The Escape


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The state penitentiaries as Americans, we have taught ourselves that freedom is the most important thing in the world. We want our freedom. We. Don't WanNa be in prison or a state hospital. So it's not surprising that someone would want to escape. It doesn't do much. Other than that to her mystique. Had the ability to over offense that had lots of wire on top. And basically be able to do that. Stephen. Gorham. G. O. R.. H. Am. I'm an attorney in Salem I've been an attorney since nineteen, seventy five. I went to Cornell University as an Undergrad, and then there's a graduate I went to as a loss to school I went to Atlanta University in Salem Oregon. where I have been practicing since nineteen, seventy five. Steve Represented Diane downs as her post conviction attorney post conviction attorneys represent a client, the verdict, and we'll typically assist a guilty party and making the case that they were not adequately represented by their council and the courtroom. They try to help them appeal the verdict or provide other post conviction relief my first steph in. Refugees somebody at the time in the post conviction was to go visit him. So I'm. Sure Who is in? Oregon Correctional. Center here in. Salem it's happens to be about a mile from my office on State Street. The want women's prison was built right next to the Oregon State penitentiary right outside the wall. The Oregon State Penitentiary was built in the eighteen hundreds sometime it's walled prison and They goes to women's prison right outside the wall and the women's prison was a one story. Building with a fence around it they had a small yard that was outside the building. you could see the yards from state street. because it's right off of State Street and it was surrounded by tall. Chain link fence with barbed wire on the top. But that's not where our story in this episode really begins. Shortly, after Steve took on Diana's a client, she escaped from prison. So also in one, thousand, nine, hundred, thousand. That's one Diane Estate. She jumped over the fence. She knew some people. she had. Other inmates that the Oregon State Women's Correctional Center. New People in Salem? Some of whom with. A couple of blocks from the women's prison. So those are warehouses that were rental houses on State Street. And when Diane escape she got picked up by a couple. Because she was either hitchhiking I'm not sure why they let her out. But they didn't take very far. Out. Eric Mason was working as a reporter in Oregon at the time of Dan's escape. He traveled with a photographer around the area to find potential places Diane could have escaped to hoping to be among the first to figure out her whereabouts. She's at Oregon Women's Correctional Facility and doing. The rest of her life there. and. You know it's not the most high security Max. Facility. In the world there, there's a couple of chain link fences and. Today it's closed but at the time. You know it was where All kinds of women involved in strange crimes were being held, and so she's been there a while and I think life is just. Grinding on for Diane. And just down the street I mean literally blocks. From the Women's correctional for center are two guys that are semi homeless working poor who are there? and. Crazy. As it is once again, my path crosses these people as. Devoting and donating some time down at the Union Gospel Mission to make dinner and do some other things there for them and meet shoe guys. Wayne in Bob and you know I struck a conversation at the dinner hour with them and they're two very interesting guys. And so they begin to tell me about their life. And the reason I went to go visit their house was because there were sources of information about how the world of drugs worked in this town. Potentially well, I saw them as. People who needed help and obviously they needed help from the Union Gospel mission. But they also wanted to tell me stories and they knew I was a reporter. and. So got to them in the months leading up to her escape. So when When they escape happens and she goes over the wire. Let's like, wow, she's got some guts to go straight over the fence how? I'm thinking you know fourteen eighteen feet her so. She goes up over the top of it and as out and gone. And Day goes by and two days goes by and I'm thinking wow, she might have actually. Escaped and got away with it and so every day the assignment was. Be the first to find Diane and get it on TV. If you can't make sure you get her arrested being walked in. and. So we were driving everywhere myself and the photographer I. Remember this we were thinking okay. She could be out in farm country she could be living down by the Willamette river she could be trying to find the next guy already. And so we were we were trying to check all the boxes of things we've done and I said to the photographer. You wrote around each day with a photographer. I said wouldn't it be weird? If she ended up at Wayne's house along the river. Just a few blocks. From the Women's Correctional Center, the prison and darn it that's which she was. Eric offered to show me the area firsthand. So we got in this car and toured the area near the prison where Diane Flood. So then there's no preconceived mill creek. And then on the other side of Mill Creek. Is the women's facility and you can see. That fence there. Yeah. SEATTLE SARP wire fence. That's pretty intense. And so at the time. It was not as well fortified as it is now. And Diane just basically climbed it hopped over kept going. I was surprised at how the prison was like a modern day castle with a riverboat. Dares. Big Open. Brush on three sides. Of the place in you'd expect. You would