Jump to content

There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (HBO)


  • Please log in to reply

315 replies to this topic

#1

Major Misfit

Major Misfit

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 8:37 AM

I watched this documentary when it premiered last week on HBO and all I can say is that Danny Schuler might be the biggest asshole I've ever witnessed. The guy's wife killed eight people, including herself and four children, because she was drunk and stoned, and he is STILL clinging on to the theory that a "dental abscess" or "a stroke" was to blame for the fatal crash? I'm sorry, dude, but it's time you STFU. It doesn't help, I suppose, that he has scumbag lawyer Dominic Barbara representing him.

The sister-in-law was another baffling case. She seemed waaaaay over-invested in Danny himself and I can't help but wonder what else is going on in that relationship.

It was a decent documentary, but after Googling facts on the case, a lot was left out. There were reports from her co-workers that she did enjoy drinking after work (despite Danny's claims in the doc that she didn't) and even HE went on record saying there WERE drinking the weekend the crime occurred. There was alcohol found during the autopsy -- still in her stomach It seems the POV of this film was to hear out the Schuler's side of the story only and not to investigate anything further.

Edited by Major Misfit, Aug 1, 2011 @ 8:42 AM.

  • 0

#2

MyNextLifetime

MyNextLifetime

    Channel Surfer

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 9:03 AM

I watched this documentary when it premiered last week on HBO and all I can say is that Danny Schuler might be the biggest asshole I've ever witnessed. The guy's wife killed eight people, including herself and four children, because she was drunk and stoned, and he is STILL clinging on to the theory that a "dental abscess" or "a stroke" was to blame for the fatal crash? I'm sorry, dude, but it's time you STFU. It doesn't help, I suppose, that he has scumbag lawyer Dominic Barbara representing him.


If you think all that is bad, he is now suing both the State of New York for poor construction on the highway that the accident took place on, as well as the family of the three girls that were killed in the accident because it was their vehicle that was in the accident. He does come off as a piece of work (with a new lawyer apparently). I can understand the family of the men killed in the other car saying that they can forgive Diane, but they cannot forgive her husband.

I too thought the documentary was well done, even though they didn't give ALL of the details it was a fair documentation of the events and of Diane in particular
  • 0

#3

annlaw78

annlaw78

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 12:49 PM

I'm frankly surprised that the family would participate in this documentary with litigation ongoing or expected -- I would think their attorney(s) would instruct them not to say anything except what is said in deposition or at trial.

I've heard reports of drunk drivers entering freeways on exit ramps, and it always surprises me -- I think I'd have a hard time navigating that counter-intuitive maneuver sober. The only way I could see that happening is if you're coming out of a gas station or similar and just get super-confused. Otherwise, you have to make a pretty sharp turn, right?

Edited by annlaw78, Aug 1, 2011 @ 12:51 PM.

  • 0

#4

Anomie

Anomie

    Channel Surfer

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 1:16 PM

HBO should have posted a warning that watching this documentary could cause an acute case of OCD. After viewing it, I became totally caught up in the Schuler case to the point where it affected my sleep. I got the impression that none of the family members, friends, or former friends were telling the entire truth about Diane Schuler. In the end, the lack of clear answers as to what motivated her bizarre behavior on that particular day was maddening. Even assuming that Diane Schuler was an alcoholic and a regular pot smoker, the heavy drinking and pot use while driving seemed very out of character for her. I hope, for the sake of all concerned, that the unanswered questions are resolved some day, but I highly doubt that will ever happen.

Edited by Anomie, Aug 1, 2011 @ 1:18 PM.

  • 0

#5

always edina

always edina

    Couch Potato

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 1:52 PM

As a NJ resident I kept up with this story religiously. I was, and remain, so ANGRY at this woman and clueless husband. I want her miserable corpse dug up and put on trial.

Danny worked nights. He had absolutely NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT SHE DID AFTER SHE PUT THE KIDS DOWN. Apparently she relaxed by getting high and stoned before going to bed .ALONE And he said he packed the vodka bottle in a bag and apparently she took it out of the bag and brought it with her. This was the bottle that was supposedly taken back and forth all summer. Yeah right you clueless wimp.

re: the SIL Jay. She was enjoying her time on camera way too much for it being much a monumental tragedy. She's driving this bus and the husband is just along for the ride. And how despicible was it that she told the filmmaker that Danny didn't want children and he said that now "look at what I'm left with", meaning the badly injured boy Brian. Bitch, step away from the cameras and microphone before you do any more damage to that little boy.

