me, you know, that they were going to take him from me or they were going to have the state take him from me.
And and it's all these horrible things, whereas I'm here in Kleman Falls trying to make our family work and it didn't. So I called my parents, you know, and I asked for help.
Becky's parents agreed to take her in and help take care of her during the pregnancy, but on the condition that she consider adoption.
So I didn't decide until I was eight months pregnant that adoption was what was going to be best. I fought it. I really I tried so hard to get everything right in my life just so that I could keep him. But at about eight months, I had to just accept that I couldn't.
And so we got a hold of the adoption agency and they brought all these folders of family is just family after family after family. And I just remember going through the pages and. Just thinking like these people cannot raise my child is, you know, this isn't the right place for him. I had to pick somewhere that was perfect.
And even one of the very last folders that I got were the ones they had already had a son, and they they just couldn't have children together. So that was who I chose. And, you know, I met them and they were just they're just amazing.
Letting go wasn't easy for Becky in many ways, giving up her second child, Mira, Diane's own experience with her. But Becky was able to control the narrative. As difficult as the situation was, she was able to ensure that he went to a family who would love him.
I don't even hold him for very long. And they just had to take him because I couldn't let go, so they took him and the family was in a room close by and. And they spend those first two days in the hospital with them, you know, her mom stays and the first day two that I had to go home and recover. And two days later, I get a call from the hospital. They forgot to have me sign the adoption papers.
They left those part out. So I actually had to go back into the hospital and see them and see the baby and sign over my rights. Right then after two days of just.
Misery because I gave my child away. It was the hardest moment of my life, but he is with an amazing family.
He's he's doing so great. He's got pictures every year on his birthday. And, you know, it's an open adoption. But at this point, I feel that I'm going to wait until he's ready to find me. I don't want to push myself into his life. And and they didn't hide that he was adopted. So, you know, I'm sure when he is ready or if he's ever ready, he'll find me. Perhaps thinking back on her own situation and her curiosity about her own biological parents, Becky, consider whether or not the son she gave up for adoption would one day wonder about her and who she was.
So she made sure he would have the answers if he ever wanted them. Of course, I wrote him a letter and gave it to the parents to give him when he was old enough to.
I remember writing it when I had decided to put him up when I was eight months pregnant and I just wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and the thing probably was 10 pages long. And and I just realized that I need to, you know, short and sweet, just this letter to know let him know that I loved him. And then I was really doing what I thought was best. I'm terrified that he may think bad of me, that he thinks that he was unloved or that he was unwanted or didn't have that connection because, you know, he was part of my heart.
Shortly after this difficult experience, Becky reached out to Diane for the first time. Do you remember what you wrote to Diane?
I think it was pretty general. The first letter, you know, said that I think I'm your biological daughter. Here's my date of birth time. Here's what I look like. Just all the basics.
And then when you reached out to her, this was only because you just had your son up for adoption. He was now in the picture with another family, is that correct? Correct.
We've spoken about the nature of their correspondence in an earlier episode, but the letters immediately devolved into Diane attacking Becky for wanting to know about her biological father. And over the years, Diane has continued to deny that Becky is her daughter. Diane recently went so far as to claim that Becky could be disinherited niece. Out to Con Diane out of Amy's inheritance. I've corresponded with Diane through emails and she is somehow has flipped it to that. You're not her biological daughter.
Amy is somewhere out there and she hasn't reconnected with Amy. And she only uses Amy as the name of that little girl, which is you. Right. How does that make you feel, hearing the name Amy? How does that make you feel?
Uh, is about the same as hearing the Hungry Wolf song. It just kind of sends chills up your spine a little bit. I don't identify with it because I don't it doesn't fit me. I don't like it's my name. Yeah. In the letters when she started with her conspiracy theories and, you know, really getting into stories that I just didn't want to hear. And I asked her to stop writing me as when she decided that I wasn't her daughter.
I'm assuming because I rejected her, I asked her to stop writing me and at that point that I was the enemy as well. And I she decided that I was the one who was after her and I didn't want to feed in to that. So I. I didn't continue thinking. Imagine this, you've been playing football for years, dreaming of going pro, and then it happens, life as you know, it changes with a phone call.
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But there's quite a bit of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Becky is Diane's daughter. But the only way to remove any lingering doubts Becky, might have is through DNA. For this, we check back in with Michelle Leonard, the DNA detective, with both Becky as well as Diane's brother James. Having submitted samples, Michelle was finally able to start putting together the pieces of the larger puzzle.
