Actor Dylan McDermott’s Mother’s Confirmed Murder – 45 Years Later

June 26th, 2012 // Leave a Comment

Dylan McDermott and his family can finally enjoy some closure after the long awaited investigation has been closed. Dylan’s mother, Diane, was shot in what police believed was an accident, though that was obviously not the case.

Reports show that John Sponza, Diane’s boyfriend at the time who has believed to have mob ties, was polishing one of his guns when Diane accidentally shot herself with it. Dylan was only five years old at the time. The case was reopened last year only because Dylan started asking the police questions, and facts were not adding up. The Republican-American newspaper covered the story in a two part series Sunday and Monday.

Read on to learn the whole story behind this tragic case that took 45 years to get to the bottom of.

H. Wayve Carver, the medical examiner for the state of Massachusetts, was brought in to reexamine the case. He found the supposed gun that Diane shot herself with was too small a caliber to have been the weapon that was actually used to kill her. Additionally, according to his report the wound also shows the weapon had been pressed to the back of her head.

Police Superintendent Michael Gugliotti seemed disillusioned at how the case was initially handled.

He said, “What troubled me was that there was very little follow up other than the statement Sponza had given to police.”

While Sponza claimed he rarely got into arguments, the opposite is true. Gugliotti recounts, “Sponza is telling the police that night that he very rarely, if ever, had arguments, yet everyone we spoke to, including Dylan, who was only 5 at the time, remembered very violent, vicious arguments. Dylan vividly recalls the amount of times, not only flashing the gun, but pointing it at the kid, saying, ‘Shut up and get out of here.’ He is still probably traumatized by that.”

Closure has been reached, and it seems as if Sponza has already done the time. He was found shot to death in the trunk of a car in a grocery store parking lot in Waltham, Mass. in 1972. This new ruling has also given the police reason to reopen two other unsolved homicide cases where this newfound evidence points to Sponza.

Dylan took to Twitter to thank all those that have helped him get here to gain closure in this tragic situation. He said, “I’d like to thank everyone for their amazing support today. It means so much to me. It’s been a long, hard journey that ended in victory.”

Dylan, who won a Golden Globe in 1999 for his role on the TV drama The Practice, made the best of his situation. Him and his sister were raised by their maternal grandmother, but he frequently saw his father and became close with his third wife who eventually adopted them. Even though the marriage ended, Dylan remained close with Eve Ensler (author of The Vagina Monologues). She started writing roles for him in her plays and the rest is history. Dylan has also had lead roles in television series Dark Blue and American Horror Story.

By Alyssa Clough
asl

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