Even typing this has stirred up such anger in my I have to stop now.
  • 0

#6

annlaw78

annlaw78

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 2:58 PM

I was disappointed in the lack of investigation, which I thought was the point of the documentary. The filmmakers did not seem to do much to investigate the incident, other than relying upon law enforcement officers, known witnesses, and the PI. There was nothing really "new" done. I expected, and would have liked to have seen a thorough examination of what could explain the autopsy results, and eliminating those explanations. Instead of the family asking specific questions of the forensic pathologist expert, I would have preferred a more thorough rundown of the medical science, if only to remove any possible doubt as to what happened. Something like "sometimes false positives for THC can be caused by X, Y, and Z, but I see no medical evidence that X, Y, or Z occurred in this case."

I don't buy that anyone would become "confused" and accidentally drink vodka instead of water. I'm not sure what NY laws on open containers are, but who drives around with a vodka bottle anywhere near the driver's seat? The notion that some medical event would cause a person to accidentally take swigs out of a vodka bottle instead of a water bottle seems impossible if you have the bottle properly placed in the back.

If the suggestion is functional alcoholism, I'm having a hard time understanding how a functional alcoholic so devastatingly stops functioning -- the accident in question was not someone driving off the shoulder into a tree.

Edited by annlaw78, Aug 1, 2011 @ 3:27 PM.

  • 0

#7

Suz at Large

Suz at Large

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 3:45 PM

I don't buy that anyone would become "confused" and accidentally drink vodka instead of water.

Me either.

If the suggestion is functional alcoholism, I'm having a hard time understanding how a functional alcoholic so devastatingly stops functioning -- the accident in question was not someone driving off the shoulder into a tree.

I don't know about the "functional alcoholism" thing, but she may have been in an alcohol induced blackout. During which she'd appear to be awake and functioning but could be driving recklessly or doing other things she would not do if sober.
  • 0

#8

mrspeel

mrspeel

    Couch Potato

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 4:05 PM

I found this documentary highly frustrating, but fascinating. I thought the filmmakers had very specific parameters within to work as Jay & Danny were the only ones who really cooperated and they were upfront about assisting with discovery of additional tests as well as compensation going to participants. I do wish they showed more of the Bastardi family; I thought those women exhibited amazing strength.

My take on Jay's comment about Danny confessing that he didn't want kids was her verbalizing she was at the end of her rope with him. When something so horrific happens there's a stage of disbelief that can last a long time. As far as Danny goes I believe it's just pure denial. Diane seemed to have so many secrets; I know some have attributed this accident to blackout drinking but I always had (an awful) inkling this was murder/suicide. For whatever reason the part where the cell phone was shown left at the underpass just left me cold.

If anyone's interested here's a link to Steve Fishman's 2009 New York article. He participated in the film & addresses some things that were not part of the documentary.
  • 0

#9

jjj

jjj

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 4:50 PM

Whata a devastating event. I agree, I wish the documentary had dug more into the situation and had given less camera time to the husband of Diane and the husband's sister. I wish they had added a text tag at the end to say that the husband is suing the family that lost the three beautiful daughters. That is unbelievably crass and heartless. The husband is looking to blame anyone but Diane, and it makes me wonder if he knows a LOT more that he was saying on camera, and is carrying around some level of guilt that he is trying to push onto someone else. How I wish those little girls could have gotten out of the van at one of the stops along the way.
  • 0

#10

hardy har

hardy har

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 5:19 PM

Here's a piece about Jackie Hance (the mother of the three girls who were killed) from MSNBC:

A documentary debuting on HBO July 25 takes its title from the final phone call from 8-year-old Emma to Jackie before the accident, in which Emma said, “There’s something wrong with Aunt Diane.’’

“As I write this, I know that a television special made with [Danny Schuler’s] permission is about to air on HBO,” Hance writes in Ladies’ Home Journal. “I can't imagine what it will say. I hope there are answers to all our questions, but I don't know if I'll even be able to watch it.

“The fact that they used my daughter Emma's last words as a title only makes it that much more painful.”