have thought. that. If someone wanted to get out of town fast head towards. The railroad tracks and into. A box car or anything getting out of town and and take it off. But that's not what was going to happen here. And the state police officers were they brought her in. Who's right over here? And That's where. I I saw. Five and Wayne. Being led away. Almost as if. You know they were on the same perp. Walk as. Diane downs, but they were all together right here. I wanted to know what Bob and Wayne were like these two men who harbor Diane after her escape Bob was you know studious looking and you know had glasses and kind of look like A. Computer. Geek. And Wayne was a fairly decent looking individual and look like he could be a landscaper you know in southern California. And they really did how little odd jobs every day that they would do but they never really made enough money to have a nice place. So they had this tiny little hovel. Along Mill Creek, and then go down and have dinner at the Union Gospel Mission, and that was their life. So a have a notorious convicted. Show, up in the middle of the night at their house, you know it was quite a surprise but you know they certainly weren't going to throw her out either. I think what was later determined was that she used a creek. Mill Creek. To be able to. Confound the dogs. and. She knew enough about tracking that she went down that creek and so I think one of the first things she did is she got rid of her clothes. and. I think left them in the water. I'm not sure how what level of nakedness data she was but when she showed up at Bob in Wayne's place she was cold. Didn't have close or most of them and just needed to get warm in a place to stay and I believe that I'm GonNa have to go back to check the see. This is true. that. She had some correspondence. With, people outside the prison was a pen pal and I'm not sure how that worked into it but they finally looked at our tablet and begin to figure out who she'd been talking with, and so that's what helped them. figure out part of beato wonder plans where Outta she was getting out and whatnot. Wayne that he L. Repair. Yes and so I remember, Wayne. Almost thinking and. Saying to the effect of. I couldn't believe my good fortune. You know here I am a marginally employed, but mostly homeless man in Salem Oregon and. The. Woman of my dreams comes walking through the door almost half naked. What's it like to drive the Volvo xc ninety plug in hybrid. The thrill of a four hundred horsepower t eight twin engine. The, joy. Of Impromptu. Road trips. And the serenity. Of Electric power in pure ego mode. visit at DM Vivo retailer today to experience the xc ninety recharge plug in hybrid for yourself. A family of five brutally killed in their sleep in the companion podcast HBO maxes the murders at White House farm. You'll hear from those involved in the making of the series and the real life events on which the drama is based stream the murders at White House farm now on Hbo Max and Subscribe, and listened to the murders at white. House, farm the podcast on the iheartradio APP HBO Max Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast. From what I read with Wayne as unlike Wayne and Diane had a relationship Diana's sleeping with. Wayne. So I don't think he would easily give her up at that was the case. It's true I think. Wayne was. The type of guy who was street smart. And really didn't. likes niches or people that turned other people in. So yeah I would imagine he kept things pretty quiet. While I really can't believe is that. Given. The search that was done. That for those days following the escape she stayed right where she was and no one founder. That's that's the part. That's amazing. that she was able to basically hide right here. Plant site. I think it's okay. So here's. Where we go over the creek, you can see it's very vegetated down there and someone just walking up that creek would have. Tried to find someone's back. Porch. which she did. So this neighborhood is cute. It looks like it's an older neighborhood will bungalows to actually looks very different than what I thought. It would look like in my head because these houses are just adorable like painted little ladies right and then the ones they're right on the creek. The some of our. Chests like an outbuilding to another house. Okay I see here the creek to some of these see this little building hair it looks like an outhouse hatch to this house is just a little outbuilding. Shed, and that's what those two it was very much like a shed. And you can see the water. You know someone could just. SORTA swim along this creek. and. They're sent. You couldn't follow that trail and I think that's I think that's what she was able to. After she was captured Diane's brother James was one of the only people close to who who's able to speak to her about this scape I wish she'd call me. That's what I said at the time. Actually I remember I remember I was working. as working at a place in San Joaquin Valley. California you know I wanted to take her to Canada Take Mexico or just take her away from here and tour she'd be safe and but yeah. Obviously what is you think when she was found? I've had conversations about this I thought it's not surprising. She was caught I. Guess you know she's looking for affection she's looking for love you know she's just looking to be held and everything's going to be. Okay. You. Know and I guess maybe that's why I wanted her to call me. So I could tell that will your conversations about about that time that she escaped She scaled over the walls and took off. And she was going to go there and she said. Oh my God. What do I know? You know what? I mean best laid plans this she get over