There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Tracy, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Tracy

    Tracy Truly

    Mar 12, 2000
    Galena, IL


    Anyone see this documentary? I found it to be really fascinating and heart-wrenching. Curious to hear what others thought.
  2. fmowry

    fmowry Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I picked up on it after a comment in the Happy Hour thread regarding the accident. I was fascinated but in the end the husband and sister in-law are simply in denial.
  3. leeherman

    leeherman Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Saw it and yes, the husband and sister-in-law definitely are in denial.

    There was a LOT of coverage of this incident around here. I live around 50 miles from the accident scene. Neither before nor after watching the documentary could I see any way Diane Schuler wasn't under the influence while driving. The "self-medicating" angle due to tooth pain is an interesting twist with a horrible end result.

  4. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

    Jul 2, 2008
    It is possible that she had a stroke -- people who have strokes sometimes seem otherwise lucid but do strange things. This doesn't obviate the .19 Blood Alcohol level and the THC (although I'm wondering if that was ingested the night before "around the campfire", and the family isn't copping to it)
  5. Shanezam203

    Shanezam203 Member

    Jul 27, 2007


    Same here, it would have been interesting if she never ever drank or smoked pot & it showed up in her systyem... but the husband admitted she does on occasion. :thumbsdown: not good with all the kids.
  6. murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

    Jan 5, 2002
    Berkeley CA
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Truly

    Mar 12, 2000
    Galena, IL
    I was a little shocked that they showed the images of Diane after the crash.

    I assume the parents of the three small girls didn't participate because they had already accepted the fact that Diane was indeed intoxicated.

    What was annoying to me was that the documentary said that they were going to look into the incident and help figure out what really happened, but it seemed more about the psychology of the family and a slow reveal that the facts really couldn't be denied. I kept waiting for one question to be asked---Is there any sort of medical condition that could impair the woman and also cause a false result in the toxicology report? If the answer is no, then where can you go from there --other than confirming that the test was done accurately, of course.

    That private investigator sure came off as a money-grubbing ass.
  8. Magnolia88

    Magnolia88 She likes cheese.

    Jun 30, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Me too! Wow. :eek:

    I was very surprised that they were given access to the photo, and then surprised that the husband let them use it. She didn't look anything like the other pictures. It was weird.

    I've read that they thought the documentary would be too pro-Diane. I don't think it was. I think the husband and SIL come across as being in complete denial. But this whole case is so strange. I find it impossible to believe that nobody who saw her that day noticed her drinking (a LOT) or smoking pot. She did it all in the car? I guess it's possible, but it seems so unlikely.
  9. mrdazzo7

    mrdazzo7 Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    This is weird--I just came here to post this and here it is...

    Anyway, it got a lot of coverage here too because the family is from here. I was fascinated by it because when they came out with just HOW MUCH stuff she had in her system and that she must have consumed it within hours of the crash, even *I* was looking for another explanation. It honestly doesn't make sense that every single person who knew this woman finds it completely implausible that she would not just have "a" drink before driving seven children around, but apparently consumed TEN drinks in a couple of hours, and got high.

    The most interesting thing I got out of the documentary was that all of her documented behavior including the campground lady who said good bye to her, the footage at the gas station, people who saw her at mcdonalds, and the witnesses who saw her right before the accident, seemed normal.

    They interviewed several different people who saw her driving the strech of road in the wrong direction and every one of them said she was driving pin straight, going about 70mph (avg speed on a parkway), and it was like she didn't know anyone was there, etc. From their descriptions, she was basically driving absolutely fine (not swerving, in her lane, avg rate of speed, etc), she was just doing it in the wrong direction... OBVIOUSLY that's a problem, but what I find weird is that someone who just consumed that much liquor supposedly within a few hours would be so hammered they would be driving all over the road, gonig much faster (or much slower) than average, etc.

    It never made sense to me that a housewife who people obviously trusted with their kids could leave the campgrounds and chug a bottle of vodka by herself, then get high, then try to drive on the highway... no prior history of addiction, no major psychological issues, no criminal history... And like I said, it just seems weird to me that she was hammered and yet driving straight, etc.

    To be honest, I don't blame her family for wanting answers. There is so much cynicism around this but try to imagine what you would do if you sent your wife off with a bunch of kids and then you find out that she not only died, but caused the accident because she was absolutely obliterated. And this is a person who you've known and trusted for years and has never exhibited behavior that would convince you she'd do something like that, especially since you saw her when she left and she was fine.

    It's so unexpected and so out of left field that even I'm glad they at least kept looking into it. I don't think their reactions are that crazy once you put yourself in their shoes.

    I personally wasn't happy with them throwing her deceased corpse on the screen. I have a rule in my life and that is that I do not look at real dead bodies. I saw a chinese lady dead in a car accident when I was like six and I've had that image in my head ever since so that is my rule.

    I read the other day that the Bastardi family (of victims from the vehicle she hit) is suing the Hance's, who owned the van she was driving... ??? Her brother wasn't even there, she was just using his van. How do you sue him? And now it looks like his wife Jackie Hance is suing Dianne Schuler's estate...I don't know what they can get out of that. Her kids are gone and the woman responsible is gone also. She can't possibly pay for what she did anymore than that.

    This whole story seriously bugs me daily.
  10. Magnolia88

    Magnolia88 She likes cheese.

    Jun 30, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    The Bastardi family is suing the owner of the vehicle because that's what happens when someone is hurt or killed in an auto accident. They want that insurance money on the vehicle that was insured.