And according to this, the HBO piece was made without the cooperation of Jackie and her husband.
  • 0

#11

Major Misfit

Major Misfit

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 5:37 PM

If anyone's interested here's a link to Steve Fishman's 2009 New York article. He participated in the film & addresses some things that were not part of the documentary.

Thanks for the link. This part made me want to bang my head (re: surviving child, Bryan):

He doesn’t remember what happened in the car, Danny says.

Huh. That's funny. Because in the doc, the sister-in-law(?) claimed the child said "mommy's head hurt" and that he "flew out of the car like Superman." First of all, those statements had to have been put in the child's head after the fact. There's no way, given the head trauma AND his age, he'd have any memory of that event at all. And was the child ejected from the car at all? I thought they found him under all the other children inside the car?

I wish they had added a text tag at the end to say that the husband is suing the family that lost the three beautiful daughters.

Danny Schuler filed suit either the day after the doc premiered or the day of. Not sure which.

and it makes me wonder if he knows a LOT more that he was saying on camera

Oh, I would bet a million dollars he knows EVERYTHING that happened that day. He's not saying because he wants to protect his own ass against litigation and/or wants to paint this saintly picture of his murdering wife for his young son.

The thing that angered me about this documentary was it presented the crime as some sort of "mystery." It's NOT a mystery. The bullshit about some health event other than her own inebriation was smoke and mirrors used to create "doubt" in the public's perception by a piece of shit lawyer and his client.
  • 0

#12

jjj

jjj

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 1, 2011 @ 7:50 PM

When I said I wonder if Danny knows a LOT more about what was going on, I actually meant the years of "casual" and "infrequent" pot smoking (as he and his sister admitted) and any drking that was going on before he got home and Diane was sleeping every night. I know husbands (and wives) in high-level positions who have wives that drink themselves blind at official events, and basically have to carry the wife to the car. But they woudl never admit the wife has any drking problem -- just that she was especially tired that evening. Danny might never have talked to his wife about the pot and drinking, but that doesn't mean he was not aware of the extent of it. I was even amazed that the husband and his sister said that Diane smoked pot "to relax" and "to get to sleep". Thanks for the link to that article -- "piece of shit lawyer" is the right name for him. People like that should be banned from the talk shows, just to spare the innocent victims from the slime.
  • 0

#13

Magalla

Magalla

    Video Archivist

Posted Aug 2, 2011 @ 6:44 PM

I can't stop replaying this documentary, despite the huge flaws in its "investigation". The SIL seemed sincere in her effort to find an explanation, but I agree she was enjoying the camera too much. The husband? He seems to have a limited intellect and I think he almost looked high a couple of times. The mother of those little girls has shown a level of grace that is almost superhuman.

Edited by Magalla, Aug 2, 2011 @ 6:45 PM.

  • 0

#14

Sarcastico

Sarcastico

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 8:52 AM

And was the child ejected from the car at all? I thought they found him under all the other children inside the car?


Hi, Major Misfit! Yes, he was under a pile of kids. They seemed to think that that was what saved him.

Danny's lawsuits seem like what is called "tortious interference." IOW, he's throwing these suits out there as a form of self-defense. I don't think he believes for a minute he'll see any money from those suits, but they could could protect him by dragging out the case for years and years.

I've heard reports of drunk drivers entering freeways on exit ramps


This happened near me sometime in the mid-1990s. It was at something like 4 a.m. on a freezing Tuesday morning. The driver was a woman in her late 50s. Drunk. Fortunately, the only person she killed was herself. I still think of it from time to time.

As a NJ resident I kept up with this story religiously.


Me too. And because my father & I were driving back to NJ from Boston on the Taconic 2 daysbefore this happened (we were taking the scenic route and trying to avoid I-95).

Edited by Sarcastico, Aug 3, 2011 @ 10:20 AM.

  • 0

#15

Rebecca61

Rebecca61

    Just Tuned In

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 1:26 PM

I'm relieved to find other people here who have become obsessed with this documentary and its subjects. I found it dreadful, disturbing and - fascinating. I have such sadness for the young boy left with his father, and hope that some idiot future classmate of his does not shove a picture of his dead mother in his face -- that was pretty shocking. At first I couldn't fathom why showing Diane Schuler's dead body would serve any purpose, but then I thought that it sort of summed up the whole documentary -- the only person who could tell what really happened -- did she have a headache? a mini-stroke? why did she drink the vodka? -- is dead on the ground. I think about this when I'm driving, realizing the split second that could change or end your life. Does anyone know if Daniel Schuler has changed his work schedule? I have the impression that Aunt Jay does most of the caregiving
  • 0

#16

jjj

jjj

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 1:38 PM

I think the documentary said at one point that Aunt Jay was providing a lot of the care to the boy, but as several posters have noted here, Aunt Jay seemed to be worn down by the entire situation. I'd be more worried about the fact that the documentary included her statement that Danny never wanted to have children.

