It’s about time. For many of us in Los Angeles, the ‘official’ story of Natalie Wood‘s tragic drowning death in 1981 never rang true. Now, after 30 years, Los Angeles police want to talk with the captain of the yacht Wood and her husband Robert Wagner, and their guest Christopher Walken, were on the night she died.
Last year, Wood’s sister Lana asked the LAPD to reopen the case, and now a new book by “Splendour” boat captain Dennis Davern seems to have prompted the re-opening of the case. Davern is saying he misled investigators the night of Wood’s death at the request of Wagner. I mentioned on Tammy Radio today my hope that someone involved was finally feeling guilty enough to tell the truth about that night. Let’s hope that’s the case.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office is reopening its investigation into the death of movie star Natalie Wood, who drowned in 1981 while boating off Catalina Island near the California coast, authorities said Thursday.
Homicide investigators are taking a new look at one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries after they were contacted by people who claimed they had “additional information” about the drowning, the sheriff’s department said in a statement…
Wood’s body was found floating in the water about a mile away from the yacht.
According to police reports, Wood was found wearing a long nightgown, socks, and a down jacket.
The autopsy report shows Wood had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her left cheek, and bruises on her arms.
“My sister was not a swimmer and did not know how to swim, and she would never go to another boat or to shore dressed in a nightgown and socks,” said Lana Wood…
In 2010, Lana Wood told CNN she believes a highly charged argument between her sister and husband on the yacht’s back deck preceded Wood’s drowning. She told CNN last year she does not suspect foul play.
“I just want the truth to come out, the real story,” she said last year.
Dennis Davern, the former captain of the yacht Splendour broke his long silence with a detailed account in “Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour,” a book he wrote with his friend Marti Rulli. It was published in September 2009.
Davern has said he believes Wood’s death was a direct result of the fight with Wagner.
Wagner’s representative has issued a statement which, frankly, I find odd. Wood’s sister and a person present on the boat that night are the ones calling the official account into question, and in the case of Davern, directly contradicting it. Yet here is what Wagner has to say:
A spokesperson for the actor told The Hollywood Reporter that the department has not reached out but the Wagner family yet, but hopes the new information that led to the case being reopened is legit.
“Although no one in the Wagner family has heard from the LA County Sheriff’s department about this matter, they fully support the efforts of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30-year anniversary of her tragic death.”
That’s rich. Let’s hope we get this woman come justice which many of us feel was never done. As Lana Wood noted, we don’t necessarily expect murder, simply the truth.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s department will hold a press conference about this Friday at 11am PT. Tammy Radio will carry it live.
The cover of the Los Angeles Times the morning after her death:
For those of you who may not be entirely familiar with Wood, here are some clips. She’s a part of American culture with which you should become familiar.
From 1961′s “Splendor in the Grass“:
A scene from “Brainstorm,” the film she was making with Walken at the time she died.
Raw footage from an interview in 1979 when the film “Meteor” came out.