    What's even stranger is that Diane's husband is also suing the Hances as the owners of the vehicle. His wife killed their three children but HE is suing THEM. They are also suing Diane's estate of course, which means him as the administrator. So everybody is suing everybody and it will be a battle of the insurance companies to see who pays whom.
  11. mrdazzo7

    mrdazzo7 Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Ok, I thought I read the Bastardi's were filing a "wrongful death" suit against the Hance's which I believe would be different than suing under typical "auto accident" guidelines, where you're suing the insurance company and not the person. I thought it was different. Can't find the article now so who knows.

    I hadn't read that Dan Schuler was suing his brother in law... seriously? He came across as a bit of a dick in the film... there was one point where he flat out said "I didn't want kids but she did so we had them and now I have to be a single parent..." (not verbatim but something like that)... I mean even if you feel that way, don't say it on camera--that kids gonna see it one day.

    I still feel bad for them. I don't care what anyone says--try to imagine it's one of your family members... I don't think it's automatically easy to accept something like this when it goes against every aspect of what you knew of the person. Still, actually suing people who lost their children in a crash your wife caused is an extremely scary level of denial. Even if she had a medical emergency like they're claiming, it's still not the van owner's fault!
  12. Magnolia88

    Magnolia88 She likes cheese.

    Jun 30, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Daniel Schuler is suing NY State and the Hances.

  13. YCantAngieRead

    YCantAngieRead Not Entirely Current

    Nov 5, 2003
    I don't get HBO, but I'd really like to see this. I remember the case due to the oddness of it all.

    And the sadness, really.
  14. Cainebj

    Cainebj Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    New York
    Late to the viewing (thank you TiVo) and just watched this and found it painfully sad and heart wrenching.

    Something about what happened just doesn't make any sense - an unsolved mystery and we'll never know.

    I don't think the husband and sister in law are so much in denial an perplexed. Even the news report linked to above leads with she was drunk and high. There's more here than meets the eye.

    The lawsuits? I just don't get them at all.
  15. coolpenguin

    coolpenguin New Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Glen Burnie, MD
    I'm a documentary junkie and I really enjoyed this. I thought it was very well done. Yes, it will always be a mystery but I think her husband is in denial. I don't understand the lawsuits at all.
  16. TonyTheTiger

    TonyTheTiger Pro Troll Magnet

    Dec 22, 2006
    I recently got a free 3-month HBO sub, so I watched this on HBOGO recently. For me, I don't see how there could be any conclusion other than she was self-medicating and the family is indeed in denial.

    IMO, there is nothing or no-one to sue. She was under the influence, period.
  17. tiams

    tiams New Member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Very interesting documentary. Near the end when Jay is smoking and she says "none of my family knows I smoke" I thought that comment sums up what happened. None of them knew or wanted to admit the extent to which Diane smoked pot and drank. Diane was always asleep by the time the husband got home from work so he really had no idea what was going on.

    When they were showing her prescription history it showed Ambien. I guess that didn't show up in her system or they would have reported it.

    From an article I read:
    “They make like it was not even their fault,” says Mike. “I think they knew she was drunk and stoned.” Mike has finally got ahold of the state-police investigation. Detective James Boyle interviewed a couple who said that at about 11:45 a.m. on July 26—23 minutes before Jackie supposedly had that coherent 12:08 p.m. conversation with Diane—she noticed a red minivan pulled over to the side of the road. Diane Schuler—they later identified her through photographs in the press—was bent over with her hands on her knees, “as if she was ... going to vomit.” The minivan sped up, tailgating, honking, and zigzagging; later, another motorist spotted her entering the Ramapo rest stop, driving on the grass. (Jackie refused to be interviewed by the state police, another suspicious fact for Mike and Jeanne.)
  18. KRS

    KRS Mmm...invisible cola

    Jan 30, 2002
    Franklin, MA
    I stumbled across this on HBO the other day. I remember when the story was in the news and the question of was she/was she not drunk.

    At the start, I thought that there must have been another explanation. Why on earth would she drink that much in the morning before driving home with a vanload of kids. A medical episode did sound like a reasonable theory. But as the details came out, it really seemed like the autopsy finding must have been correct.

    Things that stood out as red flags for me:
    The denials of her smoking or drinking at first soon changed to drinking in moderation and smoking once in awhile.
    - I can see the husband wanting to downplay her habits, but it really looks suspicious
    The bottle of vodka that was supposedly always kept in the camper that the husband said must have gotten in the van because she did all the packing.
    - This never sounded right to me. Why did nobody ask him how much they drank at the campsite. And what does it mean to say that a bottle was always kept somewhere? As in "we hardly touch it but bring it along" or "we go through a bottle regularly and keep the camper stocked"
    Why did he leave separately with the dog to go straight home, while she had to stop to feed the kids and pick up things at the store?
    - Sure, he had the dog and camper, but any parent knows that hauling 5 young kids to a McDonalds and stopping at a store will be stressful. Seems like he was getting the easy job.
    She looked a bit distressed in the video of her going into the gas station. It was mentioned she was looking or gelcap pain medication but did not find any.
    - perhaps her tooth was really hurting at this point. But couldn't she have found a CVS or a Walgreens instead of a gas station?
    I believe it was said that going home from the campground took the husband something like 45 minutes to an hour.
    - If she was in pain/not feeling well/hungover, tired, why not simply go home to get drunk or high if that is what she needed at the time?

    I don't know how accurately they can tell when/how much pot she smoked, but the amount of alcohol in her system was pretty alarming. Not an amount that someone would drink to "take the edge off."

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