Edited by jjj, Aug 3, 2011 @ 1:38 PM.

  • 0

#17

QueenBee78

QueenBee78

    Video Archivist

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 2:30 PM

Glad to see that I am not the only one fascinated and disturbed by this story. After watching this, and then reading a few different articles online, I am convinced that it was murder suicide, the main reasons listed below.

--The ditched cell phone.
--Her calm demeanor while driving the wrong way. People said they were swerving out of her way, honking, flashing lights---and she just kept looking straight ahead.
--The last meal at McDonalds. One of the articles I read said that she stopped off with the kids at a MCDs and they had to call out a manager to deal with her; she wanted a lunch item and it was still breakfast, but she was insistent that the kids HAD to eat this meal and be allowed in the playland.
--Husband's whacko behavior.

I don't know why she choose to do this with the kids in the car, that is the only mystery to me. I think she was trying to be "supermom" and the pressures of trying to do that, combined with her childhood issues related to her parents divorce, a possible mental disorder (bipolar? the spending that was discussed), plus a husband that everyone called "Diane's third child" just came to a boiling point that weekend. Who knows what really happened on that camping trip? Well, the husband does, but he isn't talking, probably because whatever went down pushed her over the edge, and deep inside, he knows it. Drunk and high and in an emotional state, it was just too much. Too bad she didn't just aim the minivan at the husband with painted on hands and spare the kids!

There is no mystery what happened---she got high, drunk and pulled off a murder suicide. The only mystery is what pushed her to that point. And, the family wasn't about to really give that up!
  • 0

#18

dick simple

dick simple

    Couch Potato

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 2:43 PM

BOY DO I FEEL STUPID!

I watched this documentary last night and came away thinking it was a mystery on par with the JFK assassination, although there were troubling aspects. I had assumed she didn't drink or smoke pot . . . not so.

I'm still troubled by her lack of swerving going the wrong way down the freeway . . . witnesses said it was as though she were playing chicken. I still think there was something at work besides alcohol and weed.

It was revealed that the husband was like Diane's oldest child . . . it looks like he's found that same relationship with Jay . . . especially when they left that doctor's office.

I began to take a dim view of the husband when he said if the little boy wanted to talk about anything he could . . . and he wasn't taking him to a therapist . . . when my mother committed suicide that's the way my father handled it . . . "mum's the word!"
  • 1

#19

Rebecca61

Rebecca61

    Just Tuned In

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 3:29 PM

I hadn't thought about the McDonalds' meal in that way. I thought forcing the employees to make her an off-menu item was just another indication of her strong personality, as alluded to by friends and co-workers (if she didn't like you, she let you know, it was her way or the highway, etc.). But now I can see the connection to a suicide/last meal. Why in the world did she drive around for four hours? A person can aim for a tractor-trailer truck on the highway pretty quickly, and she should have had plenty of opportunities to take out herself and her children -- but why her brother's children? Is there some heinous backstory there between her brother and herself? After losing her mother, not from death but from a real rejection, in her eyes, Diane probably would never leave Danny; she might rather be dead. geez oh man.
  • 0

#20

Suz at Large

Suz at Large

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 4:31 PM

I watched this documentary last night and came away thinking it was a mystery on par with the JFK assassination, although there were troubling aspects. I had assumed she didn't drink or smoke pot . . . not so.

You can take a completely routine traffic accident and create a world-class "mystery" out of it in a film, by asking a bunch of unanswerable (and mostly irrelevant) questions, ignoring inconvenient facts, and spinning wild-ass beyond-speculative "theories" galore.

If before this accident, nobody in the history of the world had driven a vehicle while shit-faced on booze and/or drugs, for miles the wrong way on a divided highway? Then, yes, this would be something really special and unique to investigate.

Sadly, because once is too often, these accidents are not unknown, or even all that unusual. No suicidal intent is required, although I don't doubt that sometimes a driver may have set out to die that way.

