Dylan McDermott's mother murdered by gangster John Sponza, say police after re-opening the 45-year-old case

dylan-mcdermott-getty.jpgThe police in Waterbury, Conn. have re-opened the shooting death of actor Dylan McDermott's mother Diane McDermott and have concluded that she was murdered by her then-boyfriend, gangster John Sponza. Sponza was himself shot to death in 1972, his body found in the trunk of a car in Massachusetts.

The case was re-opened after McDermott himself contacted the police, reports the AP. H. Wayne Carver, the state's medical examiner, reviews the autopsy and determined that the gun found near her was too small a caliber to have been the murder weapon - her death was originally ruled accidental after Sponza told the police McDermott accidentally shot herself after picking up the gun he had been cleaning.

Police Superintendent Michael Gugliotti tells the AP, "What troubled me was that there was very little follow up other than the statement Sponza had given to police. 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's still probably traumatized by that," Gugliotti adds.

Dylan's sister Robin Herrera says, "I'm happy to know my mother wasn't mentally ill or depressed. Somebody took her from us; she didn't leave us."

Police also say that the re-opening of the McDermott investigation has led to evidence that implicates Sponza in at least two other unsolved homicides.

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