At first, the tragic incident was ruled an accident. But police reopened the case last year and have now concluded that she was murdered by her then-boyfriend, John Sponza.
Initially, Sponza told authorities that Diane accidentally shot herself after picking up a gun he’d been cleaning. But police now believe they have enough evidence pointing to murder.
Sadly, justice won’t be served in this case. Sponza, who authorities say had ties to organized crime, was shot to death in 1972—five years after Diane’s death. His body was found in the trunk of a car in a supermarket parking lot in Massachusetts.
But at least the family can have some closure now.
“It shapes you forever,” the The Practice actor told Esquire in 2000 of his mother’s untimely death. “And you don’t get over it.”