and it's like. Oh. Sharp. Where am I gonNa go and I mean even if you go to the house, you have in mind to go to like what's your next per next plan was to find the person that did this and every time she said to herself is like How do you do that? You know what I mean and so. She got this person's house and was checking up with this guy and. Never got the part of finding the person that did this. All she also had tons of authorities looking for her I don't. You get over the fence on. It's like, Oh, my goodness. Gracious. What do you do? Bad men sixteen foot tall was circular razor wire on the top of there's two of them. Did she do? She through through some over the top. And just climbed over. Literally. She just climbed to sixteen foot fences with circular. Not Barb wire, but razor wire on top of them. Once caught Diane was transferred to another prison under the interstate compact likely to prevent the Oregon Women's penitentiary from receiving any additional public attention that arose from her presence there. They sent their New Jersey after her escape, which is semi surprising in the it's not so surprising that they sent her out of town because at the time our women's prison was you know? Not. The most secure. And the interstate compact is basically like. Baseball trading or football trading you know you traded inmate for another inmate. And that's pretty. What is That that knew that there was a lot of rejections for who house Diane downs after this scape and that New Jersey said, we will take Diane if we can extend you to, and May, when we have the need when the neater. Yeah you know and I'm I'm relatively sure they they moved Diane. To get her out of the town so that the publicity wasn't always there. And again originally because she had escaped and a Lotta Times they they do the prisoner swaps or the interstate compact to try to get. A new environment for the night. Where they will you know maybe under different circumstances and different prison a state they will you know get better. Whatever that means on. Sure. No one wants to take diane because of the publicity and then you know she tried to escape that. Krizan. I didn't know that. Oh. Yeah you didn't know she tried to escape new. Jersey. No. While she was in New Jersey, she got a had a personal relationship with a man who was a helicopter pilot. WHO was going to steal a helicopter. And the New Jersey and escape with Diana again. And he gave that. Conspiracy up I'm not going to get this right. You know a couple of months before it was supposed to go always a practice. Because, of something that happens he didn't get caught he confessed. And turn himself in and he may have been from Seattle on. A lot of these details. Aren't they are but. I know I went to see her in the Jersey prison after she was there. before this escape attempt because I was visiting my family and it was just easy for me to do to visit her. and I wanted to visit her just because you know. Mainly to see whether a New Jersey prison we'll talk and then when this escape attempt happened. It was just weird. You know and that's when she got sent to the California prison. Which is as I understand it and I don't know that this is true. The worst women's prison in the world or at least in the United States. Ought to do some research on that I, know that I was talking to the infamous. Bo Derek. and. She's housed with Diane not they're not like cellmates or anything, but they actually know each other not prison which is interesting to me but how you know different inmates are connected. Yeah as I said, I went through some of these records. on ocean and some of the things that she was claiming. Again. I didn't go and say any of the details, but she's claiming you know. She was you know made of hers and This Folk Era Lady. You know I think training also, it's a conspiracy theories. Who she's been sold with. Initially Steve Reserved his opinions on Diane's guilt going solely off the court's verdict his principles as an attorney prevented him from taking certain actions of the client directly admitted guilt to him well, her daughter. She was the perpetrator. Always, say at that time as always pushy here stranger. I believe I'm an ethical attorney. and. and. That's a cool attorney can't have his client on the understand and lot. So if your client tells you that they're guilty. You can't put them on the stand and. Say Not guilty. And when I say guilty and not guilty I'm talking about the individual faster so they can. Write. A defendant has the absolute right to take the stand and defend themselves in a criminal case. So if you get somebody who tells you Just use an example filming if somebody tells you. Yeah. Shot this person. They can't get on stand and say I didn't shoot the person. Say you get on the stand and say I didn't shoot the person and they've already told you when you believe that they did shoot the person. While they have the absolute right to get on the stand, you can ask them only one question. Question question is what happens. You can't ask them any other questions. And you have to be careful how you present the case other than that. So. Knowing that from the beginning of my career and knowing that I was. An ethical person One of the things I try not to do when I first started to represent somebody you say. Are you guilty? A criminal defense attorneys obligations are. Ninety, nine percent to the clients. That one percents is to the court. that. You can't let your client lie to the court. So. I, basically tell them that upfront. So they know the ground rules what they should be telling me what they shouldn't they tell argument. You represented both Diane back as mom and and then my dad what stands out to you about their