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They Said His Mother Killed Herself, But This Hollywood Actor Didn't Stop Until He Proved Otherwise

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He's not a crime fighter, but he does play one on TV. You probably remember Dylan McDermott from roles on hit TV shows like The Practice and Dark Blue, but this star's glitzy life also has a hidden dark side.

When McDermott was just five years old, his mother died under mysterious circumstances. Questions surrounding what really happened to her haunted the actor for the rest of his life, and he eventually helped solve a real life cold case four decades in the making.

The Murder

Dylan's mother was named Diane McDermott. She became pregnant with Dylan as a teenager, and separated from his biological father soon afterwards. Dylan and his infant sister Robin moved in with Diane's new boyfriend, named John Sponza.

Sponza had a reputation for being violent and abusive towards both Diane and Dylan. So it wasn't unusual when he kicked five-year-old Dylan out of the house one night, leaving him in the freezing cold.

Soon, Dylan heard yelling and a gunshot from inside the house. Then, an ambulance arrived and took his mother away on a stretcher, with a massive head wound. Sponza told police that she had shot herself by accident by picking up a gun he was cleaning.

A photo from 2011, showing the kitchen where Diane McDermott was murdered,Waterbury Police Department

But that story didn't sit right with McDermott. Years later, he helped uncover the truth...

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