No, the story of how Dylan McDermott helped solve the passing of his own mother is not the basis for a brand new motion picture.
McDermott was only five years old when his mother, Diane, passed away, and he was able to (sort of) watch her passing. After going years without receiving justice, McDermott finally realized that he had no choice but to take matters into his own hands.
When Diane gave birth to her baby, she was only 15 years old, and Richard McDermott, the boy’s father, was only 17 years old at the time. Even after he and Diane ended their relationship, Richard continued to support his family via his pool hustle.
When Dylan was a small boy, Diane began meeting a new guy who went by the name of John Sponza. Diane relocated Dylan and his sister, Robin, into the house despite the fact that Sponza was notorious for being a troublemaker and an addict.
Sponza was a well-known aggressive guy, and there is enough evidence to suggest that he took out his rage on Diane and Dylan on several occasions. It was not out of the ordinary for him to cast Dylan to the side of the road for the night, which is precisely what took on the night that Diane passed away.
Dylan had been left outdoors in the bitter cold for an extended period of time when he heard yelling, followed by a gunshot.
After what seemed like just a moment, he saw his mother being taken away in an ambulance. Diane fired herself in the head while picking up a pistol that Sponza was cleaning, according to the story that Sponza gave the authorities.
Sponza altered his narrative almost soon thereafter, claiming that Diane had committed herself by taking her own life. The narrative that Diane McDermott had committed suicide was accepted as fact by the police, and the investigation was brought to an end.
Dylan McDermott saw that something wasn’t quite right in his life forty-four years after his mother had passed away. He contacted the Waterbury Police Department with the belief that there was more to the narrative of her suicide, and asked them to re-open the investigation into the incident.
As the investigation into Diane’s passing progressed, the Superintendent Michael Gugliotti, Detective Richard Baxter, and Lieutenant Gary Pelosi were aware that several details did not correspond with one another.
Gugliotti remarked, “What disturbed me was that there was very little follow up other than the statement Sponza had provided to police.” The more digging and inquiry that was done, Dylan McDermott’s hunch that his mother had been a victim was shown to be correct.
“I’m relieved to know my mother wasn’t mentally sick or depressed,” said Robin Herrera, McDermott’s sister. “Somebody took her from us; she didn’t abandon us.”
The new investigation came to the conclusion that not only was Sponza guilty for the loss of Diane, but that he was also engaged in two other unsolved cases. Despite this, the new investigation found that justice would not be served via the legal system.
Sponza, however, was a victim of “what goes around, comes around.” In 1972, five years after the passing of Diane, the gangster was found unresponsive in the trunk of a car that was parked outside of a grocery store.
It is believed that his passing was the result of his connections to gangs and organized crime.