personalities are they similar or they would you say to both narcissists what would be your assessment of the two? Well I would say Diane, was a narcissist and I think Chad was to. You know it's hard to. Your Dad owned up to the crime scene. which took a lot of guts. I'll say it. This way fan is guilty which. In all likelihood she is she never owned up to the crime. Hey there it's mango Hosa part-time Genius Co Founder Mental Floss and like many of you one of the twenty one million people that have picked up gardening in the past six months. That's why I'm hosting the brand new podcast humans growing stopped brought to you by Iheartmedia and your friends at Miracle Grow. Join me on a green adventure as we talk with experts, friends and surprise guest and here gardening means to them listen to humans growing stuff on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast. Food is and always has been political. That wasn't clear before the events of two thousand, twenty five revealed this truth in a spectacular fashion. So this season were diving deeper learning about the nomadic roots of the people and the cultural significance of Matt Dining. We traveled to Palestine to taste the milky distant Iraq. And then to La Palma in the canary islands to drink local wine from a woman winemaker while considering the industry's male dominance or questioning the morality of meet. The politics of language and why we don't say food desert but rather food apartheid. This season, we're bringing you into the policies that influence and shape our food system. Along the way. Drinking coffee with you while discussing it's African origin. From the makers of Whitestone media, its point of origin season three I'm inviting you to travel with me your host Steven Satterfield for another tour of the world of food worldwide. Listen to point of origin on the iheartradio APP, apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast. The main focus of Steve's post conviction relief was the forensic evidence presented at trial Kristie testimony was difficult to disprove, but Steve knew that blood splatter evidence was controversial. Well, again, you look at the case and it was a big case. So there's a Lotta paperwork. First of all you have to, you know read the transcripts of the trial to understand how she got convicted. And the facts that led to her conviction and what? Do you remember what does worth that led to her conviction or think testifying that she did it. Was the biggest. act. If I remember correctly and then. There was forensic evidence that tried to just prove her theory is the case. And one of the biggest parts of that. Was where she said everybody was situated at the time of the crime. inter out of the car and plus bag or evidence concerning that which came minutes trial but again as I said. Earlier one of the main things you look at is Ineffective Assistance of console meeting. Did the original attorney to rights and what does he do wrong? What would you say? That this would be Jim Dagger. What would you say he did right and what would you say he did wrong. Well I remember it will fade into the blood splatter and now I, remember at least somewhat concentrating on the blood splatter that he didn't do that right I mean over the years there's been some controversy over blood splatter forensic people prosecuting quote, unquote scientists. Elise. You can tell a lot about what goes on from blood splatter. Some people don't believe it's very scientific at all but clearly, the state tries to prove that I am was not telling the truth. Based on where the blood. SPLATTER was and how is it existed in and around the car? Our case was to try to show that. And Do a very good job and could holes and the spat or testimony of the experts in the case. Love. Her sentence. The Nile Got Life. With minimum I think fifty years. So she's contested a lot of different things and one of the big issues that were contested I believe is that the gun was never found. Leave I have this feeling that. Either Diane, said that a gun was thrown in a river. Or Somehow? Gun got in the river. But. I believe he's the. Police searched the river. But. I personally believe comes in the river I. I'm not sure I can tell you why I believe that but I think that's where it is. came the letter after her conviction Diane wrote a letter to her defense attorney Jim Jagger and it Diane changes her story about the night of the shooting. He's representing her the headed his file in at some point. The state asked him for this ladder. and. He had to turn it over to the state. And this was the importance of this letter to me. It may be not important to anybody else but to me. If you remember after the children were shot and they were on the. Road next to the Mackenzie highway. She's driving to the hospital in Springfield. Very. Slowly, and at the trial someone who followed her I, think a man, maybe a pickup truck. was following her. Said Jewish dramas person didn't know her from Adam this person me very slowly. Sums going on now. So they use the state argued I think that? She was driving very slowly to the hospital so the children would die. Yeah I can't remember how she explained it. probably, she just didn't know where she was or whatever. The trauma the. This wider basically says that somebody in the pickup truck was fouling her on the road. This is before the killing. He passed her. Then he slowed down. She passed him I mean not be right about that part. and. Then she stopped because she was interested in this guy. Danger of the night to stop per se ages look. I think I knew about this letter. But. If I didn't know about the weather that I think. Her changing her story on this is important in my mind because it really