The poor woman in this case was undoubtedly very intoxicated due to alcohol consumption, as well as having some THC onboard. Her actions before the wreck were somewhat bizarre and she clearly scared the kids in the vehicle. Although her motor skills were mostly working, she was blitzed enough that her perception and judgment were severely impaired. Had she survived, she might have been found to be operating in that scary state which is an alcohol-induced blackout.

Her husband is scrambling around throwing out complicated theories about how his wife came to be so drunk while driving all those kids on a highway. Maybe he thinks if he keeps his fingers in his ears and keeps yelling "la la la I can't heaaaeeer you!" he can change reality into something exotic that will exonerate his wife from blame and even allow him to prevail in court in his suit against the PARENTS of the CHILDREN his wife KILLED.

I do not believe for one skinny minute that Diane "mistakenly" consumed a skinful of vodka that day. I also think that she was too far gone into intoxication to make any conscious "suicide/homicide" decisions. She was on some kind of autopilot and we will just not know what she was thinking, or not, in those last minutes.
  • 0

#21

annlaw78

annlaw78

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 6:06 PM

Danny's lawsuits seem like what is called "tortious interference." IOW, he's throwing these suits out there as a form of self-defense. I don't think he believes for a minute he'll see any money from those suits, but they could could protect him by dragging out the case for years and years.

To be fair to Danny, his son may have some lasting impairments that would benefit from therapy, or may limit his earning capacity in the future. Seeking to recover funds for that is probably in the best interest of his son. As an aside, these lawsuits, though they name the individuals, are generally about going after insurance dollars -- auto policies and homeowners policies (which is why the Hances have been sued by everyone, awful as it is). PI lawyers usually aren't interested in pursuing lawsuits against individuals, as most of us tend not to have enough assets to make it worth their time, and collecting is a total pain. If you've seen NBC's "Friday Night Lights," there is a pretty realistic depiction of how an accident gets turned into a lawsuit, and the effect that a lawsuit has on a relationship.

Edited by annlaw78, Aug 3, 2011 @ 6:13 PM.

  • 0

#22

dietcoker

dietcoker

    Couch Potato

Posted Aug 3, 2011 @ 7:52 PM

Based solely on the documentary and the article, I think she was trying to self medicate the pain from an abscessed tooth and she got in way over her head. I think her high, drunk mind still thought she could make it home before she was totally impaired so her mind just tunnel visioned into that sole goal. In reality she was so stoned and drunk out of her mind, she didn't even know it.

I feel Danny's sister is sincere and wants to know the real truth and is just trying to support her family until the truth is known beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I don't know what to make of Danny. I believe it's possible for him to be in such complete denial. But his inconsistent statements and suing his brother in law seems odd to me.

I think HBO went for the balls when they showed her dead body. This disturbed me to no end.

Edited by dietcoker, Aug 3, 2011 @ 7:54 PM.

  • 0

#23

config

config

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Aug 4, 2011 @ 7:50 AM

I, to am obsessed with this film. It was all over the news here for days after it happened. I've watched it about five times now. The husband comes across as an extremely angry bomb that is about to blow up. Look at this face while he's on Larry King. He is in complete and utter denial and fuming. When Larry asked them how to explain the vodka bottle, he said they kept one in the camper and said something about "cooking marshmallows" while the sister said they make "pina coladas." I did laugh when he was carping about "laundry, taking care of the house, going to work, Bryan's school work.... you're running all day and all night. This is it now." So we know he did nothing to help around the house and as his own mother said "We spoiled him and so did she. He was Diane's oldest child." Bleh.

The scenes in which they were going through Diane's calendars was interesting, when Jay said something like "You know, Diane would never even tell us that she was going to the doctor or dentist." She didn't seem to make the connection that perhaps there were many other things that Diane wasn't telling anyone.

The best friend who giggled as she explained that if Diane liked you, you were okay but if not she could be "difficult" and had to be in charge, even over a GPS system in a car speaks volumes about her personality. Anyone who knows a person like this could completely understand the giggles that came with those comments. Her job as Director of Billing and Collections probably was a great fit for her take charge, don't give me bullshit type personality.

