Diane McDermott was actor Dylan McDermott’s mother who died 47 years ago. But it was not until recently when police re-opened her case that they determine Mrs. McDermott was killed by her lover John Sponza after originally ruling her death an accident.
50-year-old Dylan McDermott was actually born Mark Anthony McDermott to Richard McDermott and Diane Marino McDermontt who also had one younger daughter Robin. Diane and Richard were just a couple of teenagers when they got married and welcomed Dylan into their lives in 1962. By the time he was five they got divorced.
Diane took the children with her to her mother’s house in Waterbury. She was dating a man named John Sponza, a known gangster and drug addict who became the main suspect of her mysterious death on February 7, 1967. She was 20.
At the time of the incident he said he was cleaning a firearm in the kitchen, and when Diane picked it up to prepare dinner she accidentally shot herself. Police ruled Mrs. McDermott’s cause of death as accidental.
“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,” he added. “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’s still probably traumatized by that.”
After Diane’s death the small children went to their maternal grandmother. Dylan rekindled his relationship with his father and his new wife, Vagina Monologues’s writer Eve Ensler. She is only nine years older than him. She adopted him when she was 23 and he was 15.
The friendship remained even after his father and Eve got divorce. He decided to legally change his name to Dylan when Mrs. Ensler suffered a miscarriage. She was going to name her baby Dylan.
Last year Dylan contacted Waterbury police with tons of questions, enough that Diane McDermott’s death was re-opened. It was today that police released the results of their latest investigation..
The state’s medical examiner, H. Wayne Carver, reviewed McDermott’s autopsy and determined that the gun found near the body was too small a caliber to have been the weapon used to kill her [Diane was right-handed and the wound was on the left-side of the back of her head]. The wound also showed that the murder weapon had been pressed to the back of her head, according to his report. Sponza killed her.
However he was not brought in for questioning, arrest or trial whatsoever; Sponza’s body was found in the trunk of a car at a parking lot in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1972.