Diana's Death: Mystery Lingers 8 Years Later

Eight years after the death of Princess Diana on Aug. 31, 1997, questions still linger -- and so does the investigation.

"Diana lived a life of such drama, from her fairy-tale wedding to all the sordid and very painful details of how the marriage broke up, that the idea that she just died in a car crash like any of us can is very hard for people to accept," said Robert Lacey, a royal biographer. "And that's what the British authorities are dealing with."

And they're dealing with it head on.

This summer, the wrecked Mercedes was shipped from France back to England. There, the London Metropolitan Police plan to use state-of-the-art technology to build a three-dimensional computer model of the crash that killed Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. Investigators plan to re-create Diana's last moments.

Also this summer, Scotland Yard reportedly has begun legal action to force French officials to hand over classified information gathered by the French domestic intelligence service. And there are new reports that detectives even have approached two American pathologists who specialize in doing autopsies on embalmed bodies -- indicating they may not have ruled out exhuming Diana's body.

Officials estimate the British investigation will cost the public upward of $5 million. But the British are happy to spend the money on the "people's princess."

A Verdict With a British Accent

"I think it is more convincing, because it comes with a British accent," said Lacey. "The investigation has been going on for years, but it's been done by the French. At the end of the day, the French say it's a car crash; the driver had too much to drink. The Brits, I'm afraid, still feel we'd like our own verdict on what happened to our princess."

Just this weekend, there were new reports in London newspapers that British investigators believe Diana was, in fact, a victim of a tragic accident, as the French investigation concluded.

Whoever leaked this information to the press probably did so to coincide with the anniversary of Diana's death, said Lacey. The British investigation, however, still is going on.

Yet, Lacey predicts the British investigators will find the same answers as the French.

"I'm sure [the British report] is going to say it was a car crash, and I'm equally sure there will be people that refuse to believe it," he said. "Of course, Mr. Fayed, Dodi's father, is right at the front of them. He believes that his son, and the woman he hoped would be his daughter-in-law, were the victim of a conspiracy."

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