The man who hid convicted child killer Diane Downs after she escaped from prison in 1987 said he “should’ve turned her in” to police.
Wayne Seifer told “20/20” for the upcoming special on Downs that he was addicted to heroin when the single mother turned up at his door.
Downs was sentenced in 1984 to “prison for life plus 50 years for shooting her three children and killing one” in 1983, ABC News reported. Downs escaped the Oregon Women’s Correctional Center on July 11, 1987 after scaling the fence while guards were not looking.
Downs went to a home where Seifer was living with two friends. He recalled the day the convicted felon showed up at his doorstep.
“So I walk downstairs, still a little bit bleary-eyed, and she [Downs] said, ‘Could I stay?’ And I said ‘Why not?’ and I went back upstairs to sleep,” Seifer told “20/20.”
Seifer said the woman introduced herself later, not as Downs but “as a girl with no clothes on.” He said the two had a sexual relationship while she stayed at the home.
“I was a nervous wreck, you know. I didn’t see a sober minute... My only job was to keep her there; keep her from going out and harming anybody. I should’ve turned her in, but I didn’t,” Seifer said.
Police were able to track down Downs thanks to a piece of paper she left in her cell.
“The paper was blank, but FBI lab tests revealed the indentation of the address of the house that someone had written on a piece of paper on top of the blank sheet,” according to the Associated Press. One of Downs’ fellow inmates gave her the address of the home, “20/20” reported.
Seifer said Downs was going to “grab a BB gun and just go suicide by cop” but he talked her out of it. He said, “she went without a fight.”
Seifer admitted he knew he would get in trouble for hiding Downs.
“When it came my time to burn, I was just going to tell the truth and get it over with,” he said.
After being asked “a million times” why he didn’t contact police and turn the single mother in, Seifer said he “still doesn’t have an answer other than his drug use at the time.”
Seifer was sentenced to five years probation and six months in a restitution center after “pleading guilty to hindering prosecution.” Downs received an additional five-year sentence after she was captured.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.