So with Becky's ancestry results, you get two main components. You get an ethnicity estimate and you get the DNA match list. And I'm sitting here looking at Becky's results page at the moment, and I'm going to open up her ethnicity estimate and I'm going to go through what that tells us. So first up, so it's telling us that Becky, is 46 percent Germanic Europe, 42 percent England, Wales and Northwestern Europe, five percent Eastern Europe and Russia, four percent, Norway, three percent Baltics.
That makes sense.
I was told that I have Danish ancestry.
One of the other things I've done in preparation for the case is I've built a tree for your maternal side, but your Frederiksen line goes back to Denmark, came over to the United States after your great great grandfather, Christian Peter Frederiksen, who was born in 1867. So he was the immigrant who came to the United States and died in South Dakota. What I think is interesting, just right off the top, as you said, Fredriksson line, that confirms that baccy is, in fact the biological daughter of doubts.
Absolutely. 100 percent. Yeah, there's there's no doubt about that whatsoever. That is definite, especially since Diane's brother has also taken a test and Becky matches him exactly as you would expect for an uncle niece relationship. So there's no mystery as to the maternal site.
How do you feel about that? Because there has been speculation and doubt, especially from Diane herself, saying that you weren't her daughter. Like you said, Diane has denied I'm her biological daughter for a really long time. And her very first letter, she was excited to have me as her daughter. But then, you know, it quickly went to I was not her daughter. And ever since then, she has believed that I'm not her biological daughter.
So, I mean, those results are super huge for me that I've every emotion you can think of is what I feel. I have seen my adopted birth certificate, but I've never had this kind of proof like this is zero doubt.
I am her biological daughter and there's been a lot of speculation out there. And people weren't quite sure if I was that child that, you know, she was pregnant with us when she was on trial, so. I don't know, it just kind of shows that it's real. With Becky's maternal line established and having finally received confirmation that she is, in fact Diane's biological daughter, Becky's next question and perhaps to her the most important is to begin tracing the paternal line.
In order to do that, Michelle has to begin by building a family tree.
I want to know who your maternal ancestors are because that helps me with eliminating DNA matches that result from your maternal side.
So that's why I've built a maternal tree to help me with doing that. And basically what's outside of the Danish ancestors that just shows that your your maternal ancestry has been in the United States in general in most lines up for a number of generations. The longer that the lines have been in the United States, the the more DNA matches you tend to get to them, which is another thing that is important to know about when you're trying to work out the DNA.
So if we go back to the ethnicity side of things, we've obviously got this 46 percent Germanic Europe showing up and a little bit Eastern Europe and Russia. The little bit that categorizes Norway might well be the Danish the Germanic Europe. If you can look at the the map, it covers quite a large area which takes in the likes of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. So it's quite clear you have some strong and a large amount of ancestry from this part of Europe, from your ethnicity estimate.
Well, that makes sense. I mean, I'm five nine and blond hair, green eyes and yeah, I like I'm from that region.
As Masha unpacks Becky's estimated ethnicity, as she warns that they're accurate to some extent, but they don't give much detail at a micro level.
It does make sense in those terms. Yes. And the looking down the rest of it, obviously, there's a 42 percent England, Wales and north Western Europe. I suspect that quite a lot of that is your maternal side, those American lines that have maybe come over from England, Wales, etc. further back in time, I always say don't read too much into the ethnicity estimate as a whole. It's very interesting to see, especially when you have one side of your ancestry that's unknown, it can really give you a clue as to the direction to looking.
But it's never going to solve the case. And there's always going to be, you know, things that aren't quite right with ethnicity estimates as well. I say they're generally accurate to the continental level, but when you try to drill them down further to country level, it's much more difficult to do and they have to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt.
At the same time, Michelle believes that even with the information she has currently and with a few more database submissions, she will be able to trace Becky's paternity. So do you think we're going to be able to solve the mystery? I really do think we are. The key, however, to solving the mystery isn't the ethnicity estimate. Like I say, it can give us a clue. And that bit about the Germanic Europe is interesting, but it's not going to tell us who your biological father is.
The key are the DNA matches.
