The mystery continues: an article in today's Daily News by Mattew Lysiak, "Diane Schuler's Family: Autopsy Shows She Wasn't Alcoholic," states that the autopsy showed she had no physical signs of long-term alcoholism: no cirrhosis, no pancreatic disease, no erosion of her esophagus (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/08/29/2009-08-29_diane_schulers_family_say_autopsy_results_show_she_wasnt_alcoholic__though_she_w.html). Tom Ruskin, the private investigator hired by Schuler's family, said, "The autopsy supports the claims of over 50 of Diane Schuler's friends and family members who have never once seen this woman drunk," and indicated he was going to have a team of forensic experts read the coroner's report before deciding whether to exhume Schuler's body for further tests.
This news makes the whole case even more tragic, I think. She probably hadn't been drinking too much for very long, so if it had been a minor accident it could have been the wake-up call she needed for her to get help and fix her life. Remember when comedian Paula Poundstone was arrested back in 2001 for driving drunk to Baskin Robbins with her kids in the car? Her children went into foster care, she went into rehab and joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and after more than a year of being sober, she got her kids back permanently and has been fine ever since.
One person commented on the Daily News story: "Does every person who abuses alcohol have cirrhosis? No. Does every person who abuses alcohol have to have done it over a prolonged period of time? No. Let's accept that alcoholics all started out somewhere...I know plenty of recreational drinkers and pot smokers who will only sometimes comsume to excess."