When the toxicology person said that she had smoked from 15 minutes to an hour before the crash, I wondered what happened after they left the gas station. There seem to be blocks of time that are not accounted for. She took off quickly from the gas station and I wish the tape didn't stop there because it looked liked she just drove out to the left lane without stopping. I figured headache or toothache or something since she was looking for aspirin or whatever at the gas station mart. On another note, what kind of shop these days doesn't sell those little packets of Tylenol or Advil? Maybe she pulled off the road and lit up in the car or swigged some Vodka because I think it was around 11-something that the witness saw her bent over in a rest area like she was getting sick. But .19? That's a lot of drinks. Plus I think the accident happened after 1 p.m. so smoking at 11 does against the tox person's estimates. When I saw that she took with her from McDonald's not just a coffee but a large orange juice as well, my mind again wondered what the HELL was this "awesome, the best" (Danny's words) woman doing?

The contents of the incoherent phone call with her brother were not disclosed either and I would think the brother would have shared the content of that call at some point while they were waiting in the hospital. It's very eerie to me that right after Diane-- driving on the Southbound side-- called her brother and he told her to stay put and that he would come and get her, she left her phone on the highway, got off the highway and got on again but this time in the Northbound direction, but driving southbound. When I read that somewhere, I wondered if it was a murder/suicide thing and maybe she had a vicious fight with Danny the night before and he will never admit that.

And according to this, the HBO piece was made without the cooperation of Jackie and her husband.


It said that on one of the typed screens in the actual film.

That forensic guy, Werner Spitz, has a reputation as a very cranky, combative guy. He held his patience with those people very well. The whole "could an abscess tooth cause a stroke" thing was something they were unable to let go. Hello? Perhaps it can cause a stroke but it doesn't elevate your blood to .19 and throw in some THC for the hell of it, you know?

One thing I was confused about though. Jay says that Bryan told her that he flew out of the car like superman. I think one of the officers on the scene said they were thrown from the vehicle but I think I recall one of the witnesses (the man who started crying) talking about trying to get the doors open and pulling out a little girl, putting her down and begging her to wake up. He said something like "We didn't see him under there. Thank God he was under there." If they were tossed out of the car, under where?

The idea that the father would sue the brother of Diane is just repulsive.

On a superficial note: Every photo they showed of Diane was years old when she was very thin. When she got out of the car at the gas station, I thought we were looking at a different person. Perhaps her weight issues were caused by depression and she drank and smoked on a regular basis to alleviate that. It certainly doesn't explain why she would consume such large amounts of pot and booze on the way home from a trip (a 35 minutes ride according to the lawyer).
  • 0

#24

Magalla

Magalla

    Video Archivist

Posted Aug 4, 2011 @ 2:51 PM

The suit against the parents of the little girls is probably a requirement under insurance statutes. A friend of mine was broadsided with her boyfriend in the front seat. He couldn't sue the other driver unless he had already filed suit against his girlfriend, the owner of the vehicle he was riding in. Really strange, but true. You would think that in this case, they could have found a way around it...
  • 0

#25

LovesSnowCO

LovesSnowCO

    Channel Surfer

Posted Aug 4, 2011 @ 5:15 PM

First, I want to say this is a very difficult post for me to write.

Secondly I need to say I have not seen this documentary but wish I could.

BUT... I am obsessed with this story. Without having seen it, I can see how her husband/family friends did not know or possibly could not have known. Even the McDonald's story rings true.

My 34 year old daughter was an alcoholic. I can say was because she died two years ago. No one believed she was an alcoholic until just a few weeks ago.

She never appeared drunk. She never missed a day of work. She could walk a straight line. It was like trying to tell everyone the sun was not shining when it was....then suddenly she was gone. Multiple organ failure due to alcohol abuse. Not a time I wanted to be right.

Makes you wonder about Closet Alcoholics.

Thanks for listening. I hope I get to see this documentary but I thought I'd give you another perspective..even though I haven't seen it.
  • 0

#26

jjj

jjj

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 4, 2011 @ 5:27 PM

LovesSnowCO -- I am so very sorry you lost your daughter, and unfortunately, I also know that there are very successful drinkers who never give any sign of the amount of alcohol they consume every day. It's almost, or actually, impossible to believe if you have not seen it yourself. In the case of Aunt Diane, I do think her family saw the signs but were in denial, with Diane's encouragement that they shoudl be in denial. Is it ANY wonder that they are in denial now? Because that is what they have been doing for years, and the accident has made them realize that they were in denial about Diane's drinking and pot smoking. To get out of the denial syndrome at this point, they would have to accept some level of blame -- not in the law, but in their own minds. I understand it is unbearable for her family to think they could have prevented the deaths of those poor children.

