Small Sacrifices : Synopsis

WARNING: Spoilers

The synopsis contains information that may give away important plot points. You may not want to read any further if you've not already seen this title.

On the night of May 19th, 1983, single mother Diane Downs (Farrah Fawcett) brought her 3 young children into an ER in Springfield, Oregon. All the children had life-threatening gun-shot wounds--one of them died upon arrival,and the other 2 remained in very serious condition. However, Diane showed no emotion whatsoever while her kids fought for their lives. When questioned by authorities, Diane alleged that a "bushy-haired stranger" had signaled her car off of the road, tried to steal it, and when he was unsuccessful, had shot all 3 of the children and her in the arm. But while investigating the incident, detective Doug Welch (Gordon Clapp) begins to find discrepancies in Diane's story. He then starts digging into her past and soon discovers that not only was Diane a cruel, abusive, and neglectful parent, but she had been in trouble with the law before. Further investigation on the 28-year-old woman uncovered a troubled homelife, surrogate pregnancies, a messy divorce, and an affair with a married man (Ryan O'Neal). Determined to put away the woman he now suspects is a cruel, heartless, and manipulative liar who tried to murder her own children in cold blood, Detective Welch struggles for physical evidence with the help of a prosecuting attorney, Frank Joziac (John Shea), who is also determined to find justice for the children. Their efforts pay off in the end--Diane Downs is convicted of first degree murder, two counts of attempted first degree murder,and one count of first degree assault. She is sentenced to life plus 50 years in prison, where she remains today.