From the July 2003 Idaho Observer:

Note from Diane Fleming:

In the June, 2003 edition of The IO, we published the story, “wife, mother wrongfully convicted of murder; aspartame not even indicted (yet). Fleming addressed a letter dated July 3, 2003, to Don Harkins. She thanked him for writing the story and appreciates the responses it has generated. Fleming also noted that the story contained a few details that were not accurate. Following are relevant excerpts from her letter to set the record straight:

Even though the article has already been published, I feel I must clean up a few inaccuracies so I'm not accused of misleading anyone.

First, my husband had not been using Creatine for six months as was implied [in the article]. He had just used it for the very first time the day before he became ill. For that reason, I thought it was solely responsible for his nausea and vomiting. The regimen he had previously tried for less than two months back in December, 1999, included the protein shakes and bars. Around that time he also tried the “Ripped Fuel,” against my advice. To my knowledge, he had not used that ephedra product for quite some time prior to his death.

Also, as I have always stated, he and I mixed the Creatine in the Gatorade TOGETHER. I did the actual mixing while he was right there talking with me about it. In fact, it was him who misread the instructions and told me to add 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS instead of TEASPOONS -- three times the recommended amount. Later on, when I was reading the label myself, I pointed out this out to him. His response was, “That's okay. More is better.”

As was painted at the trial, I never denied having a part in the mixing. It would have made sense, had I spiked it with something, to distance myself from the preparation. Also, instead of giving the allegedly “tainted” bottle from our home refrigerator to the police, I would have destroyed it, or simply not told them about it. I had two days to get rid of it. Instead, it sat there in our refrigerator where anyone, even my darling daughter could have gotten it. Now, IF it was spiked with methanol and I knew it, does that scenario make sense?

Also, my husband did drink that first bottle of Creatine after he returned from playing basketball that Sunday night. I think the Creatine in that first bottle he drank somehow exacerbated the methanol (and aspartame) levels already present in his system and made him violently ill. Four more bottles were then mixed, three of which he took to work the next day. As far as I know, the one remained in our refrigerator. The next day, Monday, he woke up feeling ill and shortly returned home from work. It was later that same day I called 911, not the next day. He was still conscious and talking to paramedics. After being admitted to the hospital, his condition deteriorated. After two days, the doctors requested that he be removed from life support. I had wanted to wait one more day, but succumbed to pressure from his parents to go ahead.

Diane wishes to thank her old friend Betty Rickmond, her new friend Betty Martini of Mission Possible (, The Idaho Observer and everyone else who has helped in her time of need. “I feel sure it will make a difference in getting this injustice corrected,” Diane concluded.

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