Diane Schuler, loving mother, aunt, and respected community member, drove for two miles in the wrong direction on a freeway, colliding with a vehicle, killing her two children, three nieces, the three passengers of the other car, and herself. The children in the vehicle managed to call their parents, claiming that Aunt Diane was not acting like herself. I remember hearing about this story on the news and being haunted by what really happened in that car. The toxicology report indicated she was three times the legal alcohol blood level and had been smoking marijuana. Her husband adamantly denies that Diane used any substances; he maintains til this day that a mystery sudden illness caused the crash.
The filmmaker of There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane offered to cover the costs of hiring an investigator and retesting the blood samples if they could film a documentary about her family. Diane’s husband and sister in law agreed to go forward; Diane’s sister and the mother of the three girls who were killed declined to appear.
I vacillated between thinking that this family was in complete denial of Diane’s problem, to thinking there was no way in hell she was drinking, and that something else had gone wrong. How well do you really know someone, even being married to them for nine years? Diane’s friends and family are interviewed, painting a picture of Diane that was ideal yet not complete. The frustration of not being able to know the truth, coupled with watching the surviving family struggle with their grief makes this not suitable for a light viewing. Even after watching I still don’t know what I truly believe.