In this age of being willing to examine how women are (badly) treated in Hollywood, perhaps we’ll finally get that town to admit what happened that night. I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly, at a party, a few weeks before her death. She was lovely and well liked by everyone. Her husband, not so much.
New witnesses have emerged in the 1981 drowning of the actress
Natalie Wood, prompting investigators to deem it a “suspicious death” and name
Robert Wagner, her former husband, a “person of interest,” Los Angeles County
sheriff’s officials said on Thursday.
For nearly four decades, mystery and speculation have swirled around the death
of Ms. Wood, who was nominated for three Academy Awards and starred in the
movies “West Side Story” and “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Her death occurred on the weekend after Thanksgiving in 1981 while aboard a
yacht with Mr. Wagner, the actor Christopher Walken and the boat’s captain. After a night of drinking, her body was found floating in the waters surrounding Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California. She was 43.
Investigators initially ruled it an accident but reopened the case in 2011 to see
whether Mr. Wagner, now 87, or anyone else played a role after the boat’s captain
said he heard the couple arguing the night of her disappearance. The coroner’s office amended Ms. Wood’s death certificate the next year to include “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
A sheriff’s department spokeswoman, Nicole Nishida, said in a statement on
Thursday that new witnesses interviewed since the case was reopened gave
statements that “portray a new sequence of events on the boat that night.”
One of the witnesses described hearing yelling and crashing sounds coming
from the couple’s stateroom, she said. Shortly after that, separate witnesses heard a man and a woman arguing on the back of the boat and believe the voices were those of Ms. Wood and Mr. Wagner, Ms. Nishida said.
The statements differed from the original version of events provided by
witnesses, including those who were on the boat, she said. The sheriff’s department said Mr. Wagner is considered a person of interest.