describes. The swo- driving before the cry. And that she was interested in just. Picking up this guy who is in this pickup truck. And she basically. Since then after she stopped in. Met. This guy. That he became pushy hit stranger and and he's the one who shop because. A letter starts out with an almost confessional tone. It begins November Seventeenth Nineteen eighty-four Salem Oregon Dear Jim I'm not really sure how to start this letter, but I guess the best way to make an apology is to say I'm sorry now you're probably wondering what this is all about and when you're through reading, you'll probably drop this letter and say Damn Diane like you have so many times before your blood pressure will go up and I'm sorry about that too I'm sorry about a lot of things really alley you will forgive me for not being. Totally honest with you is just so hard for me to put myself in someone else's hands. I find it hard to fully trust anyone not to hurt me I needed to control myself and the situation and I've been that way for a few years and has been a hard lesson to learn I can't guarantee all be cured forever. But I know now that I should have placed his whole problem in your hands and let you deal with it but I was afraid silly maybe I was afraid you would lose respect for me and well, let me explain. The letter goes on to retail. Diane's of what took place the night of the shooting she states the shaggy hair stranger was actually a man who was driving behind her on the road according to her he passed her and slowed down was kind of a flirtatious dance between the two cars and she eventually pulled over she claims the man wanted we'd and when she opened the trunk, He took out the case containing Steve's gun. After making advances on Diane, he proceeded to shoot her and her children one by one before fleeing. Really, interesting read letter. What's really interesting to me. Well I mean to a criminal defense attorney. It's a damning. And Who knows what else she had told Jim Jagger and He obviously did his best in representing. I think someplace in the letter she said, she told him several stories or something like that. would. have been hard for him. Though Steve Tried to remain ethical attorney and go on the basis of Diane's proclamation of innocence the letter finally convinced him of her guilt, the change in her story from what she claimed multiple times and trial and to the press showed Steve Diane. Most likely wasn't telling the truth and potentially never had he doesn't believe she'll do well at her future parole hearings. No, and I don't believe she will have a chance I wa again, the Parole Board over the years has been very conservative. I would say the Parole Board has ever been liberal in the state of Oregon so they do look at. The Parole Board should be looking at the person. The individual what you should be looking at is, of course, the crime, the effect of the crime especially these days on the victims and you know it used to be the victims really didn't much matter and then we went through A. A phase that still exist victim's rights and Carter that is the parole board wants you to come clean. If they believe that you're guilty of the crimes they want you to say you're guilty of the crime. And show remorse for your guilt. So the fact that I N. Has Yet to. Show. Much remorse or so show that she is guilty. It's GonNa be hard for her to get out on parole. by the pool for and frankly especially crimes that have. Such publicity. Conservative, them I don't believe that show ever get out on parole. Diane downs was denied parole in two, thousand eight and again in two thousand ten Dan's Parole Board hearing took place just recently September twenty third she was denied parole. On the next episode Michelle Presents Becky with the conclusion of efforts to trace becky's paternity and identify her biological father. Also coming in a few days a bonus episode, the Bizarre Letter Diane downs. Route. To Jim Jagger read in its entirety although we were unable to percent the entire letter in this episode due to time constraints we feel that you the listener should hear this bizarre retelling of the night of the crime in Diane's own words. Who could be responsible for murdering a family of five in the most horrific way imaginable. That's what occurred when quiet night in Essex England in nineteen eighty five when police ruled that twenty-eight-year-old chillicothe fell murdered her parents and six year old twin boys before killing herself. As. Evidence continued to surface however the truth revealed something even more sinister I'm Lauren Bri. Pacheco. Join me as we go behind the crime scenes of the new HBO Max. Series the murders at White House farm as well as the infamous real life events that inspired it. We'll talk to the people involved with the series and the case itself and find out why suspicion started to shift from. Sheila to someone else and reflect on the fallout for all involved. Stream the murders at White House farm now on HBO Max and subscribe and listened to the murders at White House farm the podcast on the iheartradio APP HBO, Max Apple, podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up? This is Adam Devine Anders home, Blake Anderson, Carl Richard, and you might recognize these suites sultry voices from the hit television program workaholics. And we were sitting around and we were bored in quarantine where always on these calls and we thought, Hey, you know what? This important totally these are important conversations were having and the world needs to hear it. So please do yourself a favor and listen to this is important on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

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