His DNA is not on file. Then he's not submitted yet? No, you don't have a parent match, which is, as I say, not at all unusual. The vast majority of people looking for a birth parent when they take a DNA test will not find that birth parent has already tested a few will and they are very lucky if they do face it easier. It does make it easier, but most don't. So obviously your top match is your maternal uncle and you're sharing a lot of DNA with him.
Nearly seventeen hundred send to Morgens, as we call it. And that's a really significant amount of DNA, exactly the right amount to be sharing with a full uncle.
But it turns out that James isn't Becky's only high level match. However, with the amount of DNA, there are a number of different relationships that you could have with someone. And your second highest match is sharing over fifteen hundred sent to Morgens with you.
So what does that and another aunt or uncle. So this is a female match. This person is either a grandmother, a full aunt or a half sibling. She is one of those three relationships. Now, at this point, we don't know which, but she's a she's what I call a jackpot match. And she does not match your maternal uncle. Therefore, given the size of the match and given how closely related he is to you, she is most definitely a paternal match up.
Neither a paternal grandmother, a paternal aunt or a paternal half sibling, half sister. She's fighting. It is it's very exciting.
There are caveats, though, even though there is a high level match, there are obstacles in the way not all users on DNA databases, even those that appear to be relatives as. Matches are easy to track down, nor do they always want to be. She has no tree and she has a username that is quite privatized and I have tried everything I could think of to see if this concoction of letters and numbers has been used by somebody, somewhere that I could identify who this person is.
And it hasn't. They've been very smart and maintaining their privacy on the site with the name that they've used. The one thing that I can tell from it is that she is not a grandmother. She's not your paternal grandmother, simply because I'm able to look at all of the matches that she has and she's clearly matching to both sides of your paternal ancestry and not just one. So that suggests to me that we can narrow her down to being either your paternal aunt or half sister.
So she's one of those two relationships with you.
Michel also cautions against the natural tendency that many of us would have in this situation. A lot of people, when they see such a jackpot match, the very first thing they're going to want to do is fire off a message to that person. It's human nature and it's normal to want to do that. And in many cases, it's that it's the right thing to do. And then some it's not. At this point in time, we don't know if she's a talent.
We don't know if she's a paternal half sister. And contact is the most delicate thing that we're going to be doing with this situation. It could be that she is your birth father's daughter. It could be she's his sister. But either way, we're not going straight to the source. If we message her and we give her this information and then she goes to him, whether he's her brother or he's her father and says, dad's or brother, what's this?
Who's this person? What do you know? And maybe nothing. And maybe he knows something. And maybe that puts him in a very difficult situation and that makes him less likely to want to have contact because we've gone through his family and not given him the opportunity to tell them himself, if you know what I mean. This is the secret syllabus podcast. I remember the good old times when I was a college student and then 20, 20 hit.
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There have been some speculation that his father may not know his identity, but there are a number of things that indicate that he very likely does, in fact, know that Becky exists.
So I think it's best to hang back from making that contact with her at this point in time until at least until I've done a full evaluation, I might be able to identify her through her more distant relatives. I might be able to identify who her father or her brother is. And if that's possible, then you always want to go straight to the first person, the parents, if at all possible, because that gives them the opportunity then to tell their family if they want to do that.
Of course, it might be that we'd get no, we get to that point and we get no reply and then we can always go back and try contacting her at that point.
That's one thing that I'm a little bit nervous about, is the contact if he is alive, because I've been public with my story for 10 years and he has not contacted me, I'm worried that he may not want to contact me. He may not know he's my biological father or he's deceased. So it's I am very nervous about that first contact, I think, with you, Becky.
I've been thinking about that as well, how public you've been over the last ten years. And then also, as I was digging in a little bit more about what and what and rule has reported on her contact with your birth father, if that's in fact true, I don't have any reason to doubt she's lying. But if it is true that she did have contact with your birth father and she made a deal with him, he would know then that Diane Brown's obviously had a child and that he has a child with her.
You know, I'm not a man, obviously, so I don't know if there's shame that he we don't know the circumstances, how he came into the position of being with Diane intimately. If that was a as it's been quoted in books and resources, is that he was duped into this affair or whether he went into it willingly. But I could imagine this is somewhat shameful to know that he he had sex with a convicted child killer just the same as it's shameful to be the daughter.
Several names have floated for who back his father might be, but with animals use of an alias, his real name may have died with her. No one else seems to know exactly who he might be. So what's interesting, Michelle, is that everybody has a theory who Becky's father is. So any theories? Yeah, the probe to the nanny, she had the theory it was a defense attorney which is ruled out. So that's not the case.