Edited by jjj, Aug 4, 2011 @ 5:30 PM.

  • 0

#27

Diana Berry

Diana Berry

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 4, 2011 @ 6:24 PM

I've been reading so much abut this docu and the outrage on the internet, if only I had HBO.
  • 0

#28

config

config

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Aug 5, 2011 @ 6:49 AM

I'm trying to figure out if the whole "she stopped for aspirin/gelcaps" thing has been proven or was that something someone guessed and everyone sort of took off with. In the film, a state police officer says "We don't know what was said, there was no audio." I cannot find any place in the film where anyone says "We spoke to that clerk at the station and he remembers her asking for aspirin."

I re-watched part of it yesterday and the guy who tried to save them did indeed say that he and another person were unable to get the doors open so they broke the passenger window, opened the passenger door and Diane rolled out of the vehicle in front of them. Then they began passing the kids out of the back while the car was burning in the front. Someone handed him a little girl. Then he says that the boy was underneath.... "thank God he was underneath." So I'm not getting the "I flew out of the car like Superman" and someone else's comment in the film that says "they were ejected from the car."

There are just so many things that keep me wondering. This was an intelligent woman. If you were driving your car, with kids in it or not, and had some type of medical attack hit you, would you not pull over and call 911 or call family in distress and say "Help me!" or would you call someone, scare them to death by babbling incoherently while driving their kids around, hang up, leave the phone on the roadway, get back in the car, get off the highway and get back on going the wrong way, ensuring that the help you just called will never find you?

How could one drive "pin straight" for the duration of this reckless driving binge? Everyone who saw her coming and got out of the way said she was playing chicken. She was not swerving to avoid anyone and a stroke or heart attack would remove one's ability to steer the car. I get that she was a control freak and telling someone she needed help or was in distress was something she wouldn't do, but then why call home at all? And once you do, why leave your phone and take off when help is on the way?

I know nothing about pot but can you eat it instead of smoking it and get high? It seems the only place she could have lit up was while the kids were playing in the McDonald's playland but nowhere does anyone say she left the restaurant alone.
  • 0

#29

dietcoker

dietcoker

    Couch Potato

Posted Aug 5, 2011 @ 7:30 AM

Is it possible that when she was seen hunched over at the rest stop, she was just lighting up a joint?
  • 0

#30

Major Misfit

Major Misfit

    Fanatic

Posted Aug 5, 2011 @ 9:07 AM

Yes, he was under a pile of kids. They seemed to think that that was what saved him.

Thanks, Sarcastico! I knew there was something seriously hinky about what dear old Aunt Jay was saying the child "remembered." (And boy, wouldn't you love if Judge Judy would hear these Danny Schuler vs. ... cases!)

Her husband is scrambling around throwing out complicated theories about how his wife came to be so drunk while driving all those kids on a highway. Maybe he thinks if he keeps his fingers in his ears and keeps yelling "la la la I can't heaaaeeer you!" he can change reality into something exotic that will exonerate his wife from blame and even allow him to prevail in court in his suit against the PARENTS of the CHILDREN his wife KILLED.

Yup. Exactly. There was NOTHING to suggest she had any abscessed tooth or any other medical malady beyond intoxication. Even if she did have something medically wrong, it STILL would not supercede the overwhelming amount of alcohol or THC in her system as a cause for her crime. So, Danny and his scumbag lawyers can plant all the doubt with their crazy theories they want, hell, blame ghosts in the backseat, whatever, it still doesn't matter. She was drunk and stoned. Period.

I cannot find any place in the film where anyone says "We spoke to that clerk at the station and he remembers her asking for aspirin."

I don't know if it was mentioned in the film (which I will have to re-watch a third time!) but here is an article which mentions it. Keep in mind, this is yet another "theory" floated by Danny's former investigator. I don't know if what he's saying is even TRUE because in every single gas station convenience store I've ever been in, there's been plenty of Advil, Bayer aspirin, and Tylenol to go around. And again, even IF she had asked for a pain reliever, who the hell knows what she wanted it for? Maybe she had a HANGOVER from the night before. Danny would be the only one who knew that and he wouldn't admit it -- you know, because Diane was a "saint."
  • 0