"American Horror Story" actor Dylan McDermott has learned from Connecticut police that his mother was murdered in 1967 when he was five, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The information surfaced after the police reopened their investigation, the story notes.
The investigation found that Diane McDermott was killed by her gangster boyfriend, John Sponza, the story notes, citing the Republican-American newspaper, which has a paywall that blocks some readers from the article online.
The investigation was reopened a year ago after the actor inquired about the case.
Sponza, the only witness to Diane McDermott’s death, had told the authorities that she shot herself after picking up a gun he had been cleaning, the story notes. Her death was originally determined to be an accident.
Police said they discovered enough evidence to file murder charges against Sponza, although he died in 1972. He was shot to death and his body was found in a car trunk, the story notes.
“What troubled me was that there was very little follow-up other than the statement Sponza had given to police,” Police Superintendent Michael Gugliotti said, according to the article. “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.”
Police say Sponza had ties to organized crime, according to the piece. As a result of the reopened case, he has also been linked to at least two other unsolved killings, the report adds.
Dylan McDermott declined comment for the report, but Gugliotti talked about an earlier meeting with the actor.
Said Gugliotti: “He said, ‘In order for me to survive and to get where I am today, I needed to bury that moment in my life deep within myself.’ He said, ‘It wasn’t until recently that I’ve come to the point in my life where I’m able to begin to process all of this and make it part of [my] life.’”