But everybody speculates who had this access on a daily basis with Diane. That could be potentially the father based on what I have researched. And gave the statement that she made a deal, that she would use his story in the book but change his name, a pen name for him, and then also change his profession, which she changed his profession in the book to teacher. But then interesting enough, when we talk to reporters, they all said we heard it was a local reporter.
And there's so many people who are attached to this case that want to know the results and are curious in a different fashion to Becky. I mean, I always say the proof is in the DNA. Yet the problem with what you've got, you've got a jackpot match. And at the same time, you've got the unlucky status of being from almost certainly from very recent immigrants, which means that there are less DNA matches to work with. Like I said, the vast majority of your matches are maternal.
That sort of issue of, oh, we've got fewer fewer matches to work with. Yet at the same time, we've got the jackpot match.
Michelle plans to die far beyond the DNA results and using whatever name she's able to find, she'll build a paternal family tree bit by bit until she's able to solidify the identities of Becky's closest relatives on her father's side. And next, what I want to do is a full evaluation of the paternal matches that she does have.
I want to build their trees. I want to try and find their connections. And, of course, the fact that as recent immigration from countries like Poland and the Ukraine does make that more difficult. But I will try my very best to build these people back to their ancestors and see if I can find connections. And if I can do that, I might be able to solve it through these more distant matches. And it just depends how lucky we are with them and how possible it is to to build the trees back and find the connections.
And at that point, we can make a decision on contacting the jackpot match or if I've been lucky, that maybe contacting the birth father himself. So that's why I'm saying hold off on any contact with the high match at the moment until I've done this, having been through the scenario many times with others, there's an approach Michelle recommends for those who may be contacting possible family members.
For the first time.
I say, you know, you have to do it very cautiously. You don't want to Barellan.
They're telling them your life story in a first message. You have to gauge what they may know and what they may be willing to how you know, when you make a first contact, you have to make it sure you want to say, you know, hey, we have a close match, but you don't want to say, oh, I think I'm your daughter or I think I'm your sister or you don't want to go into that detail. Just, you know, are you interested in exploring our match?
Is there anything you could tell me about your ancestry, general questions? You know, I think one of the worst mistakes says if you're looking for a birth parent and you instantly see you have half siblings or you have and saw first cousins, people that are close to that man. And, you know, you've worked out who he is, but you instead go on Facebook and message his daughter because then you might be opening up a can of worms that leads you to alienating the person that you're trying to get in contact with before you've even managed to speak to them.
And going about these things the right way doesn't always result in a positive outcome. If you can possibly get to the birth parent themself, always you want to do that.
I was just thinking it's funny that all of your don't dos when contacting is exactly what I did. When I contacted Diane, I said, I think I'm your daughter. I told her my entire life story and I think overwhelmed her. You know, it was just like I was it.
I was kind of excited to contact her, which is weird, I know, but it's still where I come from. And so I got a little over excited when I wrote my letter.
And it's it's it's natural, isn't it, to get overexcited, contacting someone who's so closely related to you and what's right for one person isn't right for another. And I always say keep the first contact. Sure. And generally when they if they come back and they're super interested in they're telling you their life story, then get into it. Because, you know, obviously there's they want to hear it. And of course, I'm talking from the perspective of finding people as a DNA match and not from having adoption papers and the like, knowing this person is supposedly your birth parent.
My first thought is let's fire off a message to her straight away. I want to do some more digging and find out if I can work out who she is and maybe work from her to get to your birth parent.
With a jackpot match of Becky's paternal side, discovering the identity of Beck, his father seems like. In many ways, finding out would be the culmination of her journey and the reconciliation and acceptance of who she is. The question is whether or not her biological father will feel the same. On the next episode of Happy Face Presents to Face, in a bizarre letter from Diane Downs to her post conviction attorney, she completely changes her version of the events that took place that night of the shooting and what happens when Diane escapes from prison?
Ben Boehland is our executive producer. Melissa Moore is our co executive producer. Mihkel is our primary producer. Paul Desmond is our supervising producer, Sam Teagarden and is our researcher. And Matt Riddell is our story editor, featured music by Dream Tent. Happy Face Presents to Face is a production of I Heart Radio. What's up, this is Laura Currency, and I'm Alexa Kristen, we're the co-host of Adla India, the advertising industry's most thought provoking podcast.
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