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Actor Solves His Mothers Murder 40 Years Later

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Dylan McDermott popularly seen in law related shows recently helped solved his own mother’s murder, and no, this is not the plot of a new movie.

When he was just five years old, McDermott was (sort of) witness to his mother, Diane’s, death. After years without justice, McDermott knew he had to take things into his own hands.


Dylan McDermott was born Mark Anthony McDermott on October 26, 1961. Diane was just 15 years old when she have birth to her son, and Richard McDermott (his father), was only 17. Richard earned money for the family by hustling pool, even after he and Diane separated.

Diane started seeing a new man when Dylan was young, by the name of John Sponza. Sponza was a known gangster and heroin addict, but Diane still moved Dylan and his sister, Robin, into the home.

Mom’s Death

Sponza was a well-documented violent man, who was no stranger to taking his aggression out on Diane and Dylan. It was not unusual for him to throw Dylan to the curb for the night, which is exactly what happened the night of Diane’s death.

Dylan was left outside in the freezing cold temperatures when he heard shouting and then a gunshot. The next thing he knew, his mom was being whisked away in an ambulance with a gunshot wound to the head. Sponza told police that Diane shot herself in the head by accident while picking up a gun that Sponza was cleaning. Almost immediately after, Sponza changed his story to say that Diane killed herself.

Police took the story of suicide as fact, and the case was closed on Diane McDermott’s death.

Mom’s Murder?

Forty-four years after his mother’s death, something wasn’t sitting right with Dylan McDermott. He believed there was more to the story of her suicide, and approached the Waterbury Police Department to ask them to re-open the investigation.